– Sources close to the team say if Calvin Pryor/S/Louisville drops into the second day he is a priority for the Detroit Lions.
– Consensus is Mike Evans/WR/Texas A&M is a lock to be a top ten pick. Several teams feel the spread between he and Sammy Watkins of Clemson is not a great as many are making it out to be, something I completely agree with. Based on conversations its my educated “guess” the team who selects Evans will make a trade to acquire his services . Right now it looks like three teams are the frontrunners to make some sort of move for Evans. If the St Louis Rams trade out of the second spot, and they will make every effort to do as much, Evans would be a target assuming they stay in the top ten. Two teams selecting in the middle of the first frame who are very high on Evans and would consider trading up to grab him are the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.
– Now that DeSean Jackson is no longer with the organization receiver becomes a need for the Philadelphia Eagles. With the way this draft shapes up a receiver in round one is a likely possibility if they stand pat at pick 22. I’ve mentioned Brandin Cooks of Oregon State being a good fit for the team and I understand he’ll be a consideration in round one. The other wide out I expect to get play from the Eagles is Marquis Lee of USC.
– Several teams presently grade Zach Martin of Notre Dame ahead of Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. For the record I disagree and feel Lewan is the most underappreciated of the top tackles. I’m told Martin offers potential at four spots on the offensive line, both tackle and guard spots, and is less prone to making mental mistakes compared to Lewan.
– For some reason people seem to be sleeping on Phillip Gaines, the big bodied cornerback from Rice who stunned scouts by clocking as fast as 4.31s in the forty at the combine. Gaines had dinner with the Jacksonville Jaguars last month the evening before his pro-day and has trips lined up with the New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. He’s also worked out with the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Bucs. Gaines is presently rated as a fifth rounder on our cornerback board.
– On Tuesday evening I reported the New England Patriots worked out Virginia Tech prospects Logan Thomas and DJ Coles. There’s some additional insight on this workout. The feeling league wide is the Patriots will take a quarterback at some point in the draft as they expect to lose Ryan Mallett at the end of next season, hence the interest in Thomas. As far as Coles is concerned, I’m told the Patriots had him do a lot of tight end work during the 45 minutes spent in position drills. This included coming out of a three point stance, blocking drills and lining up in the slot. Consider this; Coles measures in the area of 6-feet/3-inches and 235 pounds, timing in the high 4.4s in the forty. When the Patriots selected Aaron Hernandez his official measurements went 6-feet, 2.5-inches, 245lbs with a 4.58s forty time. Something to think about.
– Prior to the news he had torn a knee ligament during a workout with the New Orleans Saints, Brandon Thomas/OL/Clemson had official visits set up with the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers as well as workouts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. Obviously the workouts are nixed and I’ve received no word on the visits.
– One offensive lineman on the mend, Spencer Long of Nebraska, is scheduled to hold a private workout on April 17th in which he’ll be doing offensive line drills. Long could end up being selected much earlier (4th round) than people presently project.
– Scouts were very impressed with Towson running back Terrance West during his pro-day workout earlier this week. In miserable conditions of pouring rain and cold weather, West tipped the scale at 230-pounds (five more than the combine) then looked good in drills. A number of the teams looking for a bigger back feel West has solidified himself as a fourth round choice.
– West was not the only one to turn heads during Towson’s pro-day. Cornerback Jordan Love, a free agent sleeper with a real chance as a dime back/special teams player at the next level, measured 5107/190lbs then timed 4.46s in the forty, 6.89 in the 3 cone and 4.00 in the short shuttle.
– I reported earlier Larry Webster spent the bulk of his time at Bloomsburg pro-day participating in tight end drills. The reviews have been positive. Though Webster showed some stiffness at his new position he caught the ball with his hands away from his frame rather than body catching. Webster has tremendous physical skills but scouts question his heart, something apparent on film. Webster does not play with the warrior mentality nor always look like the most competitive guy on the field.
– I’m told besides working out Rutgers receivers Brandon Coleman and Quron Pratt today, the Philadelphia Eagles had both Kelvin Benjamin/WR/Florida State and Cody Latimer/WR/Indiana at their facility for an official visit.
– Add the San Diego Chargers to the list of teams bringing in Cody Latmer/WR/Indiana in for an official 30 visit. While most feel the Chargers will look for a true burner in the draft there’s some concern about depth at the receiver position with questions surrounding the Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander.
– The San Diego Chargers are also bringing in New Mexico offensive lineman Darryl Johnson, who primarily lined up at both left and right tackle for the Lobos but projects to guard in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints will be working out Johnson, who has next level size as well as athleticism and should, at the very least, be a practice squad developmental prospect.
– Even before today’s pro-day workout at Towson running back Terrance West had already worked out for the Atlanta Falcons and made an official visit to see the Tennessee Titans. I’m told the Minnesota Vikings are also interested in the record setting ball carrier. The belief right now is Tennessee would be the frontrunner to select West.
– John Ulrich, a sleeper offensive tackle from Georgia State who recently ran 4.93s in the forty at 290lbs during a regional combine, has trips lined up to see the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.
– Last week sources told me they expect an offensive tackle heavy draft from the Seattle Seahawks next month. The hope is to select a versatile edge blocker as protection in case the team cannot resign Russell Okung when his contract is up in two years.
– Even with their recent moves in free agency I’m told the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to come out of the draft with at least one offensive tackle and/or offensive guard with starting potential. The Bucs want versatility and a blocker who can handle multiple positions.
– After his terrific performance at pro-day last week I was informed Chaz Sutton/DE-OLB/South Carolina met with both the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders.
– Earlier this week I reported that insiders informed me the Minnesota Vikings hope to select one of the higher rated linebackers early in round one (Khalil Mack being their preference) then grab their quarterback in round two. Zach Mettenberger being their signal caller of choice. Since then more sources have confirmed my report, verifying the team is high on Mettenberger who they believe is a perfect fit for Norv Turner’s system. Depending on how he does at pro-day next week many question if Mettenberger will even be available to Minnesota in round two.
– Who could take Mettenberger before the Vikings are called on the clock in round two? The Cleveland Browns, that’s who. While many have the Browns taking a quarterback with the fourth pick of the draft, most believe they’ll nab a signal caller with either the 26th or 35th pick of the process. If they don’t go quarterback in round one where does Cleveland look? Most believe it will be offensive tackle. Several sources tell me the team is hot and cold on Mitchell Schwartz and will look for an upgrade. In fact I’m told the Browns made a play for Eugene Monroe when he was on the trading block. Many claim “you don’t draft a right tackle with a top ten pick” but looking at the versatility and interchangeability of the tackle prospects excepted to be available at fourth pick its understandable why any team would go that route.
– Back to Zach Mettenberger. I’m told its very unlikely he’ll do any of the shuttles, 3-cone, etc, next week at pro-day but will complete a full passing workout. In recent weeks Mettenberger has had no issues on sprint outs or roll outs in preparation for his workout.
– Word in scouting circles has Dakota Dozier of Furman building momentum for himself recently. Scouts point to way Dozier stepped up against better competition the past two seasons, specifically mentioning the game film against LSU and Clemson. I’m told Dozier has had private workouts with the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
– Thus far the reviews from private workouts have been positive for Logan Thomas. For example, last week when the Arizona Cardinals worked him out I’m told he was accurate on all his throws including dropping a few in the bucket deep downfield to end the workout. From a physical and character stand point Thomas continues to impress teams.
– The other prospect impressing scouts in these workouts is DJ Coles, who benefits from being the practice receiver for Logan Thomas. Coles is physically impressive and very much looks the part. He’s been looking sharp since pro-day. Injuries stunted Coles development but go back and watch his 2011 tape if you have the availability and you’ll see the makings of a legitimate NFL receiver.
– Scouts are still buzzing over the performance of Ben Gardner during Stanford’s pro-day. Teams believe Gardner could develop into a Jarret Johnson type of player, i.e. a college defensive end with decent size who’ll stand up over tackle in a 3-4 at the next level.
– I’m told Johnson’s present squad, the San Diego Chargers, worked out Akron offensive lineman Jarrod Pughsley today. Pughsley, who lined up primarily at tackle for the Zips, is a fairly athletic blocker who projects to guard at the next level.