Of the 74 invitations handed to the Southeastern Conference — the top college conference in regard to NFL combine summons, by the way — Florida and Georgia led the way among SEC East teams with eight apiece (trailing only Alabama with nine).
Maybe it was because numbers were on their side, but both teams were represented with players that performed astoundingly well in Indianapolis.
Here are three winners from the SEC East from the 2016 combine:
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB – Florida
What’s not to love about Hargreaves? Widely respected as the best cover corner in college football for the past two seasons, he moved fluidly during field drills in Indianapolis Monday and ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.
But his 40 time wasn’t his most impressive mark.
A short shuttle time of 3.98 seconds was amazing for a guy who weighed in at 204 pounds, and a 39-inch vertical jump and 130-inch broad jump show explosiveness to spare. Hargreaves may have even improved his top-10 draft status.
Vernon Hargreaves really is a Joe Haden clone.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 29, 2016
Connor McGovern, OL – Missouri
Not many people can say that they finished in the top 15 in every combine event. McGovern can, though.
His huge day at the combine was accentuated by a 33-inch vertical jump and 33 reps on the bench press. He entered the combine as a fourth- to fifth-round projected pick in the draft, but greatly enhanced those thoughts.
Mizzou OL Connor McGovern was my big surprise. Strong, fast, quick. Another for me to re-evaluate. Maybe a top 100 pick? #NFLCombine
— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) February 29, 2016
Keith Marshall, RB – Georgia
Marshall spent years in Athens pushed back on the depth chart by guys named Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. But no one could do so at the NFL combine.
Marshall, at 4.31 seconds, ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any player in Indianapolis. He also pushed 225 pounds up 25 times, which was the most of any running back (three fullbacks finished better) in attendance, as well.
When he arrived at the combine, Marshall was considered a priority free agent at best. He’s now likely seen as a huge upside runner with the need for more reps. Some NFL team will draft him to develop the riser.
Jonathan Bullard, DE – Florida: Bullard’s 40-yard dash was impressive at 4.93, but his 10-yard split at 1.66-seconds made scouts smile. He could have solidified a first-round draft slot with his time at the combine.
Jerell Adams, TE – South Carolina: No tight end ran a faster 40-yard dash (4.64 seconds) and Adams also posted top-five shuttle runs. He showed good movement and has proved he can both block well and catch passes. This draft riser was also a Senior Bowl winner, too.