NFL combine day 2: Brandin Cooks turns up the heat, running backs take center stage
The workouts at the 2014 NFL combine ramped up Sunday with a few Pac-12 running backs getting full-spectrum evaluations and wide receivers also taking center stage. Washington running back Bishop Sankey and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey trended in different directions while Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks unsurprisingly torched the competition with his speed.
-- Within the Pac-12, Brandin Cooks' speed has been a known factor for the last three years. He backed that up with a 4.33 official time in the 40-yard dash, which was tops among wide receivers. And he should be glad for wearing Adidas while running in the combine. The athletic apparel company handed out $10,000 to Cooks for being the fastest player to wear its cleats.
— Damon Bonnett (@Bonnett34) February 23, 2014
-- Other Pac-12 receivers' official 40 times: Colorado's Paul Richardson (4.40), UCLA's Shaq Evans (4.51) and USC's Marqise Lee (4.52).
-- Lee, perhaps the best wide receiver on the board, also impressed with a 38-inch vertical leap, which tied with Richardson for 10th among receivers. The dynamic former Trojan also recorded the third-best broad jump (127 inches) by a receiver.
-- On the running back front, Ka'Deem Carey entered Sunday hoping to shed the one knock against his fine production over the last two seasons. Speed has been the issue, and the Arizona running back couldn't break an official time of 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Though the performance could mar Carey's draft stock, it should only be taken with a grain of salt, writes CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang.
-- After all, several other players put up less-than-expected numbers on the speed measurement drill. Take Oregon speedburner De'Anthony Thomas, for example. He only pulled off a 40-yard dash mark of 4.50 seconds. Meanwhile, Sankey and his similar build to Carey ran a 4.47 seconds on his 40-yard dash, a pleasant surprise for his stock.
-- Defensive players also began their combine workouts Sunday. Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr struggled in the bench press, putting it up only 15 times. He's also looking to prove that he's continuing to learn the linebacker position after converting from a running back in the middle of his UCLA career, according to CBS Sports.
-- California's Khairi Fortt tied all linebackers for the most bench presses at 30. Utah's Trevor Reilly put up 26 reps and was in the top 10, and Arizona State's Carl Bradford tied with USC's Devon Kennard, among others, with an 11th-best total of 23 reps. Cardinal linebacker Trent Murphy put up 19 reps.
-- Among defensive lineman, the Utah Utes got a strong representation from Tenny Palepoi, who benched 31 times, tying him at his position for sixth best. ASU's Will Sutton, Oregon State's Scott Crichton and Cal's Deandre Coleman repped 24 times. Oregon's Taylor Hart (21), Stanford's Josh Mauro (21), USC's George Uko (18) and UCLA's Cassius Marsh (14) also went through the bench press trial.
-- Utah's Jake Murphy impressed with his athleticism on Saturday and he continued to show up fellow tight ends on Sunday. He recorded the second-fastest 20-yard shuttle time for a tight end at 4.27 seconds. Richard Rodgers of Cal recorded a time of 4.47 seconds in the event.