USA TODAY Sports
NFL Combine Executive Director Phil Savage puts together his All-Combine Team, which is noticeably missing a few top prospects.
The NFL Combine is over, but that doesn't mean we won't be using it as a basis point for many of our draft discussions over the next 50 days. At the annual testing event, we saw players thrive both on the field in the workouts and off of it in their interviews. There were also some players that struggled in areas (see: Te'o, Manti), which may cause their stock to drop a bit.
Phil Savage, the Executive Director for the NFL Combine, recently put together a list of the top performers and label it as his 'All-Combine' team. On it, we see many players that have been linked to the Arizona Cardinals with the seventh overall pick, such as Eric Fisher, an offensive tackle from Central Michigan, and quarterback Geno Smith from West Virginia.
Either one of these picks would presumably be good ones for the Cardinals, as they each provide value and fill a need. To see that they excelled and were at the top of their position class during the NFL Combine is always good. Joining them were players such as Barkevious Mingo, Dion Jordan and Dee Milliner, guys that could be dark horse picks for Arizona.
What is even more surprising is the group of players that did not make the list. At tackle, one would have figured that Luke Joeckel was a lock, but he isn't there. The same goes for Chance Warmack from Alabama at the guard position. On defense, the absences of the draft's top inside linebackers (Te'o, Kevin Minter and Alec Ogletree) are noticeable, but that does not mean they won't turn out to be great players.
The NFL Combine, as always, should just be viewed as a baseline test. The interviews are far more important than the physical tools they present on the field, but if a player is sorely lacking in athletic ability, their stock can drop. For now, there isn't much to get worried about in not seeing Joeckel, Warmack, etc. on the list. They are still top flight players that do their job without being overly athletic specimens.
So if the Cardinals do end up picking a player that did not make the All-Combine team, don't be worried. I'm sure whoever they take will be able to contribute to this team for a long time.