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How UNC Players Fared at the NFL Combine

Defensive lineman Robert Quinn of North Carolina runs through a drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Defensive lineman Robert Quinn of North Carolina runs through a drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

As important as the NFL Combine is for the players under the microscope and the teams preparing to write some very big checks, to the world at large, it's kind of a mystery. Sure, a list of numbers are spat out every day, from bogus forty times to such critical predictors of NFL success as hand size. But the folks actually evaluating the talent are keeping their cards close to the vest. So what does slip out is a lot of rumor and innuendo, that gets passed around incredibly quickly. That being said, here's what's being whispered:

Greg Little bombed the interview portion, according to Tony Paullne:

Last evening sources told that numerous teams are down on former North Carolina receiver Greg Little before he has even taken the field. Teams have found Little to be less than honest during the interview process, and that's putting it nicely. Little, as you may remember, was suspended for the 2010 season after violating school and NCAA rules.

Of course, he seemed to do better in interviews with the media. That article also mentions that Little has been training with MMA fighter Wayne Huner, which is... different. I guess it leaves the Marcus Jones route open. Little also was the top receiver in the bench press.

Marvin Austin had a much better time, however. His interviews went better, he had a fast forty time, and out-benched every offensive lineman

As for Robert Quinn, here's two different analyses:

Despite sitting on the sidelines with a seasonlong suspension, Quinn looked like he hadn't lost a step when he took the field. He was fast in the 40, averaging in the mid-4.6s after tipping the scales at 265. Quinn then looked tremendous in drills. In fact, the case could be made he was the most athletic defender on the field. Quinn effortlessly moved around displaying quickness, balance and a general dominance of anything he set out to accomplish.

The way Mike Mayock was ranting and raving about Robert Quinn, I was expecting the North Carolina pass rusher to turn Pepsi into Pepsi Throwback at the Combine. Unfortunately, Quinn ran a 4.67 40 and notched a 34-inch vertical. Those aren't terrible numbers by any means, but Quinn failed to match Mayock's expected 4.55. Prior to Monday's workout, Mayock speculated that Quinn could contend for the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Not so much now.

Yeah, those are about the same guy, looking at the same performance. Fun times.

Reports did come to a consensus on Kendric Burney, however, and it' not good. The general conclusion is that he was slow and didn't do well in drills. Burney was on the winning side of the two-team final day on-field drill. The more interesting story to come out of that is that second group's competition resulted in a tie, and each team selected one player for a catch-off. The two players were Patrick Peterson and Da'Norris Searcy – and both caught the first throw.

This post is sponsored by the NFL Network, who'd like me to remind you to watch the NFL Scouting Combine Feb 24 - Mar 1. Yes, that's in the past. Maybe next year?