The combine truly is a circus. Test your feats of strength with Saquon Barkley. Can you win a staring contest with the Seattle Seahawks? No, seriously. That’s a thing because according to former Texas punter Michael Dickson who said the Seahawks challenged him to a staring contest in the interview segment: “I had to see how long I could stare without blinking. I had a couple of attempts. I tried a few techniques, looking away from the light, trying to block any sort of wind coming into the eyes. That was a weird process.”
So how’d it go? “The first time I did terrible. I only lasted for 14 seconds, but my third time I had figured out a technique to look around the room just to get your eyes a little watery, I guess.”
Uhhh, okay. I guess. Who cares about hang time, it’s all about staring time. Speaking of staring, you couldn’t be faulted for staring at Saquon Barkley’s numbers from Indy:
4.4 in the 40, second among running backs
29 reps at 225 in the bench, tied for first among running backs
41 inch vert, best in his position group
But that doesn’t really do it justice. Let’s go historical with it. He benched more than future Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas. His vertical was better than future Hall of Fame receiver Julio Jones. And his 40 was better than future Hall of Fame returner Devin Hester. That’s some elite company. No wonder one evaluator told Charles Robinson that “After his last drill, I thought he was going to put on a cape and fly out of here.”
That’s high praise. But not nearly as high as the line than one NFL assistant coach dropped on Mike Freeman: “I would punch myself in the nuts many, many, many times to be able to draft him.”
That is a mic-drop moment. There will never be higher praise of an NFL draft prospect than a coach declaring that he’d “punch myself in the nuts many, many, many times to be able to draft him.” Not, I’m going to punch myself in the nuts to be able to draft him. But that I’d punch myself in the nuts MANY, MANY, MANY times to get him. Look, there’s a lot of things I wanted or have wanted. A new iphone, maybe a new watch. Hell, a new car: but i’ve never wanted anything badly enough to kick myself in the junk, much less willing it to do it MANY MANY MANY TIMES.
If I’m Saquon Barkley, I’m referring all questions about my draft position to that assistant coach. Am I the top pick in the draft? Go ask that assistant, the one who’s repeatedly punching himself in the junk what he thinks. Can you build a franchise around me? Don’t take my word for it, ask the guy with the destroyed junk.
And while it’s clear that Barkley helped boosted his already strong stock, I’ve got serious questions about two quarterbacks coming out of Indy: Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. And no, this isn’t about Darnold’s decision not to throw or about Allen’s level of competition in college.
It’s about what happened off the field on Saturday. Charles Robinson posted this tweet and frankly, I couldn’t be more concerned: Saturday at #nflcombine, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are leaving a hotel and get into the electronic revolving door together. One pushes the door (which you aren’t supposed to do). Door stops. Suddenly they’re just two dudes, trapped in a revolving door until someone let them out.
How badly did their stock fall in that one moment? Just bombed the biggest job interview ever. Being late and forgetting to shower before an interview thinks getting stuck in a revolving door is a bad look when you want a job.
If you’re a GM, can you really trust your franchise and your own personal future to a guy who can’t get out of a revolving door? That’s worse than running an 8 second 40 or getting a zero on the bench. I don’t care about hand size or arm strength if my quarterback can’t get out of a door.
How can you expect him to beat an NFL defense if he can’t beat a revolving door? And even worse, it wasn’t just one of them, it was both of them. Two of the best quarterback prospects in the draft and they were stumped by basic door technology.
Great guys. Great quarterbacks. But after that, I’m thinking undrafted free agents at best. If I were both those guys, I’d “punch myself in the nuts many, many, many times” to have that moment back.
Because if these dudes can’t read a revolving door, there’s no way in hell they’re reading an NFL defense.
I’m not sure how they ultimately got out. Did they have to call a local fire dept. To get them free. Because that wasn’t very humiliating. Dudes breaking in with axes, and using the jaws of life, to get too alleged NFL franchise quarterbacks free who didn’t know to use a revolving door. Next time, fellas, just use that regular door that’s about a foot away that opens and shuts regularly. Always go to the door next to the revolving door. Nothing good comes from revolving doors. Draft prep season is all about Risk vs. Reward and the risk of messing with revolving doors is way too high. Just ask you too.