The quarterbacks and receivers take the field today as do the running backs. But we’re always looking ahead. Here are a few preview notes on tomorrows workout of defensive lineman and linebackers, the latest free agent news as well as our first supplemental draft candidate.
Over the past 24 hours sources have told me two bits of free agency news. The first is the New York Jets will be in the running for Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman James Carpenter. And the second, which may be old news for some but comes from sources involved in the situation, is the belief that Julius Thomas is done in Denver.
Expect a big workout from Alvin Dupree of Kentucky on Sunday. His forty time could be faster than Jadeveon Clowney’s from a year ago (4.59) and the rest of his marks should be off the chart. Many were surprised Dupree was listed at linebacker for the combine considering many of the undersized college ends are working out with the defensive linemen. It presents a real opportunity for Dupree who showed himself to be a dominant pass rushing end in college and now has the opportunity to prove he can also play in space.
I expect two Big Ten linebackers to beat expectations during their combine workout.
Mike Hull of Penn State had minor knee surgery at seasons end but still participated in the Senior Bowl and should run in the low-to-mid 4.6’s. Teams like Hull as a core special teamer/nickel linebacker.
Jake Ryan of Michigan, whose been pegged as a two down defender by a number of people including myself, should also run in the 4.6s and post good shuttle times. Ryan timed well last year as a junior and just needs to translate that speed onto the football field.
Defensive lineman Marcus Hardison suffered a minor knee injury during the Senior Bowl which has hampered his training. As a result Hardison will not participate in the combine and will workout for teams during the ASU pro-day.
I’m told the Houston Texans are not happy with not happy with Louis Nix and will target a nose tackle during the draft.
Speaking of Houston, it looks like we have our first candidate for the 2015 supplemental draft and he comes from the Houston Cougars. Last night I was informed defensive end Eric Eiland, who posted 44 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss last season, is very likely to enter the supplemental draft. Eiland, who’ll turn 27 years old this September, intended to enter April’s draft but did not fill out the necessary paperwork. Eiland is an accomplished baseball player who was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 amateur draft.
While everyone expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to select a quarterback with the first pick of the draft what about their other choices? I’m told the team will target linebackers and offensive linemen throughout the seven rounds.
What will Kyle Shanahan miss most from Cleveland? If his words mean anything it will be offensive lineman Joel Bitonio whom Shanahan called “great” and the “best rookie lineman I ever coached.”