Draft Misc - Football Wiretap
Risdon's Saturday Combine Notes
More than a few people commented that the black-and-grey, diamond-checked, Speedo-esque shorts for the workouts are a terrible look. As a huge fan of loud pants (think Norwegian curling team!), I must agree. These are the sort of shorts you see on websites specially marketing to the alternative lifestyles crowd. Most guys are also wearing long black socks and white shoes, which lends the appearance of your great uncle heading from the golf course to a gay pool party. -- Bruce Campbell continues to astonish with his athleticism. During the broad jump he landed two leaps well over nine feet, but they didn't count because he touched his hands to the ground. I sort of feel for the guys in his group immediately before and after him: Kyle Calloway and Selvish Capers. Capers is no athletic slouch, sticking a broad jump of 8'11", but his toes weren't up to where Campbell's heels landed on his DQ'ed jumps. Campbell also crushed the vertical leap, well over 6" higher than most in his group. Oh yeah, he clocked a sub-5.00 40 time and looked very comfortable moving. If you were looking for the workout wonder, Bruce Campbell is your man! --'Mike Iupati is not a leaper. He eked out just over 7'6" in the broad jump. He would win any Mr. Congeniality award in his group; every other guy appears to genuinely like Iupati and roots for him with positive encouragement. -- One lesser prospect that caught some eyes with his athleticism was UNLV's Joe Hawley. He also had a couple of jumps well over nine feet but couldn't hold the landing. Paired with his impressive bench press yesterday (35 reps), he's probably eased some of the concerns about his lack of bulk (he's 297) and earned a sixth-seventh round draft pick. -- A lot of people are gushing about the offensive line class, and while they are physically impressive, I would strongly encourage some of these people to actually watch a little game film before proclaiming this "the best draft class ever." -- A few astute readers correctly called me out for my comments on Big East linemen not being draftable. My apologies to Anthony Davis from Rutgers, who is most certainly a first-round pick. Davis has not helped himself with the interview process, however. -- Pittsburgh tight end Dorin Dickerson tops the position buzz with his impressive workout. His 40 time of 4.40 blew away many in the media center, and it lends credence to his ability to play at wide receiver, where he lined up during Senior Bowl workouts. He has more draft marketability as a hybrid TE/WR (think Dallas Clark) than as an oversized receiver or undersized tight end, and he appears to have successfully straddled that line. To put it in perspective, Dickerson was almost as fast as LSU track star/return specialist Trindon Holliday, who is nearly a foot shorter and about 60 pounds lighter. Holliday's 4.34 is the fastest here thus far, but much like Johnnie Lee Higgins a couple of years ago he failed to measure up to the pre-Combine hype in the marquee event. -- Colt McCoy measured at just a hair over 6'1", which does not help his stock at all. He is visibly much slighter than most of the rest of the QBs here, akin to when Colt Brennan worked out a couple years ago. Just my opinion, but if he can't light it up throwing at his pro day McCoy could be waiting until Saturday to hear his name called. His shoulder cleared all medical examinations, so the excuses are gone. -- Jimmy Clausen has the smallest hands of any quarterback here, which led to an interesting debate between two prominent draftniks about the merits of having big hands. I award the argument to the pundit who correctly identified Jamarcus Russell as the quarterback with the biggest hand measurement in Combine history, while Peyton Manning ranked near the bottom in his class. Overheard Draft Stuff: "Does anyone in here think Al Davis could even consider not drafting Bruce Campbell anymore?" That drew some laughs and I agree wholeheartedly. "Brandon Carter looked a lot less athletic than I expected." "Trent Williams can flash all the athleticism he wants, but I still don't see any way he's a left tackle." I agree with that one too. "Jared Veldheer's arms are too short, I don't care what he says or how well he ran." "Jermaine Gresham only put up 20 reps (on the bench) and he struggles to break 4.8 in the 40. He can't block a lick, everyone knows that. Tell me how in the hell that guy is first-round material." General Comments: -- To build upon yesterday's comment about the Rams taking Sam Bradford, lots of people keep harping on how much the Rams really liked both Mark Sanchez and Matt Ryan and chose other players instead. When considered with a new owner and a restless fan base tired of three consecutive first-round picks spent on lines that still need lots of work, I'm becoming more inclined to agree with the Bradford-at-#1 speculation. Not that I would do that, mind you... -- I came to Indy with a notion that some more aggressive owners and clubs would be more willing to trade up into the top-five and take on the (likely) last year of giant top-five contracts. I've bounced that notion off about 20 different people, including some actual NFL decision makers, and I've been shot down to put it mildly. So don't expect any of those trading down dreams, Lions, Chiefs, and Rams fans... -- On a related vein, I've wondered if teams will be more willing to sacrifice draft picks to snare the giant, attractive class of restricted free agents. That notion has a lot more traction, but just about everyone believes (as I do) that the depth of this draft makes the picks too valuable to sacrifice for a more bloated contract. I did get some informed feedback that certain players might be worth it to certain teams, specifically when I mentioned Vincent Jackson and Tony Brown. -- How much respect does Colts general manager Bill Polian get from his peers? The Colts let linebacker Gary Brackett, the heart of their up-the-gut defense, hit the open market, but it sounds like most teams aren't even going to make him an offer because they all expect Polian to lock him up to a long-term deal, probably at a lower price than what they could offer.
Alabama DT Cody Down To 354 Pounds
Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody has lost 16 pounds since last month's Senior Bowl. Cody weighed in at 354 pounds Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was listed at 365 during his senior season at Alabama, but gained a few pounds prior to the Senior Bowl.
MRI Reveals No Further Damage In McCoy's Shoulder
Colt McCoy underwent an MRI on Friday afternoon that revealed no further damage to his throwing shoulder. McCoy, who is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's NFL Draft, suffered a nerve injury during the BCS national championship game. "Obviously, that was going to be a tough part of the weekend, because people are going to want to know how the shoulder is and how it's healing up," the former Texas Longhorn said. "The good thing is my shoulder is 100 percent fine. There's nothing wrong with it. We found nothing wrong with it. It's just a nerve injury, and it's just about 100 percent. It's just about ready to go."
Tebow, 15 Other QBs Skip Bench Presses
Tim Tebow was among 16 quarterbacks that elected not to participate in the bench press Saturday at the NFL Combine. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen and Texas' Colt McCoy sat out as expected, as did Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour and Cincinnati's Tony Pike. Penn State's Daryll Clark, who could receive a look at other positions, did 21 repetitions, besting Troy QB Levi Brown (20), who lifted Friday.
Injury Cuts Okung's Workout Short
Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung didn't finish drills at the NFL Combine on Saturday after hurting his groin. Okung is considered one of the best tackles in this year's class. He ran the 40-yard dash and did several other pass-protection and change-of-direction drills before sustaining an injury, which a combine official described as minor.
Dez Bryant To Put Off Running 40
Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant will not work out at this week's combine in Indianapolis due to a hamstring injury. Bryant only played in Oklahoma State's first three games of the season before being suspended by the NCAA for lying to its investigators. Often players that skip the combine save their workouts for individual pro days. However, due to the hamstring injury he suffered training for this weekend, Bryant might need to push back his pro day from the scheduled March 10 date in Oklahoma.
Jaguars Win Coin Toss For 10th Pick
The Jaguars won a coin toss against the Bears to break a tie for the 10th pick in April's NFL Draft. That gives the Broncos the 11th pick as Chicago's first-rounder goes to Denver as part of the Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton trade. The Titans will pick 16th after winning their coin toss at the scouting combine with the Panthers, which gives the 49ers the 17th pick after a trade with Carolina. The Falcons will choose 19th and the Texans 20th after Atlanta won its toss.
Sources: Top 4 Teams Have Discussed Draft-Related Trades
With less than two months until the NFL Draft, the first four teams in the draft order have discussed possible trades. Multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter on Tuesday that the Rams, Lions, Buccaneers and Redskins have all discussed trading their pick. While there are an abundance of teams looking to trade down in the draft, there is the usual scarcity of teams looking to trade up.
10 Stories To Watch At The Combine
The annual scouting combine kicks off this Wednesday in Indianapolis. While I find the actual processes largely overrated and tedious to watch, for several prominent prospects this combine is very important. Among the players to pay attention to in Indy: 1. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas With Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford both sitting out the throwing exercises, McCoy is presented with a golden opportunity to show he deserves to be considered in their same breaths. McCoy insists his shoulder is fine, which means no excuses if he fails to exhibit the arm strength evaluators question he has. If he impresses with both arm strength and accuracy, it's hard to see him falling out of the first round. 2. Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama Mount Cody showed up at the Senior Bowl at 370 pounds and looking sloppy. The Dolphins coaching staff (his coaches in Mobile) opined that Cody at 350 could be dominant, but at 370 he's limited. That was a month ago, which means Cody has had ample time to drop at least 15 pounds. If he weighs in under 355, he's probably solidified a first round draft slot, but at anything above 365 the red flags over his desire and conditioning will probably keep him out of the top 60. 3. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma After missing last season with a knee injury, there is concern over how ready Gresham is and how well he has recovered from meniscus surgery. The whispers from his training say the physical tight end will have a hard time cracking 4.8 in the 40, and his 20-yard shuttle time isn't likely to be pretty either. It's one thing to be limited by injury, it's another to be slow; Gresham has said in recent interviews he's "better than 100%," so for his times to be so plodding means it's not likely to ever get much better. The ceiling for a tight end with those sort of speed numbers is Jeff King, not Jeremy Shockey, and I suspect he will be drafted as such if those whispers are true, even though he is a proven great blocker. 4. John Skelton, QB, Fordham Small-college quarterbacks need to make a big splash at the combine to validate the hype and prove they belong with the big boys. Much like Joe Flacco and even Ben Roethlisberger, Skelton showed a big body, big arm and the ability to put up big numbers at non-BCS school. He's not as athletic as either, so he must demonstrate very good accuracy. He must also ace team interviews and show he can read defenses quickly off game tape. 5. Ricky Sapp, LB, Clemson Nobody questions Sapp's pass-rushing acumen. Okay, that's not technically correct; nobody who has extensively watched him questions Sapp's ability to get to the quarterback (though finishing the play is another matter). What everyone will be looking at in Indy is his right knee, which has suffered a partial ACL tear and a few minor "tweaks." All players are subject to unbelievably extensive medical exams at the Combine, and there are growing grumblings that Sapp, who relies almost exclusively on being an explosive athlete, will have trouble passing all the tests. 6. Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse Williams possesses borderline first/second round talent, but he has a lot of explaining to do. Like, "Why did you quit in the middle of the season?" and "How come your former coaches and teammates have nothing good to say about you, even way off the record?" Teams need to hear a mature, coherent, truthful explanation of his behavior, even if Williams thinks it's not what they want or need to hear. If he impresses in interviews he is back in the top 40 discussion. Any sort of perceived failure and he could go undrafted, another unproven talent not worth the headaches. 7. John Jerry, OL, Ole Miss He has bounced between guard and tackle, but most early projections pegged Jerry at guard in the NFL. Then the Senior Bowl came, where Jerry showed up some 25 pounds lighter and looked pretty darn good at right tackle. If he does well in agility drills and has continued to transform his body into a leaner, meaner machine, his value as a tackle is about two rounds higher than at guard. That his brother Peria impressed as a rookie (pre-injury) and that he graded out higher than stud rookie Michael Oher when the two were bookend brothers in 2008 will certainly help his case, should he choose to keep making it at tackle. 8. Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida9. Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa His athleticism is questionable, and under-the-table reports from his training say those questions are very valid. He struggled with speed in college, and if he can't display the requisite footwork and arm length/strength in Indy, he goes from a potential top 10 overall pick at left tackle to a late first/early second round (if he's lucky) right tackle prospect. Frequent readers will note I've never been a big Bulaga supporter on the left side. 10. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech The word on the street is that Dwyer has shed the extra poundage that cost him a step last season, which soured some scouts on his stock. Give him that step back and a more chiseled frame and the powerful, aggressive runner almost certainly cements a 1st round spot, perhaps top 20 overall. If that speed isn?t there, he could slide a lot longer than he expects. Check out my daily Combine reports beginning Friday! -- Jeff.Risdon@RealGM.com
Buccaneers Could Trade Up In Draft
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik hinted earlier this week that the team could look to move up in April's NFL Draft. Tampa Bay holds the third overall pick. Speaking to Steve Duemig, of 620 WDAE-AM, Dominik confidently spoke of his readiness to trade up to meet the team's needs. "We have the ability to go either direction," Dominik said. "We'll prepare to go either direction, which is a good option for Tampa Bay."
Bradford Will Attend Combine, Skip Drills
Sam Bradford won't work out for NFL teams until late March.