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Three Down, One to Go: Hokies at the Combine

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The Tight Ends were up Saturday with the wide receivers and quarterbacks, meaning Ryan Malleck hit the field. Also seeing the field on Sunday were Dadi Nicholas and Luther Maddy.

Ryan Malleck's turn for the NFL drills
Ryan Malleck's turn for the NFL drills
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Today was the first day of workouts where any Virginia Tech player worked out for the NFL Combine. Ryan Malleck took to the field and the bench, and did fairly well in the measurable statistics. He posted 18 reps of 225, had a vertical jump of 34.5", a broad jump of 10'-1", a 7 second 3-cone, a 4.33 short shuttle, and did not run a 40-yard dash or the 60-yard shuttle. Of the tight ends, he performed fairly adequately in these regards. He was tied for 6th in the bench (top prospect Hunter Henry only put up 13), was 4th in the vertical jump (Henry participated in nothing other than the bench), tied for 2nd in the broad jump, and tied for 5th in the 3 cone. He did lag in the 20 yard shuttle, falling down to a tie for 8th place. His body measurable are 6'-4", 247lbs, 32.5" arm length, and 9 3/8" hands. Hand size was kind of low-average for his position, but NFL teams don't freak out as much over Tight End hands as they do Quarterback Hands.

What does this mean? Not much, really. I don't think that Malleck was going to turn a ton of heads. He apparently had some issues in the gauntlet drills, though that wasn't out of the ordinary for the tight ends today. So while you get some more negative thoughts like this one...

You can also get some positive ones like this one...

Here's an interview that Rivals.com's Hokie Haven posted from Malleck at the combine.

He's got a good role model/archetype in mind, that's for sure. Jason Witten and Heath Miller are probably somewhere along the lines of where Malleck could go if everything breaks right- though he obviously won't be drafted as highly as either of those two players. Malleck is projected to be a 7th round Draft Pick or UDFA. It's where I see him going, for sure. This day probably didn't overly help or hurt him, but he could definitely be a key special teams player for a while in the NFL- there's money to be made in that, ask Kasim Osgood. A smart guy with zero character concerns and enough useful athleticism and skills can definitely make a practice squad and eventually a team. A two-time team Captain will know how to follow as well as how to lead, so at the very least, the NFL would be smart to spend some time getting Malleck on to a roster. I apologize for not having any video specifically of his drills/workouts, but the NFL didn't see fit to put his tape on the internet. Also nothing on YouTube, unfortunately.

Saturday the defensive linemen put in the bench press, and well...14 reps wasn't putting Dadi in a great light at the moment. Granted he was testing with the defensive line, but it doesn't even qualify him in the top 13 in the linebackers. Luther Maddy did a respectable 29 reps, putting him in at a three way tie for 8th- first was only up at 33 reps.

Dadi's big day came in jumping events. He recorded a ludicrous vertical leap- 41 inches, which way passed the field. Second place came in at 35.5. How's this for athleticism?

Nicholas also was top 6 in 40-yard dash at 4.74 seconds.

Of course, this didn't mean that there isn't a point to the detractors...Tape means more than workout.

If anything this show of athleticism will send scouts scurrying back to the tape wondering what the heck happened to him. We all know he had a hurt hand, but how much can be attributed to that vs. how much is him not really meeting his athletic capabilities?

Luther Maddy did the bench, but he'll have to really perform at the pro day. He had to withdraw from field work.

Hopefully it's not something massive.

Kendall Fuller is up for performance testing today. We'll see how he performs, and will report back with those numbers, plus a couple other snippets from the weekend. Good luck to our Hokies through the draft process.