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Mixed combine results for USC RBs

2/27/2012

A pair of Trojans, Marc Tyler and Rhett Ellison, took part in the running back drills on Sunday at the NFL combine with markedly different results.

Ellison (6-foot-5, 251 pounds) didn't wow anybody with his testing results, which included a 4.88 in the 40-yard dash and a 31.5 inch vertical jump, but those aren't areas where Ellison is going to impress the NFL scouts. Those numbers were solid enough, however, to allow the scouts to appreciate what he does bring to the table, which is a solid and reliable football player who can contribute at fullback and tight end.

Ellison showed himself well going through drills as a fullback, a position which he moved to as a senior in 2011, and he looked fairly smooth and natural at the spot. There is also plenty of tape of him at tight end for scouts to watch which, combined with his performance on Sunday, should only help solidify Ellison as a player who will definitely get selected in the draft.

On the other hand, Tyler did not help himself today. He was measured at 5-foot-11, 219 pounds, which is lighter than he has been in some time. Unfortunately, the lighter weight did not translate to a good 40 time as Tyler who posted a time of 4.76, putting him at the bottom of the running back list. He expected to run in the 4.6 range.

Tyler also struggled in the pass catching drills -- the same drills which caused him problems during Senior Bowl practices in January. Tyler showed the ability to catch the ball at USC -- he had 28 catches for 235 yards over the past two seasons -- but it will hurt him to have issues with drops at back-to-back events in front of scouts. At this point, he would really need to come out to USC's Pro Day on March 7 and put on a terrific show if he wants to improve his draft prospects.