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Top 15 NFL Stars Who Had Horrific Combines

It can be extremely difficult to judge NFL hopefuls on any kind of level playing ground due to the wide variety of college football. A player who comes from a huge state school utterly devoted to football may have a different experience and training schedule than a player who was on a team at a small private school. There is, after all, a reason that some of the Big 10 coaches get paid millions – they send large numbers of players to the big leagues because they train them well.

At the same time, even amongst schools of a similar caliber, playing styles can be different – one coach may opt to be heavy on offense, while another coach might advocate that their team really strengthen their defense in order to succeed. With so many variables, how exactly do you examine several players all coming from different colleges? Easy – Combine week.

At the Combine, all the NFL hopefuls are put through the exact same set of tests – they show up for a week at Lucas Oil Stadium and prepare themselves as best they can. There are several physical tests designed to measure different physical abilities such as strength and agility: the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, 20 yard shuttle, 3-cone drill, 60 yard shuttle, and 255 pound bench press repetitions, as well as certain drills specific to certain positions. The players are measured, screened for illegal substances, evaluated for injury, and interviewed. They take the Cybex and Wonderlic Tests and hope for the best.

The Combine lets scouts see how each player measures up on similar tasks, helping to establish a sort of baseline. However, scouts should take Combine results with a grain of salt – there are several athletes who have performed poorly at the Combine and gone on to have long and successful NFL careers. The best example, cited nearly every single Combine week, is a certain skinny young quarterback by the name of Tom Brady. He bombed his Combine, but managed to do quite well for himself.

Here are 15 NFL stars who had horrific Combine performances.

15 Calais Campbell

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

14 Elvis Dumervil

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

13 Vontaze Burfict

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

12 Kam Chancellor

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

11 Joe Haden

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

10 Arian Foster

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

9 Zach Miller

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

8 Antonio Brown

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

7 Justin Houston

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6 Alfred Morris

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5 NaVorro Bowman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4 Terrell Suggs

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

3 Anquan Boldin

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2 Drew Brees

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1 Tom Brady

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

When anyone mentions terrible Combine performances, or even the Combine in general, there’s one name you know will come up – Tom Brady. Brady’s 40-yard dash was incredibly slow at 5.28 (the second worst at his position in his Combine year), and it was weirdly awkward. He wasn’t exactly the most muscular and built player, his arm strength was average, and he certainly wasn’t the most quick and nimble on his feet. The scouts almost uniformly wrote him off and he wasn’t taken until the sixth round, a round often reserved to third-string players or players who end up having very short careers. The Patriots are probably pretty glad they took a risk on the young quarterback who flailed at the Combine – Brady’s been with them since being drafted in 2000 and has gotten them four Super Bowl Championships, three Super Bowl MVPs, ten Pro Bowl appearances, two NFL MVP awards and more. Brady is basically the poster boy for not putting all your stock in Combine performances.

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Top 15 NFL Stars Who Had Horrific Combines