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Posted on: February 22, 2009 12:43 pm

Brandstater, Brown most impressive QBs

The NFL generally does not allow media in to view the workouts. For the third year in a row, however, they have allowed a select few media members in to view the quarterbacks and wide receivers workout. I was among those allowed in to view this mornings workout.

Among the impressions with the QBs:

Fresno State's Tom Brandstater was the most impressive thrower of the bunch. His passes were thrown accurately and with impressive velocity. Central Arkansas's Nathan Brown also helped himself. Enough zip for the out and and good touch over the top on the deep ball and post-corner. 

Brandstater and Brown helped themselves, but the scouts most wanted to see juniors Josh Freeman (Kansas State) and Nate Davis (Ball State) this morning. Freeman has good arm strength, but his accuracy was inconsistent. On many of his shorter and intermediate routes, he often was a bit high or wide with his throws. All in all, it was a solid performance, but not the jaw-dropping one some had projected. Davis was a little erratic early, but improved as the practice went on. He has the best deep ball (in terms of accuracy, velocity, trajectory, etc.) of any of the QBs here. He did not wear gloves.

Texas Tech's Graham Harrell struggled, at times.

USC's Mark Sanchez will throw later today. Georgia's Matt Stafford will run, but not throw.



Posted on: February 21, 2009 4:29 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2009 5:40 pm

New Stadium = New Results = New Perspective

The 40-yard dash has become the most widely discussed aspect of the NFL Combine, but scouts will have to keep a historical perspective with this year's results. The track at the new Lucas Oil Stadium is different than the one used at the RCA Dome, where the Combine took place from 1987 until last year. To compare apples to apples - obviously important when comparing the statistics of players against each other - it would be fairest and most accurate to compare the results of this year's Combine only to others taken this year or in future years at Lucas Oil Stadium.

A player timed at 4.50, like is crediting South Carolina tight end Jared Cook with today, could have actually been faster or slower on the trackat the RCA Dome.

Posted on: February 21, 2009 4:16 pm
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Posted on: February 21, 2009 3:31 pm

Jarron Gilbert Combine Star?

Despite ranking among the nation's leaders in sacks and tackles for loss, San Jose State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert is rarely mentioned as a one of the best defensive line prospects.

Considering the explosive leaping ability he shows in the youtube video I've linked to below, he could "jump" up draft boards with an eye-popping performance...

If you haven't seen the video, it is worth viewing. Gilbert said every conversation he'd had with scouts involved at least one question regarding it...

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 21, 2009 12:47 pm

Michael Crabtree stress fracture in his foot

Consensus top wide receiver prospect Michael Crabtree was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The injury, not serious enough to have hampered him while at Texas Tech, was discovered via a bone scan taken by doctors at the Combine.

Crabtree will undergo surgery on his foot. The surgery generally has a 6-10 week recovery period. The NFL Draft is 9 weeks from today. 


Category: NFL
Posted on: February 21, 2009 12:07 pm

Andre Smith Disappears

Former Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, characterized by some as the elite prospect of the draft, was nowhere to be found this morning when the fellow offensive linemen began working out. 

He had told the media that he wasn't going to participate in the workouts this week, but he was still expected to attend. League officials had to scramble to find him. Apparently, he was not in the building. 

There is no telling what this revelation could do to Smith's already falling stock...

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 20, 2009 3:59 pm

LeSean McCoy Sick, May Not Workout

Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy has been struggling with flu-like symptoms throughout the week and may not be able to workout at the Combine this week.

He told scouts that he wanted to run the forty yard dash, but didn't yet feel strong enough to consider the bench press.

McCoy's illness could be perceived by conspiracy theorists as a ruse to buy him more time to workout, but if the fake is on, it is an effective fake. The league assigns a media rep to walk with each player and McCoy's was sure to keep his distance.'s Gil Brandt approached McCoy before the Pitt running back even took the podium and asked how he was feeling...

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 20, 2009 2:23 pm

Stafford, Sanchez Impressive on the Podium


If Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford was as impressive conversing over dinner last night with a contingent of Detroit Lion decision-makers as he was today with the media, the race to the be #1 pick may already be over.

Stafford, who dined with Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew, head coach Jim Schwartz, and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, among others, was dazzling in front of the media today at the NFL Combine. Stafford, who had been portrayed as a bit standoff-ish, was instead, articulate, personable, and genuinely comfortable in the spotlight, even taking an impromptu question from USC quarterback, Mark Sanchez, in stride.

Sanchez fielded questions from the media shortly afterwards and was equally impressive. His easy smile and straight-forward honest answers seemed to prove the reports I'd been given by scouts and those close to the USC program that Sanchez would impress in this format as a natural leader.

Category: NFL
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