The annual sojourn to the city of Indianapolis has begun for the league’s 32 franchises who will be joined by 325 prospective future employees. For the next six days we will bring you complete coverage of what’s going on in and around the combine.
UPDATE 4:45 PM EST – Another Pouncey to wear the black and yellow?
– Michael Pouncey turned in a terrific positional skill workout today looking strong, athletic and very quick. His forty times were also solid, both clocking under 5.20 seconds. This is sure to rekindle the talk of Pouncey entering the first round of the draft, something TFY has stated we feel is a bit of a stretch, not so for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prior to the start of the combine sources told us the Steelers, who will be looking to come out of April’s draft will multiple prospects on the offensive line, were looking to Pouncey as one of their first round targets. Today’s results are only justify their earlier grade on Maurkice’s brother.
4:30 PM EST
– The media room was in a frenzy as Cam Newton, J.J. Watt and Julio Jones were brought in simultaneously. Then Robert Quinn followed. Newton’s display was clearly seen on television as he came off less than spectacular (one can argue quite pompous. Maybe a reference to a donkey may be the best word). Watt was confident in his abilities, and weighed in at 290 pounds. Jones was quiet in his demeanor.
TFY took the time to ask about previous claims stated against Quinn’s attitude this season in Chapel Hill.
Quinn stated that he took a trip to watch the team when they played LSU. As he sat there in the stands watching, he was nearly in tears because he couldn’t be there for his team. He realized he made a selfish mistake for which others had to pay. He was quite adament that football is a big part of his life, and that he should never take it for granted.
– On the flipside, wide receiver Titus Young was asked point blank about his previous suspension at Boise State. “I’m not going to comment on that,” the former Bronco dismissed.
– Two linebackers were also stuck in the middle of the media feeding frenzy. Illinois’ Martez Wilson legitimately expects to be selected in the first round. Whereas another North Carolina product, Quan Sturdivant (6-1 241) divulged he was tasked with making the defensive play calls all four years while on campus.
– Joe Morgan, WR Walsh, may be the fastest player at the NFL combine. He can’t run away from his past. The former Illinois Fighting Illini was dismissed from school after his “third strike”. He attempted to lie to school officials for his teammate/roommate who was in possession of a firearm. He previously had a run-in with woman and then tried to break up a fight which ended badly. These string of events is how one starts in the Big Ten and ends in the NAIA.
2:50 PM EST
– “It’s been a tough season,” Pittsburgh’s Greg Romeus admitted after a season from hell suffering back and knee injuries. “I had a lot of expectations.
“My medicals checked out well. They have been pulling and tugging all day. Everything looks good.
“I’m still rehabbing my knee. My back is 100 percent. My knee is still three months removed. I just started running, and I still have about two more months to go.”
Pittsburgh’s pro day is set for March 15th, where Romeus does expect to lift.
– “The leg is fine,” Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith stated about a lower leg injury he suffered in 2010. “It’s 100 percent. Everything has checked out good.
“It slowed my ability. It didn’t allow me to use my athleticism like I usually did in the past.
A. Smith, weighing in at 264 pounds here in Indianapolis, received a second round grade from the NFL advisory committee.
“I took that into consideration,” he said. “Being that I was hurt, I thought that was pretty good. I thought I really had a chance to move myself up as a result.”
2:00 PM EST
– Nevada’s Dontay Moch has been an enigma all season after it was revealed he was consistently ripping off 4.3 forty-yard dash times. When directly asked what his best time had been previously, he said (with a straight face) “A 4.08.” Obviously, it was hand-timed. Otherwise, he currently weighs 245 pounds and still expects a legit 4.3 or 4.4 official timing here in Indiniapolis.
– Weslye Sauders, the former tight end from South Carolina, petitioned and was granted the opportunity to compete at the combine. His journey came to an ubrupt ending after aggravating a broken bone in his foot while warming up for the forty-yard dash. He did not run. His pro day is set for March 30.
1:00 PM EST
– It was a visage which may have been somewhat unexpected. North Carolina’s Marvin Austin stepped in front of the microphone with a flashy grin plastered on his face as the media awaited his explanations. It was a slightly different demeanor than the rancor Austin once spewed from his twitter and facebook account after he received a season-long suspension from the NCAA. He confirmed that four different trips were taken which were deemed illegal by collegiate standards . Two were to California and two were to Florida. Austin would not go into further detail.
– Adrian Clayborn, what do you say to those who state your senior season was a dissappointment? “I’d say they should go back and watch the tape.”
Clayborn continued, “I know I didn’t have as many tackles, but I thought I played well.”
12:30 PM EST
– While many of the times from this mornings first group of offensive linemen were unimpressive, several top prospects looked good in drills. Boston College’s Anthony Casonzo, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, TCU’s Marcus Cannon, and Florida State’s Rodney Hudson all performed well. Three linemen from the second group including Colorado’s Nate Solder, Cincinnati’s Jason Kelce, and Arkansas State’s Derek Newton all posted forty-yard dash efforts under five seconds. Arkansas’ Ray Dominguez also looked terrific in drills.
– Thus far among the second group of offensive linemen, John Moffitt has been used primarly as a center.
– A few extra measurements for defensive linemen: Sam Acho (DE, Texas) 6-1.5, Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma) 6-2 and 262 pounds, Ryan Kerrigan (DE/Purdue) 267 pounds, and Marcell Dareus (DE, Alabama) 6-3 and 319 pounds.
11:30 AM EST
– Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward has visited Dr. James Andrews twice in recent months as TFY had previously reported. Asked specifically about the injury, Heyward detailed he received a complete UCL reconstruction in his left arm. He also confirmed he will not be benchpressing at his pro day, but has started to lift.
– Despite dazzling scouts with his size measurements, Tyron Smith has decided not to run in Indianapolis and will save his speed for his pro-day performance.
9:30 AM EST.
Ryan Bartholomew/C/Syracuse – 34
Chris Hairston/OT/Clemson – 33
Marcus Cannon/OT/TCU – 33
Zane Taylor/C/Utah – 33
Kristofer O’Dowd/C/USC – 31
Marcus Gilbert/OT/Florida – 30
Steve Schilling/OG/Michigan – 30
Stefen Wisniewski/C/Penn State – 30
Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin – 29
William Rackley/OG/Lehigh – 29
Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College – 28
Charlie Gantt/TE/Michigan State 28
Rodney Hudson/OG/Florida State – 27 (Hudson has been utilized as a center in all of the drills)
DeMarcus Love/OT/Arkansas – 27
Luke Stocker/TE/Tennessee – 27
Lee Smith/TE/Marshall – 25
Lance Kendricks/TE/Wisconsin -25
Virgil Green/TE/Nevada – 23
(make sure to follow both SI.com’s Tony Pauline and TFY’s head scout Brent Sobleski via twitter @tonypauline and @brentsobleski)