Archive for the ‘2013 NFL Scouting Combine’ Category

Putting a bow on the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine

Posted by Brad On February – 27 – 2013
"Tyrann Mathieu"

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and we begin the long trek to draft day. The next two months feel like two years as anticipation builds and we attempt to see our way through the smoke.

Before we jump into our winners and losers, we take a look at some general observations from Indianapolis.

The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine didn’t disappoint. For a ‘weak’ draft, it sure didn’t look like it from an athletic standpoint in Indianapolis. It seems that every year we get a mystery condition that pops up for one of the top prospects. The medicals in Indianapolis are one of the most valuable tools and this year was no exception. Utah DT Star Lotulelei was found to have a heart condition that would appear on the surface to be a fairly serious issues as his left ventricle is pumping at 44%. Not good news for a guy that was valued as a top 5-10 prospect. Without speculating on the condition, the common belief is that it will affect his draft positioning.

On the field there was plenty of intrigue. First, it would be negligent to not talk about speed right off the top. Twelve prospects went sub-4.4 in the 40. For some perspective 2009 saw 4 guys run sub-4.4, 2010 there was 4, 2011 gave us 7, and 2012 racked up 7 sub-4.4 times. The more impressive fact in the speed department was the size of some of the guys running really fast times. Guys like Margus Hunt, Lane Johnson, Ziggy Ansah, and Terron Armstead ran freaky fast for their size. The overall speed of this year’s event was impressive and is proof that the game is only getting faster and teams have to draft speed if they want to keep up.

Everyone was hoping to come out the Combine with a little more clarity on the first overall pick. The water only got murkier. Luke Joeckel appears to be the odds on favorite at this point but things are getting tighter behind. Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher continues to close the gap and there are quite a few people who believe Fisher is the superior prospect of the two. I don’t fall into that camp but Fisher is very close in my book. It seems that everyone around the league is under the impression that a quarterback won’t be the first player off the board. With news breaking that the San Francisco 49ers having a deal in place for Alex Smith, speculation led to the Chiefs. We won’t know until March 12 of who the mystery team is but chances are that Smith will be taking snaps for Andy Reid’s West Coast offense in 2013. Read the rest of this entry » «Putting a bow on the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine»

What’s the ceiling for Dee Milliner after running 4.31

Posted by Brad On February – 26 – 2013
"Dee Milliner"

Crystal LoGiudice-US PRESSWIRE

Many analysts pegged Dee Milliner as a 4.5 guy with outstanding film. He was a lock to be a top 10 pick before today. Any talk of this time firming up a top ten spot is foolish as he was that before he walked to the 40 line in Indianapolis. After today, we have a different story as we begin the talk of how high is too high for a cornerback to be taken.

The only possible hole in his game was long speed. Check that off your list of concerns. Good luck finding another hole in his game. He’s big, physical, and now we can chalk up fast. Milliner blazed the 40 yard dash in unofficial times of 4.31 and 4.37 with a 1.40 split. Those numbers wow when you the only question mark you have with a kid is speed.  Read the rest of this entry » «What’s the ceiling for Dee Milliner after running 4.31»

The good, bad, and ugly from DL/LB workouts

Posted by Brad On February – 25 – 2013
"Ezekiel Ansah"

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Monday brought us workouts from the defensive lineman and linebackers. The defensive lineman didn’t disappoint in keeping up with the freakish 40 times at the 2013 Scouting Combine.

The story of the day on The Network was predictably the 40 time of Manti Te’o. Te’o ran an official 4.82. That won’t answer any questions about Te’o as a straight line athlete but the day wasn’t a total loss. Te’o performed well on the field, at times looking like one of the smoother linebackers on a field chock full of athletes.

NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported that Te’o was making great impressions with teams during interviews. One coach went as far as calling Te’o a “rock star” during the interview process.

While speculation will continue to persist about Te’o’s athleticism, or lack thereof, the Combine as an overall experience was a positive one for someone needing some momentum in the draft process. The reality is that Te’o has been a late first round talent and will remain just that.

There was plenty of non-Te’o news out of the day. The defensive linemen kicked off the day with some blazing 40 times. The group that I looked forward to watching the most out of this class was the DL and they didn’t disappoint. Read the rest of this entry » «The good, bad, and ugly from DL/LB workouts»

Day five of the Combine marked by fast 40′s and Star’s heart

Posted by Brad On February – 24 – 2013
"Tavon Austin"

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Johnson is safe for a couple more days and maybe another season. But it was a close one. The day kicked off with Tavon Austin blazing an unofficial 4.25 40 (4.34 officially) before I had my first cup of coffee. Marquise Goodwin of Texas was expected to run fast and he did. He tied Austin with an unofficial 4.25 which turned into the fastest official time of the day at 4.27.

Group five of the WR’s were highlighted by Ryan Swope’s official 4.34 40 time, which came as a bit of a surprise. Swope was expected to run in the 4.4 range but showed that he has legit speed to go with solid size. Swope really helped himself today and should have solidified himself as a solid second day pick.

The running back group was marked by more fast 40 times. Onterio McCalebb went unofficially at 4.21 but his official time came in at a pedestrian 4.34. McCalebb may have a future as a returner but his size will limit his ability to carry the ball in the NFL. Most impressive of the RB’s was Knile Davis. Davis blazed the 40 at 4.37 for a guy that checked in at 227 pounds and repped 225 31 times. Davis is a workout warrior that if he can stay healthy he could be a steal in the draft. Unfortunately his collegiate career at Arkansas was marked by injuries.

Geno Smith gave himself a “C” but that was his well rehearsed response. Smith had a solid day but did miss on some gimme throws. Smith ran a better than expected 4.59 40 time. He looked much more explosive which will only help his draft stock. He may not be in play for the Chiefs at No. 1 but he shouldn’t fall far down the draft board. Read the rest of this entry » «Day five of the Combine marked by fast 40′s and Star’s heart»

2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Skill guys take to the field

Posted by Brad On February – 24 – 2013

"Geno Smith"

Sunday is meant to be a day of rest. Not in the NFL and this Sunday is no exception as the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers take to the field for their workouts.

This may be the most anticipated day of any on the NFL Scouting Combine schedule as we get to see  the offensive skill guys compete. This year there are plenty of storylines to follow. Adding to the intrigue of the day is the uncertainty at the quarterback position. With everyone but Matt Barkley participating in full workouts it should make for a very interesting Sunday. Let’s take a look at some of the headlines of Sunday’s on the field workouts.

It’s all about the quarterbacks

Geno Smith is going to be one of the most heavily scrutinized prospects in the draft leading up to April 25th. He’s the only real possibility to intrigue the Kansas City Chiefs at number one overall but major question marks surround his game. Smith skipped the Senior Bowl, drawing criticism about his competitive juices. Smith will have an opportunity to distance himself from the rest of the quarterback class on Sunday as all but Matt Barkley will be throwing.

Outside of Smith, there is a full blown fight among the quarterbacks behind Geno Smith to be taken in the first round of April’s draft. This is widely considered a weak quarterback class at the top and the reality is that we could see one quarterback taken on Thursday. Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib, and Matt Barkley may be second round talents but as we know quarterbacks get bumped up draft boards due to positional value. Which one of these guys will take a step forward and create some separation in this draft class? Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Skill guys take to the field»

2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Day Four Review

Posted by Brad On February – 23 – 2013
"Manti Te'o"

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Day four was the first day of on-the-field drills and we saw some freakish performances from big men. In addition to the offensive line and tights ends working on the field, the defensive line and linebackers got measured up and the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers got under the bench.

The first day of on the field drills always brings a level of excitement that has been building over the previous months. This, for me, signals the reality that draft season is officially underway. We take a look at some items that stuck out today as eye popping in a good or bad way for us.

The Freak Show

I highlighted Arkansas Pine-Bluff OT Terron Armstead in a scouting report yesterday as I glorified his athletic ability. Not in a million years did I think that he run 4.71 (officially). In addition to blazing the 40, Armstead led all lineman in the vertical at 34.5″. That’s right, 34.5″ inches at 306 pounds. Four TE’s topped 34.5″. It’s incredible the type of athlete that Armstead is. The great thing is that you can see Armstead’s freakish athletic talents translate to the field. I said in my scouting report that he could work his way into the second day of the draft and I believe he wrapped that up today. Some team will be licking their chops to get their hands on Armstead. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Day Four Review»

Keenan Allen, Kawann Short, and Eddie Lacy pull out of the Combine

Posted by Brad On February – 20 – 2013
"Keenan Allen"

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The list of 333 participants is dwindling with some of the top names opting to pull out of the event due to injury.

The latest announcement came from J.T. Johnson that his client, Keenan Allen will not participate in this week’s Combine in Indianapolis. Allen missed the final three games due to a PCL tear in his left knee. Allen’s knee has experienced some swelling during training for the Combine causing him to hold off until his Pro Day to show scouts how he’s rehabbed from the knee injury.

Allen was a highly productive wide receiver in college despite an inept passing game for much of his career at Cal. The knock on Allen’s game is his long speed. There’s no doubts that many, including myself, were highly intrigued by Allen’s 40 time. We will have to wait until Allen opts to run in April at a separate pro day.

Purdue DT Kawann Short announced this week that he would be unable to workout at this week’s Combine or his March 1 pro day. Short cited a hamstring injury as the reason for his having to pull out of the event. He will hold a separate pro day on March 25 on the Purdue campus.

The consensus top running back, Eddie Lacy won’t be participating in Indianapolis. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this week that Lacy would have to pull out of the event due to a small tear around his hamstring. Lacy does hope to be a full participate at Alabama’s pro day on March 13.

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2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Defense

Posted by Brad On February – 20 – 2013
"NFL Scouting Combine"

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The annual scouting combine has become an entity of its own with all the coverage, media hype, and fan reaction. For the evaluators it’s a chance to see if your film thoughts are confirmed up close and personal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Teams have learned from past mistakes and will rarely change an opinion based on someone’s workout. I have fielded a ton of emails since the release of my latest rankings. Most of the questions have surrounded my statement that I was paying close attention to 17 draft prospects in Indianapolis. Everyone wants to know what 17 I’ll be watching and why I’ll be watching. The answer is simple…There’s a handful of guys that I want to confirm what I see in terms of speed, change of direction, or footwork. There’s another handful that I have limited tape on and want to see what type of athlete they are.

Outside those aspects I look forward to measurements to see how people have taken feedback and whether they are capable of making adjustments. It speaks to work ethic and character. We know that NFL teams evaluate interviews and medicals. Since we don’t have access to information (except for the occasional leak) we can’t judge on that.

Here’s a look at the defensive preview of the event. For those dying to know what 17 players I will be watching, it’s likely that they will be included in my offensive and defensive previews. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Defense»

2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Offense

Posted by Brad On February – 19 – 2013
"Jawan Jamison"

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The annual scouting combine has become an entity of its own with all the coverage, media hype, and fan reaction. For the evaluators it’s a chance to see if your film thoughts are confirmed up close and personal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Teams have learned from past mistakes and will rarely change an opinion based on someone’s workout. I have fielded a ton of emails since the release of my latest rankings. Most of the questions have surrounded my statement that I was paying close attention to 17 draft prospects in Indianapolis. Everyone wants to know what 17 I’ll be watching and why I’ll be watching. The answer is simple…There’s a handful of guys that I want to confirm what I see in terms of speed, change of direction, or footwork. There’s another handful that I have limited tape on and want to see what type of athlete they are.

Outside those aspects I look forward to measurements to see how people have taken feedback and whether they are capable of making adjustments. It speaks to work ethic and character. We know that NFL teams evaluate interviews and medicals. Since we don’t have access to information (except for the occasional leak) we can’t judge on that.

Here’s a look at the offensive preview of the event. For those dying to know what 17 players I will be watching, it’s likely that they will be included in my offensive and defensive previews.

Quarterbacks

If we’ve heard it once, we’ll hear a million times; the 2013 class lacks Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and maybe even Ryan Tannehill. We will be beat over the head with this fact for the next 65 days.

Thus far the news of the combine for the quarterbacks has been that Geno Smith and many of the top quarterbacks will throw at the event. Something that isn’t the trend as of late. With the lack of a top guy, these guys will be looking to get a leg up in any way possible. With the exception of Matt Barkley and Zac Dysert we should have an opportunity to compare and contrast this class.

Who we’ll be watching

Tyler Bray is the physical prototype of a dropback passer. At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds Bray possesses arguably the best arm in the draft. There is no one questioning his arm talent but questionable character and maturity have plagued Bray throughout his career at Tennessee.

Bray is off to a solid start according to Ty Detmer, who has been working with Bray leading up to the draft has described him as “humble” and “coachable”.

Bray’s interview session will be as important as any quarterback in attendance. He has been an interesting interview in the past and will be grilled on his off-the-field indiscretions and handling of NFL terminology and concepts.

I don’t doubt that Bray will wow with his arm talents but his accuracy is questionable at best. He will need to spot-on during the throwing portions. Bray has first round tools but the many questions with him will have him slotted in anywhere from the 3rd to 5th round range. He’s not ready to start next season but could be stashed away as a long-term project for a vertical passing team. Appears really well suited for the Cardinals or Browns passing attacks. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Offense»

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