Sunday brought many players a chance to impress all 32 NFL teams as the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine kicked off in Indianapolis.
Saturday was the start of the individual drills, allowing the Tight Ends and Offensive Linemen showcase their talents to the NFL’s best talent evaluators. More of the skilled position drills will take place in the next two days, but today was about the big guys up front.
Tackle out of Alabama, Cyrus Kouandjio had his first individual workout on Saturday, most notably running a 5.56 and 5.53 in his 40-yard dash runs. Of course, this number is always labeled “unofficial” by NFL Network, but it’s clear that Kouandjio ran notably slower than most prospects in this class.
As an offensive tackle, this time isn’t nearly as important as the shuttle drills and athleticism tests. It might have an impact on how certain teams look at a tackle prospect, but one time shouldn’t hurt a player too much. The most concerning thing here might be Kouandjio’s overall athleticism.
At times on tape during his college career, the starting tackle proved to be too slow to beat the elite outside edge rusher. Although he was solid for most of his time with the Crimson Tide, it was frustrating to see athleticism concerns heading into a league that is becoming known for speed on defense.
Kouandjio is currently labeled as a first round pick for many. His best fit will be in the mid-to-late first round, but a team might opt to take less of a risk and pass on the big-bodied tackle. The farthest Kouandjio will slip is early in the second round as the need for offensive lineman is overflowing this year.