The term "underwear olympics" was mentioned often in NFL Network's coverage of the 2012 NFL combine. Though a quarky and unfitting description of any NFL event, the overused phrase made sense within the confines of the various drills held at the combine. For example, a football player neither runs in a straight line for 40 yards in a game unperturbed by a defender nor rarely catches a football unchallenged by a defensive back. Though many of the drills held at a combine are a reflection of an individuals physical skill set, work ethic, and star potential, it does not always represent on-field success. It is important to remember that the combine is complimentary and hardly ever the answer when it comes to assessing prospective pro football players.

During the NFL combine coverage of the QB, WR, and RB positions, a number of individuals jumped out: some sent mixed messages, while others corroborated their on-field game play. Two of the WRs that made national headlines were Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) and Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) for their dashing display of athleticism this past Sunday.

Michael Floyd, 6'2" 220 lbs, a WR from Notre Dame, is a top 3 WR on most draft boards due to his size and production (271 receptions, 3686 yards, 37 TDs). The burning question that most scouts had about Michael Floyd (aside from his extracurricular concerns) was his straight line speed.

Film Review

On film, Michael Floyd's weakness is his lack of concentration on deep routes. Floyd also catches the ball very close to his body and almost appears to be fighting the football as it comes into his hands. His route running is mediocre at best. He gets seperation from defenders by using his size. He does not have spectacular speed running down the field. Many scouts and websites had Michael Floyd running a ~4.5 second 40 yard dash.

At Combine

On Sunday, the Minnesota native ran the 40 yard dash in 4.42 seconds (unofficially), which was a tenth of a second better than what most scouts expected. However, Michael Floyd had only an average day in on-field drills, struggling to catch a ball during "the Gaunlet" drill and bobbling the ball on a post corner route.

Overall Assessment

Though, Michael Floyd may have opened eyes with his straight line speed, he also corroborated his on-field play with the various passing drills held at the NFL combine.

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Stephen Hill, 6'4" 215 lbs, was the 11th ranked WR and 92nd ranked player in this year's NFL draft according to cbssports.com.

Film Review

Stephen Hill had very few film of him catching the football. His biggest highlight was his game against North Carolina (6 receptions, 151 yards, 1 TD), where Hill hauled in an amazing one-handed grab on a ten yard route near the sideline. In that game, Hill also caught a wide open 50 yard+ pass for a touchdown. However, in that very same game, Hill dropped a wide open pass that bounced off his chest during a blown coverage. Additionally, Stephen Hill does not have the toughness to gain extra yards after the catch. Hill does not break tackles once a defender has made contact with him.

At Combine

On Sunday, Hill made national headlines for running a 4.30 second 40 yard dash and dazzled the fans with a diving catch during "go" route where the pass was to be placed on the WR's outside shoulder. Hill finished the evening with no drops in all on-field drills leaving many fans with an appetite for more. Many sports journalist drew the connection between the slinky tall wide reciever with blazing speed and great catching ability and concluded that Hill was a top prospect at the WR position.

Overall Assessment

Though there were flashes of greatness from Stephen Hill that was reminiscent of a slinky-tall receiver from Marshall heading into the 1998 draft i.e Randy Moss, there are still questions regarding his production level at Georgia Tech as well as his decision to leave Georgia Tech after his Junior season. Statistically, Stephen Hill caught 28 receptions his junior year at Georgia Tech and 45 receptions his entire college career, a low compared to most wide receivers headed to the NFL draft. Most WRs coming out of Georgira Tech that have successful NFL tenures are typically productive in College i.e. Calvin Johnson and Demaryious Thomas.

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Rising pending more research