Best says he feels as fast and explosive as he ever has, but NFL teams surely still will want to put him through a thorough medical examination to confirm he is completely healthy.
"The medical part is important because he had injuries during his career, and the concussion," ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said. "Had he finished out the year, I think he would have been a first-round draft choice. I think it's second round now for Best."
Most projections have Best going late in the first round or early in the second.
Best said his rehab didn't get going fully until around Christmas. He said he's spent his time in Florida doing the same training as all of the other prospects, plus some continued rehab on top of that.
"There hasn't been any change in the lifting or running or anything like that," Best said. "I'm doing everything like a normal athlete. I feel 100 percent. There's no problem."
Presuming Best passes his physical exams without incident, he could get back firmly into the first round with impressive performances on the field. When Best is healthy, he has the potential to test out as well as anyone in the country.
"What it comes down to is making sure that the teams have updated information directly from the doctors," said Tony Fleming, Best's agent. "We make sure each team has all the medical reports and things like that. If there are no red flags and he's healthy, there's no reason why he shouldn't go in the first round."
Best took a leap of faith of sorts when he decided to forgo his senior season and make himself eligible for the draft. At the time of the Jan. 2 announcement, he wasn't totally healed.
"I was fully confident that my body was going to heal up and I was going to be fine before I had to do any kind of workouts for the combine or my Pro Day or anything like that," Best said. "I feel like I'm getting faster now. I feel like I'm almost in the best shape of my life right now."
After the jump we take a closer look at Pac-10 football attendance, Bob Gregory speaks about his departure, Andy Glockner hates the Pac-10, Joe Lunardi terrifies Cal fans, and more.
- JO has more from Best and his agent, Tony Fleming.
- Ted Miller looks at Pac-10 attendance. Cal came in fourth in net attendance (59,472 per game). Memorial Stadium averaged being 82.83% full, good enough for seventh behind Oregon (108.41%, yes you read that correctly), OSU (92.67%), Arizona (90.91%), USC (90.59%), Washington (88.77%), and Stanford (82.87%).
- Bob Gregory about talks about his new position at Boise St and his decision to leave Cal. The full, nearly nine-minute interview is in the link.
- Bruce Feldman talks about some players on the eve of the Combine. He says Best may not be the fastest guy at the Combine (Feldman believes Jacoby Ford will break the combine record with a 4.2 40-time), but says he's "a legit 200-pound back, and he's all muscle." A longtime running back coach who was watching Best go through some drills said "That's the best running back speed I've ever seen."
- Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated says Cal is "thoroughly unworthy" of an at-large bid...and they're the top of the Pac-10. He believes the Pac-10 should receive no bids.
- Lunardi's bracketology forecasts Cal as a 10-seed against 7-seeded Maryland in the opening round in Oklahoma City. I'd rather not see Cal play General Greivis and the Terps again...Jerry Palm of CollegeRPI.com forecasts Cal as a 13-seed, facing Vanderbilt in the opening round in Spokane.
- NCAASports.com has Cal as at 23rd in its rankings. The Sagarin ratings have Cal at 35th with a predicted finish of 19th.
- Faraudo tries to make sense of another wacky weekend of Pac-10 basketball.
- Wilner looks at candidates for the Pac-10 player of the year and makes the case for Landry Fields.