Thursday, March 6, 2014 · 10:01 p.m.
Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers. (Photo: David Johnston)

KNOXVILLE – Five former Tennessee football players are participating in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis over the weekend and into early next week.

Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James. (Photo: David Johnston)

We’ll keep track of their testing results and once the players have gone through the gauntlet of drills, we’ll analyze how each player helped or hurt his draft stock

OT Ja’Wuan James 

Official measurements: 6-foot-6, 311 pounds, 35”arm length

Bench reps (225 pounds): 22

40-yard dash time: 5.34 seconds

Broad jump: 103 inches

Vertical jump: 29 inches

3-cone drill: 7.42 seconds

20-yard shuffle: 4.56 seconds

Analysis: James looks the part at the Combine, measuring in at 6-foot-6, just over 310 pounds and with some of the longest arms of the offensive tackles. His performance on the bench was underwhelming, producing one of the lowest rep totals of the offensive line group. Coach Butch Jones told a story during the season on his weekly radio show about James regretting not always working hard in the weight room under the prior staff and some of the bench numbers showed that on Saturday. Some of that obviously falls on coach Derek Dooley and his staff for not demanding more, but it's also reflective of the players that they weren't always self-motivated enough to do it on their own. James' 40 time wasn’t great, but he did put some competitive numbers up in the broad jump, 3-cone drill, the vertical jump and the 20-yard shuffle, all tests of overall explosion and athleticism. 


Tennessee guard Zach Fulton. (Photo: Daniel Lewis)

G Zach Fulton

Official measurements: 6-foot-5, 316 pounds, 33 ¼” arm length

Bench reps (225 pounds): 25

40-yard dash time: 5.16 seconds

Broad jump: 98 inches

Vertical jump: 24.5 inches

3-cone drill: 7.87 seconds

20-yard shuffle: 5.16 seconds

Analysis: The numbers weren’t very good for Fulton, who is hoping to work his way up into the earlier middle rounds of the draft. His 40 time and his effort on the bench were mediocre, but he found himself close to the bottom in several other of the drills. His 20-yard shuttle time was dead last among participating offensive linemen and his broad and vertical jumps were underwhelming. He’ll need to improve those at Tennessee’s Pro Day in April to boost his stock. 


C James Stone

Tennessee center James Stone. (Photo: David Johnston)

Official measurements: 6-foot-4, 306 pounds, 33 7/8” arm length

Bench reps (225 pounds): 22

40-yard dash time: 5.17 seconds

Broad jump: 105 inches

Vertical jump: 27.5 inches

3-cone drill: 8.16 seconds

20-yard shuffle: 4.63 seconds

Analysis: Stone is projected as a mid-to-late round pick and his performance in Indianapolis probably didn’t change that much for better or worse. His results were competitive in the 40, the vertical jump, the broad jump and the 20-yard shuffle, but he was near the bottom of the pack on the bench press and the 3-cone drill. He’s got the size and played enough in the SEC to get drafted and make a roster, but he doesn’t have elite NFL skills at this point. 

Tennessee left tackle Tiny Richardson. (Photo: David Johnston)


OT Tiny Richardson

Official measurements: 6-foot-6, 336 pounds, 35” arm length

Bench reps (225 pounds): 36 *Tied for second among offensive linemen*

40-yard dash time: 5.30 seconds

Broad jump: DNP

Vertical jump: 24.5 inches

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuffle: DNP

Analysis: There was some good and some bad for Richardson, who was trying to prove that he is worthy of a first-round pick. His size and strength are a major plus. He measured in with ideal size for an NFL tackle and his long arms help as well. His 36 reps on the bench press were impressive, especially since he only played three years in college and was bothered by a few injuries while at UT. But those very injuries – mainly the less than 100-percent knee he played on in 2013 – seem to be of some concern to NFL teams. tabbed Richardson as a Combine 'loser,' citing injury concerns and a lack of overall athleticism. His 5.30 40 time was well behind several of the other top offensive tackle prospects. 

Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel McCullers. (Photo: David Johnston)


DT Daniel McCullers

Official measurements: 6-foot-7, 352 pounds, 36 5/8" arm length

Bench reps (225 pounds): 27

40-yard dash time: DNP

Vertical leap: 20.5 inches

Broad jump: 97 inches

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuffle: DNP

Analysis: We already knew that McCullers is huge. He left no doubt about that, measuring in at 6-foot-7, over 350 pounds and showing some of the longest arms at the event at just short of 37 inches. He only participated in three events, putting up average numbers on the bench (27 reps) and underwhelming in the vertical and broad jump. Not that anybody was expecting him to ‘wow’ in the athletic events, of course. But perhaps his most important events were the interviews with teams. NFL scouts know all about his size and have seen that he can clog up a lot of space on the interior when his motor is revving. Does he have the mentality to play 30-40 aggressive snaps a game in the NFL? That’s the main question he needs to answer in order to be picked in May. 

Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee athletics for Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga

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