Commentary: How much did Hoffman's combine performance hurt his draft stock?
Michael Conroy, AP
Heading into the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, former BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman had received mixed reviews on his draft stock.
Now, a couple of poor numbers at this week's Combine appear to cloud the picture on where he stands among a wide receiver corps loaded with talent.
Hoffman's time in the 40-yard dash — 4.65 seconds — was about was experts expected, and his 6.89-second time in the three cone drill tied for 16th overall among the wide receivers. That was his top performance for an individual workout.
What really hurt Hoffman was his vertical leap and broad jump numbers. In both, he finished last among the wide receivers who tested in the workouts — he finished with a 27.5-inch vertical leap and a 108-inch broad jump.
Alex Kozora of SteelersDepot.com broke down how Hoffman's poor vertical leap reflected in a near-worst "true height," as Kozora coined it.
Despite being among the tallest receivers at the combine, when you combined Hoffman's height of 6-foot-4 with his vertical leap number, his "true height" comes out to 8.6 feet, based on performance. That sandwiched Hoffman between a pair of 5-9 wideouts and made his "true height" more than six inches shorter than 6-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and nearly a foot less than Texas A&M's Mike Evans, another 6-5 receiver.
Just how much will this lack of reach affect Hoffman when the NFL Draft rolls around on May 8-10?
CBSSports.com had the Cougars' all-time leading receiver ranked as the 28th-best prospect among wide receivers heading into the combine, projecting Hoffman as a potential sixth or seventh round NFL Draft pick.
With his receiving numbers dropping in 2013 after a stellar junior season, in conjunction with an up-and-down week at the Senior Bowl in January, Hoffman still had left some experts with questions of where he stood in this year's talented wide receiving group.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke pointed to Hoffman as one of several players who had something to prove at the combine, citing his tough 2013 season that included a one-game suspension. "The upside is still there," though, Burke wrote.
Hoffman is no stranger to adversity and overcoming shortcomings that pre-conceived numbers would indicate. When he signed with the Cougars' 2009 recruiting class, Hoffman was a two-star recruit and lacked any hype to become the heir apparent to Austin Collie, who had just left BYU after his junior season as the program's leading wide receiver.
Five years later, Hoffman departed the school with numerous career school records, including all-time receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, receptions, all-purpose yards and 100-yard receiving games.
And he did all that while catching passes — including recording at least one reception in 43 straight games — from a collection of subpar quarterbacks.
Hoffman will have another chance to impress scouts when BYU hosts its NFL Pro Day in March. And his rise to the top of the Cougars' record books shows Hoffman is a producer, even if the hype prior to him donning a BYU uniform wasn't great.
After his combine workouts, though, it's apparent Hoffman has some work to do to create a more lasting positive impression with potential future employers.
Can he rise up again?
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd
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