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Offensive Linemen – Doing The Splits

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 26, 2011 – 9:20 am

I spent a part of the early morning here on Day 3 of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine watching the offensive linemen run the 40-yard dash and a couple of thoughts crossed my mind…

– The 40-yard dash is a standard test at the Combine and obviously its purpose is to help gauge an individuals straight away and high end speed. But when you think about it, there might not be any other position where straight line speed at a length of 40 yards means less than offensive line. When do you ever see an offensive linemen run 40 yards in a straight line? About the only time you see that is when Adrian Peterson is breaking away on a long TD run and the line is chasing him down the field to celebrate in the endzone.

But even given that, there is a practical reason for the coaches and scouts to time the offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash. It’s called the splits. There are stations set up at the 10-yard marker and the 20-yard marker of the 40-yard dash, and the purpose of those stations is to time each player to gauge quickness and speed in a smaller area. This is much more practical in assessing offensive linemen.

– On Friday the offensive linemen and TEs did the bench press. Syracuse C Ryan Bartholomew topped all lineman with 34 reps of the 225-pound bench press. For TEs, Michigan State’s Charlie Gantt and Tennessee’s Luke Stocker both recorded 27 reps.

UPDATE: Bartholomew continues to impress today by registering the top 40-yard dash time so far at 4.89 seconds.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “Offensive Linemen – Doing The Splits”

  1. By Kennie Cauthren on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Bartholomew? WOW, if this guy has a good IQ testand interview, as important as his position is(Center) he could go in the top 10 least. If the Vikes don’t find a QB they like up there @ 12 and this guy is avaliable they would be crazy not to take him and let him learn under Sullivan for a year and trade Sullivan or move him to back up guard…….

  2. By Parody on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I looked up Bartholomew and found the following quote from bleacherreport.com attesting to his intelligence:

    “Ryan Bartholomew was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll five times during his career at Syracuse. In 2010, he was named to the Big East All-Academic Team.

    After completing his undergraduate degree in health and exercise science, he began a Master’s program in instructional design, development and evaluation.”

    For some reason he was projected to be a late round draft choice, and possibly undrafted. This leads me to believe he has some technique problems, but maybe that’s because he was spending more of his time studying than practicing?

    The news of him topping the linemen at strength and speed should shoot him up the draft boards though, I still doubt he’ll be worth the pick at #12. If we can get him in the second or third round (if we can get a 3rd round pick back like Spielman wants to) then I say go for him. Everything starts at the center, and this guy could be the real deal.

  3. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Draft Bart in the first round ! ! !

    Shift Sully to a guard position.

    Start drafting defensive backs.

    Find a Free Agent Quarterback who can still play.

    WHO could ask for anything more ! ! !

  4. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    34 x 225 is probably a 500 pound bench press! Add a 4.8 40 yard dash. Put that dude anywhere, and he’s likely to be a star!

    DRAFT BARTHOLOMEW IN THE FIRST ROUND, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE 2ND ROUND, HE MIGHT BE GONE.

    WHAT THE VIKINGS NEED IS AN IMPROVED LINE. BARTHOLOMEW WILL ALLOW SOME flexibility WITH THE LINEMEN WE ALREADY HAVE ON THE TEAM !

    (Then even Terry Bradshaw could whip a few completions ! ! !)

  5. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    You know it’s interesting:

    They will build a new roof on the dome for $18 million, but will award another half million to the company building it, if they finish early.

    It seems that BirdAir should receive A FINE for having the roof fall in during the snow storm !

    And why give them money for finishing early IF THEY DON’T DO A GOOD JOB?

    OFFER THEM MONEY IF THE ROOF LASTS ! ! ! QUALITY IS JOB #1, not speed, when you’re talking about my family’s SAFETY !

  6. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Total cost for the new roof could approach $25 million, including insurance costs, and etc.

    BirdAir was the ONLY BIDDER on the project.

    Will it really be worth the cost to have Tractor Pulls, Big Wheel Contests, and state high school competitions at the Dome?

    What will they do with, yet another, football stadium if the Vikings build new?

    Minnesota will then have at least SIX stadiums for Professional/College Sports !

    That seems like alot to this old timer.

  7. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Draft Bartholomew so we can HELP FUND these stadiums with a winning team!

  8. By Carl K on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan’s performance at the combine is impressive but I don’t think it will move him up into the top 2 rounds. He has only played center his senior season and he is only 6’2″ – 298.

    Jacob Ford was still on the board at the top part of the 4th round last year after doing well at the senior bowl and posting the fastest time in the 40 (4.28) at the combine.

    Parody is right… I am also finding reports Ryan is smart, a freakish athlete, and a late round draft prospect. Bartholomew is no secret now. I hope he is still on the board in the 4th or 5th round.

    FYI – John Sullivan had 21 reps of 225 pounds at the combine in 08

  9. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    There is a very good chance Bartholomew will not be available after the 12th pick. 21 x 225 is to 34 x 225 as Willie Shoemaker is to Wilt Chamberlain !

    Keep in mind these are STOP Reps, not bounce it off your chest reps like most bloggers do !

  10. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    You really want the center to be short anyway. The Vikings Cook was moved to tackle, partly because he was too tall. You want someone who is very quick, and smart to play center.

    Football players weights are usually padded by 20 to 40 pounds. In high school they have been known to be off by as much as 60 pounds !

  11. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    There MAY BE someone out there better than Bartholomew at center. But it seems safe to take an ATHLETE who has played FOOTBALL in the first round. By all means take a QB, but if you can’t draft higher than 12th, the truly good ones would certainly be gone. EVERY TEAM WANTS A QB ! ! !

    Draft a qb in a later round, perhaps he will be a Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Bart Starr, Joe Webb type.

  12. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I feel like I am talking to myself ! ! !

  13. By Parody on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t worry about it Fred, that’s just one of those things that happens to the majority of us as we age.

  14. By Malte on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    You guys are getting CREAZY.. there might be a reason why he is projected to go in the later rounds / undraftet.. Do not fall in love with a guy simple based on his combine workout.. the film study and character is the most important when drafting..

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