Worst NFL Combine Performances of All Time

Some of the worst NFL Combine performances of all time feature some star players, which shows that one event won't ruin your career.

Any player hoping to hear their name at the NFL Draft can see their stock rise or fall. Some have seen their stock soar, while others have seen it plummet. Some of the worst NFL Combine performances have cost players the chance to be selected highly, but we’ve also seen some of today’s stars overcome shaky performances.

Worst NFL Combine Performances of All Time

Too many prospects are on the list of Combine invites every year for there not to be some duds. Let’s take a look at some of the worst NFL Combine performances in its existence.

OT Orlando Brown Jr., 2018

This has to be the most recent terrible performance we’ve seen at the NFL Combine. However, it wasn’t something that should have shocked us. Orlando Brown Jr. wasn’t ever going to wow you in the 40 or jump out of the gym. However, we knew he could play. Sometimes, running fast and jumping high is irrelevant to doing your job well.

Brown measured 6’8″, 345 pounds at the 2018 NFL Combine and posted a 5.85 40-yard dash, 19.5-inch vertical, and 6’10” broad jump. It affected his draft stock enough that he fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the third round, but he’s played well enough where those numbers don’t mean much.

RB Maurice Clarett, 2005

Maurice Clarett’s story remains one of the most infamous in college football. He tried to leave early to turn pro — and the disaster was only getting started. It was tough to watch him go from one of the most dominant college running backs in the country to an NFL player with a career that came and went so quickly. And it didn’t start well.

Clarett ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash in 2005 — not great by running back standards — and opted not to complete the remainder of the drills. Whether he simply wasn’t in the best shape anymore or just let the moment get too big for him, it was the beginning of the end of his playing career. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round, was released before playing in a single game, and received no interest elsewhere.

DE Terrell Suggs, 2003

Terrell Suggs is the perfect reason why teams don’t solely rely on the NFL Combine. One of the most disappointing NFL Combine performances could have cost Baltimore if they didn’t watch the film. Suggs put up great numbers at Arizona State. However, his Combine performance left many teams uncertain about his future.

MORE: NFL Combine Records: 40 Times, Bench Press, Vertical Jump, and More

He ran a 4.84-second 40-yard dash, and his 18 reps on the bench press didn’t excite scouts. Fortunately, Baltimore still took him in the first round, and it’s safe to say that was a smart move on their part.

RB Antonio Andrews, 2014

Here’s the thing. Some names get forgotten because they’re not first-round picks. If you didn’t know who Antonio Andrews was before today, you’re not alone. Andrews is one example of someone who went undrafted because of a poor Combine performance.

Initially projected between the third and fifth rounds in the 2014 NFL Draft, he ran a 4.82 40-yard dash (extremely poor for a running back), and his 29.5-inch vertical put a major dent in his grade. Andrews went undrafted and played with the Tennessee Titans from 2014 to 2016.

LB Vontaze Burfict, 2012

Slow and mild could be the best way to describe Vontaze Burfict’s NFL Combine. If anything, it made scouts question if he could compete in the NFL physically. He ran the 40 in 5.09 seconds, produced just 16 reps on the bench, and had an 8’8″ broad jump. Turns out one event doesn’t determine a man’s career.

Burfict had a nine-year career in the NFL, including eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was named to a Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro in 2013 with the Bengals, and his hits on the field were anything but mild.

TE Isaac Nauta, 2019

At one point, Isaac Nauta was considered a first-round pick coming out of Georgia. Scouts liked what they saw on tape and were waiting to see what he could do at the Combine. Unfortunately for his draft stock, the event didn’t do him any favors.

Nauta ran a 4.91 40-yard dash, put up 19 reps in the bench press, jumped 28 inches in the vertical, and ran a 4.43 short shuttle. His pro day showed some improvement, but he ultimately fell to Detroit in the seventh round.

QB Tom Brady, 2000

There aren’t many chances to point out a major flaw in the best quarterback in NFL history, but it’s crazy how he got to that point. This event didn’t exactly jumpstart his career, as he produced one of the worst NFL Combine performances. Tom Brady, athletically, is average at best. His top trait was his height compared to other quarterbacks.

He ran a 5.30-second 40, produced a 24.5-inch vertical, and his picture didn’t exactly intimidate anyone. It’s why this makes his story so incredible, and it’s a good reminder of why the Combine isn’t the end-all/be-all when it comes to grading prospects. The best quarterback in the history of the NFL was one of the worst prospects, but luckily the Combine isn’t everything when it comes to competitors.

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