NFL Combine 2013 Recap: Winners and Losers at Running Back

Sarah Glenn

With the Packers likely looking to upgrade at tailback, these rookie prospects likely saw their stock move up or down in the eyes of NFL scouts.

As part of a continuing series of posts, we'll take a look through the results of the NFL Scouting Combine and pick out a few positions of need or concern for the Green Bay Packers. We'll then identify some players at each position who likely improved or lowered their draft stock as a result of their Combine workouts.

Stock Up

Christine Michael, Texas A&M

40 time: 4.54 s
Bench press: 27 reps
Vertical: 43 inches (led running backs)
3-cone drill: 6.69 s (led running backs)
Short shuttle: 4.02 s (led running backs)

Michael's numbers were impressive last week, as he led all players at his position in the three drills shown above. Michael isn't a pure burner, but his 40 time showed that he has enough speed to get to the corner, while he showed off his excellent agility and quickness in other drills. He'll need to address some off-the-field concerns though, as he slept through a few interviews at the Combine and wasn't exactly a coach's dream at A&M.

Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State

6'1, 230
40 time: 4.60 s
Bench press: 24 reps
Cone drill: 6.75 s
Short shuttle: 4.24 s

Bell impressed me before he ever ran, just by weighing in below 240 pounds. He had the reputation of being just a tough, physical inside runner, but he showed enough with his 40 time that teams won't be too scared away by a perceived lack of speed. Strength was a plus, as he put up a good number of reps, and his time in the cone drill was encouraging for his quickness.

Knile Davis, Arkansas

40 time: 4.37 s (second-best for running backs)
Bench press: 31 reps (best for non-fullbacks)
Cone drill: 6.96 s
Short shuttle: 4.38 s

Davis has been plagued by injury at Arkansas, but he showed his impressive physical abilities in his workouts. It was impressive to see a compact, 5'10", 230 pound player run a 40 in less than 4.4 seconds, and that will immediately draw attention to Davis. His strength was on display as well, and his quickness is average at worst. If he can stay healthy, he could be a steal in the middle rounds of the draft.

Stock Down

Montee Ball, Wisconsin

40 time: 4.62 s
Bench press: 15 reps
Cone drill: 6.88 s
Short shuttle: 4.40 s

It pains me to put Ball in this category, but I have no choice. While some people expected Ball to run in the 4.6 range, I was looking for something in the 4.5s. His game isn't based on speed though, as much as it is vision and quickness. His bench press was especially surprising to me though, as he was able to shed tacklers well as a Badger; I thought his strength would be more impressive. Then again, Ball's strength probably lies more in his lower body, though this may give teams a little pause when considering Ball's pass protection capabilities. Ball did look solid in the cone drill, but all in all he needed an impressive combine showing to push him into the Eddie Lacy realm and he didn't get it.

Stepfan Taylor, Stanford

40 time: 4.76 s
Bench press: 17 reps
Cone drill: 7.16 s
Short shuttle: 4.50 s

The other marquee running back in this year's Rose Bowl didn't look impressive in Indianapolis either. While Ball's 40 time was unimpressive, Taylor's was legitimately disappointing. His times in the cone and shuttle drills didn't look great either. Taylor will need a good pro day to impress scouts and show them that either this was a fluke or that his other attributes outweigh a distinct lack of speed and quickness.

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