NFL Combine Leonard Fournettes impressiv

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  1. Melissa Underwood

    Melissa Underwood New Member

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    What did Leonard Fournette's performance at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday do for his 2017 NFL Draft stock?It depends on what you are looking Earl Thomas Jersey at. Fournette weighed in at 240 pounds and disappointed with a 28.5-inch vertical. Fournette, however, overshadowed that with a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash.That's comparable to the times of Christian McCaffrey (4.48) and Dalvin Cook (4.49).NFL COMBINE: Records | Drills | Best performancesThat 40 time is a big deal in the case. Given the talent, the highlight reel at LSU and the precedent Dallas'Ezekiel Elliott set with the Cowboys last season,it's worth considering whether a 240-pound running back who moves that fast should be atop-five pick in this years draft. To justify that, NFL general managers will need to answer three questions based on that information.Is Fournettereally aphysical freak?Fournette's college film is impre sive, and he was compared to Adrian Peterson throughout his college career. That's not the right comparison.Peterson ran a 4.4 at 217 pounds in the 2007 NFL Combine, which helped launch a career in which he's rushed for 11,747 yards with theVikings. Hes one of the most amazing athletes to play the position. Keep in mind Peterson was taken at No. 7 in the 2007 NFL Draft.Fournette's 40-time is significant given his size. According to ProFootballReference.com, the fastest 40 by a running back that weighs 240 pounds or more since 2000 is T.J. Duckett (2002) at 4.45. Alabama's Derrick Henry ran a 4.54 at 247 pounds at the NFL Combine last year.MORE: Fournette's five best fits in 2017 NFL DraftThe vertical jump isn't a big deal, but Fournette'sweight will come into question given he Seahawks Men's Custom Game Jersey battled injuries during his junior season at LSU and mi sed the Citrus Bowl against Louisville.Fournette could show up lighter at LSU Pro Day on April 5 and attempt to lower that 40 time, or he could let that time sit with NFL GMs.Either way, he proved his point.Is Fournettea future Hall of Famer?That's a fair question to ask if you are going to spend a top-five pick on a running back.Of the running backs selected with top-five picks since 1980, four have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That list includes Eric Dickerson (1983), Barry Sanders (1989), Marshall Faulk (1994) and LaDainian Tomlinson (2001).That's the gold standard for a top-five pick, but there are other succe s stories. NFL DRAFT: Latest Mock Draft| 2017 Big BoardEdgerrin James (1999), Ricky Williams (1999)and Jamal Lewis (2000) were 10,000-yard backs for their careers. Elliott validated the Cowboys decision to take him with a top-five pick. For what it's worth, Elliott ran a 4.47 12 Fan Jersey at the NFL Combine in 2016. Thats whyNFL Network did an overlay of Fournette and Cook running the 40 against Elliott. It's close.If Fournette is selected with a top-five pick, then that team would expect something in the 10,000-yard neighborhood as a maximum and 6,000-8,000 yards as a minimum. Running backs such Freeman McNeil (1981), Garrison Hearst (1993), George Rogers (1981), Curt Warner (1983) and Cedric Benson (2005) fit that description. McNeil is the only one of those backs who played for the same team his entire career.That list of top-five picks is flush with backs who didn'thave as much succe s, includingCurtis Enis (1998), Ki-Jana Carter (1995), Brent Fullwood (1987), Alonzo Highsmith (1987) and Trent Richardson (2012). Richardson is the high man among that group with 2,032 career rushing yards. This is the worst-case scenario and a significant risk for the team that drafts Fournette.What's the instant impact?This question is just as important. Fournette won't be viewedas simply a franchise back. Hell be expected to helpflip the fortunes of afranchise altogether.Of those backs drafted with top-five picks, four helped their teams improve by at least seven wins in their rookie seasons.Dickerson helped the Los Angeles Rams increase their win total by seven by rushing for 1,808 yards and 18 TDs in 1983, albeit after a strike-shortened 1982 season.Billy Sims rushed for 1,303 yards and 13 TDs and helped the Lions improve their win total by seven in 1980. James rushed for 1 Shaquill Griffin Jersey ,553 yards and 13 TDs and helped the Colts increase their win total by 10 in 1999. And, of course, Elliott, who rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 TDs and helped the Cowboys win nine more games last season.MORE: Dalvin Cook'sfive best fits in 2017 NFL DraftTheir succe s wasn't the sole reason for that increase in wins, but it was a significant factor. That spins back to Peterson. Minnesota went from a 6-10 team before Peterson'sarrival in 2007 to 12-4 witha trip tothe NFC championship game by 2009. Their win total increased by two in each of his first three seasons.If a GM believes that Fournette can have that type Tyler Lockett Jersey of impact over the next few seasons, then he's worth the pick.The choiceFournette at least proved he's worth considering in the top five, but its still a risk. He could've really forced the i sue with a time below 4.5 at his pro day. Hell likely be the first running back off the board, especially given a time that is comparable to Cook and McCaffrey.MORE: Evaluating careers ofNo. 1 draft picks over the last 25 yearsHe's a freak who could make an instant impact, but he's a long way from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team that selectsFournette is taking a risk given that it's a running back, but this could be the high-reward pick that defines the first round. The NFL Combine wont change when you see the whole performance.It just depends what you are looking at heading into the draft.
     

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