By Peter Sowards
In an effort to boost his NFL draft stock, Eagles’ record-breaking wide receiver Brandon Kaufman performed in front of coaches and scouts at the annual NFL scouting combine from Feb. 21 to 24 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Kaufman was the lone participant from EWU in what is known by some as the “underwear olympics” in which prospective NFL draftees execute a series of on-field workouts and medical and psychological testing.
“Overall it was a great experience,” Kaufman said. “It was a really, really long four days and I think they did that on purpose just to make it stressful and see how you can handle it. I think I did well throughout the whole process with all the tests [and] with all the interviews and then ultimately on Sunday [in drills] I thought I performed to the best of my ability.”
After suffering knee injuries in high school and college, Kaufman was thoroughly examined by team doctors at the combine. “I’d say about 40 to 50 doctors examined my body and you just go from room to room,” he said. “After the first room you think you’re done because you get a full examination and then they report to the teams. Then, you go into the next room and do the exact same thing. You do that six times. You have other tests you do that day. That was overall probably the most straining day—about six hours of people just tugging on you that whole time.”
Kaufman showed off his knowledge of the wide receiver position when he met with teams for informal interviews. “I talked to about 16 teams,” Kaufman said. “We would be in a big room and all the teams would be in there, all the representatives. I typically talked to all the receivers coaches on the team. I would draw up plays and they would ask me some background information. They asked me if I understood the coverage and found out what I knew and my knowledge of football.”
In the all-important 40-yard dash, Kaufman clocked in at 4.67 seconds, one of the slower times for wide receivers in a class of elite speedsters. However, his 10-yard split of 1.59 seconds indicated quickness off the line, especially for a 6-foot-5-inch wide receiver.
Kaufman, who set the all-time single-season record in Football Championship Subdivision history with 1,850 receiving yards in 2012, registered a 33.5 inch vertical jump and repped 225 pounds on the bench press nine times. Considering Kaufman’s long arms—32 ¼ inches long, to be exact—nine reps is not a terrible result, due to the added bar height needed to achieve each repetition. Kaufman’s broad jump, in which a player leaps from a standing position, came in at 9 feet, 7 inches.
For measurement of agility and fluidity, Kaufman and other wide receivers performed two shuttle drills—20 and 60 yards—and a three-cone drill. Kaufman ran the 20- and 60-yard shuttles in 4.44 and 12.14 seconds and finished the three-cone drill in 7.11 seconds.
Kaufman’s next step leading up to the NFL draft is EWU’s pro day, to be held at Roos Field on March 6 at 1 p.m. Kaufman, who said he will perform the same drills he did at the combine, will be joined by fellow Eagles receivers Greg Herd and Nicholas Edwards, quarterback Kyle Padron and Washington State University wide receiver Marquess Wilson and quarterback Jeff Tuel. The 2013 NFL draft takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City from April 25 to the 27.