The National Football League loves an athletic freak.
In fact, there may be no other sporting league in the world that places as much significance on how fast, strong, and unique of an athlete you are.
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‘Never seen anybody like him’: 175kg Aussie ‘freak of nature’ ready to stun NFL
It’s why there’s an NFL Combine every year.
And it’s why every year, without fail, certain draft prospects go from after-thoughts to must-haves, after their test results come back.
So, with the NFL Draft fast approaching (Friday AEST), here are the guys who defy what should be possible.
Many are touting this ‘freak’ defensive end from Michigan to be taken with the No.1 overall pick at this week’s NFL draft, and judging by some of the things he did at the draft combine last month, it’s not hard to understand why.
Hutchinson displayed elite athleticism in early March, especially during the “three-cone” drill, when he clocked the fastest time by any defensive linesmen taller than 6’5” in almost 20 years (6.73 seconds). In fact, it was the sixth-fastest time overall at the combine.
He also recorded the fifth-fastest time for the 20-yard shuttle (4.15 sec), which is pretty phenomenal for a guy who is 6’7” (200cm) and weighs 260 pounds (118kg).
The 341-pound (155kg) Georgia defensive tackle, clocked a stunning 4.78 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
At 6-foot-6, Davis is taller than Rob Gronkowkski and at 155kg, he’s heavier than Jason Peters, per NFL Research. His 40 time, though, was faster than Patrick Mahomes.
According to ESPN, it’s the fastest time for any player over 300 pounds at the combine since 2006 and is believed to be one of the fastest ever for a player of that size. Davis’ standing broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches is also believed to be a record for a player over 300 pounds.
Davis, 22, played 14 games for Georgia last year as a key piece of their interior line. He recorded five tackles for loss and two sacks, with most of his value coming on first and second down against the run.
Davis is expected to be drafted in the first round.
— with NY Post
One of the most athletics cornerbacks at the draft, this product of the University of Texas at San Antonio sent tongues wagging at the combine.
At 6’4” (193 cm) and 205 pounds (93kg), Woolen clocked a scintillating 4.26 seconds for the 40-yard dash, ranking him second only behind Baylor cornerback Kalon Barnes (4.23 sec) who is a much slighter build of 5‘11.5“ (182cm) and 183 pounds (83kg).
Woolen also set the equal highest mark at the combine for the vertical leap, reaching 42 inches along with Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall.
There’s a reason why the Alabama offensive tackle is touted as a potential top-five pick – he is an absolute beast.
At 6’7.5” (202 cm) and a whopping 337 pounds (153kg), he is like a unicorn when you consider how flexible and powerful he is for his size, as evidenced by this outrageous 48-inch (122cm) box jump split:
“Most human beings cannot do what he did on that,” said Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen.
“It was something just to see what he was capable of, and it was incredibly impressive.”
The edge rusher from Minnesota certainly qualifies as an NFL draft ‘freak’, based on some of the results he produced at the combine.
At 6’4” and 261 pounds (118kg), amongst all defensive ends, Mafe registered the equal-second highest vertical jump of 38 inches (96.5cm), fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.53sec) and fifth-longest broad jump of 10’5” inches (3.18m).
Incidentally, Mafe’s 40-yard time ranked ninth out of 1355 defensive ends in the past 35 years, so the guy certainly possesses athletic abilities that are rarely seen in the sport.
Another guy whose incredible athleticism is difficult to comprehend when taking into consideration his sheer size.
The Notre Dame man is listed as 6’4” and 209 pounds (95kg), yet amongst all safeties at the combine came in second for the broad jump with 10’11” (3.33 metres) and at No.3 for the vertical leap (38 inches).
His bulky frame, combined with his speed and physicality, will make him a highly-sought after prospect at the draft.
KALON “BOOGIE” BARNES
Barnes has already got a mention in this story as the man who pipped Woolen for the 40-yard dash crown at this year‘s combine.
And it’s those kinds of results that have made NFL teams sit up and take notice of the Baylor defensive back.
Barnes is a top-shelf prospect at the cornerback position and he is so fast that he actually had the option of pursuing a career in track and field.
The Idaho State wide receiver has explosive athletic ability as evidenced by his 39-inch (99cm) vertical and 10’7” (3.23m) broad jumps.
Conner is 6‘3“ and 226 pounds (103kg), yet despite his ample size, he has great flexibility and is even a former state hurdles champion.
As well as his excellent speed, he also possesses fantastic agility and strength, as well as a pair of long arms, which all amount to a tantalising speculative draft prospect.
This behemoth from Central Michigan is 6’6” (198cm) and weighs in at 303 pounds (137kg).
The Austrian native finished fourth overall at the combine for the 225-pound bench-press (30 reps), and his sheer strength could see him take a leaf out his famous countryman’s book and become ‘The Terminator’ of the NFL.
Of all the offensive linesmen, he finished third for the broad jump with a distance of 9’9” (2.97 metres), equal fifth for the 20-yard shuttle (4.49secs) and sixth in the vertical jump with 30.5 inches (77.5cm).