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 we will bring you complete coverage of what’s going on in and around the combine.
UPDATE 4:45 PM EST – Another Pouncey to wear the black and yellow?

Michael Pouncey turned in a terrific positional skill workout today looking strong, athletic and very quick.  His forty times were also solid, both clocking under 5.20 seconds.  This is sure to rekindle the talk of Pouncey entering the first round of the draft, something TFY has stated we feel is a bit of a stretch, not so for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Prior to the start of the combine sources told us the Steelers, who will be looking to come out of April’s draft will multiple prospects on the offensive line, were looking to Pouncey as one of their first round targets.  Today’s results are only justify their earlier grade on Maurkice’s brother.

4:30 PM EST

– The media room was in a frenzy as Cam Newton, J.J. Watt and Julio Jones were brought in simultaneously. Then Robert Quinn followed. Newton’s display was clearly seen on television as he came off less than spectacular (one can argue quite pompous. Maybe a reference to a donkey may be the best word). Watt was confident in his abilities, and weighed in at 290 pounds. Jones was quiet in his demeanor.

TFY took the time to ask about previous claims stated against Quinn’s attitude this season in Chapel Hill.

Quinn stated that he took a trip to watch the team when they played LSU. As he sat there in the stands watching, he was nearly in tears because he couldn’t be there for his team. He realized he made a selfish mistake for which others had to pay. He was quite adament that football is a big part of his life, and that he should never take it for granted.

– On the flipside, wide receiver Titus Young was asked point blank about his previous suspension at Boise State. “I’m not going to comment on that,” the former Bronco dismissed.

– Two linebackers were also stuck in the middle of the media feeding frenzy. Illinois’ Martez Wilson legitimately expects to be selected in the first round. Whereas another North Carolina product, Quan Sturdivant (6-1 241) divulged he was tasked with making the defensive play calls all four years while on campus.

Joe Morgan, WR Walsh, may be the fastest player at the NFL combine. He can’t run away from his past. The former Illinois Fighting Illini was dismissed from school after his “third strike”. He attempted to lie to school officials for his teammate/roommate who was in possession of a firearm. He previously had a run-in with woman and then tried to break up a fight which ended badly. These string of events is how one starts in the Big Ten and ends in the NAIA.

2:50 PM EST

– “It’s been a tough season,” Pittsburgh’s Greg Romeus admitted after a season from hell suffering back and knee injuries. “I had a lot of expectations.

“My medicals checked out well. They have been pulling and tugging all day. Everything looks good.

“I’m still rehabbing my knee. My back is 100 percent. My knee is still three months removed. I just started running, and I still have about two more months to go.”

Pittsburgh’s pro day is set for March 15th, where Romeus does expect to lift.

– “The leg is fine,” Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith stated about a lower leg injury he suffered in 2010. “It’s 100 percent. Everything has checked out good.

“It slowed my ability. It didn’t allow me to use my athleticism like I usually did in the past.

A. Smith, weighing in at 264 pounds here in Indianapolis, received a second round grade from the NFL advisory committee.

“I took that into consideration,” he said. “Being that I was hurt, I thought that was pretty good. I thought I really had a chance to move myself up as a result.”

2:00 PM EST

– Nevada’s Dontay Moch has been an enigma all season after it was revealed he was consistently ripping off 4.3 forty-yard dash times. When directly asked what his best time had been previously, he said (with a straight face) “A 4.08.” Obviously, it was hand-timed. Otherwise, he currently weighs 245 pounds and still expects a legit 4.3 or 4.4 official timing here in Indiniapolis.

Weslye Sauders, the former tight end from South Carolina, petitioned and was granted the opportunity to compete at the combine. His journey came to an ubrupt ending after aggravating a broken bone in his foot while warming up for the forty-yard dash. He did not run. His pro day is set for March 30.

1:00 PM EST

– It was a visage which may have been somewhat unexpected. North Carolina’s Marvin Austin stepped in front of the microphone with a flashy grin plastered on his face as the media awaited his explanations. It was a slightly different demeanor than the rancor Austin once spewed from his twitter and facebook account after he received a season-long suspension from the NCAA. He confirmed that four different trips were taken which were deemed illegal by collegiate standards . Two were to California and two were to Florida. Austin would not go into further detail.

Adrian Clayborn, what do you say to those who state your senior season was a dissappointment? “I’d say they should go back and watch the tape.”

Clayborn continued, “I know I didn’t have as many tackles, but I thought I played well.”

12:30 PM EST

While many of the times from this mornings first group of offensive linemen were unimpressive, several top prospects looked good in drills. Boston College’s Anthony Casonzo, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, TCU’s Marcus Cannon, and Florida State’s Rodney Hudson all performed well. Three linemen from the second group including Colorado’s Nate Solder, Cincinnati’s Jason Kelce, and Arkansas State’s Derek Newton all posted forty-yard dash efforts under five seconds. Arkansas’ Ray Dominguez also looked terrific in drills.

– Thus far among the second group of offensive linemen, John Moffitt has been used primarly as a center.

– A few extra measurements for defensive linemen: Sam Acho (DE, Texas) 6-1.5, Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma) 6-2 and 262 pounds, Ryan Kerrigan (DE/Purdue) 267 pounds, and Marcell Dareus (DE, Alabama) 6-3 and 319 pounds.

11:30 AM EST

– Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward has visited Dr. James Andrews twice in recent months as TFY had previously reported. Asked specifically about the injury, Heyward detailed he received a complete UCL reconstruction in his left arm. He also confirmed he will not be benchpressing at his pro day, but has started to lift.

Despite dazzling scouts with his size measurements, Tyron Smith has decided not to run in Indianapolis and will save his speed for his pro-day performance.

9:30 AM EST.

Ryan Bartholomew/C/Syracuse – 34

Chris Hairston/OT/Clemson – 33

Marcus Cannon/OT/TCU – 33

Zane Taylor/C/Utah – 33

Kristofer O’Dowd/C/USC – 31

Marcus Gilbert/OT/Florida – 30

Steve Schilling/OG/Michigan – 30

Stefen Wisniewski/C/Penn State – 30

Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin – 29

William Rackley/OG/Lehigh – 29

Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College – 28

Charlie Gantt/TE/Michigan State 28

Rodney Hudson/OG/Florida State – 27 (Hudson has been utilized as a center in all of the drills)

DeMarcus Love/OT/Arkansas – 27

Luke Stocker/TE/Tennessee – 27

Lee Smith/TE/Marshall – 25

Lance Kendricks/TE/Wisconsin -25

Virgil Green/TE/Nevada – 23

(make sure to follow both’s Tony Pauline and TFY’s head scout Brent Sobleski via twitter @tonypauline and @brentsobleski)

Newton, a no-show for the media?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 we will bring you complete coverage of what’s going on in and around the combine. 

UPDATE 4:30 PM EST: More Cam Newton and some workouts

TFY spoke with people from Cam Newton’s camp about the quarterback’s reluctance to speak to the media today at the combine. No convincing reason was given as we were told Newton’s heavy interview schedule with NFL teams and general managers is taking its toll.

– Starting with bench press results, Tyron Smith completed 29 repititions. Indiana’s James Brewer finished with 25.

– Specialists performed earlier today. Most of the place kickers did well. All of the top guys converted 12 of 15. Kai Forbath graded the highest hitting on all of his FG attempts from more than 50-yards. Most of them had the distance to convert from 60-plus yards.

4:00 PM EST

Time to update two previous DraftInsider stories…

– A month ago, TFY reported Stanford’s Owen Marecic had a disinterest in the entire draft process, because he has fantastic academic career he can alternatively choose. Today, he disputed those claims. “I’m 100 percent focused on football,” he claimed.

– Early in December, sources intimated Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers had already decided to enter the NFL draft as an underclassmen. Rodgers immediately refuted the report. When asked about it during his media session at the Combine, Rodgers stayed true to his original statement. At the time, he had not made up his mind. The decision came much later in the process.

Cameron Jordan is one of the top rated defensive linemen in a loaded draft class. He is prepare to showcase his abilities during his stay in Indianapolis. The collegiate five technique is planning to participate in a full workout.

3:35 PM EST

As two highly recognizable running backs spoke with the media, surprising size numbers were discussed…

– A double-take was required to realize Wisconsin’s John Clay was at the podium. He has shed 30 pounds recently due to a better diet. He discussed that he did not eat well with a minimum of meals each day. Each of those meals were large and added pounds. The running back is now a svelte 231 pounds.

– Former Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, is listed at 5-10 and 215 pounds. Well, he the 215 mark was absolutely correct. He was actually a full inch shorter at a self-described 5-9 according to his NFL measurements.

3:00 PM EST

– The ripple effects of USC’s suspension continue to be felt all the way to the midwest.  After weighing in at 307 pounds, Tyron Smith stated he had gained 20 pounds since the end of last season. During the extra time the Trojans would usually be in post-season play and practice; Smith changed his diet. He cut junk food and began to eat a healthy and balanced diet. The tackle admitted his drastic change in body-type and what he tipped the scales even surprised him.. His low was 285 pounds last season.

2:45 PM EST

– The PSAC conference has two prospects here in Indianapolis. Brandon Fusco was already highlighted in an earlier interview this week on TFY. California of Pennsylvania quarterback Josh Portis has been one of the most impressive interviews to date. Portis was originally recruited to Florida. After being caught cheating on a pop quiz, he was suspended. He decided to leave and transfer to Maryland. A lack of playing time forced another tranfer into the Division II level. Portis has plenty of physical ability with a strong arm and fantastic athleticism. He expected to run in the 4.5 range during his 40-yard dash attempts. “I’m going to put on a show,” he continually smirked.

– Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder will participate in throwing drills.

2:00 PM EST

 – Utah State cornerback Curtis Marsh, who sat and watched the Senior Bowl with an injured hamstring, is schedule to complete a full combine workout.

– Whereas, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph plans the exact opposite. Rudolph described his ability to run with a previously torn hamstring is currently at 75-80 percent. He will not participate in any of the physical activities here in Indianapolis.

– Missouri quarterback and potentially the top signal caller chosen, Blaine Gabbert measured in at 6-4(3/8’s) and 238 pounds. He describes himself as a competitor and will partake in all of the drills.

1:00 PM EST

A.J. Green, a potential top ten pick, stated “I want to be mentioned with the best.” Green measured in at 6-3.5 and 211 pounds earlier today.

– Nebraska guard Keith Williams talked about facing former teammate Ndamukong Suh every day in practice last year, “It was a bear fight.”

12:30 pm

– Two questions follow Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson as he continues the draft process. Why was he benched and what do teams feel about his throwing mechanics? He answered both Friday. He stated injury and momentum were the reasons behind not starting the rest of the year. His response to mechanics proved interesting. Teams have not been overly concerned with his throwing motion. Instead they are more worried about his footwork, because Johnson has shown a tendency to throw everything from his shoulder. So how sound the joint is has been questioned. Johnson has countered by working with the same QB coach Tim Tebow employed last draft season, Zeke Bratkowski.

– Once Pitt wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin leaves Indianapolis he will return to training. He will be training with the likes of another Panthers’ alumni, Larry Fitzgerald as well as Roddy White and Greg Jennings.

11:35 AM EST

– Auburn’s Nick Fairley may be the number one overall selection in April’s NFL draft. The defensive tackle has been rebabbing a small shoulder seperation he suffered during the season. Although it is not considered serious, it has hampered his ability to participate in the bench press, an event he will not participate in at the combine. Otherwise, Fairley has looked good in his training regiment. He has weighed 298 pounds and has appeared very athletic.

11:30 AM EST

– The first suspended North Carolina TarHeel entered the media room. Greg Little was the first to face the fire. Although he didn’t address the allegations directly, he did mention he was “very remorseful” and was upset that he basically started the entire process. What was surprising is that the running back turned wide receiver weighed in at a svelte 231 pounds.

– Pitt offensive tackle Jason Pinkston discussed teammate Jonathan Baldwin claiming the wide receiver has a 42-inch vertical. As a sidenote, Pinkston had a large role in potentially recruiting Owen Marecic to the Panthers. Marecic eventually chose Stanford despite a large contigent of family in Pittsburgh.

11:00 AM EST

Cameron Heyward was recently cleared to run and is close to receiving the okay to bench. The Ohio State product has already been re-examined by Dr. James Andrews since his surgery. The defensive end is expecting to do his pro-day workout for NFL teams March 30th. There is a chance he will participate in the benchpress on said date.

– LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis, who missed the Senior Bowl with plantar flaciatis, is ready to go and is planning to fully participate with a combine workout.

Julio Jones is already considered one of the top wide receiver prospects in the draft. Unlike many top prospects in years past who are advised against running, the Alabama product is expected to run his 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.

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 we will bring you complete coverage of what’s going on in and around the combine. 

UPDATE: A Colt requires surgery


4:30 PM EST

Indianapolis Colts’ offensive lineman Jamie Richard was in the hospital recently requiring surgery. The procedure, performed in a New York City hospital, repaired a torn labrum.

– Kentucky running back Derrick Locke has been posting impressive 40-yard dash timings during recent training efforts. He has been clocked in the low 4.3-second range.

4:00 PM EST

– Building on a previous story DraftInsider originally wrote ten days ago, Nevada’s Virgil Green confirmed his recent sensational workout performances. Green stated he was officially timed with a 4.4.9 forty-yard dash as late as last week.

– Another sleeper tight end prospect with high physical upside is Portland State’s Julius Thomas. Thomas was a four-year standout for the Vikings basketball team. Before his career on the hard court came to a close, he approached the football team about potentially playing. He decided in 2007, he was eventually going to make the move despite having never played football in high school. As a 5’8′ prep freshman, Thomas suffered greatly from growing pains. It prevented him from ever participating on the gridiron, particularly when a promising basketball career blossomed. But he had no illusions of ever making it to NFL. When did he realize a professional career may be had in the NFL and now the NBA?

 “I’m 6-5 and was playing power forward,” he grinned.

3:15  PM EST

One player disappointed in his inability to participate is Villanova’s tackle, Ben Ijalana. Ijalana is still recovering from bi-lateral sports hernia surgery. He is still nearly two weeks away from his rehabilitation coming to a close, but the offensive lineman expects to work out prior draft actual. His objective while in Indianapolis is to prove his body is right for all NFL personnel.

William Rackley is another small school prospect from Lehigh. Despite playing his career at a small school, at least one BCS team sniffed around his potential. Rackley was contacted by Georgia Tech during his recruitment, but the offensive linemen described the interaction as “nothing serious”.

2:30 PM

– Miami offensive tackle Orlando Franklin recently required surgery on a MCL. The procedure took place six weeks ago. Despite the rehabilitation plan laid forth, Franklin has already been running and preparing for the Combine over the last two weeks.

– Slippery Rock center Brandon Fusco shall be sharing his pro-day with Lehigh’s William Rackley. The two share the same agent. While a date has yet to be set, Lehigh’s campus shall host the workout.

– Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo was an interesting interview as he discussed both his football and academic career. Castonzo is a dean’s list caliber student achieving a degree in biochemistry.  Although, he states his first passion was football (“school came easy”); the tackle prospect is already making plans for his future. He wants to continue to pursue his education once he retires. Now, he stated he would rather worry and work on his kick step.

– Top rated offensive tackle prospect Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin vehemently stated, “I know I am the best tackle out there.” But who is the best that he faced? Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn was the former Badger’s quick rebuttal. Carimi claimed it was Clayborn first step which gave him some troubles due to how quick he burst off the snap.

10:50 AM

– Have a couple of hundred million dollars lying around and want to buy an NFL franchise?  Well the Jacksonville Jaguars may be available soon.  For all the past speculation that the team will eventually move out of the northeast Florida city, comes word from a source close to the franchise that the team has been “stripped for sale.”  They point to the fact that all the coaches are under one year contracts and many of the employer offered benefits Jacksonville gave to their employees were recently cut off.

– The morning started quickly in Indianapolis for the offensive linemen who were measured by scouts.  Tyron Smith has looked impressive in the early going.  Smith, who played at a weight near 290-pounds at USC tipped the scales at 307 pounds.  More impressive was his arm length which reached 36 3/8-inches and hands, which were 11 inches.

– Despite the fact his arms measured 36 3/8 inches Smith expects to complete more than 30 reps on the bench and may get as high as 35.  It will be a game time decision as to whether or not the junior tackle participates in the running workout on Saturday.

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