Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg reported to Indianapolis last week for the NFL Scouting Combine well aware that he needed a good showing to improve his draft stock.
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Furstenburg looks the part. And he made the ACC’s preseason all-conference team. But as Maryland’s offense was hit hard by injuries and struggled in the second half of last season (going 0-6 to end the year), Furstenburg didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his skills. In 12 games, he recorded 16 catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
“Yeah, it was tough. You know, we had a tough break at quarterback,” Furstenburg said at the combine leading up to his workout day. “We were on our fifth string, and it was tough the way we ended by senior year. But it is what it is, and I think they see that – the scouts and coaches.”
And so, Furstenburg – the only Maryland player invited to the combine – had simple goals for this week.
“Just trying [to get] people to know my name coming out of this, and you know, rise my stock a little bit more. You know, compete good on Saturday, run a good time.”
Furstenburg did well for himself on Saturday, recording some of the best measurements and times in his position group.
He ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash and recorded a vertical leap of 35.5 inches (both second best among tight ends at the combine). He also did well in the broad jump (9 feet 7 inches), 20-yard shuttle (4.35 seconds), three-cone drill (7.09 seconds) and recorded 18 reps of 225 pounds in bench press.
That showing should help Furstenburg, who originally was believed to be a late-round pick, but now could hear his name called sooner.
He wouldn’t be the first Maryland tight end to use a strong combine performance to elevate his stock. Vernon Davis entered the 2006 combine projected to go somewhere in the first round. Then, with impressive times and measurements, he elevated his stock to the point where he was the drafted sixth overall.
Furstenburg’s jump won’t be dramatic, but he has achieved his goal of ensuring that he is now on teams’ radars.