The on the field work does not begin until Saturday but the offensive linemen and tight ends are already in Indianapolis to be measured and medically tested. Here’s the buzz filtering around town on Day 1, February 21st. Update: Stanton gaining steam in free agency…
– In a lackluster quarterback year I’m hearing Indianapolis Colts back-up Drew Stanton will receive a lot of interest. The expectations are the Indianapolis Colts will do all they can to re-sign Stanton as an experienced back-up for Andrew Luck. If he hits the open market keep an eye on the Minnesota Vikings, who desperately want a back-up signal caller, or the Arizona Cardinals, where Stanton will rejoin Bruce Arians and offer competition for the quarterback needy franchise.
– The biggest story thus far is the number of teams that have Jonathan Cooper/G/North Carolina ranked higher than Chance Warmack/G/Alabama on their offensive guard board. He’s much better blocking in motion compared to Warmack and a natural fit for a zone blocking scheme. Teams have referred to Cooper as “special” and they feel in time he can add weight, which will only improve his run blocking. I was told Cooper was told to purposely keep his weight down at North Carolina and would have no problem carrying additional bulk. On a side note I believe rival Mel Kiper claimed Cooper would be a top 8 pick just last week, so credit to Mel on this.
– Yet another good source told me yesterday Blidi Wreh-Wilson of UConn is the wildcard at the cornerback position and could be a late first round choice. And while I don’t agree with the later portion of that opinion, the fact several people are mentioning this makes it notable.
– Who will be the fastest man at the combine? Conventional wisdom says track star Marquise Goodwin, the receiver from Texas, is the favorite. I am hearing he’ll receive competition from Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Robert Alford.
– Continue to hear good things about Tharold Simon in pre-combine training so mark his name down. Simon will measure somewhere around 6-feet, 3-inches, 205-pounds and is expected to turn in a terrific workout on Tuesday. We’re told several press coverage/bump and run teams are looking hard at Simon. More on that later.
– The tight end workout on Saturday could be special. I’ve been told Zach Ertz/Stanford and Tyler Eifert/Notre Dame will run fast and I expect terrific workouts from Vance McDonald/Rice and Jordan Reed/Florida. The prospects who could turn heads are Dion Sims/Michigan State and Nick Kasa/Colorado. Both will tip the scales at or near 270-pounds, both will run fast (4.7’s) and both are expected to look incredibly athletic.