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Combine “Kudos & Wet Willies:” Saquon, Shaquem and ... Orlando Brown

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Let’s take a look back at the best and worst of the Combine

NFL: Combine
Orlando Brown runs the 40.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL Combine is in the history books. There were some incredible feats, and some not so incredible moments. Let’s hand out some Combine “Kudos & Wet Willies.”

Kudos to ...

Saquon Barkley — I don’t know if the kid will be a Giant, but he is a star. Barkley’s Combine performance was dazzling, both on the field and at the interview podium.

Lamar Jackson — For putting his foot down and making certain everyone knows he is a quarterback. It’s pretty ridiculous, actually, to think of him as anything else without giving him the opportunity at the NFL level.

Shaquem Griffin — Typo and all, because we know what he meant, I am going to agree wholeheartedly with Damon Harrison here.

Twenty reps of 225 pounds on the bench press with a prosthetic hand? The fastest 40-yard dash by linebacker since 2003, a 4.38? Crazy stuff. This is an amazing young man, and if you watch the film you know he’s also a pretty darn good player.

Throwing the ball 66 yards in the airJosh Allen did that Saturday. That doesn’t make him the best quarterback in the draft. It sure was fun to see, though.

The coach who said this — For the laugh. And the visual.

Troy Apke — For getting this reaction out of Deion Sanders.

Wet Willies to ...

Orlando Brown — C’mon,man! What was that? Fourteen bench press reps at 6-foot-8, 345 pounds. A slow and, umm, jiggly 40-yard dash. Good grief. The Internet, of course had fun with Brown.

Combine bench press — Thankfully, the injury Ohio State center Billy Price suffered appears to be one that should not impact his readiness for training camp. What does the Combine bench press prove, anyway? Aside from the fact that Shaquem Griffin is amazing. Big guys who you know are crazy strong put up horrible numbers because of their arm length (and NFL scouts want those longer arms). Smaller guys put up bigger numbers. Play strength and bench strength are different. So, what’s the point?

Sam Darnold — The USC quarterback might be the first player selected. He might go to the Giants at No. 2, and I know I have said he is my favorite QB in this class. His decision not to throw at the Combine is probably meaningless. Still, I can’t support it. Neither can Mike Mayock, with whom I agree.

Combine injuries — I already mentioned Price. Defensive tackle Vita Vea suffered a hamstring injury. Last year, Marshon Lattimore suffered a hip injury and Sidney Jones blew out an Achilles during his Pro Day. These kids are trying to help themselves, but they are also risking a lot in all of these drills and workouts. That’s something to remember. Maurice Hurst being diagnosed with a heart condition is a whole different deal, and the Combine medical testing should probably get “Kudos.”