|Junior Hemingway after the Sugar Bowl|
Before the NFL combine began, we took a look at the Michigan invitees, summarizing their strengths, weaknesses and draft projections. With the Combine now in the books, most of what we thought we knew was borne out in the numbers but with a few notable exceptions.
Mike Martin (6'1'' 306 lbs.) came up 14 repetitions shy of his goal on the bench press; however, he still demonstrated incredible strength in the event by putting up 225 pounds 36 times, placing him in a tie for sixth overall and second among defensive tackles. Martin also showcased his ability to cover ground by running a 4.88 40-yard dash and registering a 4.25 second 20-yard shuttle.
David Molk's (6'1'' 298 lbs.) 41 repetitions on the bench press was good for second place in the event, only trailing Dontari Poe's 44. Molk's arm length measured in at an even 32", which isn't all that great, but since Molk plays as a center and not as an offensive tackle, his limited reach likely won't have much of an adverse impact on his draft status. Agility drills were not on Molk's combine itinerary due to his injured foot.
Junior Hemingway (6'1'' 225 lbs.) reminded everyone why the combine even exists, as he shattered expectations in several events. Hemingway ran a 4.53 second 40-yard dash and was a "top performer" in the 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and the 60-yard shuttle, all events in which he finished either first or second among the 40 wide receivers. Hemingway also put his strength on display by posting 21 repetitions on the bench press and leaping 124 inches in the broad jump. Basically, Junior Hemingway had an awesome combine. "There aren't many receivers who did more for themselves than that guy," an AFC scout said. "He wasn't even on our radar heading into the event. He is now."
So I guess you can forget all the stuff Todd McShay and I said about Hemingway not being very fast or explosive. Still, even with Hemingway seemingly transforming into Michael Vick and Molk and Martin showcasing their superhuman strength, all three Wolverines currently project to the later rounds of the draft, according to NFL.com.
I am glad to see Junior doing well. I always thought he was very skilled for his size, with excellent hands (sort of reminds me of a Jason Avant type of possession receiver) and always felt a bit sorry for him (and other guys who were at Mich during the Great Shuffle). Unfortunately, because of injuries, Rich Rod's system, and the lack of a proficient passer at QB, his skills/talent was significantly muted. I wish him well and hope that these NFL scouts give guys like him a serious look.ReplyDelete
You're right - he absolutely had some things working against him. But it still seems difficult to reconcile Hemingway's combine numbers with what we saw on the field from him during his time at Michigan. I mean, I suppose there was that one time when he got behind Utah's defense in '08 for a late TD, and he always did have a "knack for YAC." But still...Delete
I can't wait to see what he does in the NFL.