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NFL Scouting Combine Recap

Postby The Lung » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:50 am

From at Gregg Rosenthal at

NFL Scouting Combine Recap
By Gregg Rosenthal
March 2, 2006

When Vernon Davis starts thinking retirement in 2018, perhaps all 254-pound tight ends will run a 4.38 forty time. For now, he’s a mutant. Davis proved once again at the NFL Scouting Combine that he’s the future of the position.

Davis is no workout wonder like former BC linebacker Mike Mamula or Jaguars wideout Matt Jones. The Maryland product tore up the ACC for three seasons, leading the conference in receiving yards as a junior. He can line up out wide or at fullback, and he can actually block. In a class full of athletic tight ends, Davis still stands apart. Look for him in a fantasy football starting lineup near you in six months.

Davis wasn’t the only player to help his Draft stock during the six-day Scouting Combine. Below is a list others who are rising and a few who are falling down draft boards.

Offensive Stock Up

Joseph Addai, LSU RB - Addai entered 2006 as a big question mark after struggling with injuries during his only season as LSU’s primary back. But Addai is on fire since posting 135 total yards and 2 TDs in a Peach Bowl win against Miami. He followed that up with a great Senior Bowl week and a strong showing at the Combine where he ran a 4.40 forty. The 214-pounder was considered to have average speed, so this should answer those doubts. Addai may be the most well-rounded back available in the Draft because he’s a great receiver. Think Domanick Davis. There is a strong feeling that the Colts may take him with the 30th pick overall to replace Edge.

Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt QB - The fact that Cutler worked out at all impressed people. The kid can spin it, recording the second-fastest time at the Combine at 60 MPH. He looked like the best quarterback throwing the deep-in route. His forty time was a surprisingly solid 4.77. He put 225 pounds 23 times, which is more than many lineman. While the strength is impressive, it shows NFL coaches he works hard. Don’t listen to Mel Kiper. He’s going in the top four, possibly top three.

Leonard Pope, Georgia TE - Vernon Davis isn’t the only player with good genes playing tight end. Pope is nearly 6’8 and showed off his soft hands during receiving drills. He’s a natural pass-catcher who has surprising speed with a 4.62 forty. What linebacker could cover him? While he needs to work on strength, Pope has positioned himself as the No. 2 tight end in the draft. He’s a candidate for teams like the Bears, Bengals, and Jaguars at the end of the first round.

Vernon Davis, Maryland TE - If Davis isn’t a top ten pick, what tight end could be? He is a junior-eligible, but he has a similar profile to Tony Gonzalez and Kellen Winslow Jr. coming out of college. There isn’t a perfect fit for Davis in the top ten, but San Francisco, Oakland, Buffalo, and Arizona could all show interest. St. Louis is another logical option at No. 11. That would make for the most exciting fantasy projection. He’s a player worth trading up for.

Chad Jackson, Florida WR - Jackson ran the fastest forty among wide receivers at the Combine at 4.32. That erases some of the worry that his 10 yards-per-catch average caused during his junior season at Florida. He looks like a stronger version of Darrell Jackson (also from Florida) and is seen as a player with as much upside as any receiver in this draft. Jackson could be the second receiver taken in April.

Ingle Martin, Furman QB- If you are looking for a deep sleeper at quarterback, we present Mr. Martin. He’s got an NFL body, huge arm (fastest recorded throw at Combine), and great athleticism (4.68 forty). He showed great accuracy at the Combine. Martin also has a pedigree as a highly touted high school prospect that went to Florida before transferring because he didn’t want to be Rex Grossman’s backup. He looks like a fun mid-round pick.

Derek Hagan, Arizona St. WR - Hagan was wildly productive in college, but had a reputation as a possession receiver who struggled with drops at the Senior Bowl. His 4.42 forty erased doubts about his speed and he caught the ball much better. Hagan looks like an interesting second-round pick.

Jason Avant, Michigan WR - He didn’t run the forty, so there are still doubts about his speed. But the kid “gets it” like Michael Clayton, Keary Colbert, and Mark Clayton over the last few years. He knows how to set up corners and he has terrific hands. No one caught the ball better in drills at the Combine. These are skills that translate well to the next level. Avant still looks like a second round pick to us.

Maurice Drew, UCLA RB - Checking in at 5’6 won’t ease fears about his size, but Drew showed his speed is elite with a 4.39 forty, fastest among running backs. He looks like a prototype third-down/return type who is taken in the third round.

Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green QB - Perhaps not as athletic as teams hoped, Jacobs impressed with his arm at the Combine. He has a funny delivery, but the ball arrives where it should with accuracy. He is battling Alabama’s Brodie Croyle and Charlie Whitehurst to be the fourth quarterback drafted, possibly in the second round.

Tony Sheffler, Western Michigan TE - Sheffler is a diamond in the rough who may have pushed himself to the first day of the draft for teams looking for an H-Back. The athletic minor league baseball player ran a 4.54 forty and looked great in nearly every drill. Like Colorado’s Joe Klopfenstein, he reminds us of Chris Cooley and Kris Wilson, who were drafted in the middle rounds two years ago.

Brandon Marshall, Central Florida- He’s nicknamed “Baby T.O.” for his 6’4, 229-pound frame and small school pedigree, not for his attitude. He helped himself immensely with a 4.50 forty that eased fears about his speed. He was very productive at college and looks like a great mid-round sleeper.

Reggie McNeal, Texas A & M QB - McNeal ran a 4.35 forty, just a silly time for a well-built quarterback. Coming into his senior season, McNeal was considered a top prospect. Accuracy issues plagued him. Teams may convert McNeal to another position at the next level, but his athleticism will be too tough to pass up.

Offensive Stock Down
Vince Young, Texas QB - It wasn’t just the Wonderlic, which embarrassed the NFL and the University of Texas even more than Young. Why else would he take the test the next day when no one else did? Why was no one else’s test scored incorrectly? As new full-timer Aaron Gleeman pointed out, did he take the same test the next day? The decisions Young made that led to the low Wonderlic score should make teams pause more than the actual score.

SI’s Peter King says Young didn’t even know he had to take the test. Part of the reason he was so unprepared is because he’s hired a family friend to act as his agent. Obviously, the agent is out of his league. Young should be realizing the importance of these decisions and some wonder if he “gets it”. There have been whispers about his nightlife during the offseason. Who shows up to the biggest interview of their life with millions on the line so unprepared? ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Young was “so-so” in personal interviews, while Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush shined. Presentation matters when you consider teams are paying top picks to be the face of the franchise. We can’t imagine Young slipping past the Raiders at number seven and the Cardinals at No. 10, even in a worst-case scenario. But it wouldn’t surprise anyone but Mel Kiper if Jay Cutler is taken in front of him.

Marcedes Lewis, UCLA TE - Lewis had the best production of any tight end in this Draft, but pro scouts don’t seem to love him. He piled up those stats in UCLA’s fun-n-gun offense. More importantly, he has below average long speed (4.79) and no blocking skills. Lewis does have great hands, but he may not be a first-round pick anymore. He’s like Bubba Franks without the blocking.

Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin RB - Speed threats aren’t supposed to run a 4.62. Calhoun is quicker than fast, though, and would work best in a one-cut system like Atlanta or Denver where long speed is less important. Terrell Davis’ slow forty time, after all, is why he fell to the sixth round. Calhoun probably fell behind Joseph Addai on a lot of boards.

Hank Baskett, New Mexico WR - Baskett is big and ran a good forty time, but he has suffered with drops at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. He was too productive in college to be ignored and has ideal size, but he looks way too stiff to be a pick in the first two rounds.

Jeremy Bloom, Colorado WR - The Olympic skier has a magnetic personality, but teams had to be disappointed with his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. He weighed in at 173 pounds and ran a 4.49 in the forty before ducking out of the football drills. We’ll give him a pass since he was in Turin a week ago, but the return specialist needs a great Pro Day.

Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech QB - The NFL did not want Marcus Vick to be a story and it’s not hard to see why. They didn’t give him a podium for his media availability despite hoards of reporters swarming around him. They barely showed or mentioned him on the NFL Network despite a great forty time (4.42) and a solid overall workout.

The NFL didn’t want to showcase Vick because he’s a turd. Vick reportedly came across as arrogant and unapologetic in interviews and that seemed to be the case in his presser. He doesn’t get it. He’s running out of time. If Maurice Clarett can get taken in the third round, so can Marcus. He’s a better football player. But Vick is off a lot of team’s boards.

Defensive Stock Up

Michael Huff, Texas CB/S - Huff is unlikely to be viewed as a safety after running a 4.34. It’s hard to imagine this hard-hitting hybrid making it past the first nine picks. He has created separation from the other defensive backs.

Mario Williams, NC State DE- The prototypical pass rusher won’t make it out of the top eight picks. The 6’7, 298-pounder ran a silly 4.66 in the forty and impressed throughout his position drills. If teams weren’t looking for quarterbacks early, he’d be in the mix for the No. 2 pick.

Jason Allen, Tennessee S/CB - Allen looked like a first-round pick before missing the second half of the 2005 season with a hip injury. After showing very well in every drill Tuesday, including a speedy forty time, he could be the first safety taken. He could also move to cornerback.

Antonio Cromartie, Florida St. CB - Cromartie has only started one collegiate game, but he’s expected to be a top 50 pick after missing his junior season with a torn ACL. His 4.49 forty will only improve and his size, speed, and explosion are rare. Teams are looking for big cornerbacks.

Mark Anderson, Alabama DE - Seen as a “try-hard” guy, Anderson shocked scouts by being a workout wonder at the Combine. He could be a first day pick now.

Daniel Bullocks, Nebraska S - The twin brother of Josh who plays for the Saints, Bullocks wowed observers with a 4.38 forty time. That’s remarkable for a hard-hitting safety. He looks like a second-round pick.

Brodrick Bunkley, Florida St. DT - To see Brodrick Buckley is to be deathly afraid of him. Ripped beyond logic for a man over 300 pounds, he performed well all weekend and looks like a late first-round pick. Teams do not want to piss this man off.

Parys Harelyson, Tennessee DE - Harelyson should be a favorite for 3-4 teams looking for a DE/LB hybrid. Florida State’s Kamerion Wimbley is another player like this who could be taken in the first round. Wimbley is rated higher and had a great combine too.

Ernie Sims, Florida St. LB - He’s the fastest rising linebacker in the Draft. We’re not sure there is a linebacker with a faster first step. He’s drawing comparisons to Derrick Brooks and Jonathan Vilma and could climb into the top 15 picks of the Draft. Since he’ll play in the middle, he looks like a fun IDP pick.

Thomas Howard, UTEP LB - Howard could be a workout wonder, but his overall performance on Tuesday should ensure him a second round selection.

Defensive Stock Down

Chad Greenway, Iowa LB Greenway is an instinctive player, but his lack of strength (16 reps at 225) and speed (4.77) were disappointing. He may slide down the first round, but a team like the Patriots would be interested in Greenway. He has a “high ceiling”.

D’Qwell Jackson, Maryland LB - He can play outside or inside, but Jackson looks more like a 3-4 ILB with a 4.70 forty time. Players like Jackson, AJ Hawk, and Greenway aren’t hurt by slow times as much as other positions. They have better game speed.

Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech CB- Williams reportedly came across as unstable during interviews. He has great size, but there are many teams wondering about his head and motivation. He could slip into the second half of the first round.

Finally, we present our five favorite phrases learned during the NFL Scouting Combine

5. “Fights Through Trash” - A defensive player who cuts through blockers and crowds to get to a play.
4. “Meathead” – If I ever wanted to lift 225 pounds, I would hire someone to stand over me and call me Meathead repeatedly. It works. Cleveland strength coach John Lott was the breakout star of last year’s Scouting Combine and he didn’t disappoint this year.
3. “Foot-to-Foot Road Grader” – Apparently this means a good run blocker, more or less.
2. “Squatty Body” – NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said Wisconsin Matt Bernstein had a “squatty body,” intending it as a complement. It’s fun to say, but women don’t respond well to it.
1. Guy Whimper – Not really a phrase, but an unfortunate name for an East Carolina defensive end. You better be over 270 pounds if your name is Guy Whimper. Sir Henry Anderson comes in a close second for the worst football name.


The Lung

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Postby VaderFin » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:56 am

I posted this in another thread but I'll post it here as well. Tye Hill needs to be on that list of Defensive players who's stock has gone up. All Time Confirmed 40 times at the Combine:

1.WR Joey Galloway, Ohio State: 4.25 (picked 8th overall in 1995) 2.CB Deion Sanders, Florida State: 4.28 (picked 5th overall in 1989) 3.WR Don Beebe, Chadron (Neb.): 4.29 (picked 82nd overall in 1989) 4.CB Fabian Washington, Nebraska: 4.29 (picked 23rd overall in 2005) 5.CB Tye Hill, Clemson: 4.30 (picked ??? in 2006) 6.CB DeAngelo Hall, Virginia Tech: 4.31 (picked 8th overall in 2004)

Hill tore the track up and will make alot of money because of it.
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Postby Keyser_WV » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:07 am

I guess this guy doesn't like Mel Kiper :-)

I watched alot of the combine and I am by no means able to evaluate QB talent but Cutler didn't look like anything extra special to me.

His accuracy was inconsistent and I have heard several people mention his poor mechanics.

I thought that Brodie Croyle (sp) looked good. I don't watch college ball so I couldn't even tell you what he did in college but I thought he looked every bit as good as Cutler.

I will be anxious to see if Cutler is a product of too much hype when he gets to the NFL.

It seems like Leinart is the closest to a sure thing. If the Saints take him at #2 I don't think they will be disappointed.

Vernon Davis is a beast. Man that guy was amazing. The TE position has really come around in recent years.

So many good RB's too. This should be a really interesting draft with so many teams needing a starting RB.
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Postby mattb47 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:23 am

I agree with him about Addai though. I like what I see there and I think he would be a nice fit in Indy if he went there. It would certainly give his fantasy value a big boost as well.
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Postby louisianacajunsam » Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm

i've watched addai for years now, being a lsu season ticket holder, and the guy is a beast..

amazing that he was a fullback originally on the team, b/c of the fact that he runs a 4.37....

only thing that bothers me is that he reminds me of another lsu tailback that hasnt done much, lebrandon toefield.....although, i agree that addai probably has a better shot b/c he's probably more versatile
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Postby terpfan » Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:49 pm

Guy Whimper...Wow, thats too bad, lol.

I would at least go by a different first name. Willie Whimper? :-B
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Postby Kensat30 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:47 pm

Jay Cutler is apparently the strongest QB of all time. And he is better than Linehart/Young because he played behind a crappy O-line in college, just like the o-lines all the top5 picking teams are sure to have. Apparently the guy is the next reincarnation of Brett Favre is what league sources are saying. That is about all you need to know about the combine.

Jay Cutler #1 QB
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Postby mysticphysh » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:49 pm

Being a GA Bulldog fan, I got to see Addai play a few times. He always performed great, and I was impressed muchly with his performance at the Combine. If he goes anywhere beyond the 1st round, he'll be the steal of the draft.
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Postby CC » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:14 pm

Kensat30 wrote:Jay Cutler is apparently the strongest QB of all time. And he is better than Linehart/Young because he played behind a crappy O-line in college, just like the o-lines all the top5 picking teams are sure to have. Apparently the guy is the next reincarnation of Brett Favre is what league sources are saying. That is about all you need to know about the combine.

Jay Cutler #1 QB

I heard he will turn water into wine and multiply loaves and fishes at his Pro Day!
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:16 pm

Canadian_Cheesehead wrote:
Kensat30 wrote:Jay Cutler is apparently the strongest QB of all time. And he is better than Linehart/Young because he played behind a crappy O-line in college, just like the o-lines all the top5 picking teams are sure to have. Apparently the guy is the next reincarnation of Brett Favre is what league sources are saying. That is about all you need to know about the combine.

Jay Cutler #1 QB

I heard he will turn water into wine and multiply loaves and fishes at his Pro Day!

then lead us to the land of milk and honey.

Honestly... just because a guy does well behind a crappy line doesn't necessarily make him GOOD. Cutler is still inaccurate, he still looks sloppy throwing the ball, and he is STILL vastly overrated. This guy was a 2nd round pick a month ago. Now he's Top 5? It wasn't his college career doing this.. he's a workout warrior, pure and simple.

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