The one thing I said going into the NFL Combine was that DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Beal and Quinton Carter had to prove their speed. Murray did an excellent job in doing so but Beal and Carter may have left more questions than answers.
Murray impressed scouts with an official 40 time of 4.41 and an unofficial time of 4.38. However he also had a good showing in the bench press, vertical jump (34.5) and broad jump (10-4) to prove that he has the speed, strength, athleticism and size (6-1/207) to be an NFL back. Possibly the most important thing Murray proved though was that he's completely healthy. With his performance this week Murray could have easily seen his stock rise to a first round selection.
Jeremy Beal was coming off a bad senior bowl performance and really needed to impress at the combine. Despite 22 reps on the bench press, a vertical of 28.5 and a broad jump of 8-10 the main thing scouts are talking about is his speed or lack there of. Beal timed out at 7.19 in the three-cone drill and a very sluggish 5.16 in the 40. For a guy who is most likely going to need to play linebacker in the NFL those are mid to late round times. This isn't the end of the road though for Beal. He'll still have the opportunity to make up some ground with a pro day workout on campus.
Quinton Carter entered the combine as one of the best (if not the best) free safety prospects in this year's draft. While he didn't really do anything to jeopardize that status, he really didn't do anything to solidify it either. At 6-1/208 he has terrific size to play the position and 23 reps on the bench press is impressive for a defensive back. Again, the problem is going to be speed. Carter timed a mediocre 4.62 in the 40. As an NFL DB you really want to run on the plus side of 4.5. Coming into the combine Carter was looking at being a second to third round pick. He didn't do enough to move up in my opinion but I doubt we'll see him move down as well.
Programming Note: We'll be joined by Wes Bunting from National Football Post on Sooner Nation this coming Sunday night. Wes was at the combine and will be sharing his take on the performances by our Sooners. You can listen live starting at 9:00 PM CST.
Watch NFL Scouting Combine Feb 24 - Mar 1