By Ryan Mayer
The combine is in Day 2 which means we get to see the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends take the field for the workout drills. Wide receivers often impress with blazing 40 times and big time verticals. Here are the players who have set the bar that this year’s class of prospects will try and leap (pun intended) over as they perform for the scouts.
40 yard dash- Marquise Goodwin WR Texas 2013- Goodwin was renowned as a track athlete in both high school and college so it is no surprise to see that he holds the record for the 40-yard dash at 4.27 seconds (just 0.03 off Chris Johnson’s fastest time ever). Goodwin was taken by the Rams in the 3rd round (78th overall) but was traded to Buffalo along with EJ Manuel and Kiko Alonso. The Bills have mainly used him as a kick returner as he’s averaged 21.3 yards per return in his career. This past year he was sidelined with a rib injury. He’s planning on attempting to qualify for this summer’s Rio Olympics in the long jump.
Bench Press- Brooks Foster WR UNC 2009- Foster was a lightly used player at UNC catching just 97 passes for 1,237 yards and 6 touchdowns in three years. At the combine he distinguished himself by benching 225 pounds 27 times which is still a record for the position group. He got taken by the Falcons in the 5th round (160th overall) before being traded to the Rams. He spent just one season with the Rams, injuring his ankle and never seeing the field. He moved on to the Jets in 2010, then the Dolphins practice squad before playing in Canada with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2012.
Chris Conley WR Georgia 2015- Conley showed out at last year’s combine setting position group records in both the vertical jump (45-inch) and broad jump (11’7″). He also posted top performances for the group last year in the 40 (4.35) and bench press (18 reps). The Chiefs drafted him in the 3rd round (76th overall). Conley’s rookie season was somewhat disappointing with 17 receptions 199 yards and one touchdown. He did have 6 catches for 42 yards and a TD in the Chiefs playoff loss to the Patriots, Kansas City is surely hoping that’s a sign of things to come.
3-cone drill- Jeff Maehl Oregon 2011- Maehl posted a 6.42 in the 3-cone drill, but his 4.62 in the 40 yard dash concerned some teams. He went undrafted but was signed by the Texans as a free agent and spent time on their practice squad before being traded to the Eagles in 2013. He has made nine catches for 113 yards and one touchdown in his career.
Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State 2014- Cooks was expected to shine at the combine with his speed and agility and he did just that posting position group record in the 20 (3.81 seconds) and 60 yard shuttles (10.72 seconds) in addition to running a 4.33 in the 40. He continued his rise up the draft boards and was taken by the New Orleans Saints in the 1st round (20th overall). His first two seasons have been very productive with 137 receptions for 1,688 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season in particular he emerged as Drew Brees’ number one target.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.