Combine Wonder? It's Deion

Mike Mamula

(Photos courtesy of Dallas Cowboys & Philadelphia Eagles)

Talk of Fame Network

Vernon Gholston ran fast at his NFL scouting comine. LaDainian Tomlinson ran faster. Deion Sanders ran fastest.

And speed wins at the Talk of Fame Network. Last week’s poll listed Gholston. Tomlinson, Sanders and Mike Mamula as candidates for the greatest combine workout of all-time. Sanders, who clocked a 4.29 40 in his brief combine appearance, ran away from the field, receiving 49 percent of the vote.

Gholston and Mamula were both edge rushers who clocked 4.58 40s, and Tomlinson dazzled at his 2001 combine with a 4.39 40 and a 40-inch vertical leap. Mamula finished as runnerup to Sanders with 39 percent of the vote, while both Gholston and Tomlinson wound up in single digits.

All three of the Talk of Fame Network co-hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge cast their votes for Mamula, however.

“I never heard more about the guy than I did after the combine,” Clark Judge said. “He must've done something right in Indianapolis, and he did. He blew the doors in on his workouts and became a household name.”

Mamula was viewed as a good-but-not-great player when he arrived at the 1995 combine. But after he ran that 4.58, charted a vertical jump of 39 ½ inches, benched 225 pounds 28 times and scored 49 out of 50 on the Wonderlic, opinions of him changed.

The Eagles wound up using the seventh overall pick of the draft on him.

But it turns out the first impression of Mamula was the correct one. He was not a great player, collecting only 31 ½ sacks in six NFL seasons.

“Mike Mamula proved you can game the system,” Borges said. “Nothing's better than a great hustle.”