Assembling an All-Combine team from current Commanders

Curtis Samuel

Though the NFL Combine has its detractors (a group that correctly points out that important items such as helmets, pads and opponents are absent from the league's yearly February gathering of prospects), it remains a highly-anticipated event on pro football's calendar.

But before Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and other members of Washington's brass head to Indianapolis next week to evaluate all of those who'll participate in the proceedings, let's first assemble an All-Combine team made up of current Commanders who showed out when it was their turn to do so.

The fastest 40-yard dasher: Curtis Samuel

In the 2017 Combine, long before a mysterious groin injury marred his debut season with Washington, Samuel ripped off a 4.31-second 40-yard dash, which is the top time amongst members of the Commanders. It's a close race, though.

Antonio Gibson (4.39 seconds), William Jackson III (4.37), Terry McLaurin (4.35) and Troy Apke (4.34) all also completed their respective 40s in less than 4.4 seconds, which is basically the dividing line between fast and fast. 

None, however, came close to touching Samuel's outstanding 4.31 mark, a fact that'll surely help Washington supporters forgive the guy for his unfortunate 2021.

The highest vertical leaper: Troy Apke

As just mentioned, Apke has the second-best 40 time on Rivera's squad and now he's landing at No. 1 when it comes to his vertical. In 2018, the maligned defensive back checked in with a 41-inch vert.

Interestingly enough, reserve defensive end Casey Toohill blasted off for 39 inches in 2019, giving him the silver medal in this category. 

As for Apke, this won't be the last time you hear about him. The dude may be mediocre for the Commanders, but in Indy, he was a mega-super-stud.


The strongest bench presser: Ereck Flowers

The bench press at the Combine is 225 pounds, and no one on the Commanders was able to rep that out more than Flowers, who did so 37 times in 2015. That's a lot of times!

Backup offensive lineman Tyler Larsen, who saw some action at center for Washington in 2021, lifted the bar 36 times, while Matt Ioannidis huffed and puffed his way to 32 up-downs.

Think about those numbers the next time you get sore after doing some chest press at your gym with 25-pound dumbbells in each hand. It'll do wonders for your self-esteem.

The most explosive broad jumper: Troy Apke

Again, Apke balled out in front of coaches, scouts and GMs in Indianapolis, an effort that continued when he broad jumped 131 inches. The Combine may need to retire Apke's jersey because of how much he torched it a few years ago.

Another Commanders defensive back, Bobby McCain, came up an inch short of Apke's flight, and Antonio Gandy-Golden's 127-inch jump was impressive, too. But only one of these guys can currently be considered even semi-reliable, so maybe Rivera should just skip watching this exercise and spend time at other Combine staples.

The best interviewee: Terry McLaurin 

There is obviously no way to quantify how well someone handles their face-to-face interactions with NFL decision-makers in Indy, but if there was, McLaurin would register a perfect score. As obnoxious as that claim sounds, it's just the truth.

When McLaurin's done schooling opposing cornerbacks at the NFL level, he should go on to host seminars on how to speak with composure and maturity — and charge a lot of money to attend said seminars. He's clearly chosen the correct career as a receiver, but he could have a tremendous second career in that potentially-made-up-by-a-blogger field.