Brian Burns
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Florida State Stars Show Flashes of Brilliance at the NFL Combine

One of the biggest offseason events for football players is the NFL Scouting Combine. It can make or break a prospect's draft stock, or just solidify what teams already thought about them. With three Florida State Seminoles participating in the event, how did each player fair?

Brian Burns, DeMarcus Christmas, and Nyqwan Murray each took part in the NFL Combine, hoping to help raise their stock among NFL franchises. Burns was seen as a possible first-round pick before the event, while both Christmas and Murray needed big performances to rise up draft boards.

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The combine is a huge deal for NFL Draft prospects because of what it can do to a player's stock, both in good ways and bad. A 40-yard dash time can raise eyebrows if it is much faster than expected, or if it's slower than a team wants at a certain position. In cases like Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf, putting up great numbers can put your name in the minds of general managers.

However, it can also leave a lot to be desired. Showing up to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and not living up to a first-round grade can demolish stock. Florida's Jachai Polite experienced that over the weekend, saying his poor performance was due to an injury, but some general managers call b.s. on that.

That brings us to the three 'Noles who participated in the festivities. What did each do and how did it rank among other players at their position?

Brian Burns, Edge Rusher

40 Yard Dash: 4.53u seconds
Bench Press: DNP
Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches
Broad Jump: 129.0 inches
3 Cone Drill: 7.01 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: DNP
60 Yd Shuttle: DNP

By far the highest-rated Seminole in this draft class, Burns did pretty well at the NFL Combine. He could easily be taken in the first round, and these results solidify that. Of the four workouts he took part in, he was toward the top of each in the edge-rusher position group.

The worst he did, as far as where he finished in the group, was in the vertical jump where he finished with the sixth-best height. However, 36 inches is impressive for a guy his size, so there is nothing to worry about there. He finished second in the broad jump, third in the 40-yard dash, and fifth in the three-cone drill.

Realistically, I don't know how much Burns could have improved his stock since he was already a guy who should be taken in the first round. He definitely could have murdered his stock with a 40-yard dash at something slower like 4.9, but he showed what he can do physically while not showing weaknesses. Not participating in the bench press is a product of that.

DeMarcus Christmas, Defensive Lineman

40 Yard Dash: 5.08 seconds
Bench Press: 22
Vertical Jump: 22.5 inches
Broad Jump: 101.0 inches
3 Cone Drill: 8.13 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: 5.07 seconds
60 Yd Shuttle: DNP

Christmas is an interesting player in this draft because he is seen as a player who could go anywhere in the draft on the third day, and possibly sneaking into the second day if someone likes him enough to take him in the third round. But there is a chance he falls and possibly goes undrafted, though that could serve him well to find a place he likes the most and would use him best.

More than likely, he will be used as a backup and can work on his game before carving out more playing time over the next few seasons. But he had a pretty nice day at the combine and showed he is pretty athletic for a guy his size, and could be molded into a pretty solid lineman with good coaching.

Nyqwan Murray, Wide Receiver

40 Yard Dash: 4.63u seconds
Bench Press: 8
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 113.0 inches
3 Cone Drill: 7.2 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.4 seconds
60 Yd Shuttle: DNP

While Murray could have wowed scouts with some great numbers, that isn't exactly what happened. A pretty slow 40-yard dash time has been the story of his combine, but that really isn't what matters for him. Murray will be a slot receiver in the pros, so straight-line speed isn't what will be his main tool, it will be his quickness.

Murray is the type of receiver who wont be as impressive in the NFL Combine, but will show how good he is in drills and in live action. I think best-case scenario for him is getting picked up by a team who actually will use him correctly like a Wes Welker, and then he can carve out a role as an extra slot-receiver.

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