Things are relatively quiet on the UConn football front, but it will be a busy week for six former players who officially begin auditioning for NFL jobs. That's right: it's the NFL Combine, a glorified meat market where scouts and coaches watch a bunch of 20-somethings in shorts and t-shirts run, jump, throw and catch and try to glean any football-related skills in the process.
Yes, it sounds silly since, you know, football isn't played in shorts and t-shirts, and there's a little more to the game than running really fast in a straight line. But a lot of players have made -- or lost -- a lot of money based on their combine performance.
Run a fast 40-yard-dash time and expect your draft stock -- and the payday that goes with it -- to improve. Have a poor showing on the bench press as an offensive or defensive lineman and expect questions about strength to follow you all spring.
UConn, 8-5 last season, will be represented in Indianapolis by Zach Hurd (G), Greg Lloyd (ILB), Scott Lutrus (OLB), Anthony Sherman (FB), Jordan Todman (RB), and Lawrence Wilson (OLB).
According to NFLDraftScout.com, Hurd is considered a fifth-round pick; Lloyd, Lutrus, Sherman seventh-rounders; Wilson a third- or fourth-rounder; and junior Todman, who rushed for 1,758 yards in 2010 (141 yards per game), a second-rounder.
But these are just starting points. Fates can change with vertical jumps, three-cone drills and, most importantly, the team interviews.
Silver lining for players who might stumble (literally or figuratively) out of the gate: for proof that first impressions can sometimes be overrated, just take a look at Tom Brady from the 2000 NFL Combine. Pretty sure nobody could have predicted that guy would be one of the league's best quarterbacks happily married to the most beautiful woman on the planet.