Tag:NFL Scouting Combine
Posted on: February 25, 2010 5:05 pm

Pittsburgh's Kevin Colbert a Combine star (again)

Two years ago at the Combine Pittsburgh Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert characterized the 2008 class of offensive tackles as "the best group I've seen in 24 years collectively." Considering that an NFL record eight offensive tackles were drafted in the first round, at least in one sense, he was proven correct.

Colbert again was willing to quantify a uniquely gifted lineman class. This time, however, he was describing the 2010 defensive line class.

"This draft, there are more defensive linemen than any draft I can remember in really 26 years I've been doing this," Colbert told the media at the Combine this morning. "It's not only depth, but the quality of the depth, as well."

I believe Colbert to be correct -- and wrote as much long ago.

We currently rate 9 defensive linemen among our top 32 prospects. They are, in order, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, Florida DE Carlos Dunlap, USC DE Everson Griffen, Tennessee DT Dan Williams, South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Michigan DE Brandon Graham, Penn State DT Jared Odrick and UCLA DT Brian Price.

Few front office executives are as willing to go on the record with strong statements as Colbert.

Considering the accuracy of his past statement (and his teams' success in finding defensive linemen), perhaps more should adopt his honesty.

Posted on: February 25, 2010 2:59 pm

Indiana OT Rodger Saffold impressive...

NFL scouts consistently tell me that the single most underrated component of the Combine is the "feel" teams get for players through the informal and formal interviews.

Like many coaches (who have worked their up through high school, college to the NFL level), my background lies in education. This has often come up when discussing with scouts how to quickly "size up" players' personality.

No player invited to the Combine lacks the ability to play football. The tough part of scouting is not in differentiating the players who can play, but the ones who will continue the work necessary to improve their play once they are given an NFL paycheck.

In that case, after being less than wowed with some of the higher-rated tackles of this draft that have come through the media room, thus far, I was very impressed with Indiana's Rodger Saffold. The former Indiana player has the uniquely sculpted, yet stout build scouts look for in a left tackle. He was also very thoughtful, articulate and passionate with his answers.

I fully realize how little the ability to impress in workouts means on the football field. Considering that Saffold has already struck me as a woefully underrated prospect due to his size, strength and agility, I (and more importantly, scouts) don't have many reservations about his game.

Soon, they won't have reservations about his intelligence and dedication either.

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