Tag:NFL draft
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:13 pm
 

UAB's McCants stands on Combine workout

Thirteen former Blazer players joined prospects from other area schools at UAB's pro day Monday.
  
Offensive tackle Matt McCants, the only participant on hand who was invited to the Scouting Combine last month, stood on his Indianapolis numbers and did not go through the agility testing. He is the No. 8-rated offensive tackle prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and the 84th-rated prospect overall, projected to go in the third round.
  
Other former UAB players who attended the pro day included tight end Jeffery Anderson, cornerback T.J. Ballou, running back Justin Brooks, offensive lineman Greg Calhoun, offensive lineman Terence Edge, wide receiver Frantrell Forrest, defensive tackle Elliott Henigan, defensive lineman D.J. Reese, running back Pat Shed, offensive lineman Darion Smith, cornerback Terrell Springs and tight end Danny Volk.
  
Calhoun lifted the 225-pound bench press 30 times, while Springs posted a 34-inch vertical jump, a 4.26-second 20-yard shuttle and a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump, according to the school's website.
  
Henigan, the 38th-rated defensive tackle and No. 520 overall prospect, is the only other Blazer rated among the top 750 by NFLDraftScout.com for the 2012 draft.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 10:22 am
 

Egnew posts record jump at Mizzou Pro Day

Missouri is a good location to kick off the busy slate of Pro Day workouts, with an easy trip for many of the scouts who wrapped up the Scouting Combine on Tuesday. Representatives from more than two dozen teams showed up to watch 11 players work out Thursday.

St. Louis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tennessee, San Diego, Philadelphia, New England and Tampa Bay all had scouts at the work out, according to the Columbia Tribune.

The Tigers had four players invited to the Combine, and they all stood on their workout numbers from last week: tight end Michael Egnew, defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton, wide receiver Jerrell Jackson and defensive lineman Jacquies Smith.

Egnew, who is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5-ranked tight end - albeit in a week position group this year - weighed in at 251 pounds, a pound lighter than at the Combine. He posted a 37 1/2-inch vertical and an 11-foot, 3-inch broad jump, improving on the 36 and 10-11 he managed in Indianapolis last week. In fact, his broad jump broke his own school record and would have been the best at the Combine, which was an 11-1 by Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson.

Egnew did take part in passing drills, along with Jackson, a fringe draftable player who is currently the No. 50-ranked prospect in a deep position group this year. They caught passes from former Tigers quarterback Jimmy Costello.

" I just kind of see it as me putting my hard work out there," Egnew told the Kansas City Star. "I work out everyday, so it’s nice to get to do it in front of other people.

"My whole outlook is to put everything I’ve got on the table and hopefully, one team likes it and scoops it up."

Other Tigers to work out included wide receiver Wesley Kemp, long snapper Bo Brinkley, offensive linemen Dan Hoch, Jayson Palmgren and Austin Wuebbels, defensive linemen Terrell Resonno, linebacker Luke Lambert and cornerback Trey Hobson. None were invited to the Combine. Resonno strained his quad running the 40, contributing to Hamilton's decision to sit out.

Kemp ran the 40-yard dash twice in 4.55 seconds, posted a 34 1/2-inch vertical, 10-1 broad jump, 4.25 short shuttle run, 6.86 three-cone drill and bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times, according to NFL.com.

Brinkley had 40 times of 4.86 and 4.87 seconds, a 33 1/2-inch vertical, 9-7 broad, 4.24 shuttle run, 7.18 three-cone drill and 17 bench reps.

The most impressive number of the day was the 40 reps Wuebbels pushed up at 225 pounds, according to the Tribune. That would have been the third-most at the Combine, behind only Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe (44) and Michigan offensive lineman David Molk (41).

Missouri has another Pro Day scheduled for March 15, and Hamilton and Jackson said they plan to take part in the agility testing and positional drills then.

Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:03 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Combine Wrap: RG3, Poe riding wave into Pro Days

INDIANAPOLIS - More than 325 of the best draft prospects from across the nation descended upon Indianapolis in waves over the past week in search of that sizzling 40-yard dash, that superhuman bench press or a kangaroo-like vertical jump.

Scouts and armchair personnel evaluators now have thousands of data points to crunch into Excel sheets and obsess over into the wee hours of the night. But what is the tangible impact at the end of the day?

The vast majority of the workout numbers aren't really meaningful. NFL front offices aren't concerned about all the numbers in the middle of the pack. They're interested primarily in the extremes - the unofficial 4.33-second 40-yard thrown down by Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson, the 44 bench reps hoisted by Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and the all-around poor workout numbers put up by Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

Those are the performances that stick out and affect draft stocks.

Even more important were the on-field position drills and the private interviews with teams. That's where prospects can really make an impression with their aptitude and personality. It all gets thrown into a big melting pot along with their game film and other pre-draft events to create an overall body of work.

Heading into the elongated final pre-draft stretch that is the Pro Day season, here are the prospects who helped themselves the most at the Scouting Combine - and those who have some serious ground to make up between now and April 26.

RISERS
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: He didn't throw a pass at the Combine, but "RG3" was unquestionably the biggest star of the week. He measured in at 6-2, displayed a magnetic personality, ran the 40 faster than most of the wide receivers, running backs and cornerbacks in attendance ... and set the Rams up to restock their roster with the bounty they will inevitably land by dealing the No. 2 overall pick.

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: With several other notable wide receivers measuring in shorter or slower than expected, the 6-4, 215-pound Hill tied for the fastest time in the 40-yard dash (4.36) among all skill-position players, drawing comparisons to former Yellow Jacket teammate Demaryius Thomas, a first-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2010.

Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College: Scouts chalked up Kuechly's staggering NCAA-record tackle numbers to instincts and reliable open-field tackling ability. But in posting a blistering 4.58-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical, the 2011 Butkus Award winner proved he's a first-round caliber athlete who has the potential to be a three-down player capable of holding his own against athletic tight ends in coverage.

Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford: The most important tests at the Combine for Owusu were of the medical variety after his collegiate career was cut short by a series of frightening concussions. NFL teams won't get these results for a few weeks, but you can be sure they'll be checking them closely after the Stanford product proved among the fastest (4.36 seconds) and most explosive (40.5-inch vertical jump) of all the receivers tested.

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: No defensive lineman at the Combine showed a more exciting combination of size (6-4, 346), speed (4.98) and strength (44 reps on the 225-pound bench press, a 2012 Combine best) than Poe. Teams fully acknowledge he's raw, but one of them will gladly invest a first-round pick in his upside.

Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida: The underclassman entered the Combine a projected fourth-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com. Combine the 4.33 40 with a DB-best 133-inch broad jump and a 38-inch vertical and he's poised to surge leading up to the draft.

David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech: He posted the elite agility test numbers that everyone expected. But it was showing up to team interviews in a suit and tie that really caught the attention of teams. He reportedly wore a suit to class at Virginia Tech. In an NFL draft world where the competition is so tight, a seemingly small detail like that could be enough in a tight battle with Miami's Lamar Miller to be the No. 2 running back drafted.

FALLERS
Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas: At only 5-11, 179 pounds, he is a finesse receiver who relies on his agility and straight-line speed to get open. Expected to be one of the fastest players at any position tested this year, Adams' 4.55-second showing in the 40-yard dash suggests that Arkansas' spread offense inflated his big-play ability. 

Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: The underclassmen entered the Combine with as much buzz as any defensive player. Viewed as a playmaking interior lineman and ascending talent, he increased expectations by showing up with an extra few pounds he claimed was muscle mass that didn't affect his speed. But his pro day will be critical after poor workout numbers  that included an alarmingly-slow 5.36 40 - third-worst among all defensive linemen - a 26.5-inch vertical, a 105-inch broad jump and a 4.81-second short shuttle.

Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State: After characterizing himself as misunderstood, Burfict raised more than few eyebrows during interviews with the media by blaming the ASU coaching staff for his erratic play in 2011. He then proved much less athletic in drills than scouts had hoped, registering a 5.09 40 that finished dead last among linebackers tested in Indianapolis this year. 

Nick Foles, QB, Arizona: With the top-rated quarterbacks either unwilling or unable to throw at the Combine, scouts had hoped that the 6-5, 243-pound Foles would take advantage of the extra attention to put on a dazzling throwing performance. Instead, Foles' methodical delivery, slow feet and inaccuracy on deep passes could push him into Day Three (rounds 4-7) territory.

Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: Regarded as the top center prospect in the draft entering the Combine, Konz surprised scouts with less than ideal strength (18 repetitions of 225 pounds). If he were to be drafted in the first round, it would be the first interior lineman with less than 20 repetitions to earn this distinction in the past five years.

Markus Zusevics, OT, Iowa: By tearing his pectoral muscle while performing in the bench press in front of scouts, Zusevics' stock could fall further than any other prospect tested at the Combine. The injury not only ended his Combine experience early, it puts into question his availability to play as a rookie.

Now it's on to the flurry of the Pro Day season, which kicks off at Missouri on Thursday and includes dozens of workouts across the country, culminating with McNeese State on April 6.

TOP COMBINE RESULTS
40-Yard dash (Unofficial)
1. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida - 4.33
2. Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami - 4.36
    Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - 4.36
    Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford - 4.36
5. Ron Brooks, CB, LSU - 4.37

225-POUND BENCH PRESS
1. Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - 44
2. David Molk, OL, Michigan - 41
3. Loni Fangupo, DL, BYU - 36
    Ronnell Lewis, DE/OLB, Oklahoma - 36
    Mike Martin, DL, Michigan
    Kendall Reyes, DL, UConn - 36

VERTICAL JUMP
1. Kashif Moore, WR, UConn - 43.5
2. Jerrell Jackson, WR, Missouri - 41.0
    David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech - 41.0
4. Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford - 40.5
5. Justin Bethel, CB, Presbyterian - 39.5
    Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - 39.5
    Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal - 39.5
    Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan St. - 39.5

BROAD JUMP
1. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - 133.0
2. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida - 133.0
    David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech - 132.0
4. Justin Bethel, CB, Presbyterian - 131.0
    Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri - 131.0

3-CONE DRILL
1. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida - 6.50
2. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida - 6.55
3. Terrence Frederick, CB, Texas A&M - 6.59
    Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan - 6.59
5. Cody Sensabaugh, CB, Clemson - 6.60

--Derek Harper & Rob Rang contributed to this report.

Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:06 pm
 

Top CBs fail to close gap on Claiborne

NFLDraftScout.com has four strong cornerback prospects rated as potential first-round picks, and LSU's Morris Claiborne remains at the top of the position as none of the elite prospects particularly stood out during testing drills at the Scouting Combine on Tuesday.

North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins is hovering around the top 10, and ran an impressive 4.46-second 40-yard dash, compared to Claiborne's 4.50. Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick posted a 4.51, while Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard ran a 4.55. All were very respectable times. (Combine 40 Times)

Dennard flipped the script a bit with an impressive 37-inch vertical jump, while Kirkpatrick (37), Claiborne (34.5) and Jenkins (33.5) lagged behind him a bit.

While Claiborne said he believes his speed helps separate him from the other top cornerbacks, he pointed to technique when asked to describe his game.

"More of a technician, and trying to funnel the guys instead of getting real physical with them at the line all the time," said Claiborne, who considers himself a better man coverage corner than zone.

The biggest mover of the day was clearly Central Florida's Josh Robinson, who torched the 40 in 4.33 seconds. He also led the defensive backs with a 133-inch broad jump and finished second in the position group with a 38 1/2-inch vertical. Currently projected as a fourth-round pick, Robinson figures to ride the wave up the draft board a bit leading into the pro day season.

Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Kuechly shows off athleticism with 4.5 40

Tackling machine. Great instincts. Field general. Luke Kuechly already had all the buzz words typically attributed to the top inside linebacker prospect in every draft.

But few people touted his outstanding athleticism - until Monday, when the former Boston College standout ran a blistering 4.50 unofficial 40, which would tie Robert McCune for the top time since 2000 by an inside linebacker.  (40-yard dash results). He also led the inside linebackers with a 38-inch vertical jump.

The "official" 40 time will likely be adjusted down a bit, but that won't affect the bottom line. With that type of speed, and noted instincts in coverage, Kuechly has shown the ability to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL who can hold his own in coverage against running backs and the growing list of freakishly athletic tight ends.

That's exactly while Kuechly is a virtual lock for the first round despite playing at a position that has lot a lot of draft value in recent years. A source told NFLDraftScout.com last week that Kuechly, who posted 532 tackles in just three college seasons, might be the "safest" player in this draft.

Alabama's Dont'a Hightower enjoyed a strong workout himself, posting a pair of unofficial 4.62 40 times at 265 pounds.

UPDATE: We've noted several times during the Combine that none of the 40 times are technically official, and Kuechly finished the day with four different 40 clockings. His second run was clocked in 4.78 by a handheld time after he appeared to get a slow start. He was then asked to run a third time, which was timed at 4.59. So what time is he now listed with? 4.58. At the end of the day, throw out the 4.78 and know that Kuechly runs in the 4.5-4.6 range, which serve the purpose of proving his athleticism.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 3:22 pm
 

James, Rainey run 4.45 40s - officially

Florida running back Chris Rainey, who confidently said he expected to run a 4.1-second 40-yard dash and "definitely" would break the Combine record, posted an unofficial 4.37 on his first attempt Sunday. That equaled Oregon's LaMichael James for the fastest times among the running backs so far. (40-yard dash results)

Miami's Lamar Miller is being credited with a 4.38 and Virginia Tech's David Wilson, both expected to be second-round picks, ran an unofficial 4.40. 

The vast majority of the unofficial times have been around a tenth of a second faster than the "official" time released later by NFL.com through National Football Scouting.

As we've noted during the event, NFLDraftScout.com data shows Trindon Holiday's 4.21 in 2010 as the fastest Combine time since 2000.  

UPDATE: Miller was able leapfrog to the head of the running back class when the "official" 40 times were posted by NFL.com, being credited with a 4.40, while Rainey and James were dinged .07 from their unofficial handheld times down to 4.45. San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman was also credited with an official 4.45 after having a first clocking of 4.41.
 

Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:40 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Burfict says he's best LB; coaches "messed me up"

Every prospect with some skeletons in the closet is coached up by his agent to make a strong PR move at the Combine. Former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins admitted the last time he smoked marijuana, for example, as part of an extremely forthright media session Sunday.

Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict was laid back and very "Yes sir, no sir," although he wasn't exactly apologetic about his penchant for penalties on the field and issues with the Sun Devils coaching staff off it.

"I'm a soft-spoken guy, shy," he said. "But when I'm on the field I hate to lose and that aggression comes out."

Burfict's ASU's career was marred by a slew of personal foul penalties that hurt his draft stock. He also had an altercation in the locker room with a teammate - he said it began with an argument in a 7-on-7 drill - and he left school a year early after a very strained relationship with former ASU coach Dennis Erickson's staff.

Burfict is the No. 3-ranked inside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com and the No. 88 prospect overall. He'll need to convince scouts that he is an impact player who can control his aggression to avoid slipping into the third or fourth round.

"I just know I'm the best linebacker in this draft," said Burfict, who added that he patterns his game after the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the Bills' Nick Barnett.

Burfict said he is down to 248 pounds after playing last season at 260, but he wasn't about to absolve the coaching staff for its role in his disappointing 2011 season.
 
"The coaches kind of messed me up. I didn’t know if I would start a game or be benched," he said. "It hurt me, but I tried to fight through it."

 
Posted on: February 25, 2012 5:08 pm
 

Still not shy in stating "hands down I'm" best DT

Michael Brockers wasn't about to get drawn into a war of words.
  
The LSU standout followed Penn State's Devon Still to the podium, and both drew large crowds as the top two defensive tackles in this draft - and potential top 10 overall picks.
  
Still had just thrown down the gauntlet, confidently declaring himself the elite defensive tackle in this draft, without mentioning anyone else by name.
  
"I think hands down I'm the best defensive tackle," Still said. "I want it more. I was able to take over a lot of games."
  
The headline-chasing crowd asked Brockers about that statement a few minutes later, but he didn't take the bait.
  
"If he said that, then he said that," said Brockers. "I haven't really watched his film, so I can't sit up here and say I'm better than him.  I do know what I do good. I play the run. I'm a force in the middle.  And I feel like I do a very good job with that."
  
Brockers, currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 8-rated overall prospect, is ahead of Still (No. 10) in a deep class of interior defenders. They're battling for coveted draft position as they have similar sizes and builds.
  
Brockers, up five pounds from his college playing weight to 322 on his 6-5 frame, a continuing transition for someone who arrived in Baton Rouge as a 250-pound defensive end in 2009.
  
"I'm like, 'Oh, snap! I'm 322 pounds," Brockers said of stepping on the scale after a workout, adding that it's five pounds of muscle mass that he has added since the end of last season. "I'm blessed to have this frame and still be quick with it.
  
"I feel like at 322, I can move a lot better than some other guys can move. So I feel like that's my biggest strength. How big I am and how quick I am."
  
The similarities between Still and Brockers aren't lost on scouts, including the question marks. Both have only one standout college season under their belts, thin bodies of work for teams holding top 10 picks.
  
"I can't get any worse, I can only get better from now on," said Brockers, who won't run or lift this week.
  
Both Brockers and Still benefitted from the deep talent their schools had in the trenches. Still credited his defensive linemates for opening holes for him, and said the best offensive lineman he battled during his Penn State career was Johnnie Troutman - every day in practice.
  
"I don't strive for mediocre," said Still.
  
Still suffered two torn left knee ligaments (ACL, MCL) and then a broken ankle during his first two years in Happy Valley. After being part of a rotation as a junior, he said it was his bowl game battle against Florida center Mike Pouncey at the end of the 2010 season that propelled him into his monster senior campaign. Still was named to 10 All-American teams after racking up 17 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
  
"Whenever I do something, I want to be the best," said Still. "To this day I'm not where I want to be. I want to make my mark in the NFL.
  
"My goal is to make my own mark, and have other players style their game after mine."

 
 
 
 
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