Posts Tagged “Combine”

Yesterday we looked up a few names that are quickly rising up draft boards.  Here are a few prospects who are going the opposite direction and have seen their stock drop during the pre-draft evaluation process.


1.  Janoris Jenkins (Cornerback, North Alabama)– Jenkins is an immensely talented cover corner, possibly the most talented in this class, but his character issues off the field are going to scare a lot of teams off.  Jenkins was dismissed from Florida and ended up at North Alabama for his last season of play.  No team will deny Jenkin’s ability, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been completely taken off a lot of team’s boards.  Jenkins is the type of prospect who could be taken in the 1st round based on his talent (it only takes one team!), but could also fall to the 2nd or even 3rd round as teams might be afraid that he could end up as the next Pacman Jones.


2.  Jonathan Martin (Offensive Tackle, Stanford)– Martin received a lot of hype as a key piece of the Stanford offensive line that protected Andrew Luck for the past few years so when Martin entered the draft process many viewed him as one of the top offensive tackles and a potential top 10 pick.  While Martin does have a solid frame and is a very good athlete at tackle, the fact remains that he has struggles with strength and doesn’t quite show that nasty demeanor that teams like in offensive linemen.  Martin may be passed up for other tackle options such as Cordy Glenn, Mike Adams, and possibly Bobby Massie and could find himself being selected sometime in the late 1st round.


3.  Quinton Coples (Defensive End, North Carolina)– Coples has it all in terms of size (6-5 ¾ , 280+) and athleticism, but he leaves a lot of be desired in terms of work ethic and overall desire.  Before this past season Coples was seen as a potential top 5 pick, but many believe he played not to get hurt in 2011, thus adding questions to his mental approach to the game.  Coples isn’t an elite pass rusher, something teams would usually look for when drafting a lineman at the top of 1st round.  Teams may be willing to gamble on Coples’ scheme versatility and physical potential, but his questionable work ethic may push him into the mid or even late 1st round.


4.  Courtney Upshaw (Defensive End/Outside linebacker, Alabama)– Upshaw left Alabama on a championship high note and was seen as a top prospect for a 3-4 outside linebacker.  Unfortunately for Upshaw, pre-draft workouts have left many teams questioning Upshaw’s role and ability at the next level.  Upshaw measured in at 6-1 ¾ and put up a disappointing 40 time (4.78), vertical (27 ½) and three-cone drill (7.73).  These tests really exposed Upshaw’s lack of explosion, quickness, and agility, all important factors in a 3-4 OLB.  The result is that Upshaw may now need to play 4-3 defensive end, where he lacks length and pass rush moves.  Some may love Upshaw on tape, but many will continue to question his lack of true position and that could push him into the late 1st round or possibly even the 2nd round.


5.  Zach Brown (Outside Linebacker, North Carolina)– Another UNC prospect who has it all physically, but leaves something to be desired mentally.  Brown is certainly a stud in terms of pure workout numbers and put on a great performance at this years combine.  But when you put on the tape for Brown, teams will see a lack of instincts and football IQ as well as Brown’s struggles to shed blocks.  There also have been some questions raised about Brown’s maturity and work ethic.  While Brown has the athletic ability to be a high 1st rounder, the flaws in his game and character may push him down into the 2nd round.

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When someone goes on a job interview, they often buy new clothes, get a haircut, and maybe even shed a few pounds, in hopes of making a good first impression to a potential future boss.

The idea of making a good first impression also holds true for the approximately 330 college football players who were invited to workout at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 24-Mar. 2. Each athlete undergoes extensive mental and physical evaluations by the personnel of all 32 NFL teams, which serves as their job interview for the 2010 NFL Draft on April 22-24.

In an effort to get into optimal physical and mental condition for the Combine, most athletes go through a pre-Combine training program, which is geared toward improving their draft position. The difference in getting selected in the first round versus the second round is literally millions of dollars. For other athletes, a good showing at the Combine can mean the difference between being selected on the first day of the Draft instead of the second day or being drafted at all.

Most pre-Combine programs have a similar goal of providing comprehensive physical and mental training specifically geared toward the numerous drills conducted at the Combine. Standard amenities generally include strength and speed training, learning position-specific skills, usually from former NFL coaches and players, as well as access to a nutritionist, massage and physical therapists and more.


Where the programs vary is the path a facility takes to achieve this shared goal. Selecting the proper training program has become an important part of the NFL pre-draft process and numerous Valley-based facilities rank among the elite.

Command Performance
No Valley-based facility has made more of an impact on the NFL Draft than Athlete’s Performance Institute, which began offering Combine training in 2001. Their clientele list reads like a who’s who of NFL players, as founder Mark Verstegen and his crew have trained 257 draft picks, including 53 first rounders and the last four number one overall picks.

API offers 28 specialists that focus on speed, strength, nutrition, position specific, chiropractic, physical therapy and on-site meal preparation by a culinary team. They also provide a specialist for the Wonderlic Exam, the 50-question aptitude test given to all NFL draft prospects, and a media specialist, who works with the athletes on improving their interview skills and dealing with the media.


API has four facilities nationwide. In 2009, its Arizona facility relocated from Tempe to its current luxurious location in North Phoenix. This facility is as high end as they come and offer too many amenities to list in their entirety.

This year’s class of 22 NFL hopefuls include former Sun Devils Chris McGaha and Dexter Davis as well as Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

A Combine pioneer
Warren Anderson, executive director of the Phoenix-based Make Center for Human Performance is considered a pioneer of Combine training when he began his program in 1985 at the urging of Bruce Allen, now the Washington Redskins general manager.

“We worked together in the USFL,” Anderson recalled. “Then Bruce went into the agent business and I was just starting up in the training business. He told me I should consider doing Combine training for his athletes, so he could offer them a competitive advantage.”

Anderson has nearly 30 years experience and, along with his team of former NFL coaches and players, work toward improving football skills through the Makeplays Combine Training Program where athletes train twice a day, 5 – 6 days a week. Since launching combine training, Anderson has worked with more than 500 players that were drafted in the NFL, including 41 first-round draft picks.

No Doubt
Another major player in pre-Combine training is Brett Fischer of Phoenix-based Fischer Sports Physical Therapy and Conditioning. The facility is well known for its work with baseball players but for more than 10 years, Fischer has partnered with Will Sullivan to train an average of 10-15 players per year through his No Doubt! Football, NFL Combine Training Camp.

While Fischer has trained five first-round picks and six-second-round picks, he has established his reputation for training many unheralded players and turning them into higher than expected picks.

“These are the kind of guys I like working on,” said Fischer, who has more than 20 years of sports conditioning and rehabilitation experience. “I’m not downplaying the importance of also working with the first-round picks but it’s also important to find the guys that no one projected very high that go and do well.”

Fischer also prides himself on 40-yard dash training as many athletes he worked with went on to set Combine records.

Diamonds in the rough
Other NFL Combine training options include Triple Threat Performance in Tempe, which will train more than 20 athletes this year and is growing its reputation in this area. Triple Threat boasts former Olympian Dan O-Brien on its coaching staff.

The IKEI Performance NFL Draft Preparation Program is limited to 10 players each year. Founder Chad Ikei has more than 20 years of experience and a background in strength and power sports. IKEI Performance has locations in Scottsdale and Chandler.

Speed specialists know about Mo Streety, who has worked with athletes for 11 years. Players he has worked with include Darrelle Revis, Roddy White and Terrell Suggs.

Coach Gary Zauner was an NFL special teams coach for 13 years including with the Arizona Cardinals. He has carved out a niche for working with punters, kickers and long snappers and holds annual camps in Scottsdale to prepare prospects for the NFL Draft.

With millions of dollars potentially at stake, making a great impression at the NFL Combine and ensuing Pro Day workouts have taken on greater importance. Leading up the NFL Draft, many players will climb up the rankings of prospects, as they gain favor in the eyes of those who have scrutinized their very move. And once the names are called on April 22, smiles will come across the faces of many Valley-based sports performance professionals knowing they played an important role in prepping members of the Class of 2010 for their chance at a career in the NFL.

Note: This story originally ran in the February issue of MVP Magazine, the first ever interactive digital sports magazine. Read the current of MVP Magazine at

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SportsForce held its pre-season Baseball Prospect Video Combine two weeks ago at Westview High School in San Diego. The combine was a success with great weather and some great workouts. The combine was aimed at players specifically looking to play at the next level and was an ideal opportunity for for unsigned seniors or potential MLB draft selections, top juniors looking to get nationwide college exposure and for elite sophomores that want to get on the college recruiting map early.

Fourteen players from several different high schools and club teams from the area attended the combine. The schools represented at the event were: Torrey Pines, TriCity Christian, Westview, Mission Hills, Scripps Ranch, Hoover SouthWest High School (El Centro, CA), and Great Oak (Temecula, CA). A few players had very strong workouts on the day. Southwests High School junior pitcher, Gerardo Cortez, Jr. had a great day with his fastball averaging 84-86mph.

The following players also had impressive workouts at the SportsForce combine:

Jon Putnam – C -Mission Hills High School-2011

Corey Suzukawa – OF – Mission Hills High School-2010

Zack Zehner – OF – Torrey Pines High School-2012

Conner Wilson- 1B- Scripps Ranch High School-2011

Santiago Covarrubias –  LF – Hoover High School-2010

Sports Force will be holding another baseball prospect combine this June.  See below for a highlight video of the combine or visit the SportsForce baseball page.

past Sunday, at West View High School in San Diego. The combine was a sucess with great weather and some great workouts.

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SportsForce ( is hosting a pre-season college baseball prospect video combine for top Southern California players looking to take ownership of their careers and maximize exposure to college coaches around the country. The SportsForce combine is a one day event held on Sunday, February 14th beginning at 9 AM at Westview High School in San Diego, CA. The SportsForce College Baseball Prospect Video Combine is focused on assisting college level prospects, and is an ideal opportunity for unsigned seniors, top juniors looking to get nationwide college exposure, and elite sophomores and freshman who want to get on the college recruiting map early.

Here’s an example profile of top up and coming player that is getting actively recruited.

Corey Oswalt – 3B / SS – Madison High – 2012

See Corey’s full SportsForce profile at:

If you have a son that is looking to maximize his exposure to college baseball coaches and need an easy, professional and affordable way to market him to colleges around the country, then the SportsForce athlete profile package and combines can help. The simple truth is that there are over 1,000 college baseball programs across the country, but most college coaches don’t have the time, – or the recruiting budget – to attend many games and evaluate many players in person. SportsForce’s custom online player profiles and professional combine skills videos – which will be offered at a discount for this event – are the solution to the lack of college recruiting exposure that even many quality high school athletes experience.

For a few hundred dollars, the SportsForce packages for 1-Position or 2-Position players include professionally shot baseball skills videos, a custom edited and labeled recruiting highlight DVD, and a one year SportsForce online profile membership.

SportsForce is NOT a recruiting service. We have assisted almost 1,000 student-athletes and families and have had an 80% success rate over the past 3 years. Our staff has over 50 years of combined college and professional baseball experience and clearly understands the needs of today’s student-athletes, sports parents and college coaches.

For more information about SportsForce athlete profile packages or upcoming combines please contact:

Event Director – Andrew Beinbrink

Phone – (858) 350-1786

Email –

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