Three Cincinnati Bearcats participated in the NFL Combine this past weekend. Isaiah Pead was the first Bearcat to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday along with the other running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. He measured in at 5’10″ 197 lbs which is 5 lbs more than when he weighed in at Senior Bowl and College All-Star Challenge a month ago. It’s great news that his weight is on an upward tick and hopefully he can find a way to get over that 200 lbs mark by the NFL Draft. For the combine, Pead proved that like in so many games at Cincinnati he was one of the fastest players on the field. He clocked the 5th fastest official 40-time at 4.47 seconds of the thirty running backs participating in that event. In addition his 6.95 seconds completion time of the 3-cone drill was 4th best among running backs just behind Oregon’s LaMichael James. Of course we know Pead’s got wheels. But the second drill measures elusiveness, quickness, and agility. Proving that he’s not only a burner will make him more valuable to NFL teams as a return man and a 3rd-and-long back. It will be important for Pead to get his weight above 200 lbs and keep it there to show he will be durable as an NFL running back.
As you probably already know UC defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and John Hughes also participated in the weekend’s events in Indianapolis. Both weighed in at around their listed weight while at Cincinnati. Hughes was measured at 6’2″ 309 lbs and Wolfe at 6’5″ 295 lbs. It’s clear what’s going on here. John Hughes is pegged as a NFL defensive tackles in a 4-3 scheme much like he played at Cincinnati. Understanding this, he bulked up from his 303 lbs listed weight with the Bearcats. On the flip side, Derek Wolfe will be drafted as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme and it would be useless for him to add weight to his 295 lbs frame. Therefore he’s focusing more on improving his speed versus outright strength.
This is further proven in the fact that Derek Wolfe ran in the 40 whereas John Hughes did not. Wolfe recorded a 5.01 second 40 time which solid for a player his size especially considering the top performers in that event were players expected to be 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL or were defensive ends in college. He also finished will decent numbers for the agility drills 3 cone ( 7.26 sec) and 20 yard shuttle (4.44 sec). Again, most of the faster times were recorded by college defensive ends. Wolfe ended up turning heads on the bench press where he finished 10th in his position group with 33 reps.
Overall, the player who most improved his draft stock was Isaiah Pead. He’s been gaining more and more attention from NFL scouts since his performance in the Senior Bowl and his numbers this weekend could push him into the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. I thought Derek Wolfe had a pretty good showing in the speed drills considering he’s trying to convert from an interior to exterior lineman. I think his draft stock will remain the same somewhere between the 4th and 6th rounds. John Hughes for whatever reason only participated in the bench press tallying 28 reps. He has the size for an NFL defensive tackle but he’ll still likely be taken in the 7th round in April.
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