- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
You're always going to get remarkable numbers at the NFL combine and during pro days. While assumptions like, "Guys are running faster than ever before!" are probably a bit overstated, I think it's fair to say the depth of special athletes -- I guess "freaks" is the word everyone uses now -- is as impressive as it's ever been. You expect a smaller running back to run fast, but when an offensive tackle is fast, it certainly catches your eye. And some of them run really fast.
I wanted to point out some of the top physical talents in the 2014 draft. But I didn't just want it to be about the workouts. Therefore, there are two factors in play here:
1. Workout performances balanced against dimensions. (If you're fast, it helps to be big and strong, too.)
2. These guys aren't just athletes -- they have to be legit prospects who've produced.
It's not just about how big and fast a player is -- it's also about whether he can also do it when he's in football pads. Here are a couple dozen of them.
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
He deserves a look at quarterback even after a two-year stretch in which development became a major question. As an athlete at his size, Thomas isn't just a freakish QB -- he's pretty comparable to a super-athletic NFL tight end. Thomas, at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, runs a 4.61 40, has a 35-plus inch vertical jump, broad jumps 118 inches -- all of which are within a hair of Jimmy Graham's combine numbers -- and also has monstrous 10 7/8-inch hands (bigger than Rob Gronkowski's).
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
Mel Kiper runs down the best athletes on offense and defense in the 2014 NFL draft class.