Tag:Chris Polk
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:35 pm
 

RB Polk measures in lighter, faster at UW Pro Day

Seattle -- A year ago it was quarterback Jake Locker whose impressive Pro Day workout at the University of Washington served as a springboard from which he boosted his mercurial stock all the way to the No. 8 pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

This year it is running back Chris Polk who likely boosted his stock with scouts with an impressive all-around performance Thursday in front of scouts and position coaches from roughly half of the teams in the NFL. Ironically enough, he did so with Locker watching, as the Titans' 2011 first round pick returned to Washington to throw passes to Polk, wide receivers Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar and fullback Dorson Boyce.

Polk measured in at 5-10 (1/2) and 212 pounds, three pounds lighter than he'd weighed at the Combine and 12 pounds lighter than he was at the Senior Bowl. The loss of weight was noticeable in the running back's time in the 40-yard dash and his explosiveness in positional drills. Polk was credited with an "official" 4.57 second time at the Combine but came in at between 4.45-4.49 in his first attempt and 4.48-4.51 in his second. Polk also posted 16 reps on the bench press. He caught passes out of the backfield, demonstrating the soft, reliable hands and route-running ability that I believe is his most underrated quality and why the Washington running back remains in the hunt (along with Boise State's Doug Martin, Virginia Tech's David Wilson and Miami's Lamar Miller) to be the second back selected in the 2012 draft. Only Alabama's Trent Richardson, the consensus top-rated back, is viewed as a surefire first round pick.  

While Polk was the big name, the three other Washington players invited to participate in the Scouting Combine this year each worked out again for scouts Thursday.

The Cincinnati Bengals thought enough of defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu to send their defensive line coach Jay Hayes to work out the big (6-2, 347) run-stuffer personally. Ta'amu has surprisingly light feet for a man of his size and scouts on hand seemed pleased with his performance in the shuttle and three-cone drills. 

Similarly, Seattle Seahawks' assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel worked out Senio Kelemete (6-3 1/2, 309). Kelemete started his final two seasons for the Huskies at left tackle but is viewed by most as a better fit inside at guard. Kelemete looked good at 309 pounds after playing closer to 290 this season, showing the balance, quick feet and improved power (25 reps today after 21 at the Combine) to handle the transition. 

Kearse enjoyed a strong workout, as well, clocking in much faster today (4.44) than he did at the Combine (4.58) and catching every pass that I saw touch his hands. He and Locker didn't connect on a couple of deeper throws, including on a post-corner in which NFL personnel were overhead chiding Kearse for not getting his head around quickly enough to locate the ball.

One Husky who likely caught the attention of scouts with a stellar 40-yard dash time was cornerback Quinton Richardson. Not invited to the Combine, Richardson was the fastest of the players tested Thursday, recording times in the mid 4.3s. Richardson had looked like a potential draftable commodity after a strong junior season but struggled with inconsistency as a senior. Clearly, he has the speed to warant further investigation.

Media members were partioned off from the actual workout and the results of timed drills was not made readily available. 

I saw representatives of the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the workout.          

Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:20 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 10:32 am
 

Knee scope will sideline RB Richardson at Combine

The competition to be the second running back selected in the 2012 NFL Draft will go from one of the more intriguing second tier topics of this week's Scouting Combine to one of the major stories with news Wednesday that Alabama runner Trent Richardson, the unquestioned top talent at the position, won't be able to perform in Indianapolis. 

Richardson, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 6 rated overall prospect, underwent minor knee surgery a few weeks ago after initially injuring his knee while preparing for the BCS National Championship, according to NFL.com's Jason LaCanfora

Though Richardson won't be able to participate in the athletic drills at the Combine, according to the report, he is expected to be able to participate in Alabama's March 7 Pro Day

(LaCanfora has since reported via Twitter that Richardson will be working out on March 27, raising questions about his availability for Alabama's original Pro Day.)

Assuming that team doctors don't find reason to believe that Richardson will be troubled by the knee in the future, his stock isn't likely to be impacted, according to a league source who shared his thoughts under the condition of anonymity.

"If the doctors say he's okay, it won't change anything. [Richardson] is an elite talent," the scout wrote in a text message.

Considering the physicality with which he plays, however, the injury certainly will be checked out thoroughly by every team. Richardson suffered a slight MCL tear in 2011 and underwent surgery as a sophomore in high school after tearing ligaments in his ankle.

  Richardson is currently slated to be a top five draft pick by Dane Brugler and I. Our colleague Pete Prisco has Richardson slipping a bit further but still has the Crimson Tide star earning a pick in the top half of the first round

Since beating LSU in the BCS Championship, it has been a tough few weeks for several highly rated Alabama players. Prior to news of Richardson's injury, Tide seniors Josh Chapman (nose guard) and Mark Barron (safety) each missed the Senior Bowl due to injuries. Junior cornerback 'Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested (and ultimately had the charges dropped) for marijuana possession.

Richardson finished third in the Heisman voting in 2011 behind only Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. He won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's elite running back, rushing for 1,583 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns, including the only touchdown in the BCS Championship Game. 

NFLDraftScout.com currently lists Virginia Tech's David Wilson, Miami's Lamar Miller, Boise State's Doug Martin and Washington's Chris Polk as the other four backs behind Richardson as the top five talents at the position for the 2012 draft.  
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:32 am
 

Washington RB Polk expects to run in the 4.4s

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: January 23, 2012 2:37 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Early impressions from Senior Bowl weigh-ins

MOBILE, Ala. -- It might seem silly to think that lasting impressions can be made on scouts when athletes strut on stage for the weigh-ins prior to various all-star games but talent evaluators can take a lot from the height, weight, hand size, arm length, and general build of the athletes. 

Each football position carries with it certain ideal measurements. This, of course, does not mean that players can't be successful in the NFL despite being shorter, heavier or physically less impressive than expected. It does, however, give scouts an idea as to where a prospect might project in the pros, as well as his dedication to the weight-room, etc. 

At no all-star game is this more important, of course, than the Senior Bowl, the most prestigious and talent-filled all-star game in college football. 

The Senior Bowl weigh-in took place this morning and there were some surprises. 

First, there were a few players unable to attend the game. Of the notables is Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright and Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still. Wright suffered an ankle injury and was unable to attend. Still is nursing a sprained big toe. 

Clemson defensive end Andre Branch is scheduled to play in the game but was not yet in Mobile this morning to be measured. There was only one addition to the roster so far, Arkansas State outside linebacker Demario Davis was not yet in Mobile but was announced as a player coming in to participate. Davis is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 23 rated outside linebacker for the 2012 draft.           

Perhaps the most significant element of the weigh-in proceedings is simply comparing the so-called "small school" prospects to the BCS players. Fortunately for Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick, Furman cornerback Ryan Steed, Massachusetts H-back/fullback Emil Igwenagu and Cal Poly cornerback Asa Jackson, their impressive physiques certainly passed the eye-ball test as legitimate pro prospects. 

Quick, in fact, was one of the more physically impressive players on either roster. He measured in at 6-3 (1/2) and a rock-solid 222 pounds. His 33 1/2 inch arms were only slighter shorter than North Carolina's Dwight Jones (33 5/8) and Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller (34 1/8) -- two receivers who have generated a great deal more national attention than Quick. 

The most impressive builds of the day were sported by Utah State inside linebacker Bobby Wagner (6-0 and a 1/4, 241 pounds), Boise State running back Doug Martin (5-09, 219), Michigan defensive tacke Mike Martin (6-1 and a 1/2, 307 pounds) and Florida State linebacker Nigel Bradham (6-1 and 5/8, 237 pounds). 

Of the offensive linemen, hand size and arm length are of extreme importance. Due to this fact, Iowa State's Kelechi Osemele (10 3/8" inch hands, 35 1/4" arms), Georgia's Cordy Glenn (10, 35 1/8), Florida State's Zebrie Sanders (11, 34 5/8), Ohio State's Mike Adams (11, 33 3/4) showed the big hands and long arms to help convince scouts that they should remain outside at offensive tackle rather than move inside to guard.  

With some prospects impressing with their athletic frames, there will naturally be some disappointments. It is worth repeating that the NFL is full of prospects who appeared too small, too heavy or too thin in shorts only to prove Pro-Bowlers on the field. Still, the relatively soft builds for Washington running back Chris Polk, Alabama center William Vlachos, Boise State defensive lineman Billy Winn and Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry were a bit surprising. So too was the fact that North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated prospect in Mobile for this game, measured in lighter than expected at 281 pounds. Coples measured in at just under 6-6 (6-5, 3/4") and had been listed by the Tar Heels at 285 pounds and some expected him to measure closer to 295. Clearly, Coples is attempting to prove he's lean and athletic enough to remain at defensive end rather than move back inside to defensive tackle.

Following the player weigh-ins is the first practice of the week. On every day of the week the North and South teams will alternate practicing at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile per day. Today, however, the North team will practice at Ladd-Peebles whereas the South team will be practicing simultaneously in nearby Fairhope.  

Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:48 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 2:53 pm
 

Senior Bowl invites Washington "junior" RB Polk

Lost amid the clutter of the NFL's release that a record 65 underclassmen were granted special eligibility for the 2012 draft was the announcement from the Senior Bowl that ten Pac-12 players were invited to participate in the preeminent senior all-star game in the land.

Among the ten was a surprise -- University of Washington running back Chris Polk, who had been characterized by the Huskies and the NCAA as a whole to this point as a junior.

It had been presumed that Polk, who missed all but the first two games of the 2008 season due to injury, had taken a medical redshirt. As it turns out, Polk did not apply for a redshirt and thus, exhausted his eligibility once the Huskies lost to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl.
"We made sure that we followed proper protocol before we invited Chris and that entailed getting everything cleared through the NFL and Coach Sarkisian at the University of Washington," Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said.  "Once it was determined that Chris had exhausted his eligibility at Washington there was no question we wanted him on our roster.  He is an excellent player and has a bright future in the National Football League."

Polk was not among the 65 underclassmen granted special eligibility by the NFL for the 2012 draft.

Polk's addition to the Senior Bowl roster is a significant one. Ranked as the No. 4 running back in the 2012 draft class by NFLDraftScout.com, Polk leaves Washington having rushed for 4,049 yards -- the second most in school history behind Napoleon Kaufman, a first round pick by the Raiders in 1995.

Listed by Washington at 5-11, 222 pounds Polk is a surprisingly physical back for his size. Though he lacks elite breakaway speed, his vision, burst and determined running made him the MVP for the Huskies in 2010 over quarterback Jake Locker, drafted No. 8 overall by the Titans in April. Polk finished second behind former Washington running back Corey Dillon for the single-season record with 1,415 rushing yards in 2010. He earned First Team All Pac-12 accolades in 2011 after rushing for even more yardage (1,488), including posting 147 yards and a score against Baylor.

Polk is one of three Washington players to be invited to Mobile for the 2012 Senior Bowl. Joining him will be offensive lineman Senio Kelemete and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu.

The remaining seven Pac-12 prospects invited to the Senior Bowl are Arizona quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver Juron Criner, Arizona State offensive lineman Garth Gerhart and wide receiver Gerell Robinson, California linebacker Mychal Kendricks and offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz and Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom.

Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:03 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Huskies RB Polk entering NFL Draft

Fourth-year junior running back Chris Polk is leaving the University of Washington a year early to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

"Chris had a terrific career at Washington and deserves the opportunity to move on to the next level," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. "We wish him nothing but the best in what I'm sure will be a great professional career."

Polk is the No. 4 running back eligible for the 2012 draft and the No. 56 overall prospect, according to NFLDraftScout.com, behind only Alabama's Trent Richardson, Miami's Lamar Miller and David Wilson from Virginia Tech. All are underclassmen, with Miller already declaring his intention to enter the draft. Richardson and Wilson have yet to play their bowl games.

Polk, who has already earned his bachelor's degree in American ethnic studies, leaves as the second all-time leading rusher in Huskies history with 4,049 yards in 40 games. He is behind only Napoleon Kaufman (4,106) on the school's career rushing list. Polk's 799 career carries and average 101.2 rushing yards per game are school records.

Polk is a strong interior runner who has the burst to get through the line and the power to break tackles. He's not a naturally explosive outside runner, and is primarily a North-South runner who has good vision for cutback lanes. Polk lacks true breakaway speed, but has plenty of speed to rip off yards in chunks. He doesn't get caught from behind often.

Coaches will value Polk's willingness and competency as a blocker as well. Like most college backs, he has to work on his technique, but Polk doesn't shy away from oncoming blitzers. 

Polk also increased his versatiliy by becoming far more involved in the Huskies' passing attack in 2012.


Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Wright vs Trufant worthy Alamo Bowl undercard

A suspect University of Washington defense will attempt to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III tonight in the Alamo Bowl.

One of the best defenses the Huskies have to limit Griffin is to keep him on the sideline. As such, expect UW to attempt to control the clock by handing the ball off again and again to their own superstar junior, First Team All Pac-12 running back Chris Polk.

With these two stars earning much of the pregame hype, an intriguing one on one matchup hasn't gained the attention it deserves.

Throughout much of the night you can expect to see Baylor senior wide receiver Kendall Wright being covered by Washington junior cornerback Desmond Trufant. It is a matchup that I believe is quietly among the ten best one on one battles of the bowl season.

In catching 101 passes for 1,572 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, Wright emerged from his quarterback's shadow as a bona fide first round prospect, himself. I've had scouts compare the 5-10, 190 pound Wright to Carolina Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith due to their similar straight-line speed and playmaking skills.

Trufant, the younger brother of the Seattle Seahawks' Marcus and New York Jets' Isaiah, has the athleticism to join his brothers playing cornerback in the NFL. He's earned Honorable Mention honors after two of his three starting seasons with the Huskies and appeared poised to gain even better accolades this year when he helped secure victories over Eastern Washington and Hawaii in Washington's first two games. Listed at 6-0, 184 pounds, Trufant finished the regular season with 61 tackles and tied for second in the Pac-12 with 15 passes defended. He's currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 8 junior cornerback in the country.

Trufant, in fact, played well enough early in the year to do some preliminary exploring of his draft stock, I've been told. Those close to the situation believe he's planning to return for his senior season, however.

In a game pitting Griffin vs. Polk as two "heavyweight" prospects, don't forget to keep an eye on the undercard matchup on the outside. It not only will give a good barometer of each player's ability to handle legitimate NFL competition, the winner of the battle could play a critical role in determing which team emerges tonight from San Antonio victorious.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:21 am
 

UW junior RB Polk undergoes arthroscopic surgery

University of Washington redshirt junior running back Chris Polk underwent arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday (Thursday, August 18) morning to repair a meniscus injury apparently suffered the day before in practice.

The rehabilitation from the surgery is expected to take 3-4 weeks, which puts the Second Team All Pac-10 back in danger of missing the team's opener against FCS champion Eastern Washington September 3.

Polk has been a standout throughout his career with the Huskies, but really emerged onto the national scene last year, especially with an MVP performance in the Holiday Bowl win over heavily favored Nebraska. Polk rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown on 34 attempts against the Cornhuskers in that contest and 1,415 for the year -- second in the conference behind only Oregon's LaMichael James (who led the country with 1,731 yards).

Polk's 1,415 yards last year for the Huskies was second behind only Corey Dillon's 1,695 yards in 1996 for a single season. With two more years of eligibility, Polk appears to be well on his way towards challenging Napoleon Kaufman's record for career rushing yards. He is currently 1,546 yards behind Kaufman, who left the Huskies for the Oakland Raiders with 4,041 yards between 1991-1994. Polk is currently in sixth place on the Huskies' all-time list with 2,561 yards.

According to Huskies' head coach Steve Sarkisian (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times), the injury was caught early and shouldn't take long for Polk to recover.
"I don't know if it kind of lingered on him and it was one cut or not, but he knew near the end of practice that this just doesn't feel right, something isn't feeling right," he said. "When we got done we said, 'Let's go in and take a look at this thing' and (surgery) was the right thing to do. ... It's not serious but I just didn't want it to linger and I thought the doctors handled it really well, and let's just do it now so we are not dealing with this thing come October, November. It potentially could be a couple of weeks but I think he already feels good about it."
The 5-11, 215 pound Polk is among the most physical backs in the country. He possesses enough lateral agility to elude and while not boasting explosive timed speed, is rarely caught from behind. He currently rates as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 running back prospect in the country. Should he enjoy a strong 2011 season, Polk is thought to be very likely to explore his NFL options. Polk graduated in June with a degree in American Ethnic Studies/Anthropology.


 
 
 
 
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