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 DraftInsider.net will bring you complete coverage of what’s going on in and around the combine.
Update 3:30 PM EST – Cornerback quotes…
–Prince Amukamara, are you better than Patrick Peterson?
“That’s a good question. I’ll guess we’ll let the scouts decide that.”
Then the Nebraska cornerback was asked about his performance against Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, who posted 157 yards on five catches against the ‘Huskers.
“He is a really good wide receiver,” Amukamara complimented. “He only got me on two plays. I was letting him open and just get on top of me. They were in the first half, and I corrected it in the second half. I then had a great second half.
– Colorado’s Jimmy Smith’s swagger was evident the moment he stepped on the podium.
“I’m a big, athletic, physical corner(back),” the 6-2 211-pound defensive back stated. “I love to press. I have great speed. I have great ball skills. I’m a shutdown corner. ”
Is there any modesty in there Jimmy?
“Yeah it’s in there somewhere,” he grinned.
He also mentioned, “I have better ball skills than him (while referencing the comparisons to Nnamdi Asomugha).”
– Louisville’s Johnny Patrick had his share of up’s and down’s last month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. The cornerback performed particularly well when the ball was in front of him and he could drive forward. He was beat repeatedly when asked to turn and run against speedy receivers.
“I don’t see it necessarily as a concern,” he said. “I know I need to improve. It’s something I’m working on right now to get better.
“I’m working on my deep ball drills, turning with the receiver, while the ball in the air. Things like that I have been doing those drills.”
2:35 PM EST
– Another TarHeel met the media. This time it was safety prospect, Deunta Williams. Williams also served a suspension this year, and he detailed the reason as to why. Williams asked a former teammate (unmentioned) to book him a trip and set him up in California for a vacation. No agents were involved, and he reimbursed the third party but it obviously broke NCAA rules.
– Williams also mentioned he has a broken fibula he suffered in North Carolina’s bowl game, and he will not be working out in Indianapolis.
– Top prospect Patrick Peterson measured in at 6′ and 219 pounds. Despite claims to the contrary recently, NFL teams have yet to mention a potential move to safety.
– West Virginia’s Brandon Hogan expects to run from scouts in April. No date was given, but he is only two months removed from ACL surgery.
2:00 PM EST
– The best way to describe Cam Newton’s workout among the quarterbacks is inconsistent, and that is being generous. He did make a few good throws. For the most part, his passes sailed high of their intended targets.
– Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder had a good session and was accurate all day. The timing on his throws was spot-on all day.
– Maryland’s Torrey Smith strung together a disappointing effort during the second session among wide receiver. If the speedy receiver was not running a straight go-route, he was unimpressive.
1:30 PM EST
– Yesterday, Pitt’s Greg Romeus made his way through the media room. Today, his defensive bookend, Jabaal Sheard, took the podium. Like Romeus, Sheard has been battling an injury while rehabbing. He detailed his issue with an elbow, which was a lingering program since high school. He had hyperextened the limb and a grow plate was broken. He had minimal issues with it the past few years, but he decided it would be best to have surgery and get it out of the way prior to entering the NFL. The procedure was performed Dec. 28. He has not been able to train and even stated that when he runs the forty at the combine, it will be the second time he has run the drill all offseason.
– A slightly surprising situation is hearing Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling state NFL teams have not had many conversations regarding his potential of playing safety. D0wling has tremendous size, but he has never played the position.
– Oklahoma’s Quinton Carter dropped two pounds off a chiseled frame since the Senior Bowl. He now weighs 209 pounds.
12:30 PM EST
– One of the two or remaining elite prospects faced the media. Questions were raised earlier in the week about concerns regarding the stability of Nick Fairley’s shoulder. The Auburn product seperated the AC joint in the contest against Georgia. He played through the injury for the rest of the season. Despite the previous injury, he did state he will do a full workout here at the combine.
11:30 AM EST
– After a somewhat aloof appearance in front of the media, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett was back on the field, where he belongs, and looked terrific in what was one of the best combine workouts by a quarterback in the past five years. He made all the throws and did so with accuracy and speed.
– Ricardo Lockette kept momentum on his side after a wonderful forty-yard dash timing. During drills, he had one of the best sessions by an receiver. Alabama’s Julio Jones, Georgia’s A.J. Green, and Kentucky’s Randall Cobb all improved their stock based on today’s performances.
– Miami’s Brandon Harris is listed at 5-11 on the team’s official website. Apparently, he lost two inches on his way to Indianapolis measuring in at 5-9.
– Will Hill was an early entrant to the 2011 draft from Florida. His reasons for making the leap prematurely was to support his family (he has three children who are one-year old or younger). When Urban Meyer decided to leave it became the final nail in the coffin as Will didn’t want to go through a coaching change.
10:15 AM EST
Forties are commencing for one of the highlight positions to participate in the drill, the wide receivers…
– Georgia’s A.J. Green, Pitt’s Jonathan Baldwin, and Alabama’s Julio Jones all ran in the mid 4.4-second range.
– Two small school prospects blazed the track and impressed scouts. Fort Valley State’s Ricardo Lockette posted a sub-4.3 on some watches during his second forty yard dash attempt. Meanwhile, Abilene Christian’s Edmund Gates posted two efforts in the 4.3 range.
– By most accounts, Mississippi’s Jerrel Powe had a disappointing senior season after being considered a first round prospect by many entering the season. Power disagreed.
“I think I’m the best nose (tackle) in this draft, but we had a down season this year,” the 6-2 335 pound interior lineman stated. “I still think I bring a lot of talent to the table.”
– Pierre Allen of Nebraska had his issues at the Senior Bowl, as TFY noted in its coverage from Mobile. The primary issue was an inability to disengage from offenisve linemen. He also disagreed.
“I got off plenty of blocks at the senior bowl,” he vehemently stated. “I had my share of losing some battles, but everyone wins and loses some. They probably just seen a couple when I was losing.”
9:30 AM EST
– Last evening sources told DraftInsider.net that numerous teams are down on former North Carolina receiver Greg Little before he has even taken the field. Teams have found Little to be less than honest during the interview process, and that’s putting it nicely. Little, as you may remember, was suspended for the 2010 season after violating school and NCAA rules.
– Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter underwent a precautionary MRI yesterday after his injury. Results proved negative.
(Make sure to follow SI.com’s Tony Pauline and TFY’s head scout Brent Sobleski on twitter @tonypauline & @brentsobleski)
|TE||Charlie Gantt||Michigan State||4.81||4.88|
|TE||Rob Housler||Florida Atlantic||4.53||4.53|
|TE||Schuylar Oordt||Northern Iowa||4.68||4.66|
|TE||Zach Pianalto||North Carolina||4.78||4.75|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||Notre Dame||Inj||Inj|
|TE||Weslye Saunders||South Carolina||Inj||Inj|
|TE||Julius Thomas||Portland State||4.63||4.62|
Jordan Cameron/USC: Ran well in the 40-yard dash then translated his speed into drills. He extended his hands and offered his quarterback a nice target. He displayed good hand-eye coordination. He ran decent routes and showed strong hands with the ability to pluck the ball from the air. He also blocked with leverage in drills.
Charles Clay/Tulsa: Caught the ball well and displayed good hand-eye coordination. He slowed into pass routes. He displayed poor timing and marginal burst.
Charlie Gantt/Michigan State: Caught the ball well and showed good focus, yet displayed no speed and could not run to catch up with the long pass.
Cameron Graham/Louisville: Timed poorly in the 40-yard dash and then appeared slow in drills. He dropped a few passes and was off-balance for most of the session. He displayed minimal strength in blocking drills.
Virgil Green/Nevada: Ran sharp routes, showed strong hands and snatched the ball from the air. He displayed good pop at the point of attack during blocking drills. He appeared slow off the line, which was part of the reason he was slow during his 40-yard dash timing.
Daniel Hardy/Idaho: Caught the ball and showed himself to be a natural pass catcher. He needs to improve his route running and blocking strength.
Robert Housler/Florida Atlantic: Caught the ball very well displaying good high-eye coordination while snatching passes from the air. He ran adequate routes showing quickness into breaks. He was a bit stiff blocking but had a very good overall day.
Lance Kendricks/Wisconsin: A long strider with limited quickness and no burst. He displayed minimal strength blocking.
Schuylar Oorut/Northern Iowa: Showed a burst, caught the deep ball well and looked natural as a pass catcher. He bends his knees blocking. He is a bit of a long strider.
Zach Pianalto/North Carolina: A good technician while blocking but didn’t show any burst, quickness or speed.
Allen Reisner/Iowa: Caught the ball but looked limited athletically.
Lee Smith/Marshall: Showed a lot of power blocking and caught the ball well. He has no burst or quickness in his game.
Luke Stocker/Tennessee: Displays a good first step, solid hand-eye coordinator and pass catching hands. He blocked with leverage.
Julius Thomas/Portland State: Blocked with good technique and showed jolt at the point of attack. He showed strong hands snatching the ball from the air. He slows into routes and appears a bit tentative.
D.J. Williams/Arkansas: Showed good quickness in his overall game and caught the ball well. He needs a lot of work on his route running.
|OL||David Arkin||Missouri State||5.35||5.38|
|OL||Justin Boren||Ohio State||5.43||5.25|
|OL||Anthony Castonzo||Boston College||5.18||5.16|
|OL||Garrett Chisolm||South Carolina||inj||Inj|
|OL||Brandon Fusco||Slippery Rock||5.13||5.08|
|OL||Rodney Hudson||Florida State||5.19||5.15|
|OL||Kevin Hughes||Southeastern Louisiana||5.28||5.19|
|OL||Andrew Jackson||Fresno State||5.28||5.22|
|OL||Daniel Kilgore||Appalachian State||5.29||5.27|
|OL||Jarriel King||South Carolina||5.06||4.95|
|OL||Rich Lapham||Boston College||Inj||Inj|
|OL||Alex Linnenkohl||Oregon State||5.34||5.29|
|OL||Derek Newton||Arkansas State||4.98||4.95|
|OL||Michael Person||Montana State||5.12||5.10|
|OL||Derek Sherrod||Mississippi State||5.25||5.25|
|OL||Willie Smith||East Carolina||5.35||5.34|
|OL||Zach Williams||Washington State||5.15||5.16|
|OL||Stefen Wisniewski||Penn State||5.25||5.25|
Daniel Arkin/Missouri State – Moved well displaying good explosion and quickness throughout the session. Terrific footwork and slide off the left side, where he was accustomed.
Joseph Barksdale/LSU – Fluid and smooth throughout the session, displayed good pop at the point of attack, and above average footwork is pass protection drills.
Ryan Bartholomew/Syracuse – Looked relatively athletic, stronger than expected, and good footwork off both the left and right side.
Justin Boren/Ohio State – Worked hard but showed a slow change of direction, poor footwork, and for the most part looked unathletic.
Clint Boling/Georgia – Efficient, patient and smart but looked unathletic and slow.
James Brewer/Indiana – Picked up his performance at the end of the session, yet for most of the morning he struggled with his footwork and lumbered around the field.
Marcus Cannon/TCU – Was fluid, balanced, and easily moved about the field. For the most part, looked good yet doesn’t seem to possess a killer instinct.
Gabe Carimi/Wisconsin – Displayed good power, hand punch and footwork in pass protection. He pressed slightly, yet worked to finish drills.
James Carpenter/Alabama – Displayed some leg drive and effective footwork in pass protection drills.
Anthony Castonzo/Boston College – Explosive and moved well, yet appeared mechanical and off-balance most of the day.
Josh Davis/Georgia – Looked stiff, slow and labored throughout the session.
Ray Dominguez/Arkansas – Moved well and was very quick, plus displayed better than expected footwork in pass protection. He bends his knees and practiced with leverage. All things considered he was one of the top three offensive linemen at the combine.
Orlando Franklin/Miami – Fluid, strong and showed a burst; yet no ability to slide in pass protection.
Brandon Fusco/Slippery Rock – Worked hard and showed decent feet in pass protection plus the ability to smoothly slide out.
Marcus Gilbert/Florida – Adequate movement skills and displayed good pop in his punch, yet looked stiff and slow changing direction.
Adam Grant/Arizona – He gave effort but was slow and showed no ability to change direction or slide his feet.
Chris Hairston/Clemson – Moved his feet well with a good punch, yet looked sloppy moving around and was constantly overextending into blocks.
Richard Henry/Nebraska – Struggled in pass protection and was unable to slide his feet. He, instead, stepped out to knock out defenders.
Kyle Hix/Texas – Displayed good punch and jolt with hands, poor footwork, and could not cut of opponents from the edge. He also showed a lack of burst.
Rodney Hudson/Florida State – Asked to simulate the center position throughout session. He displayed a quick burst, good footwork in pass protection and even some leg drive.
Kevin Hughes/SE Louisiana – Displayed limited quickness, marginal power and no footwork at all.
Zach Hurd/Connecticut – Adequate footwork in pass protection, yet showed average quickness and hand punch for a big man.
Andrew Jackson/Fresno State – Looked explosive, showed a burst and above average footwork.
Carl Johnson/Florida – Moved incredibly well for a 361-pound man, showed good footwork in pass protection and worked his hands well.
Jason Kelce/Cincinnati – Bends his knees well and displayed solid footwork in pass protection drills. Marginally explosive and did not practice as fast as he ran.
Daniel Kilgore/Appalachian State – Practiced with great knee bend, moved well about the field and showed great punch. He did struggle sliding his feet in pass protection.
Jurriel King/South Carolina – Displayed good movement skills, good punch with his hands yet marginal footwork.
Alex Linnenkohl/Oregon State – Was slow, lacked quickness and struggled with his footwork.
DeMarcus Love/Arkansas – Marginal pop with his hands and poor footwork in pass protection drills.
John Moffitt/Wisconsin – Simulated the center position, moved well, looked strong and displayed surprisingly good footwork.
Derek Newton/Arkansas State – Looked strong yet also slightly stiff and was not smooth in pass protection drills.
Kristofer O’Dowd/USC – Displayed good movement skills, a solid change in direction and nice feet in pass protection.
Mike Person/Montana State – Fluid sliding his feet, yet was not quick and gathered into blocks.
Jason Pinkston/Pittsburgh – Showed some strength at the point of attack, yet looked heavy footed, was not smooth, and rose out of his stance as play proceeded.
Mike Pouncey/Florida – Moved well, looked very quick, and showed both punch and power in his hands.
William Rackly/Lehigh – Moved well yet not explosive or aggressive and gathered into blocks.
Jah Reid/Central Florida – Moved well for a big man, yet showed limited quickness.
Steven Schilling/Michigan – Gave effort and used his angles well in pass protection, yet for the most part appeared unathletic, lacked power and displayed poor footwork.
Derek Sherrod/Mississippi State – Looked surprisingly unathletic, lacked quickness, was not fluid and lumbered about the field. He did display good footwork in pass protection.
Willie Smith/East Carolina – Was quick and showed good movement skills.
Nate Solder/Colorado – Looked very athletic, was smooth, fluid on his feet and displayed a good punch.
Zane Taylor/Utah – Practiced much faster than he timed and displayed good footwork.
Isaiah Thompson/Houston – Gave a lot of effort and showed some small area quickness, yet struggled to move about the field and displayed awful footwork in pass protection.
Justin Vandervelde/Iowa – He was quick, played with good lean, and showed some strength; yet was a bit stiff.
Danny Watkins/Baylor – Smooth moving about the field, quick change of direction and attacked assignments. He was technically sound and showed good footwork in pass protection.
Keith Williams/Nebraska – Fluid movement skills and showed strength yet struggled sliding his feet in pass protection.
Zack Williams/Washington State – Displayed solid footwork and good punch with his hands, yet struggled to move about the field and gathered into blocks.
Stefen Wisniewski/Penn State – Showed no explosion, not fluid and displayed poor footwork.
Lee Ziemba/Auburn – Looked unathletic, lumbered about the field, and can’t slide his field. He worked hard and did display some leg drive.