The Duel

Recent Combine Flops Who Thrived in the NFL

Max Staley
Orlando Brown had a disastrous NFL Combine, but turned it around when the games began.
Orlando Brown had a disastrous NFL Combine, but turned it around when the games began. / Mark Brown/Getty Images
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The NFL Combine can make or break a player's draft stock. However, overreactions to a performance, at the Combine, whether good or bad, can often lead to disastrous results.

With that in mind, let's take a look at three players who had terrible results in their combine, but went on to find success in the NFL.

1. Orlando Brown Jr.

Orlando Brown Jr. put up just 14 bench-press reps in the NFL Combine.
Orlando Brown Jr. put up just 14 bench-press reps in the NFL Combine. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Orlando Brown Jr. entered the 2018 NFL Combine with dreams of being a first-round pick. It wasn't exactly a stretch, either. He was coming off an All-American season, and had even won the Big 12 offensive lineman of the year award twice. After putting up just 14 reps at the bench press, and running the 40-yard dash in 5.85 seconds, however, Brown completely took himself out of first-round consideration. He fell all the way to the middle of the third round before getting snapped up by the Baltimore Ravens. He quickly proved the doubters wrong, though, as Brown has become a top-tier starter on the league's highest-scoring offense in 2019.

2. Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry had a very poor performance at the combine, but went on to be a star in the NFL.
Jarvis Landry had a very poor performance at the combine, but went on to be a star in the NFL. / Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Speed is one of the most important attributes a WR can have. While he sure looked fast on the field in college, Jarvis Landry ran a 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds. That was a real red flag, and he ultimately fell to the second round, getting drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Landry quickly found success in the NFL, though, catching 400 passes over the first four seasons of his professional career.

3. Joe Haden

Joe Haden is a three-time Pro Bowler despite a poor showing at the 2010 NFL Combine.
Joe Haden is a three-time Pro Bowler despite a poor showing at the 2010 NFL Combine. / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

If speed is important for wideouts, it may be doubly so for cornerbacks. So when Joe Haden ran a 4.57 40-yard dash, it certainly was viewed as a legitimate cause for concern. Luckily, the Cleveland Browns seemingly didn't let this poor showing impact their evaluation, and still took the CB at No. 7 overall. He more than proved them right, as he went on to be one of the NFL's best corners, making three Pro-Bowl appearances.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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