LJWorld.com weblogs Tale of the Tait
What Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier's performances at the NFL Combine mean for their future
The results are in and we now know that former Kansas University wide receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier run approximately the same 40-yard dash times.
So, what does this mean?
In a nutshell: Nothing.
Sure, a good showing at the combine is important. But it’s not as if these two were complete dogs during their time in Indianapolis. They showed average speed for their position, flashed some good hands in most of the drills and registered near the middle of the pack in most of the other major tests.
I watched about six hours of combine stuff over the weekend and what I learned, both from watching for myself and from listening to the commentators, is that Meier and Briscoe did about what they were expected to do. In this case, that’s a good thing.
Of course it would’ve been wonderful if Meier had gone out and run a 4.42 40-yard dash or if Briscoe would’ve thrown up 225 pounds 18 times instead of just nine in the bench press. But nobody — including Meier and Briscoe — expected that to happen.
In many ways, the combine can be looked at like this: It’s a lot easier to hurt yourself than help yourself. Look, if you’re fast, a la Clemson’s Jacoby Ford, who ran a 4.28 40, people know you’re fast and they expect you to show it. Imagine, for a second, if Ford would’ve run a 4.4. Scouts and analysts alike would’ve freaked. And although they went temporarily gaga over Ford’s blazing fast 40 time, they’ve likely already forgotten about it because the time was what they expected.
This same theory applies to Briscoe and Meier. Neither receiver is known to possess blazing speed. Neither guy projected out as a freak athlete who would set bench press records or out-leap everyone in the vertical test. So by not doing any of that they didn’t actually hurt themselves.
Meier and Briscoe are today where they were when they entered the combine. Scouts and analysts liked them before and they like them today. Both are likely to be mid-round selections in the NFL Draft (April 22-24) and they still have a chance to improve on that positioning when they work out for scouts at KU’s Pro Day on March 10.
If anything, Meier gained the most from Sunday’s showing. It might be crazy talk but just his appearance — long, flowing hair and crazy, full beard — likely made him stand out in some way. I know the guys on the NFL Network were going wild about it. (Add a full beard to the photo below, and that's basically what he looked like)
Rich Eisen couldn’t get over the fact that Meier looked a little like Matthew McConaughey and Eisen went on and on about how Meier should be “playing the bongos” in a band somewhere. After the gauntlet drill, in which Meier caught 12 of 14 balls and drew praise from analyst Mike Mayock for getting his head around quickly and twisting his body into position to make several tough catches, Eisen continued by saying, “And his hair is perfect.”
I don’t begrudge Eisen for making the jokes. By the time the combine is over these guys will have broadcasted nearly 20 hours of drill work. That’s tough. And boring. To survive it, they have to take a few breaks from the serious commentary.
But the point remains: Eisen may not have known much about Kerry Meier heading into the combine. But he probably won’t forget him. If even two or three NFL teams fall in line with that line of thinking, that could benefit Meier in the draft. As we learned from former Jayhawk Keith Loneker last week, sometimes it’s the little things that stand out at the combine.