Players as well as scouts, coaches, medical staffs and general managers from all 32 franchises have begun to descend on Indianapolis for the 2012 combine. Every day we’ll provide you with the news and notes swirling around the city. Update: Brandon Carr a Cowboy?? Riley Reiff to guard??
Sunday, February 26th
– Teams here in Indianapolis feel when the dust clears in free agency cornerback Brandon Carr will be the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys. The team will then look to use their first selection on an offensive lineman, but who? Last night we reported the Baltimore Ravens would likely target Cordy Glenn. They may need a back-up plan as word is Glenn continues to sky-rocket up draft boards and ending up with Dallas in the top half of round one is a real possibility.
– Sources have said a large part of the free agent market at the defensive back position hinges on whether or not the Detroit Lions sign Cortland Finnegan.
– More on the report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon turned down a five year offer from the team. Word tonight is the value of the contract hovered around the $35 million mark.
– The buzz around Indianapolis is receiver Marques Colston is looking for a contract in the range of $7 million per year.
– We’ve been told a number of teams have moved Riley Reiff from offensive tackle to guard on their draft boards.
– Three offensive linemen that have watched their draft stock take a major bump north after Saturday’s workout include tackle Bobbie Massie/Mississippi, Jeff Allen/Illinois whose being graded as a guard and Amini Silatolu/Midwestern State.
Saturday, February 25th
– The belief amongst most in Indianapolis has Bart Scott of staying put in New York if the Jets choose to cut him and switching locker rooms and helmets to play for the Giants. It would fill a Giants need at linebacker and fill Scott’s hopes to remain in New York.
– Lots of Baltimore Ravens talk in Indianapolis this evening. The Ravens have a large number of wide receivers on their official combine interview list. Will they take a receiver in the first? The belief is right now the pick for the team in round one could be Cordy Glenn after his lights out workout today.
– Speaking of receivers, a handful of scouts told us tonight they were less than impressed the interviews they had with South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery.
– Most feel the Ravens will be unable to resign linebacker Jameel McClain and the team that eventually signs him in free agency will be the Indianapolis Colts.
– Look for the Pittsburgh Steelers to make a move for free agent tackle Jared Gaither.
– Wake Forest offensive lineman Joe Looney, who tore a ligament in his foot the first day he arrived to Senior Bowl practices, was hobbling around Indianapolis on crutches with a boot still on his foot.
– Who will be the fastest man at the combine? Many have opined that title will fall on either Joe Adams or Jarius Wright of Arkansas. I was told yesterday the player that could run Chris Johnson type of times will be TJ Graham of North Carolina State.
– I’ve been told all along the New York Jets won’t look to shore up the offensive tackle spot in the early rounds of this years draft. Further proof came last night when I was told by several Jets sources the team has told Vladimir Ducasse he will be competing for the starting job at right tackle this summer. Ducasse, who struggled with the play book last year, has been training for the position in the off season.
– Despite suffering with flu type symptoms and missing almost a week of training Jonathan Martin/T/Stanford has decided to participate in the position drills. It was a last minute decision by Martin who initially planned to sit on the sidelines today but wanted to put his skills on display after being challenged by scouts.
– Sources have told us several red flags have been raised on offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson. His past off the field transgressions have been well documented but we’ve been alerted to a situation during the Shrine Game where Johnson’s roommate demanded to be moved to a different room after several situations occurred involving the Cal-Pa offensive lineman.
Friday, February 24th
– The word in Indianapolis is the St Louis Rams will do everything possible to move the second pick of the draft. We hear there have been exploratory talks with the Washington Redskins in the early going.
– If Peyton Manning is cut by the Indianapolis Colts word is the Redskins will be front and center with an offer for the future Hall of Famer.
– The operative word for the New York Jets veterans presently partaking in off season training is “speed”. We here Jets linebackers and offensive linemen have been instructed to drop weight in the off season as Rex Ryan wants a leaner, swifter squad for next season.
– Why was the Jets offensive line so bad last year and why did so many players underachieve? I was told part of the problem is the playbook was so thick and the blocking schemes so complicated many of the offensive lineman were over thinking all season.
– I’ve been told two Rutgers players will be red flagged for injuries at combine. Offensive lineman Desmond Wynn has shoulder issues that will send up red flags and defensive lineman Justin Francis has serious leg issues that will warrant extensive examinations.
– More on our tweet from Nick Perry earlier today. I’ve been told he’ll tip the scales over 270lbs and run in the low 4.7’s on Monday. Keep close watch on his 10-yard split as it could be exceptionally low (1.52/53 area), which is something teams will look for.
– The scouting report being passed around to teams on Courtney Upshaw of Alabama includes a quote from the Tides head coach. Nick Saban emphatically refers to Upshaw as the “meanest player he’s ever coached” and someone that “would never back down in a fight.”
– Staying on underclassmen from the defensive side of the ball, I’ve been told Whitney Mercilus will measure in just under 6-feet, 4-inches; a positive sign as many thought he was at least an inch shorter. Those familiar with the Illinois pass rusher expect a huge workout from Mercilus.
– Ryan Broyles has been running forty’s in recent weeks and turning in surprisingly solid times for a player that suffered a major knee injury four months ago. The hope is Broyles will be close to 100% sometime in May.
– Several teams project Wisconsin junior center Peter Konz to guard.
– A number of scouts told me that they feel Konz’ teammate, Kevin Zeitler, is the best run blocker in this draft.
Thursday, February 23rd
– While many are anticipating the workout of Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw word is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the 7th selection and Buffalo Bills, owners of pick number 10, have shown the most interest of the early drafting teams.
– Marvin Jones/WR/California continues to impress in pre-combine training. We’ve heard all along Jones has been running forty times in the low 4.4-second (4.42) area.
– I’ve been told look for Shea McClellin/DE-OLB/Boise State to tip the scales just over 250-pounds (he was 248lbs at the Senior Bowl). McClellin is another that’s timed well during workouts, stopping watches as fast as 4.65 seconds.
– Devon Still has looked very athletic in training recently. Those who have seen him think he’ll show enough movement skills during his combine workout to peak the interest of 3-4 teams who will project Still to defensive end.
– Two linemen that have not looked good thus far are the Florida State pair of Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders. Datko was described as slow with bad feet. Sanders? Knock-kneed and unbalanced.
– As of last week I was told from those close to the situation that Vontaze Burfict is planning to complete his combine workout. There are some who think there’s no way the linebacker will fully participate in the combine workout. Hopefully Burfict decides to participate.
– With all the high profile training facilities around the nation its ironic that three of the top prospects in this years draft; Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Kendall Wright all chose to stay on campus and work with coaches at their respective college’s in preparation for the combine.
– Moving towards free agency, sources have said they expect the New England Patriots to load up once the free agency season opens.