Tag:Senior Bowl
Posted on: April 23, 2010 10:08 pm

Roberts, Veldheer, Carrington will surprise

As we get into the middle rounds is where NFL scouts and draft analysts earn their money.

While few fans will know much about Andre Roberts, wideout from The Citadel, Hillsdale offensive tackle Jared Veldheer and even Sun Belt standout Alex Carrington from Arkansas State, I believe these three will prove to be three of the better picks of the third round.

Roberts is my favorite of the three. Even with the trade of Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals are well stocked at wide receiver already with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. Roberts is a classic slot receiver and returner who could step in immediately should one of them go down to injury. Typically small school receivers are raw route-runners, but I was very impressed with Roberts at the Senior Bowl in this area. He has hands of glue.

Perhaps the most NFL-ready of the bunch, however, is Arkansas State's Alex Carrington, who at 6-5, 280 pounds has the length and strength the Bills need at defensive end for their conversion to the 3-4 defense. Carrington, like Roberts, helped dispel any thoughts that he couldn't make the jump to better competition with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.

Veldheer, a 46 game starter and All-American, fills an area of real concern for the Raiders. He has the length the Raiders like outside and really made a name for himself at the Texas vs. Nation game. I've spoken to scouts who rate him similarly to former Sebastian Vollmer, a surprise second round pick last year for the Patriots who ended up starting eight games as a rookie, including five games at left tackle.

Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:38 am

Red-flagged medicals led to Kindle, Brown's slips

While Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and USC safety Taylor Mays slipping out of the first round will generate much more attention, the two players I was more surprised to see slip out are receiving considerably less fanfare.

Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle was being graded by some clubs as the best 3-4 rush linebacker in this class. I've spoken to teams who operate out of a 4-3 alignment that were convinced he could hold up as a defensive end in their scheme, as well, and had given him a first round grade.

Similarly, USC left tackle Charles Brown had been rising up draft boards. Brown had turned down the opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl due in part to the assurances he'd been receiving from teams that he was already a first round lock. The former tight end has the footwork that teams want in a blindside pass protector and had gained considerable strength and tenacity as a senior, his second season as the Trojan's left tackle after taking over for former All-American and first round pick, Sam Baker.

So what gives?

I'm told some teams had red-flagged each player for previous injuries.

Kindle has had multiple knee injuries in the past, drawing an equivalent of a "D" (on a typical A-F) scale grade for at least one team. It also didn't help that teams were concerned about off-field decision-making with Kindle, as he was arrested for a DUI in 2007 and ran his car into a Austin, Texas apartment while text messaging in 2009.

Brown missed no games over his two starting seasons with the Trojans, but his back was red-flagged by some clubs.

Sources were "a little bit" surprised to see both slip out of the first and acknowledged that each "should go quick" on Friday.

Posted on: April 7, 2010 11:33 am

DT Arthur Jones finally works out

Syracuse defensive tackle Arthur Jones finally had his opportunity to work out for scouts.

Jones, a two-time first team all-Big East pick, entered the 2010 season graded by NFL scouts as a potential first round choice. However, suffered two injuries in 2009, a torn pectoral during the offseason and a knee injury late in the season that sidelined him for the final three games of the season. Both injuries required surgery. The knee injury sidelined him for the final three games of the 2009 season and kept him from being able to participate in the Senior Bowl, though he'd been invited. Jones, due to the injury, was unable to participate in the Combine.

He and a handful of other former Syracuse players worked out for scouts yesterday.

Jones, 6-3, 301, was the headliner, though former Duke point guard and Orange quarterback Greg Paulus was also on hand.

Jones disappointed scouts by not running in the 40-yard dash due to a pulled hamstring. He did however, show off his agility in defensive line drills and pushed up the bar 30 times. His impressive strength erased any concerns scouts may have had about his previously torn pectoral.

Tampa Bay, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and Indianapolis were among the clubs represented at the workout. Jones has met privately with the Buffalo Bills and has plans to meet with the New England and Atlanta in the coming days.
Posted on: March 31, 2010 7:15 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2010 7:21 pm

USC Pro Day results filtering in

Unlike in years past where the Trojans have featured several elite prospects, the USC Pro Day today has generated surprising little buzz among scouts I've spoken with.

Some of this is the fact that the most highly touted player from USC -- safety Taylor Mays -- lit up the Combine with his blazing times in the 40-yard dash and wasn't expected to do the full workout in LA today. As expected, he did not run. He did go through defensive back drills, however, and, according to scouts in attendance, struggled a bit in his transition. This is no surprise to anyone who has watched him in person. We mentioned as much about Mays on several occasions, including at the Senior Bowl.

It didn't help that today's workout was in drizzly, cold conditions. There were, however, several noteworthy performances.

One athlete that did help himself with another strong performance I'm told is pass rusher Everson Griffen. Not only did Griffen get timed at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash, he demonstrated an explosive burst off the snap in defensive line drills and good fluidity in linebacker drills.

Cornerback Kevin Thomas continues to move up draft rankings with another strong performance. He was timed in the early to mid 4.4s and looked very good in positional drills. Thomas won't have much time to rest before working out again, as he's scheduled a personal workout with Cleveland scouts for Thursday.

Versatile offensive lineman Alex Parsons helped his cause by shaving nearly three-tenths of a second off his Combine time in the 40-yard dash. Parsons had been clocked at 5.16 seconds in the event in Indianapolis, but scouts had him in the early 4.9s Wednesday.

Wide receiver Damian Williams did not run the 40-yard dash in LA, which was a bit of a surprise as scouts thought he'd might want to try to better the 4.55 time he recorded in Indianapolis. He did show off his quick feet and balance as a route-runner. I've said it before... I see Damian Williams as a poor man's Greg Jennings and feel that his sure route-running and hands make him one of the more pro-ready receivers of the 2010 draft.

Considering that left tackle Charles Brown was one of the few Trojans who did not do the full workout at the Combine, his Pro Day performance was more important. Unfortunately for Brown, he suffered a pulled hamstring running the 40-yard dash and was unable to participate in the position drills. He also wasn't able to match the 21 repetitions of 225 pounds he posted at the Combine, lifting the bar 20 times today.

Like Brown, running back Joe McKnight was unable to fully compete Wednesday due to injury. McKnight told scouts that he's battling a toe injury. He had been timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.

Posted on: March 24, 2010 2:33 pm

Scout: LeFevour "solid, far from spectacular"

Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour was "solid, far from spectacular" during his throwing performance at Central Michigan today, according to one NFL scout.

The scout charactized LeFevour as showing good accuracy and reasonable zip on short and intermediate passes, but that his long passes needed work. LeFevour had to wind up a bit for the longer balls, and though the distance was good, his accuracy was not. Many of his deep passes forced receivers to alter their routes.

Like most workouts, LeFevour performance won't dramatically alter his stock with scouts. LeFevour is currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the sixth best quarterback available in the 2010 draft, receiving a 3rd round grade.

Wayne State running Joique Bell, however, may see his stock slip considerably with yet another slow time in the 40-yard dash. Bell, the Harlon Hill Trophy winner and a standout at the Senior Bowl, has been unable to get his time under 4.68 seconds in repeated attempts in the drill. He was again clocked at a slow time Wednesday, timing at 4.76 seconds according to the scout. 
Posted on: March 24, 2010 12:29 am

For LeFevour, the pressure is on for Wed. Pro Day

Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour surprised (and disappointed) many when he elected not to complete many of the passing drills at the Combine. I watched him throw passes to stationary receivers (his passes were generally on target) but he did not throw the variety of routes scouts will want to see from him Wednesday during his Pro Day at Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

LeFevour's decision not to compete at the Combine was a surprising one not only because some felt that he wasn't highly rated enough in the first place to take the risk of alienating scouts, but also because he had built up some momentum with a spectacular performance in the GMAC Bowl victory over Troy and a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

In pushing his workout to Wednesday, LeFevour will have the benefit of scripting his workout, throwing to receivers he's familiar with and in front of a friendly audience. There has been talk that LeFevour wanted to work on his mechanics a bit, as well -- and considering the boost Tim Tebow has recently received with his sleeker throwing motion, that gamble could pay off.

Perhaps most importantly, Lefevour will have the opportunity to get into a rhythm, as quarterbacks throwing in Indianapolis are only asked to throw two passes typically before the getting substituted.

The decision, of course, also carries significant risk. Not only was every team obviously represented at the Combine, the decision-makers were there. It remains to be seen how many scouts will attend Wednesday's throwing session, much less how many head coaches or front office executives.

To win his gamble, LeFevour has to be good - perhaps even great - Wednesday.

If he does so, a second round pick is possible. If not, LeFevour could slide into the deep third round... or lower.

A side note -- LeFevour isn't the only highly touted skill position player with a lot riding on Wednesday's workout. CMU wide receiver Antonio Brown needs to show better speed than the 4.58 second showing in the 40-yard dash he put forth at the Combine.  Wayne State running back Joique Bell also needs a strong performance if he is to assure himself of being drafted.  The 5-11, 217 pound back won the Harlon Hill Trophy and impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl, but hasn't been able to clock faster than a 4.68 second time in the event yet.
Posted on: March 20, 2010 2:03 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2010 2:42 pm

CB Myron Lewis an NFL safety based on Pro Day #s

Considering his rare 6-1 (5/8), 202 pound frame and 4.42 speed, there were few players I was more looking forward to scouting in person at the 2010 Senior Bowl than Vanderbilt cornerback Myron Lewis. I liked his production, but wanted to see myself if he had the agility to handle cornerback or would be better suited to moving to safety in the NFL.

The problem was Lewis, despite twice earning second team all-SEC honors and possessing the unique blend of size and speed NFL scouts drool over, stunningly wasn't invited.

Lewis proved athletic at the Combine. He posted a 4.48 second showing in the 40-yard dash. Only 6 of the 35 cornerbacks tested at Indianapolis were faster. Lewis also impressed with his explosiveness (37" vertical and 10'6" broad) and posted 10 repetitions of 225 pounds.

He cramped up late in the workout and was unable to compete in the short and long shuttle, as well as the 3-cone drill. He competed in these drills at Vanderbilt's Pro Day Friday, posting times of 4.21, 11.36 and 6.89 seconds, respectively, according to Mike Organ of the Tennessean.

These drills are designed to show an athlete's ability to change direction quickly and accelerate explosively. They are one of the better quantitative indicators of if a player has the "wheels" to make it as an NFL cornerback or should be considered making the transition to safety.

Lewis' times in the shuttles and 3-cone are slower than those of most cornerbacks tested at the Combine. They fall in line, however, with many of the top safeties tested in Indianapolis.

Considering his size, speed and willingness to play with some physicality, Lewis could prove one of the better cornerback-safety transitions of this draft, and an underrated prospect.

Posted on: March 17, 2010 2:08 pm

As expected, reviews mixed after Tebow's workout

As I mentioned in an earlier post , Tim Tebow wasn't going to convert his doubters or scare off his supporters with how he threw today. Scouts trust their eyes on game film too much to change their opinion based on a workout -- especially one against no competition and in drizzly conditions.

According to those in attendance, Tebow's throwing motion was tighter. He held the ball higher while moving about in the "pocket" and had a higher release point, as well. Tebow has never thrown the prettiest ball. He is prone to wobbly passes, but his passes were tighter spirals today than they've often been in the past.

Tebow was accurate to all levels of the field. He was at his best throwing deep balls , a characteristic I noted during Tebow's best day of practice at the Senior Bowl.

Tebow was obviously focusing a great deal of attention on his delivery and didn't yet appear natural in his motion.

It will be interesting to see if Tebow reverts back to his prior elongated throwing motion when he has a pass rush chasing him.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com