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The Measure of a Draft Pick - Blake Griffin at the Combine

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As citizen dulciusEXasperis (a sweet handle) alerted as this morning, the first set of measurements are in from the pre-draft combine in Chicago.  And while Blake Giffin is not what NBA scouts describe as 'long', that was always fairly evident just from looking at him, so the expectations were properly set there.  The whispers going in were that perhaps, like so many other college bigs, he wasn't really as tall as he was listed in the NCAA.  The worst case scenario for his draft stock (not that it would have kept him from being drafted first overall, but it would have been a bummer to be sure) was that he'd actually turn out to be 6'6" of something.  Well, he passed that test.  He's 6'8.5" in his bare feet, right at his listed 6'10" in shoes.  He's also plenty big, at 248 pounds of muscle.

Saying that he has a 6'11" wingspan or an 8'9" standing reach doesn't really mean that much out of context.  Suffice it to say those aren't great numbers, and rank him a little below average on those measures for the power forward position (according to DraftExpresses database, those averages are a little over 7' for wing span and 8'10.5" for standing reach). 

But length is why Michael Olowokandi (7'8" wingspan) went first in the draft - length is not why Blake Griffin is a lock as the first overall, and it never was.  The dude can play ball.

The second day of the combine they get past measuring the bodies, and actually do some measuring of the way these guys use their bodies.  This is where Griffin will stand out.  The tests have been conducted, although the data is not in the DraftExpress database yet (keep an eye on it, and give a shout out when the numbers are there if I don't see them first).  Things like vertical leap, bench press, and lateral quickness are where Griffin will shine, particularly for a guy his size Chad Ford raved about his athleticism on ESPN today, but he did say it looked to him a little like Griffin was coasting in the sprint.