Tag:Combine
Posted on: March 13, 2009 12:28 am
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Diamond in the Rough? Reed, Toal Pro Days

 

 Though scouts attended the Boston College and Oregon Pro Days Thursday to see potential Top 50 picks B.J. Raji, Max Unger, Ron Brace and Patrick Chung, among others, the early word out of each workout was that a playmaking, Combine-snub stole some of the show. 

At Oregon, defensive end/outside linebacker Nick Reed, the Pac-10's leading sacker each of the past two seasons, measured in at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and put up some impressive numbers in the drills: 40-yard Dash: 4.71...Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches...Bench Press Reps (225 pounds): 24...Broad Jump: 9.0 feet...Short Shuttle: 4.27...Three-Cone Drill: 6.96...60-yard Shuttle: 12.02. There were 22 teams on hand. 

 

At Boston College, one-time iconic linebacker/fullback Brian Toal turned in an impressive Pro Day performance of his own. Toal has struggled throughout his career with injury, including missing most of his senior season with a broken right leg (fibula). At the BC Pro Day Thursday, however, Toal appeared to have his old explosiveness back, registering a 37.5" vertical jump. The vertical would have led all linebackers tested at the Combine, including former ACC star Aaron Curry. Toal showed surprising agility and flexibility throughout linebacker and running back drills. He caught the ball cleanly in running back drills.

 

Reed and Toal are among the more intriguing "diamond in the rough" prospects of the 2009 draft. Each had been characterized as a try-hard player with limited athleticism, but impressive workout totals could lead to late round or -- at minimum -- free agent consideration.

Posted on: March 12, 2009 10:44 pm
 

Solid, Unspectacular Pro Day for Freeman

 

An estimated 15-20 teams attended Kansas State's Pro Day Thursday, mostly to see junior quarterback Josh Freeman. Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland, Jacksonville, San Francisco, New York (Jets), Tampa Bay, and Minnesota were among the clubs there. Quarterback coaches for the Lions, Seahawks, Bucs, and Vikings were all present.

 Scouts who viewed Freeman's Pro Day workout today described it in much the same words as I described Freeman's Combine workout.

First, the two scouts' take on today's workout:

AFC Scout "He certainly can throw the ball. He's a little wild, but you knew that going in on film. He's got tools, though. Someone's gonna take him in the first and may end up with the best one of the bunch in a few years."

NFC Scout "Ok, not great workout. Big arm, but erratic. Great tools, but needs some refining."

My comments after scouting Freeman at the Combine:

Freeman has good arm strength, but his accuracy was inconsistent. On many of his shorter and intermediate routes, he often was a bit high or wide with his throws. All in all, it was a solid performance, but not the jaw-dropping one some had projected.

 

 

 

Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:12 am
 

WRs Heyward-Bey, Collie impress at Pro Days

 

 Though the dominant subject throughout scouting circles yesterday was the awkward performance put forth by Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith at his Pro Day, two receivers at different ends of the country had scouts taking notes.

Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey elected not to run timed drills at his Pro Day Wednesday, but after leading all Combine invites with a 4.30 40-yard dash, he didn't have anything to prove in this area. Heyward-Bey has struggled with drops, at times, throughout his career, but not on Wednesday, snatching passes out of the air and showing the agility to ultimately be a standout route-runner. Some teams feel Heyward-Bey's unmatched combination of size and speed will ultimately translate into a top ten selection.

BYU's Austin Collie isn't the natural athlete of a Heyward-Bey, but was impressive at his Pro Day, as well. I watched Collie closely at the Combine and was impressed by his precise cuts as a route-runner, range of motion in catching tough passes and consistently sticky hands. He did drop a few passes late in the Combine session and seemed to struggle to put those mistakes out of his mind. I recall his Combine session starting off beautifully, but fizzling... That was not the case Wednesday for Collie, who was timed in the high 4.4s to mid 4.5s by two scouts I spoke to this morning. Collie, like many BYU athletes, is older than most prospects due to an LDS Mission served, but is more mature and pro-ready than many of the better overall athletes at the position.

 

 

Posted on: March 11, 2009 4:09 pm
 

Andre Smith Pro Day "Disappointing"

 

 Just got off the phone with an NFL general manager. He was not at the Alabama Pro Day, but relayed to me the report he had been given via phone from one of his scouts. I asked him to characterize the impression he received from the scout regarding Smith with one word. His word: "disappointing."

Smith measured in at 6-4 1/4, 325 pounds and was timed in the high 5.2s to low 5.3s in the 40-yard dash. He also posted only 19 repetitions of 225 pounds, a surprisingly low number considering the strength he shows on the gridiron. The bench press number won't concern scouts too much due to the fact that Smith has very long arms (35 5/8"), but the number is still surprisingly low.

The GM still expected to see Smith ultimately drafted between 10-20 and referred to Smith's film and interviews at the Combine as the reason why. Apparenty, despite sounding unprepared and silly, at times, when fielding questions for the media, Smith was more effective in his conversations with teams.

 

 

Posted on: March 6, 2009 5:30 pm
 

TCU linebacker Phillips Tore Meniscus at Combine

 

A huge component of TCU's typically stout run defense, inside linebacker Jason Phillips announced to scouts attending the Horned Frogs Pro Day Friday that he has a torn meniscus in his left knee. The injury, which Phillips believes occurred at the Combine, is expected to keep him sidelined for 3-4 months, putting a significant damper on the enthusiasm he had built with an impressive Combine performance. Phillips, a three-time Mountain West conference selection, proved more athletic than expected, turning in a very impressive 4.69 second 40-yard dash. Hodge's injury kept him from participating in most drills, but he did elect to re-do the broad jump and improved upon his Combine performance (10') with a 10'02" effort.


Phillips injury could push him into the late rounds or perhaps even undrafted free agency, at which point the gritty linebacker could qualify as a true steal...

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2009 6:00 pm
 

Injury Updates - Eugene Monroe, Jeremy Maclin

 

There has been a buzz surrounding Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and potential injuries discovered at the Combine... Sources in the league, however, tell me that all of the talk has little substance behind it.

Monroe has had some recurring issues with his left knee. He originally suffered a patella tendon strain in 2005. The most serious issue occurred in April of 2006, when he dislocated his left knee cap and was forced to undergo surgery on April 7th of that year. He returned to play in every game in 2006 and didn't allow a sack all year long. He missed two games due to a knee sprain in 2007, but no games in 2008. Some team doctors may have seen enough in his medical reports to redflag the knee, but the teams I spoke with were not concerned. Said one front office executive potentially in position to draft Monroe: "It doesn't change our stance on him..." 

Likewise, Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been cleared by renowned Dr. James Andrews for all testing. I was among the media invited into the Combine to watch the quarterbacks and receivers work out on Sunday, February 21st and saw Maclin go down awkwardly in an attempt to haul in a long pass from Hartwick's Jason Boltus... After a few moments on the trainers' table, Maclin jumped right back into the workout, though he was clearly tentative. Andrews' announcement is sure to ease teams' concerns about his health. 

 

 

Posted on: February 21, 2009 12:47 pm
 

Michael Crabtree stress fracture in his foot

Consensus top wide receiver prospect Michael Crabtree was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The injury, not serious enough to have hampered him while at Texas Tech, was discovered via a bone scan taken by doctors at the Combine.

Crabtree will undergo surgery on his foot. The surgery generally has a 6-10 week recovery period. The NFL Draft is 9 weeks from today. 

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 21, 2009 12:07 pm
 

Andre Smith Disappears

Former Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, characterized by some as the elite prospect of the draft, was nowhere to be found this morning when the fellow offensive linemen began working out. 

He had told the media that he wasn't going to participate in the workouts this week, but he was still expected to attend. League officials had to scramble to find him. Apparently, he was not in the building. 

There is no telling what this revelation could do to Smith's already falling stock...

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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