For some ungodly reason, I enjoy watching the NFL combine. That says something profound about me, I know, but that's not what we're here to discuss. No, the thing that kept jumping out at me is all the analysts during the coverage (Mike Lombardi, Mike Mayock and lots of others) kept saying the combine is all about checking off boxes.
Teams don't go into the combine to find players. They go in to confirm what they saw on tape or to dispute it. If they haven't seen a guy play well on film, a sterling 40-yard dash time won't sway them. However, a poor performance at the combine can certainly lower a player's stock.
With that in mind, let's look at a few players who may have hurt their chances of being drafted in the eyes of the Houston Texans:
Mohammed Sanu, WR, Rutgers - Speed isn't everything. But, it's a big deal with receivers and Sanu did not run well. I've been skeptical of Houston's actual interest in Sanu, but he's been tagged in enough mock drafts to be mentioned. All the rest of his numbers suggested a pretty athletic player, but for Houston to have interest, it'd be to replace Kevin Walter, not provide a deep threat beside Andre Johnson. That doesn't sound like a player you'd take in the first round, does it?
Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State - Out of a small school, you'd expect Quick to have to test really well to keep his draft stock up. He raised it quite a bit with his performance in the Senior Bowl, but it has to drop a bit here. He didn't run especially well in the agility stuff and wasn't great on the bench press either. He's still big, and those long arms probably make lots of bench reps more difficult for him. However, he has to be dropped a bit on Houston's board because of his combine numbers.
Tony Bergstrom, OL, Utah - Consider Bergstrom a sleeper candidate who may just not be that good. He didn't run well nor look good in the shuttle. If there's one thing Houston requires out of its offensive linemen, it's being able to move in space. I doubt Bergstrom is on Houston's radar after the way he tested here.
Peter Konz, OL, Wisconsin - The big future center didn't do much at the combine, but he did lift. And, unfortunately, it didn't help his cause any, as he only managed 18 reps on the bench. To put that in perspective, Sanu managed 19 reps. His bench total isn't a death knell for his draft stock, but since the book on him is that strength may be an issue, it's not a great sign. He might slide into the second round now.