KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — How did a half-dozen former Tennessee football players fare this weekend at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis?
Like everything related to the NFL draft, it depends on who you ask.
High-profile players face incredible scrutiny and anonymous, negative barbs are common. For example, Cordarrelle Patterson — despite a swift 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash — was knocked for being “unimpressive in interviews.”.
Here’s a rundown on some of the news, notes and numbers from the Combine.
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Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
A 4.42-second time in the 40 is pretty good for a thick 216-pound frame, and his unofficial times were even lower. Analyst Mike Mayock called him a “freak,” and said “with the ball in his hands, he is a special human being.”
Concerns about his “interviewing” aside, many see Patterson as the top receiver in the draft and a potential top-10 overall pick.
Bray checked in at 6-foot-6 and a beefier 232 pounds, looking less like the gangly freshman he was when he first arrived at Tennessee.
Here’s what NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks had to say about Bray’s weekend:
Tyler Bray might be the most gifted passer in the 2013 NFL Draft, but teams haven’t viewed him as a legitimate franchise-caliber quarterback due to his prickly personality and adolescent ways. However, coaches and scouts are reconsidering their respective opinions on Bray after seeing the Tennessee star light up passing drills over the past few days at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Justin Hunter, WR
Hunter weighed in at 196 pounds — four shy of his listed playing weight of 200 at UT — but his agent said Hunter had actually gained 16 pounds since college.
The former track star did well in the measurements, registering a record-tying 136-inch broad jump and a 39.5-inch vertical jump.
As for everything else, Hunter seemed to represent himself well. Draft analyst Todd McShay said he was “quietly killing it,” which I think is good.
While the Combine didn’t necessarily solidify his first-round status, it certainly seems like it would be difficult for a team to bank on grabbing him as a second-round steal.
Tennessee’s tight end checked in at 6-3, 242 pounds and ran a 4.81 40-yard dash. He’s got decent size but still might not be big enough to be a “blocking tight end,” meaning he’ll have to make his money catching a few passes.
Rivera may have started under the radar, but he’s scored invites to the Senior Bowl and the Combine. He’s an athletic tight end with room to grow and zero character concerns. It’s hard to imagine there’s not an NFL team willing to use a pick on him.
Offensive lineman Dallas Thomas did not participate in drills due to a torn labrum. Hat tip to Daniel Lewis, who compiled many of the numbers this weekend.
Questions, comments? Did I make an error in the numbers? Drop me an e-mail or converse with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or Tumblr .