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Weekend notes from the NFL Combine

Let's start with the performance everyone was talking about; former South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney ran a 4.53 second time in the 40 yard dash. Yes, 4.53 seconds from a man who stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 265 pounds, faster than many wide receivers and running backs that ran.

As impressive as that single sprint was, there were a few noteworthy performances from the annual NFL Combine, which took place in Indianapolis from Saturday through Tuesday.

Players from almost every Division I college imaginable were invited to enter the combine and take place in drills to get their name and performances out there to NFL teams in attendence.

Prior to the event, Adidas announced that the player running the fastest 40-yard dash would win $100,000 from the company, and many tried, but only one could be the fastest man at the combine. That title belongs to Dri Archer, a running back from Kent State who ran the 40 yards in 4.26 seconds. Believe it or not, this is only the second-fastest time recorded at the combine, the first was in 2008 by Titans running back Chris Johnson. 

Johnny Manziel only did a few of the drills on the field this weekend, but did impress scouts with his 4.63 40-yard dash time on Saturday. This time puts Manziel up there with guys like Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, who both ran in the 4.6 second time range in 2011. Manziel will do his throwing drills at Texas A&M's pro day taking place on March 27 in College Station. 

Many had their eyes on Missouri defensive player Michael Sam, who came out as the first openly gay NFL draft prospect a few short weeks ago. While Sam did not look good in the linebacker drills, his strengths came in the defensive end drills, a position for which he is undersized. 

Auburn offensive lineman Greg Robinson was said by many to have the most impressive weekend. The 300-pounder ran a 4.92 second forty and put up 32 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press. Many scouts feel that he may be the best offensive tackle prospect in the draft, and Robinson solidified that claim with his performance in Indy.

Quarterback prospect Teddy Bridgewater did not take part in any of the on-field drills this weekend, and he will wait until the Louisville pro day on March 17, where scouts will flock to see one of the top available players in the draft. 

The combine is something that many feel could be done away with, arguing that these drills don't help evaluate players football-wise. One thing is for sure, it provides legendary tales and exciting moments, if only for four and a half seconds. 

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