Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:48 am
Prior to the development of Tim Tebow as the most talked about quarterback in Denver since John Elway, the Broncos were looking at another versatile, Heisman-winning passer as a possible first round target for the 2012 draft -- Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
Rated behind only Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil among the elite prospects in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Griffin is likely to earn a top-five selection come April. That would almost surely keep RG3 out of Denver's reach, as the Broncos would have to package several picks -- including their current first round selection (No. 25 overall) to move up to get him.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com reported Tuesday, however, that the Broncos were closely scouting Griffin this season.
"At a certain point this season,” Wyche said “with conversations I had there, they were really doing their due diligence on RG3 because of some of the things he can do to the offense.”
Blessed with extraordinary foot speed and touch on the deep ball, Griffin is a multidimensional threat who appears perfectly suited to taking the NFL by storm. He's also entering the league at precisely the right time. The immediate success by Cam Newton will be used by some as evidence that Griffin, too, can make a quick transition to the NFL.
Considering his unique talents, the fact that the Broncos were closely scouting Griffin is no surprise. Frankly, it would be a surprise only if they didn't scout Griffin (and every other highly regarded prospect) closely. Teams don't just scout the players at perceived positions of need. Each team works hard to do their "due diligence" on every prospect who could potentially help their team.
While the Broncos aren't likely to be among them, there are several teams looking for help at quarterback. As owners of the No. 1 overall pick, the Indianapolis Colts, of course, will have the first option of taking Griffin. Team owner Jim Irsay mentioned RG3 by name when predicting who his Colts might take with the first pick.
“With [Robert] Griffin and [Andrew] Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft, [it] could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf ," Irsay said.
Besides the Colts, the Cleveland Browns (No. 4, No. 22 overall), Washington Redskins (No. 6), Miami Dolphins (No. 8 or 9*) and Seattle Seahawks (No. 11 or 12*) are teams thought to be keenly interested in Griffin. *The Dolphins and Seahawks' final draft slot won't be determined until a coin=-flip held at the Combine will break their tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively).
If Mike Holmgren and Co. want Griffin in Cleveland, they may be able to wait for him to land in their laps at No. 4, overall. Considering the extra first round pick they have due to Atlanta's trade up for Julio Jones last April, they also have the ammunition to move up, if needed. Miami, Washington and Seattle do not have an extra first round pick this year but with enough talent on their rosters to potentially emerge as serious playoff contenders with better play at quarterback, one (or more) of the clubs could be willing to pony up several picks in an effort to move up for Griffin.
All of which is music to the ears of the St. Louis Rams, owners of the No. 2 overall pick and their own young franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The Rams, my CBS colleague Clark Judge argues, should auction off the pick to the highest bidder.
Posted on: February 12, 2012 12:06 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2012 7:06 am
Pro Day workouts are held on campus. While the interview and medical testing components of the Combine are left out at Pro Days, the same athletic drills (40-yard dash, bench press, 3-cone drill, etc.) take place. It is the best opportunity to for athletes not invited to the Combine to audition in front of high-ranking NFL decision-makers.
Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:34 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 9:48 pm
Alabama safety Mark Barron will not be able to participate in the upcoming Scouting Combine after undergoing a double-hernia surgery, NFLDraftScout.com has confirmed.
Barron is the only safety currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a first round talent.
There had been speculation at the Senior Bowl that Barron had been unable to participate in the event due to a pre-existing medical condition.
The rehabilitation for a hernia surgery typically runs two to four weeks but can extend up to eight weeks. The Combine is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, covering February 22-28 in Indianapolis.
Complicating matters is that Barron may not be sufficiently healed or in the shape he'll want to be when Alabama holds their Pro Day March 7.
A high-ranking team official thought to be considering using a high pick on a defensive back in the April draft didn't think the surgery would have any lasting impact on Barron's stock.
"No, I can't see it having any real impact on his stock," the source said on the condition of anonymity. "I mean, he's got to get it healthy but he's a damn good football player with lots of tape. No one is going to drop him if he isn't able to run in Indy [Combine] or at their Pro Day."
At 6-2, 218 pounds Barron has the size and athleticism scouts are looking for at the position. He earned First Team All-SEC honors after each of his three starting seasons with the Tide and was voted a consensus All-American as a senior. He leaves Alabama ranked eighth in school history with 12 interceptions and also has 235 tackles and 34 passes defensed to his credit.
Barron is the second Alabama senior to miss the Combine due to an injury. Senior nose guard Josh Chapman will also not be able to work out after it was discovered that he played through a torn ACL this season.
The captain of an Alabama secondary that finished the year ranked first in pass defense (116.3 ypg) & pass efficiency defense (83.9), Barron is currently projected by both Dane Brugler and myself to be drafted in the first round.
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:26 pm
Unless Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III defy the trend of top-rated quarterbacks choosing not to throw at the Scouting Combine, talent evaluators are going to have a tough time seeing both throw prior to the 2012 draft.
That's because Stanford and Baylor have each scheduled their on-campus "Pro Day" workouts on March 22, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The conflicting schedule could force teams to split up their decision-makers to take in the workouts. This happened last year when the Carolina Panthers sent head coach Ron Rivera to watch Cam Newton's Pro Day workout at Auburn while general manager Marty Hurney reportedly attended Ryan Mallett's workout at Arkansas.
Another possibility, of course, is that Luck and/or Griffin could schedule their own individual workouts so that scouts could attend both.
If scouts are, indeed, forced to choose one or the other, the smart money is on Griffin generating more interest despite the fact that Luck is regarded as the top prospect in the draft. While both quarterbacks are viewed as exceptional talents worthy of top five consideration, Griffin has many more questions to answer prior to the draft than Luck.
Having established himself as the elite talent in the country two years running, Luck's game has already been dissected by most decision-makers. Griffin's ascension has been more sudden. Furthermore, scouts will want to see how Griffin drops back from center after having taken the majority of his snaps out of the shotgun while at Baylor.
While there remains some debate as to which direction the Indianapolis Colts may go with the No. 1 overall pick, they are thought to be leaning towards Luck. Should they take Griffin or any other player with the first pick, the line of suitors to trade up into the St. Louis Rams' No. 2 pick would be a long one. Should Griffin not be drafted No. 1, however, it remains to be seen if he generates the same trade interest or if he "falls" past No. 2 overall. Among the teams expected to be interested in adding Griffin would be the Cleveland Browns (owners of the No. 4 overall pick), the Washington Redskins (No. 6), Miami Dolphins (No. 9*), and Seattle Seahawks (No. 12*). *Miami and Seattle's first round pick won't be decided until a coin-flip at the Combine. They may move up one spot each in the draft order after finishing tied with the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.
As it stands now, I am projecting Griffin to slip to No. 4 overall, where the Browns could nab him. Dane Brugler has the Heisman winner landing with Cleveland, as well.
Scouts are quick to point out that Pro Day workouts in which quarterbacks are throwing "against air" rather than defenses do not ultimately play a significant role in determining his final grade. That hasn't stopped the "Pro Day season" from becoming a huge part of the pre-draft process. Teams dedicate plenty of money and time crossing the country to attend the workouts.
I, myself, have attended several Pro Day workouts of highly regarded quarterbacks, including last year's for Jake Locker, Sam Bradford's in 2010 and Mark Sanchez in 2009.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Andrew Luck, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Jake Locker, Kansas City Chiefs, Mark Sanchez, Marty Hurney, Miami Dolphins, Pro Day, Robert Griffin III, Ron Rivera, Ryan Mallett, Sam Bradford, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Stanford, Washington Redskins
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:40 pm
According to at least one doctor within the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu is "perfectly normal" and able to "play football now."
Prior to every NFL team's doctors checking out Owusu, the assertion that the former Cardinal receiver is fine has to be taken with a grain of salt. For one, Owusu has had three concussions over the past two seasons, the last of which of which ended his 2011 season on November 5. The concussion (suffered against Oregon State) kept Owusu out of several big games, including Stanford's January 2 Fiesta Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State.
Second, Evan Silva of ProFootballTalk.com cites communication with Owusu's agent (Steve Caric of Caric Sports Management) as the source of the story. What else might an agent say about his client other than that he is healthy and likely to boost his stock at the upcoming Combine?
I have also been in contact with Caric regarding Owusu's recovery from the concussions. Not surprisingly, Caric is confident that his client is going to turn heads in Indianapolis.
Via email, Caric explained that: "There is a lot of false information and perception out there on [Owusu's] health. We have already begun correcting that, and it will be reinforced when every team examines him at the Combine and he proves to be 100% healthy up close."
Caric is right. Ultimately, each team's doctors are going to make their own interpretation of Owusu (and every other prospect) based on the medical testing done at the Combine.
Whether the Stanford product is healthy enough to warrant draft consideration remains to be seen. He's currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 48 receiver of the 2012 draft class, though no one doubts that based purely on talent he deserves to be ranked among the top 20 at the position.
Owusu was graded by some scouts as a middle round talent entering his senior campaign. This grade, however, was based largely on Owusu's upside as he's struggled to remain on the field throughout his career. Due to multiple injuries, he was never able to start a full season at Stanford, earning the starting nod in 9/13 games in 2009, 7/13 in 2010 and 7/13 again this past season. He left Stanford having caught 102 passes for 1,534 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 6-0, 200 pound Owusu is a terrific athlete who should test well in Combine drills. Ultimately, it is the "other" drills that will be more important in determining his final draft stock, as this story serves as a reminder that for as much attention as the results in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press will get, the medical testing is far and away the most important element of the Combine.
The Combine will take place in Indianapolis February 22-28.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:57 am
A few weeks ago NFLDraftScout.com reported the initial list of players invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine, noting that the list would be updated soon with underclassmen and a few late senior additions.
National Football Scouting, the organization that puts on the Scouting Combine for the NFL, released the expanded list Tuesday morning.
While most of the record 65 underclassmen granted special eligibility for the 2012 draft are included on the list, 10 are not. Though every year there are players drafted who were not among those invited to the Combine, generally talent evaluators wish to see the underclassmen up close due to the limited viewing they may have of the early entrants throughout the year. As such, the 10 underclassmen who didn't make the Combine cut are clearly being currently viewed as long shots to be drafted. The 10 underclassmen not listed include Wyoming running back Alvester Alexander, Texas running back Jamison Berryhill, Kansas State running back Bryce Brown, Minnesota tight end Tiree Eure, Syracuse wide receiver Dorian Graham, Boston College defensive end/outside linebacker Max Holloway, Miami wide receiver Aldarius Johnson, Tulsa wide receiver Damaris Johnson, Purdue guard Ken Plue, and Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter.
Among the seniors granted a late invitiation to the event, which will run from February 22-28 in Indianapolis, are: Washington running back Chris Polk, Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko and Utah State running back Robert Turbin.
Here is the official alphabetical list.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:32 am
Alabama junior Trent Richardson is universally considered the top running back in the 2012 draft.
Ask five scouts which runner will follow him on draft day and you are liable to get five different answers. Some are enamored with the pure speed of Miami's Lamar Miller or Virginia Tech's David Wilson. Others like the all-around game of Boise State senior Doug Martin. With an MVP-performance in the Senior Bowl that showcased his potential as a returner, Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead is making a late run up the board.
A so-so performance in Mobile has taken some of the luster off of Washington's Chris Polk, but if he runs as fast in workouts as he and those close to him expect him to, the former Husky will certainly be in the mix.
Preparing interviews for Lindy's NFL Draft Preview scheduled to hit newstands March 1, I asked Chris at the Senior Bowl what he expects to run in the all-important 40-yard dash.
He smiled and replied simply, "Faster than any of you all think."
Pressed to be more specific, Polk elaborated.
"From what everyone has been saying and I've been reading, I guess speed is one of the big questions everyone has about me. I'm not that worried about it, to be honest with you. I know how fast I am. I expect to run something in the 4.4s."
Though Polk ran for 4,049 yards for the Huskies over his career, finishing second behind only former first round pick Napoleon Kaufman (4,106) in school history. Though he's shown the ability to break free for several long scores over his career (four TDs of 50+ yards), his straight-line speed is considered one of the question marks on an otherwise sparkling résumé.
Polk is currently preparing for the Combine at Athletes Performance Institute in Los Angeles. If his effort there result in a 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds or less, teams won't be able to ignore the fact that his game-tape, frankly, is more impressive than any of the other backs vying to follow Richardson.
Posted on: February 4, 2012 1:50 pm
Over the past few weeks, my fellow NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler and I have been working around the clock to finish up the 300+ player profiles we'll be offering here and for Lindy's NFL Draft Magazine.