football Edit

NFL Combine: Friday Notes

Ppypwhpzadxsfkqpigiw
Benny Snell (UK Athletics)

Friday was the first day of the NFL Combine and that means it was the first day of auditions for players from Kentucky.

Here's a roundup of what we learned with some context.

Conrad medically disqualified from participating

Kentucky tight end CJ Conrad figured to potentially be a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft and that's certainly still on the table but the path to that outcome was complicated by a medical disqualification that was handed down on Friday at the combine. The news was reported by multiple outlets and confirmed by a spokesperson from UK Athletics.

That's tough news for a senior and arguably one of the UK program's most consistent performers during the Mark Stoops era.

NFL.com had given Conrad a 4.98 grade, which, according to its grading system, means they project that Conrad would be in an NFL training camp without any guarantees beyond that.

When Conrad checked in at the combine on Thursday he measured 6'4 and 249 pounds with 9 1/4" hands, the only downside being his 31" arm measurement - the same as Benny Snell, who is half a foot shorter than Conrad.

Snell's combine results

Benny Snell isn't the kind of running back who is cut out to excel in some combine settings but he prepared to showcase himself at the event while simultaneously making the case to scouts that he's the kind of player who does the little things that don't always show up during testing.

The big question Snell needed to answer is the one that has followed him his entire playing career, and one that he put to rest during his time at Kentucky with incredible production: Speed.

His first 40-yard dash time was 4.75 seconds, not what you want to see from a running back, but his second time, 4.67, is the kind of number that probably wouldn't hurt his stock. But Snell isn't the only back at the combine who has to answer speed questions. Georgia's Elijah Holyfield turned in a 4.78 second time. Oklahoma State's Justice Hill turned in a 4.40 time, best among the running backs to test on Friday.

On Thursday, Snell pounded out 16 reps on the bench press, which was towards the bottom end of the running back group. But it's widely known that Snell's lower body strength is his better asset. Snell posted a 29.5 inch vertical jump, a 119.0 inch broad jump, a 7.07 second cone drill and a 4.33 second 20 yard dash.

Snell's vertical leap was tied for the second-lowest of the running backs at the combine, along with Holyfield and Pittsburgh's Qadree Ollison. His broad jump was more towards the middle of the pack.

Snell's best testing number was his 7.07 in the cone drill. That was one of the better times of the running backs present. Miles Sanders' 6.89 second cone drill led the backs but times ranged all the way down to 7.53.

What's next

Quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends work out on Saturday so no Kentucky players will be competing tomorrow with Conrad disqualified.

On Sunday, Josh Allen and Jordan Jones compete with the linebackers on Sunday and then on Monday the Cats' quartet of defensive backs - Mike Edwards, Lonnie Johnson, Darius West and Derrick Baity - will be working out.

Jordan Jones turned in impressive measurements on Friday at a legit 6'2, 234 pounds - bigger than some might have imagined.

Allen showed up 6'5 (6'4 7/8), 262 pounds with 33 4/8" arms and an 80 4/8" wingspan.