UNC Football: Tar Heels at the Combine

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Bryn Renner (2) is looking to get drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft in May.

Seven former University of North Carolina football players participated in the 2014 NFL combine in Indianapolis, I.N. The list included offensive linemen James Hurst and Russell Bodine, tight end Eric Ebron, quarterback Bryn Renner, defensive linemen Kareem Martin, defensive back Jabari Price and safety Tre Boston.

The seven invites that the NFL sent to UNC were the 2nd most invites in the ACC and the 5th most nationally. Here is the rundown of how all seven individuals graded out at the combine this past week.

James Hurst: The two-time first team All-ACC selection checked in at 6’5”, 296 pounds, which is a solid size for a NFL offensive tackle. With an arm length of 33 and ¾’ inches, he has the length to push around opposing defensive linemen without letting them get into his body and push him off balance. Overall, he is an experienced, four-year starter and should be a mid-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, despite the fact he did not do any on-field testing due to injury.

Russell Bodine: Although it was a surprise to many that Bodine decided to forego his senior year at UNC and enter the NFL draft, he performed fairly well at the combine. His 42 bench press reps of 225 ranked in the top-5 for offensive linemen, as did his 29.0 inch vertical jump. Bodine, who is 6’3”, and 310 pounds, proved he has the strength and athleticism to become a NFL center one day in the future.

Eric Ebron: The projected first-round pick did nothing but help his stock, as he graded as one of the best tight ends in the 40-yard-dash (4.60 seconds), bench press (24 reps of 225 pounds), and vertical jump (32 inches). The combination of size (Ebron measured in at 6’4”, 250 pounds), athleticism, and strength that Ebron possesses is not matched by many tight ends in the NFL and it would be a surprise to no one if he is a top-15 overall pick come May. To see a scouting report on Eric Ebron, check out this video:

Bryn Renner: Despite a shoulder injury that ended Renner’s senior season early, he was able to compete in the athletic testing at the NFL Combine. Standing at 6’3”, Renner is tall enough to be an NFL quarterback, and although he isn’t a superior athlete compared to some of his other counterparts, he still tested fairly well. He ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.87 seconds, which ranked in the top-10 for quarterbacks. Renner is expected to be a mid-to-late round pick in the NFL Draft in May.

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Kareem Martin: The safe pick to be the second Tar Heel to be taken in the NFL draft, Martin performed well at the NFL Combine, but left some scouts wondering if he needed to get a tad stronger. His 22 bench reps at 225 pounds weren’t great for a defensive lineman, and showed he might need to add some strength to his 6’6” frame. However, he did run the 40-yard-dash in 4.72 seconds and had one of the best broad jumps for a defensive lineman at 129.0 inches. Don’t be surprised to see Martin’s name come off the board in the 2nd or 3rd round if all goes well for the 2013 first team All-ACC pick.

Jabari Price: The 5’10”, 200 pound cornerback displayed the speed that many UNC fans already knew he had at the 2014 NFL Combine. Price ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.45 seconds, which was the 8th fastest time for a defensive back. For a guy that is probably going to have to break into the NFL as a special teams player to start, Price’s blazing speed is something that cannot be overlooked.

Tre Boston: Boston, who was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2013, worked out well in two very important categories for safeties. First, Boston pounded out 18 bench reps of 225 pounds, putting him in the top-10 for safeties. Boston’s strength is something he will need to enforce on opposing receiver’s to help him in coverage at the next level. Boston also placed in the top-10 in the cone agility drill – posting a time of 4.31. This performance shows scouts that Boston displays the agility and movement needed to become a NFL safety.

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