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Penn State Football’s All-time Rankings for NFL Combine: A-Rob Among Best Ever

by on February 23, 2014 9:35 PM

Combined, Allen Robinson’s four days at the NFL Combine rank among the best in Penn State history.

By the time he left Indianapolis on Sunday, Robinson had the second-best jump ever by a Nittany Lion at the NFL Combine in two tests. Plus, he had two other performances that ranked in Penn State’s all-time Top 10.

Combined, Robinson joins Tim Shaw (2007) and Omar Easy (2002) as the only Nittany Lions who are in the school’s Top 10 list for NFL Combine scores in four separate events, dating back to 1999.

And for sheer impact, he comes close to the performances of Cameron Wake in 2005 and Justin King in 2008.

(How do we know? Well, check out my newly-compiled all-time PSU NFL Combine rankings below.)

Robinson’s 10-foot, 7-inch broad jump tied King’s 2008 effort and fell just three inches short of the best-ever Combine broad jump by a Penn Stater, by Wake in 2005. Robinson’s 4.00-second time in the 20-yard shuttle is second only to Rich Gardner’s 3.92 in 2004.

Robinson’s 39-inch vertical jump was the fourth-best by a Penn Stater at the Combine, while his three-cone time of 7.0 seconds is tied for 10th-fastestt by a Nittany Lion. The vertical jump record is almost as tough as it gets. Wake’s jump of 45.5 inches in 2005 is No. 2 in NFL Combine history, a mere half-inch behind the 46-inch mark set by North Carolina’s Gerald Sensabaugh. (Wake was known as Derek at PSU.)

Throw in a 4.60 40-yard dash, and Robinson’s showing had to help solidify his ranking as a probable first-round draft pick. After catching 174 passes for 2,445 yards and 17 TDs over the past two season, Robinson declared early for the 2014 NFL Draft. He certainly made a declarative statement over the weekend in a field of 48 wide receivers. He ranked among the group’s Top 7 in three separate Combine tests – vertical (sixth among WRs) and broad jumps (fourth), and the 20-yard shuttle run (seventh).

Robinson’s teammates John Urschel and DaQuan Jones also took part in the 2014 NFL Combine. Urschel performed well in the group of 50 offensive linemen, tying for fifth in the vertical jump (29 inches) and 10th in the 225-pound bench press (30 repetitions). The 30 reps ties him with Stefen Wisniewski (2011) for the No. 2 performance by a Penn Stater at the Combine, behind A.Q. Shipley, who had 33 in 2009. Through Sunday, Jones had done 25 reps in his only test. Robinson opted to skip the bench press.

Wake’s vertical jump in 2005 and King’s 4.31 electronically-time 40-yard dash in 2008 rank among the best single-event performances by a Penn State player at the NFL Combine. King’s time ranks No. 14 in the 40 since electronic timing was implemented in 2000.

Robinson's 2014 Combine performance is among the three best in PSU history. In 2005, Wake ran a 4.65 40, had 20 reps, a shuttle run of 4.13 seconds and a three-cone time of 71.2 seconds, to go with his 45.5-inch vertical jump and his 10-10 broad jump. Wake played several years in Canada, before moving to the NFL, where's become one of the league's top sack specialists with the Miami Dolphins. King had 14 reps, a 34-inch vertical leap and a 7.14-second cone score in addition to his 4.31 40 and 1-7 broad jump. King is the stepson of Terry Smith, the former Nittany Lion receiver and new assistant coach.

THE COMBINE AND THE LIONS

Over the past 15 years, a combined 60 Penn State players have participated in the NFL Combine. So, far 38 have been drafted; PSU’s three 2014 invitees could raise that number to 41.

Attendance at the Combine is by invitation-only. Players who have used at least three years of college eligibility are selected for the Combine by NFL executives as well as a committee representing 25 NFL teams via the National and BLESTO scouting services. These days, if a player is invited to the Combine – be he 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel or Bloomsburg offensive lineman Matt Feiler – he almost always goes to Indy, even if he only participates in some of the tests and interviews.

That wasn’t always the case. Dating back to the 1999 Combine – as far back as available records go – some very prominent Penn Staters opted out of the multi-day pro football beauty pageant. Combined, these five No. 1 draft picks – overall No. 1 Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington (2000), Jimmy Kennedy and Bryant Johnson (2003), and Tambi Hali (2006) -- went to zero Combines.

Over recent years, as the combined strength of the event’s test results has increased, so has Penn State’s participation. In fact, since 2007, 27 Penn Staters have been picked in the NFL Draft and just four didn’t participate in the Combine. And from 2011-13, not a single PSU player was drafted who didn’t attend the NFL Combine.

With that in mind, we combed the NFL Combine record book, with the help of NFL.com, statisticbrain.com, sprayberryfootball.com and nflcombine.net to see which Penn Staters performed best at the Combine over the past 15 years. On the following lists, some players are absent – either they didn’t participate (like Arrington) or they didn’t perform as well as you would think (Derrick Williams ran a 4.65, for instance). Also not included are any player performances that occurred on campus during Pro Day, when several NFL teams come to town to work out PSU players.

The results are below, blended in with results from 2014. The bulk of Jones’ tests are on Monday. Also included are results for former Nittany Lions Silas Redd, who transferred to Southern Cal, and Khairi Fortt, who transferred to Cal. Fortt participated in just one test, but his 30 bench reps tied him for first among the 35 linebackers in attendance. Redd opted out of the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle.

Historically-speaking, Wake is No. 1 on two lists, while King has a No. 1 and a No. 2. Shaw and Easy showed that they were studs – Shaw, especially, given that he ranks in the Top 10 for speed, strength, jumping and agility. Take note, too, of Gardner and Chaz Powell; they’re Top 10 in three tests.

PENN STATE’S NFL COMBINE RANKINGS

40-YARD DASH – FASTEST

1. Justin King (2008), 4.31 seconds

2. Deon Butler (2009), 4.38

3. Chaz Powell (2012), 4.42

4. (tie) Rich Gardner (2004) and Derek Moye (2012), 4.46

6. Lydell Sargeant (2009), 4.49

7. Tim Shaw (2007), 4.51

8. (tie) Omar Easy (2002) and Bruce Branch (2009), 4.53

2014 – Robinson, 4.60; Redd, 4.70; Urschel, 5.31. All-time Combine best: electronically-timed -- 4.24, Chris Johnson of East Carolina in 2008; hand-timed – 4.12, Bo Jackson of Auburn in 1986.

 

40-YARD DASH – SLOWEST

1. Gus Felder (2003), 5.83 seconds

2. Johnnie Troutman (2012), 5.52

3. Floyd Wedderburn (1999), 5.51

4. Matt Stankiewitch (2013), 5.43

5. Kareem McKenzie (2001), 5.33

 

BENCH PRESS – REPETITIONS WITH 225-POUND WEIGHT

1. A.Q. Shipley (2009), 33

2. (tie) Stefen Wisniewski (2011) and John Urschel (2014), 30

4. (tie) Levi Brown (2007) and Johnnie Troutman (2012), 31

6. (tie) Jordan Hill (2013) and Michael Mauti (2013), 28

8. Matt Stankiewitch (2013), 27

9. (tie) Tim Shaw (2007), Gerald Cadogan (2009), NaVorro Bowman (2010) and Jared Odrick (2010), 26

2014 – Urschel, 30; Fortt, 30; Jones, 25; Redd, 18. All-time Combine best: 51 reps, Justin Earnest, Eastern Kentucky, 2011.

 

VERTICAL LEAP

1. Cameron Wake (2005), 45.5 inches

2. Chris Harrell (2006), 40.5

3. Omar Easy (2002), 40

4. Allen Robinson (2014), 39

5. Aaron Maybin (2009), 38

6. (tie) David Macklin (2000) and Sean Lee (2010), 37.5

8. (tie) Joe Nastasi (1999) and Paul Posluszny (2007), 37

10. (tie) Rich Gardner (2004) and Tim Shaw (2010), 36.5

2014 – Robinson, 39; Redd, 37; Urschel, 29. All-time Combine best: 46 inches, Gerald Sensabaugh, North Carolina, 2005.

 

BROAD JUMP

1. Cameron Wake (2005), 10 feet, 10 inches

2. (tie) Justin King (2008) and Allen Robinson (2014), 10-7

4. Aaron Maybin (2009), 10-4

5. (tie) Omar Easy (2002) and Rich Gardner (2004), 10-3

7. Chaz Powell (2012), 10-1

8. (tie) David Macklin (2000), Calvin Lowry (2006) and Sean Lee (2010), 10-0

2014 – Robinson, 10-7; Redd, 10-2; Urschel, 8-6. All-time Combine best: 11-7, Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech, 2007; and Jamie Collins, Southern Miss, 2013.


20-YARD SHUTTLE

1. Rich Gardner (2004), 3.92 seconds

2. Allen Robinson (2014), 4.00

3. Joe Nastasi (1999), 4.06

4. Josh Hull (2010), 4.07

5. David Macklin (2000), 4.09

6. Justin Kurpeikis (2001), 4.10

7. (tie) Omar Easy (2002) and Tim Shaw (2007), 4.12

9. (tie) Cameron Wake (2005) and Chris Harrell (2006), 4.13

2014 – Robinson, 4.00; Urschel, 4.47. All-time Combine best: 3.73, Kevin Kasper, Iowa, 2001.

 

THREE-CONE DRILL

1. Justin Kurpeikis (2001), 6.82

2. (tie) Chaz Powell (2012) and Nathan Stupar (2012), 6.84

4. Josh Hull (2010), 6.86

5. David Macklin (2000), 6.90

6. (tie) Rich Gardner (2004) and NaVorro Bowman (2010), 6.91

7. Paul Posluszny (2007), 6.94

8. (tie) Lydell Sargeant (2009) and Allen Robinson (2014), 7.0

2014 – Robinson, 7.0; Urschel, 7.55. All-time Combine best: 6.42, Jeff Maehl, Oregon, 2011.

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Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979. He is a senior lecturer in Penn State's College of Communications and teaches a pair of classes in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism: “Sports Writing” and “Introduction to the Sports Industry.” He created and taught for several years the Center’s course on “Joe Paterno, Communications and The Media.” Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PSUPoorman. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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