Tag:Everson Griffen
Posted on: April 24, 2010 10:12 am
Edited on: April 24, 2010 10:36 am

4th is where workout warriors make sense

I'll admit that I was one of the media members who bought a little into the hype with workout warriors Everson Griffen and Bruce Campbell, the defensive end and offensive tackle from USC and Maryland, respectively.

Based on the film, however, I've steadily argued that they were being overrated and that some team was going to be disappointed if they invested a top 50 pick in them.

Griffen, in particular, is likely to disappoint. He signed with USC as one of the truly elite prep talents in the country, but had been a significant disappointment until this past season. Even this year, it was obvious that his motor ran hot and cold.

With Campbell, the classic "Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" description applies.

Both, however, are well worth a 4th round pick, as they have the prerequisite athleticism and build to play in the NFL.

And after earning so much media hype throughout their respective careers, dropping to the fourth round could provide a very effective serving of humble pie.

Motivated, both players could develop into starters. Considering we're 100 picks into the draft (99, technically, with the selection of Mardy Gilyard by the Rams), the timing is right.

EDIT --- The Minnesota Vikings must have thought so too, taking Griffen with the 100th pick.
EDIT 2 --- The Oakland Raiders used the 106th pick on Campbell.

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 3, 2010 2:13 pm

Hybrid pass rushers ease concerns at Combine

With only three D-I teams (Alabama, Virginia, Cal) using the 3-4 as their last year base defense last year, NFL teams looking for rush linebackers to fit this scheme are being forced to consider how pass rushing defensive ends from the 4-3 will convert.

Taking some of the guess work out of the process, 34 (out of 39) defensive ends tested at the Combine also did linebacker drills.

Scouts leaving Indianapolis yesterday told me that former defensive ends Sergio Kindle (Texas), Jerry Hughes (TCU), Everson Griffen (USC), Ricky Sapp (Clemson), and Thaddeus Gibson (Ohio State) were the most impressive of the conversion bunch. The fact that there were so many who did so has scouts excited that some of these young pass rushers will be able to make an immediate impact as rookies.

Kindle, who has experience at linebacker and is widely viewed as one of the draft's better all-around athletes, was not a surprise. Griffen, also viewed as an elite athlete, also was expected to perform well. Scouts felt that each were so athletic, in fact, that some question why they weren't more productive during their collegiate careers.

Sapp needed a strong workout to ease teams' concerns about his surgically repaired knee.

The more impactful workouts may have been had by Hughes and Gibson.

Hughes (6-2, 255) gambled by not attending the Senior Bowl, but may have proven he made a wiser decision in prepping for workouts. Scouts clocked him in the low 4.6s in the 40-yard dash and he also impressed in linebacker drills, as well as the 3-cone and 20 yard shuttle, each of which are designed to test how well an athlete changes directions -- typically areas of concern for DEs making the conversion to OLB.

Gibson (6-2, 243) is less known to scouts due to the fact that he left by Ohio State after his junior season. Gibson proved his agility by leading all defensive linemen (and finishing 3rd among linebackers) in the 3-cone drill (6.84 seconds), while also posting solid numbers in the short shuttle, 40-yard dash and bench press.

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