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STEPHEN’S REPORT: NFL Scouting Combine

Kevin Norwood [A+] – As a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Kevin Norwood was Mr. Everything.  He was a clutch receiver and AJ McCarron’s security blanket. Norwood has great hands and is a crisp route runner. Before the combine, Norwood’s time in the 40-yard dash was 4.60 seconds. His goal coming in was to prove that he’s faster than that.

Norwood amazed NFL scouts with his official time of 4.48 seconds (4.39 unofficial) in the 40-yard dash. If his elite speed didn’t sell scouts on Norwood, his leaping ability did. In the vertical jump, Norwood reached 33.0 inches. He jumped 121.0 inches in the broad jump and was very smooth in the route running/catching drills. Though the senior bowl helped him some, Norwood’s performance in the combine may have increased his draft stock from a sixth-round pick to maybe a late third-round guy.

Adrian Hubbard [A+] – Kudos to the individual who gave Adrian Hubbard a shot of 5-Hour Energy before the combine. Going in, many questioned would Hubbard have the intensity and the mindset to provide a good performance. Hubbard’s answer to the critics came via the 40-yard dash. Hubbard’s official time was 4.69 seconds. It’s not easy to have that kind of speed when you are 6’6” and 252 pounds.

Despite not participating in the bench press, Hubbard caused jaws to drop with his leaping ability. He finished in the top five of the vertical jump reaching 38.5 inches. In the broad jump, Hubbard landed at 117.0 inches. On one hand, he has the ability to be a great pass rusher in the NFL; however, he needs to continue to keep his intensity level up.

AJ McCarron [A-] – Let’s be honest, mobility isn’t one of AJ McCarron’s strong suits.  He was clocked at 4.94 seconds in the 40-yard dash. While speed is good to have, it’s not a make or break factor for quarterbacks. McCarron’s strong suit is his decision-making and the ability to be accurate passing the football.  He had both attributes on display at the combine. Along with Blake Bortles, McCarron was one of the few quarterbacks that threw in the combine.

During the 2013 season, many college football analysts questioned McCarron’s arm strength.  He answered the scouts well, and left little doubt of his ability to get the ball downfield. While his arm strength opened some eyes, McCarron’s ball placement curved some checks on the clipboard. He did a great job of placing the ball on the receivers in stride. McCarron did well on the deep post and fade routes, but excelled in the short to intermediate ones.

CJ Mosley [A] – Despite not participating in the 40-yard dash and bench press, CJ Mosley still managed put in a 35.0 inch vertical jump. His broad jump was 118.0 inches and he finished the Three-cone drill at 7.3 seconds. The 20-yard shuttle put Mosley over the top. He did a great job of moving his feet and being balanced. He finished the drill in 4.40 seconds.

Weight is still a concern with Mosley (234 pounds), but he makes up for it by having long arms (33 inches) and huge hands (10 inches). His best aspect is being able to shed blockers and get to the ball along with playing the passing lanes.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix [B+] – While many expected to see more speed from him, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was clocked at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash. This is actually acceptable speed because most defensive backs aren’t over six feet. Where Clinton-Dix’s strength lies is in his instincts, range and decision-making.  He did well in the vertical (33.0 inches) and broad jumps (119.0 inches). In the bench press, Clinton-Dix put up 11 reps.

One thing Clinton-Dix has going for him is the lessons he’s learned from Nick Saban. Unlike most safeties that specialize in one role, Clinton-Dix is a versatile player. He can be an in-the-box strong safety to defend the run or a deep coverage safety reacting to the pass.  Though he’s a great student of the game, Clinton-Dix can be highly aggressive at times. If he can work on dissecting every play at the next level, Clinton-Dix will become one of the top safeties in the NFL.

Cyrus Kouandijo [F] – Cyrus Kouandijo will have to put on a show in his pro day to reverse the damage he did in the combine. He was sluggish and finished below par in every event. Kouandjio was at 5.59 in the 40-yard dash and only put up 21 reps on the bench press. The lone bright spot for Kouandjio was his vertical jump. He reached 27.5 inches in the event. Medically, Kouandjio still has problems with his Arthritic right knee. After having surgery on it, Kouandjio participated in the combine, but failed multiple physicals.

Though he has abilities to be an elite offensive lineman, Kouandjio will need to get his knee fixed and really regroup for pro day. Before the combine, Kouandjio was looked at as a first-round pick. After this performance, he may have to hope that he remains as a second or third round guy.

As for Jeoffrey Pagan, Ed Stinson, Anthony Steen and Vinnie Sunseri, the fans will have to wait until pro day to see what they have to offer. Sunseri participated in the bench press and put in 18 reps. As for Cody Mandell, he took advantage of the combine. He was clocked at 4.89 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Mandell’s vertical jump was 27.0 inches.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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