Georgia's pass rusher will not be the top Dawg at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will watch from the sidelines at this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, rather than prove he is the top Dawg in front of the league’s assembled decision makers. Instead, the USC transfer will wait to run, jump and lift at Georgia’s Pro Day on March 21.
Who will be this year's workout warriors at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis?
Chris Henry was a running back at the University of Arizona from 2003 to 2006. After redshirting, he rushed for 159 yards as a freshman, 119 yards as a sophomore and 581 yards as a junior. Henry had 859 career rushing yards over three seasons before skipping his senior season and declaring early for the NFL Draft.
The fastest quarterback in Combine history, Robert Griffin III stole the show last year.
The NFL Scouting Combine (Feb. 20-26) is just one step in the job interview process leading up to the NFL Draft (April 25-27). But the “Underwear Olympics” is a big deal. Millions of dollars are on the line during the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical leap, broad jump, cone drills, Wonderlic and BOD Pod tests.
Here’s a look at 10 workout warriors who aced their tests at the Combine.
What are American's favorite All-Star events to watch?
Another lackluster NBA All-Star weekend wrapped up in Houston Sunday night. The dunk contest isn't what it used to be and the game features superstars playing some sport vaguely akin to professional basketball. But on the surface, the NBA All-Star game gets rave reviews from die-hard fans and celebrity hoopsters alike.
An Orlando basketball organization combed through nearly 5,000 fan-submitted nicknames in a 1986 naming process. The group went with Magic over other options like the "Heat," "Tropics and the "Juice." Maybe it's because the team's superstars always want to play elsewhere or the extensive number of stars in the logo, but this nickname conjures up more images of Doug Henning than NBA Championships. That is what happens when you let the fans decide anything.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
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If it weren't for such a storied history, generally awesome uniforms (especially, the blue ones) and a killer mascot, the Phillies might be the lamest sports nickname of all-time. Phillies is short for, you guessed it, the Philadelphia Philadelphias. Yes, this franchise is the oldest unchanged nickname in all of pro sports (1890), but it doesn't scream intimidating by any stretch.
8. Music Genres
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I love nasty blues guitar riffs and chaotic jazz brass bands, but I like them on my turntable not in the Stanley Cup Finals or the NBA Championship. The "Jazz" at least made sense in New Orleans but couldn't be further from relevant in the state of Utah. Additionally, the blues are inherently depressing (much like the hockey team) and musical notes certainly do not instill fear into the opponent's heart.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs
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It rolls off the tongue, the blue and white color scheme is classy and very cool and the Maple Leaf is front and center on the Canadian flag. But could anything be less scary than something that dies every year and ends up in the neighborhood garbage can? All of this from a franchise that hasn't even played for a Stanley Cup since 1966-67. At least, they didn't go with The Wanderers.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
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This team has a rich history of success and a storied tradition of some of the game's greatest names. But what exactly is a Dodger? The name stems from the busy Brooklyn city streets and the common phrase "trolley-dodgers" given to those literally dodging trolleys in the New York borough. To quote Patches O'Houlihan, "if you can dodge a wrench... you can hit a baseball?" Well, I am paraphrasing.
5. Cleveland Browns
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The Browns are the biggest draw in a city that has been without a championship of any kind for over sixty years. Maybe if they went with a more inspiring nickname like a terrifying jungle cat (they were actually named the Panthers for two months) or at least an ornery bird instead of... a color? Yes, the name comes from legendary football pioneer Paul Brown but the logo is essentially a brown sheet of paper? Even Paul Brown himself didn't want the nickname. Enough said.
4. Brooklyn Nets
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It's not a person, an animal, a historic idea, symbol or logo. It's simply an inanimate object that hangs on both ends of the court. Does Brooklyn Backboards sound any better because that is essentially what the New Jersey-turned-Brookyn franchise is nicknamed. There is a reason this team's mascots include Duncan The Dragon, Sly the Silver Fox and now BrooklyKnight — who is one letter away from being a porn star (do your web searching at home, please).
3. Denver Nuggets
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The Denver basketball franchise was originally named the Larks after the Colorado state bird and the Rockets after original owner Bill Ringsby's trucking company. When the ABA team moved to the NBA it obviously had to rename itself. The fans picked Nuggets as the team name after the long history of gold prospecting in the state. So a small rock (okay, a gold rock) is what fans in the Mile High city root for each night. Considering the state's and NBA's reputation for recreational marijuana use, it's apropos that their team is named the Nuggets.
2. Any type of sock
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The Chicago White Sox. The Boston Red Sox. The Cincinnati Red Stockings. Winter jackets, work boots and Under Armour might be the toughest articles of clothing and even they sound super lame. But a mispelled sweaty glove made for your feet? Really? It's about as intimidating as a mitten or a diaper. The Red Stockings were smart enough to drop the stockings early in the going and have excelled as the Reds for decades. But the Chicago White Sox — formerly the White Stockings — take the cake. Not only are they named after one of the nastiest pieces of clothing, but the baseball team that hails from the South Side of the Windy City doesn't even wear white socks. They are black.
1. Anaheim Ducks
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Executives at Walt Disney would call it "synergy." Sports fans call it garbage. And it's why the Anahiem Mighty Ducks had to eventually drop the "mighty" from their name. Yes, the powers that be at Disney founded the Ducks franchise in 1993 and named it after their successful hockey movie about a rag-tag youth hockey club led by coach Emilio Estevez. The duck goalie mask may have looked mean, however, this team was anything but until a shocking Stanley Cup run in 2006-07.
Athlon Sports looks at athletes who have accomplished rare feats in sports
Sports are filled with statistics that uber-nerds and casual fans alike can enjoy. Numbers and records help fans define greatness and settle arguments on talk radio and at the local watering holes on a daily basis.
Who is the greatest quarterback of all-time? What about running back? How about Jordan vs. Kobe? Ruth vs. Aaron? Tiger vs. Jack?
Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M
Joeckel seems like the safe bet now that the Chiefs are out of the QB market after trading a 2013 second-round pick and 2014 conditional mid-rounder to the 49ers for Alex Smith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith is the top quarterback in a weak class that also includes USC's Matt Barkley, FSU's E.J. Manuel, Syracuse's Ryan Nassib and NC State's Mike Glennon.
3. Oakland Raiders
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Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
An explosive 3-technique tackle in the mold of Warren Sapp, Floyd is flying up draft boards due to his size, athleticism and relatively few red flags compared to his 2013 peers.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
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Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Chip Kelly wants to play a 3-4 defense and knows just what kind of player Jordan can be. A perfect fit both schematically and in terms of familiarity with the coaching staff.
5. Detroit Lions
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Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan
There may not be much of a talent gap between Fisher and Texas A&M's projected No. 1 pick Luke Joeckel. Fisher is a plug and play left tackle from Day One.
6. Cleveland Browns
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Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The consensus top cornerback in the draft is the best player on the board for the Browns, who could also make a surprise splash by reaching for a quarterback to compete with Brandon Weeden.
7. Arizona Cardinals
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Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Cardinals have been fans of Barkley throughout the draft evaluation process. Even with the acquisition of Carson Palmer, Arizona could still use a quarterback of the future to build on.
8. Buffalo Bills
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Ezekiel Ansah, DE-LB, BYU
"Ziggy" is long-striding up draft boards after showing elite athleticism at the Combine and Senior Bowl. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, who started for new Bills coach Doug Marrone, is also an option at either No. 8 or in the second round at No. 41.
9. New York Jets
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Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
"Keke" is a boom or bust edge-rush prospect who has shown more potential than production to date. But Mingo's upside provides the J-E-T-S good value if they are sold on sticking with Mark Sanchez rather than taking a shot at a QB at No. 9.
10. Tennessee Titans
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Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Hall of Fame guards Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews are now the Titans' head coach and O-line coach, respectively. If anyone knows Warmack's value, it's those two.
11. San Diego Chargers
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Lane Johnson, LT, Oklahoma
There may not be much of a talent gap between Texas A&M's projected No. 1 pick Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher and Johnson. As a result, the former high school quarterback may not be around when the Bolts are on the clock.
12. Miami Dolphins
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Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Two of the better guard prospects of the past decade are in this year's draft, in Alabama's Chance Warmack and Cooper, whose quick feet and overall athleticism are rare for an interior lineman.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The latest in a long line of Seminole corners, the X-man looks the part and would fill a need for the Buccaneers, who remain players in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes.
14. Carolina Panthers
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Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
A heart condition discovered during medical screenings at the Combine has caused Star's shine to fade. But the Panthers would pounce on this top-5 talent if he fell.
15. New Orleans Saints
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Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Another health risk with top-5 potential, Jones' spinal stenosis has scared off some teams. On tape, Jones is the top 3-4 outside linebacker and a perfect fit for the Saints.
16. St. Louis Rams
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Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The St. Louis native has the size and swagger to be the type of distruptive D-lineman coach Jeff Fisher loves.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
One of the potential surprises come draft night, Eifert could be selected much higher than expected due to his status as the clear-cut top tight end available.
18. Dallas Cowboys
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D.J. Fluker, RT, Alabama
The big man is a mauler at right tackle and likely could kick inside to guard with similar results. The Boys need O-line help and Fluker would certainly provide that.
19. New York Giants
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Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia
A pre-Combine DUI has teams scratching their heads regarding the knucklehead factor with Ogletree, the top middle linebacker in a solid class of inside backers.
20. Chicago Bears
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Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame
Brian Urlacher's replacement going to the heart of Fighting Irish territory? That's too good to be true. But still not as hard to believe as the Te'o tale of internet love gone wrong.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
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Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The top safety in the class has a wide range of landing spots, starting in the early teens and going into the twentysomethings. Cincy is a club where team need meets prospect value.
22. St. Louis Rams
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Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The pick acquired as part of last year's blockbuster Robert Griffin III trade with the Redskins should be used to add a downfield weapon for Rams former No. 1 overall pick quarterback Sam Bradford.
23. Minnesota Vikings
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Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
One of the fastest players and fastest risers in this year's draft, Austin made Geno Smith look good. The triple-threat would slide right into Percy Harvin's old role in Minny.
24. Indianapolis Colts
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Menelik Watson, RT, Florida State
Protecting Andrew Luck is priority No. 1 for the Colts. Watson is raw but possesses the type of frame and feet expected from a former college basketball player turned O-tackle.
25. Minnesota Vikings
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Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Once thought to be a potential top 5-10 pick, Werner's stock has taken a dip because the Berlin-born pass rusher can't dip his hips. What Werner lacks in fluid athleticism he makes up for in effort.
26. Green Bay Packers
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Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Alabama running back Eddie Lacy has become a trendy pick for the Pack. But finding a desperate trade partner looking to get back into the first round (looking at you Buffalo, J-Ville, Philly...) or taking best available big seem like more realistic options.
27. Houston Texans
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EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
Another likely trade destination for a team looking to snag one of the QBs in the late first round. Manuel, Syracuse's Ryan Nassib and possibly even USC's Matt Barkley could prompt a flurry of late-round movement.
28. Denver Broncos
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Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The longer the predraft process goes on, the better Trufant looks. If the draft were held in late May, he might be picked in the teens. Denver would love to pick off a polished cornerback this late in the round.
29. New England Patriots
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Robert Woods, WR, USC
Although he was overshadowed by Biletnikoff Award-winning Trojan teammate Marqise Lee (No. 9), Woods is still a top-flight playmaker in his own right.
30. Atlanta Falcons
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Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Once thought of as the "next Von Miller," at least in terms of draft stock, Moore has taken a tumble down the board, going from top-10 to back-half of the first.
31. San Francisco 49ers
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Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
The "Eastern Block" is a 6'8" monster who could be a long-term replacement option to the aging warrior Justin Smith at end in the Niners' dominant 3-4 scheme.
32. Baltimore Ravens
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Matt Elam, S, Florida
An underrated hammer who can catch the ball if it's thrown his way, Elam is a sneaky good player who might slip to the second round but is well worth the final pick of the first round's prime time show on Thursday night, April 25.
Ray Lewis has two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards. But is he the best ever?
Middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the defense, the nerve center of a stop-unit. Many of the game’s greatest players have been the man in the middle who called the shots in the huddle before turning into tackling machines and splash-playmakers from sideline-to-sideline once the ball was snapped. Keeping all aspects of the job in mind, we rank the top 25 greatest middle linebackers in NFL history.
See where NFL MVP Adrian Peterson lands in our early rankings
The 2012 NFL season may have just ended, but that doesn't mean it's too early to starting thinking about next season. Even though teams have just started adjusting their rosters, free agency has yet to begin and the draft is still more than two months away, here's Athlon Sports' early fantasy football rankings for 2013.