Carlos Hyde's Combine Results Don't Tell the Full Story

By Jeff Beck on February 24, 2014 at 1:00p
El Guap FTW

Carlos Hyde is having a tough time at the combine. There’s no denying it.

First, El Guapo put up a fairly pedestrian number of bench press reps, managing just 19. Then he turned in a 4.66 40 time, coming up limp at the end of the run with a pulled hamstring.

Some are saying the performance (particularly the 40) will cost Hyde what could have been a first round selection. Unfortunately, this is a grim NFL reality. A player’s performance on Saturdays simply isn’t weighted as heavily as the poke and prod fest currently under-way in Indianapolis.

I feel for Carlos. He was an absolute beast in 2013, putting up 1,521 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns in just three-quarters of a season. Add the first three games in, and Hyde was probably making a trip to the Big Apple in December. So, I’d like to make the case for Carlos, juxtaposing gameday performances against traditional combine measuring sticks.

40 Yard Dash

As aforementioned, Hyde posted a 4.66 in the 40 on Sunday. The time was the 23rd-fastest out of the 36 running backs participating. Not exactly an eye-opener for No. 34.

While Hyde won't soon be mistaken for Kent State speedster Dri Archer, he does have a second gear. He’s a big man, but he showed flashes of break-away speed during the 2013 season. Here he is outrunning most of the Illinois secondary. 4.66-ing it all the way to the end zone.

Bench Press

Hyde managed 19 reps on the 225 lbs bench press. For us mortals, that's quite a feat. For soon-to-be NFL running backs at the combine it didn’t even break the top 10.

This result was the one that surprised many when it comes to Hyde. His strength looked to be his biggest asset heading into Indianapolis and teams were viewing him as a player with NFL power.

Who knows what happened. It’s hard to imagine millions of dollars resting on a single lift session. Undoubtedly nerves creep in. But, all NFL scouts need to do is take a look at Hyde’s 2013 tape to know he’s a human bowling ball who simply overpowered opponents nearly every time he touched the rock. Here’s an excellent example from the B1G Championship game where Michigan State defensive back Isaiah Lewis was reduced to a rag doll under the sheer force of El Guapo.

Broad Jump

Hyde came in 26th among running backs with a 114" broad jump. No doubt catapulting 242 lbs forward is no easy task, and Hyde performed admirably all things considered.

But, much like most of these exercises, when is a running back ever attempting a broad jump on the football field? Obviously it’s a way to test lower body strength and athleticism, but I’d rather have my running back able to perform a task with a direct correlation to the field of play. So, here’s my submission for Hyde. It’s no feet first broad jump, but it resulted in an improbable seven. If I’m a team owner or general manager, that’s all I care about.

Vertical Jump

Last but certainly not least, El Guapo recorded a 34.5" vertical jump, good enough for 20th.

Again, not too shabby considering the sheer amount of mass Hyde has got to get off the ground. In the sterile combine environment a standing 34.5" vertical jump is considered average at best. But scouts should be more interested in what players like Hyde can do at full speed with defenders nipping at their heels.

Hopefully this clip is making its way around NFL front offices. It’s Hyde jumping over an entire human with the pedal on the floor. Are you not entertained?

Obviously the combine serves some utility. It’s a way for NFL franchises shelling out millions of dollars to get a look at what they’re buying in a controlled environment. At the same time, far too much emphasis is placed on combine metrics without equally weighting what players were able to accomplish on the field of play. Carlos Hyde has all of the tools to be a successful NFL running back. His combine stats might not show it, but the tape certainly does.


Comments Show All Comments

whobdis's picture

Man..watching videos..I'm going to miss that guy. I honestly think we'll have a bit more explosivness out of the backfield in the coming years but it's fun watching a back just run over people. His assets are his strength and balance..he won't go down easy. Those are hard items to quantify in a combine. NFL guys know that however so I'm not sure what effect it will have.

+3 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I don't think it's any coincidence that the NFL is long overdue for the arrival of a solid back from Ohio State...and that Carlos Hyde is pursuing professional football now.


+4 HS
nburns18's picture

Hyde is the first one since Eddie. The only other one would be Beanie but he had too many question marks headed into the draft


"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

+1 HS
741's picture

242 pounds? He weighed in at 230 I believe.

+1 HS
TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I posted this on a different thread, but I figured it's worth posting here.

Two things:

1) As a track coach, I've become accustomed to guys feigning injury after a sub-par race or workout. I hate to say it, but watching the video, it looks like he might be faking it.

2) Hamstring injuries usually occur when the runner is at or close to full speed/stride length. That said, we can assume he was healthy for his first 10 yards at least. Hyde's 10 yard split was 1.65. That's going to hurt him. No one was expecting him to set the world on fire with his 40, but if his 10 yard split were solid, he'd make a solid between-the-tackles downfield runner. It wasn't. 1.65 is on the very low end for RBs (would have been third last at the combine last year), and is in the lower tier for LBs and DEs as well. Unless he bounces back with a huge Pro Day, Hyde might drop to the 3rd round.

I hope I'm wrong and Hyde has a tremendous pro day. But right now, his stock is plummeting. Not just because of his unimpressive numbers, but also because no one wants to draft a RB in the first two rounds, especially one that could possibly have lingering hammy issues down the road.

+6 HS
Brandon26841's picture

As a track coach, I've become accustomed to guys feigning injury after a sub-par race or workout. I hate to say it, but watching the video, it looks like he might be faking it.

Wouldn't surprise me. That's what we'd call a business decision. Guys do it every single year at the combine.


I stil don't see him making it to the 3rd round, but I never thought he'd go in the first. No back in the class was going to get picked in the first.  

Buckeye Chuck's picture

...No one was expecting him to set the world on fire with his 40, but if his 10 yard split were solid, he'd make a solid between-the-tackles downfield runner.


Except he already is a solid between-the-tackles downfield runner. We've all seen it.

If scouts and other observers actually believe the Indy meat market is more significant that what these players have proven they can do on the field, then yes, it probably will affect Hyde's stock on draft day. But I don't think it has much to do with whether or not he can play in the league. That won't change regardless of where he's picked.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+3 HS
bafiesta's picture

We can't have it both ways.  We cheer when Shaizer has a good workout then say it doesn't matter when Hyde has a bad workout.


The fact is the NFL looks at game film as the primary draft factor, but combine results can certainly (and should) move a guy up or down by a round.  

Winner Eleven Warriors 2014 Yahoo Sports College Bowl Pick'em

+2 HS
Earle's picture

How dare you attempt to undermine the NFL's annual beauty pageant by suggesting that there is substance to these individuals beyond their measurables.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

+8 HS
Carson's picture




+1 HS
ABrown07's picture

Ha ha..... He said "measurables".... lol

I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people.

-Woody Hayes

mc22's picture

Some of the best NFL'ers come in with a chip on their shoulder from being draft shafted - Hope Carlos comes in with one to motivate him if he falls out of the second rd.  RB's are not that highly coveted on draft day in the Not For Long league.

Browns need ya though bro.

bkleppel's picture

I forgot that football is all about these meaningless drills rather than on the field performance...

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

He'll have a better workout at pro day.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

OSUpawn's picture

I don't think speed is as important today.  How many RB can you name that can out run NFL secondary?  I think you need a RB that can pound up the middle, stay health and most of all pass block.  NFL is a passing league.  Most teams have a 2 back system.  I think Hyde is a perfect fit in the NFL.

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+2 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

How many RB can you name that can out run NFL secondary? 

Off the top of my head AP, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Jones-Drew and Brandon Saine; all these guys run 10.5 or better 100 meters. I can't name a lot of RBs to begin with though, as they generally last about 2 or 3 years in the league.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

logamaniac's picture

ill give you CJ and jamal but AP is just a faster more athletic version of Hyde - not a burner of corners by any means but he's quick enough and he runs through cats.  Is brandon still with GB or in the league?

luckynutz's picture

Peterson isnt human. Man runs into 8 and 9 man fronts on a regular basis, and is still unstoppable. And I think you aren't giving him enough credit for his speed. He may not beb running away from anyone...but give him separation and nobody's catching him either. Then again, he prefers to run angry and through people. Hes the kind of back if he gets in the open field will look for someone to run over. And go out of his way to do it. There is really no weakness to his game.

OSUBias's picture

Hyde did this on purpose so the Browns wouldn't draft him in the first round. He's playing the long game.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

+9 HS
Johnnycake's picture

They have two years of game film on him and he is relatively injury free; almost never fumbles. The NFL knows what they are getting in this kid. 3rd round at the worst.



+1 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

I don't think a bad showing on the bench press is says all that much about power in terms of running. It's the midsection and the legs where a RB gets his power.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+3 HS
andyb's picture

My thoughts exactly...what does bench press have to do with anyone other than Linemen and WR's trying to get off the line? They should have squats in there as well for the RB's and do some tackling drills to see what their 'shake' is like.  The combine is pretty worthless imo...and that goes for everyone not just players like Hyde.



+1 HS
logamaniac's picture

Theres stiff arms and shirking tacklers

-1 HS
luckynutz's picture

Both of which hyde has shown to be quite adept at doing. Hyde main strength is a low center of gravity and ridiculous balance. And the fact that he is always running downhill. Hes gets his pad level low, and drives through tacklers. You dont just hit him and hope he falls down. You have to wrap and hope someone comes to help you bring him down. To be honest...multiple someone's.

BassDropper's picture

Having a tough time? I thought this article was a joke when I first started reading it (still do, actually). Hyde pulled up the last 5 or so yards with a hamstring injury. Who cares about RBs and their bench press number? 19 isn't a bad number for a RB anyways. Hyde will be just fine. The odds were against him to go in the 1st round anyways. No RB will get drafted in the 1st round, the only one who had a shot was Hyde.


-1 HS
Jeff Beck's picture

Like it or not, the numbers Hyde put up at the combine didn't do him any favors. By NFL combine standards, his metrics were sub-par. But, that's the inconsistency I was trying to point out in the article. Hyde had a pedestrian one-day performance. It shouldn't overshadow a full season where he generated unreal production. 

The combine is the joke my friend. Not the article.

Johnnycake's picture

The results won't hurt him that much.  He will run again at Pro day and they already know that he is capable of getting 20 carries without putting the ball on the ground and staying relatively injury free.



mc22's picture

Combine results do matter...for the draft.  Not for their careers.  

Don't believe it...Ask clowney's financial planner now that he ran faster than most wr's did.

RedStorm45's picture

He's not a 4.4 guy.  The B1G is slow.  So while the highlights of him running away from defenders are nice, those are not NFL prospects.  I think when healthy, he can max out at 4.5, which is still just fine for the NFL.  It's a passing league anyway, so you don't need to be the fastest guy out of the backfield, especially since his game is built on running people over.

-2 HS

why not have a race with full gear and see how that ends up.  

jaxbuckeye's picture

Hello?  Bench press?  Look at the part of the body that matters the most with a running back, his legs!  If they had squats as part of the combine he'd probably come in first.  The reason there are sooooo many busts in the NFL is because they put too much on the combine.  Yes, you'd love to see great film AND a great combine, but great film is great film, despite what someone does at the combine (for a number of reasons, btw).

+3 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

Hello, 1980 is calling and wants its' combine back.  With all the modern training and simulations you'd think there would be a better way to measure these guys.  Hyde has a lot of intangibles, he has a really strong lower body, is very durable, hard to bring down in the open field, I predict when it is time to renew his contract he will do well for himself.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+2 HS
harleymanjax's picture

I wasn't expecting a fast 40 time but 19 reps shocked me, Hyde is known as a power back not a speedster so 19 reps could hurt him.

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Bullshit we all witnessed him bulldozening kids all year.I see no reason 20 reps on a benchpress would hurt him when the Nation seen he was the best power back out there. Hyde is a very rare type of RB where he doesnt have a ton of long runs skewing his ypc.He was rarely stuffed an the line and almost never stopped behind it. I have never personally seen a RB average 8 ypc in a season while not ripping off 2-3 runs of 40+ every game. Later in the year he did get a handful of nice long ones for the highlight reel but thats not his forte.Guy doesnt really fumble and the only thing a bench press mghjt be able to corelate on aback like Hyde is the strength of his stiff arm.I think the 40 would hurt a 3rd down or smaller RB a lot more for obvious reasons.The guy has great hands, can block with the best of them,has top notch vision and balance, and oh btw he can tote the rock 25+ a game and stay healthy. Whoever gets this young man Im guessing early second round is going to get one of the better steals in this years draft.Id be happy as all bloody hell if my Bengals picked him up late first. Hyde is a throw back running back reminiscent of the great Jim Brown.Wouldnt shock me to see him come out at the OSU pro day and put up 25 reps and bust out a 4.49.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+2 HS
bull1214's picture

I am totally on board with the thinking that the numbers don't define a player but if we just dismiss ALL of the combine testing what are we left with? just game film. hyde's game film is great stuff and I believe he will be a good nfl rb but the draft process is a necessary evil that helps sort out the best of the best.

we cant put up these overblown numbers don't matter articles to define a bad combine showing knowing full well that if hyde had blown up the combine with great numbers we'd be using that as a reason he should be drafted high. I hate to say it but this sounds very ttun'ish.

+1 HS
david43207's picture

The combined is a measuring stick so scouts can evaluate and judge certain aspect of each potential draft choice. Regardless of what one thinks this is not the end all or final say in where prospects will be drafted but when an organization spends millions of dollars I see why they put a lot of value in these results. The athletes that are invited understand this and know they have to perform but also understand there are many more parts to this process. Whether Carlos goes in the later rounds or the first round I think he will be a good running back but that is because I have seen him play and can see that he has what I call football speed.

Mean Mr Mustard's picture

I did a review of some of the power backs coming out in recent years.  Hyde is bigger than Alfred Morris, Lacy, Bell, and Richardson.  BTW, Trent Richardson had the best 40 time and is the least productive out of the group.

JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

If he gets drafted to the right team, he'll be an incredible force.  I will be drafting him for Fantasy Football :)

Buckeye fan from PA