– I can confirm Jimmie Ward/DB/Northern Illinois was not cleared to participate in Tuesday’s combine workout after being diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his foot. Its considered a mid/small fracture; in a nutshell I’m told it’s a less severe version of what Julio Jones worked out with several years ago. The injury will be resolved with a simple procedure after the NIU pro-day. I’m told Ward, who felt ready to go earlier this week despite being pulled from the workout by combine officials, plans on fully participating in the NIU pro-day next week.
– Jimmy Garoppolo/QB/Eastern Illinois, who solidified himself as a second rounder last week and already has five pre-draft visits with NFL teams on his schedule , will participate in Northwestern’s pro-day next week. I’m told Garoppolo’s favorite receiver, Erik Lora will also workout that day. EIU does not have a pro-day on the schedule.
– At last count at least 17 quarterback coaches polled at the combine rank Derek Carr over Johnny Manziel.
– Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey did not run at the combine due to hamstring issues but is expected to fully participate at the Hawkeyes pro-day later next month.
– Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard won’t do any type of workout prior to the draft. There was a thought he could push something out the last week of April but the final choice was smartly made to hold him back.
– On Sunday I reported sources told me the Cincinnati Bengals may have to consider cutting Carlos Dunlap in order to create room to sign other highly considered players, mainly Michael Johnson who the Bengals really want to bring back. I was then referred to as brain dead, inbred and other sorts of complimentary adjectives. Hence I went back to my source for clarification and was told yes, the organization has in fact had conversations about potentially cutting Carlos Dunlap or at least attempting to restructure his contract. I’m told the way Dunlap’s contract is structured the team has until March 30th to make a decision.
-If you followed my Combine Risers/Sliders articles on Philadelphia Eagles.com last week you’ll notice I gave Joel Bitonio of Nevada high grades for his workout on Saturday. This should not come as a surprise as I spoke highly of Bitonio during Senior Bowl week on both the Eagles and Green Bay Packers official sites. I’ve learned two things about Bitonio since Saturday; 1) the feeling is he’s cemented himself as a second round pick and 2) he’s going to be drafted at offensive guard and not a tackle. The latter surprised me a bit. Though I initially graded Bitonio as a guard I thought his performance at the Senior Bowl, primarily the fact he was the only one able to stop Dee Ford, would’ve given him more consideration at left tackle.