NFL Combine Winner

Michael Turk, legend. Absolute legend.

Jim Rome
February 28, 2020 - 9:21 am
Matt Turk

USA Today

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The Combine: Primetime Edition got underway last night and while it still feels surreal to be watching guys working out at night up against Young Sheldon, it did deliver. It didn’t matter that the two most talked about prospects in the draft, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa didn’t work.

Out. There was still plenty to see.

Justin Herbert from Oregon did what you would expect him to do. If you didn’t know Utah State’s Jordan Love before last night, you probably do now. The dude has a cannon and might be working his way into becoming a top 10 pick. And then there was Jalen Hurts, who reminded everyone that he’s pretty damn good too.

He ran a 4.59 40, which was second among quarterbacks. He tied for the lead with the longest broad jump, which continues to be one of the weirder events at the Combine, and the ball looked good coming off his hand in passing drills.

But as much as last night was going to be about the quarterbacks, it was also about the receivers. And in particular, the big three: Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, and Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III. As you’ve no doubt heard, time and time again, this is a really deep class of receivers. And each guy brings something slightly different to the table.  

You had Henry Ruggs III going in the 40, looking to break the combine record of 4.22 set by John Ross. 

The good news: that’s a great time. The bad news: it doesn’t break the record. The somewhat worse news: Ruggs had to ice down his quad and was done for the night.

That meant that in the receiving drills, it was down to Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb among the receivers. And to the extent that you have to declare a winner among the receivers, it probably goes to Lamb for that circus catch.

How deep is the receiving class? Chase Claypool from Notre Dame did this. Now, keep in mind before I roll this that there has been talk of moving Claypool from receiver to tight end in the NFL. Now you can roll it. 

 

Chase Claypool ran a 4.42. Chase Claypool is 6’4 ¼, 238 pounds. And he ran a 4.42. According to NFL Research, the only other receiver that big to run that fast at the Combine: Calvin Johnson. The same Calvin Johnson that I talked about with Charles Davis yesterday. When Megatron did that back in 2007, it nearly knocked the Combine off its axis. 

I don’t care if you have Claypool at receiver or tight end, or as a gunner on special teams, which he also did in college, if you have a guy that big and that fast, you better get in him on the field.

But if we’re being real, the biggest star of the night wasn’t Claypool. Or Ruggs. Or Lamb. Or Hurts. Or Herbert.  

It was Turk. Michael Turk.

The punter from Arizona State. And let me preface this by saying if you are a punter who leaves college with two years of eligibility left enter the draft, you better be special. And this guy is special. 

He was the only kicker or punter to get in on the bench. And my guy absolutely crushed it. I’m going to play the clip. For all of you listening on radio, there isn’t much audio, so I need you to picture in your head the bar, weighing 225 pounds, absolutely popping off his chest on every rep.

25 reps at 225. And he made it look easy. That bar was bouncing. He made it look like he was lifting a toothpick. 

Punter Nation, stand up. Steve Weatherford had to be so fired up seeing that.  

To quote Scott Cochran, if it feels good, you ain’t doing it right. Well, that felt damn good and he was doing it damn right. 

And don’t come in here with that tired take of “not bad for a punter.” That’s awesome for anyone. How do I know? Because his 25 reps were more than any receiver yesterday. And more than all but one tight end. 

It was more than Frank Clark did back when he was at the combine. And more than Jadeveon Clowney, and DeMarcus Lawrence and Chandler Jones. Hell, his 25 was even better than Michael Bennett. Michael Turk beat Michael Bennett by rep. 

If he reps that hard on the bench, what does that guy squat? How much does he deadlift? Quick, add those events to the combine. I want to see this guy Bulgarian split squatting. I want sumo deadlifts. What’s he rep for the sumo deadlift high pull? Better yet, how do footballs survive when his foot makes contact with them?

And does the name Turk sound familiar when it comes to guys crushing punts? It should. Because his uncle, Matt Turk, did it for 17 years in the league.  

And I’m not freaking out because he’s some weight room warrior. It says here this guy is no Mike Mamula. He’s got the game tape to back it up. He’s an All-Pac-12 punter. He broke the school record for average punt at 46 yards. And then he broke the bench press yesterday. 

I don’t know where you had Michael Turk on your draft board before yesterday, but you better have him moving up today. 

Michael Turk, legend. Absolute legend.

Weatherord, The Scottish Hammer, Pat McAfee, Chris Jones, Todd Sauerbrun it’s time to welcome Michael Turk to the club, of not only being great punters, but absolute bad asses.