The Chargers Greatest Combine Performances
The NFL Combine has been a source of ridicule and pride in Draft circles for years. Players perform well in various drills and yet their status as an NFL prospect is still very much up in the air. The Los Angeles Chargers have drafted a number of great performers in the Combine with mixed results. The following chronicles the careers of the players who have had the greatest performances in the Combine and were drafted by the Chargers since the 2000 season.
40-Yard Dash: 4.35 seconds
Demetrius Byrd (2009)- Before he was drafted in the seventh round he was in a serious car accident. After he was released from the hospital he was placed on the non-football injury/illness reserve list before his rookie season. He was released a few months after the season and never played a down in the NFL.
Vertical: 41.5 inches
Reche Caldwell (2002)- He did not live up to expectations after being selected in the second round. In four years with the Chargers, he recorded 76 receptions for 950 yards and seven touchdowns. His best season was with the New England Patriots in 2006, the year after leaving San Diego, when he had 61 receptions, 760 yards, and four touchdowns. He finished his career the following year with the Washington Redskins.
Bench Press: 41 repetitions
Igor Olshansky (2004)- He had a serviceable career with the Chargers but failed to live up to expectations as a second-round pick. He had 11 sacks in five seasons with the Chargers and was out of the league after the 2011 season.
David Molk (2012)- The center from the University of Michigan won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center. He was drafted in the seventh round and primarily played on special teams and short-yardage situations as a rookie. He was released after his first season and retired after spending the 2015 season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Broad Jump: 132 inches
Derwin James (2018)- The safety lived up to expectations as a first round pick and was all over the field in his rookie season. He recorded 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions. As a result of this impressive performance he was invited to the Pro Bowl.
Antonio Cromartie (2006)- He was an excellent shutdown cornerback for the Chargers and made the Pro Bowl in 2007. In that Pro Bowl season he led the NFL with 10 interceptions while returning one for a touchdown. In four seasons with the team he recorded 15 interceptions while returning two for touchdowns. He eventually made three more Pro Bowls with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals while adding another 21 interceptions on his resume. He finished his career with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016.
Tevin Reese (2014)- The seventh round pick out of Baylor University had trouble getting on the field. He was cut by the Chargers in training camp his rookie year and caught on with the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad where he stayed for a season. He never played a down in the NFL.
3 Cone: 6.48 seconds
Rogers Beckett (2000)- The second round pick out of Marshall University lent a hand to the Chargers secondary as a safety. He had two interceptions returned for a total of 15 yards in three years with the team. He also forced two fumbles and recorded a sack while in San Diego. His best season was in 2003 with the Bengals when he recorded a career high two interceptions.
20-Yard Shuttle: 3.96 seconds
Darren Sproles (2005)- He had a dynamic career in the NFL which spanned three teams. He mainly backed up star running back LaDainian Tomlinson while with the Chargers but showed great versatility when given the opportunity. His best season in San Diego was 2009 when he rushed for 343 yards and three touchdowns while receiving another 497 yards and four touchdowns. He was a phenomenal kick returner and returned 6,469 yards along with two touchdowns in his five seasons with the team. He broke the NFL record for most total yards in a season (2,696) with the New Orleans Saints in 2011 and made the Pro Bowl three times while with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Terrence Kiel (2003)- The troubled, yet talented safety was a good find for the Charges in the second round and he spent his entire career in San Diego. He recorded four interceptions in his first two years with the team and never made another interception. He also forced two fumbles, recorded three fumbles and made two sacks in his four year career. He was killed in a car accident in 2008 having been out of the league for the past year.