Tag:Combine
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:34 pm
 

Stanford OT Martin to push workout to Pro Day

Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin is expected to wait until his March 22 Pro Day to work out for scouts rather than compete at the 2012 Scouting Combine.

Martin is in Indianapolis to undergo all of the medical testing and interviews. However, according to a source close to him, he was limited by illness in recent days preparing for the Combine at Athletes Performance Institute and doesn't feel comfortable performing the drills with his draft stock on the line until he's back to 100%. 

Though currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 3 offensive tackle prospect in the 2012 draft, Martin is viewed by some as an even better athlete than Southern Cal's Matt Kalil and Iowa's Riley Reiff and therefore possessing higher upside. Each is among NFLDraftScout.com's top 14 rated prospects for the 2012 draft.

Workouts are, of course, important for every prospect but considering the strong tape Martin has over three starting seasons protecting Andrew Luck's blindside, pushing off the workout isn't likely to have any negative impact on his stock.

Should Martin indeed elect to push back his workout until his Pro Day, he won't have to worry about a lack of NFL interest.  High-ranking officials are expected to flock to Stanford's Pro Day to see Luck throw as well as see senior tight end Coby Fleener make his workout debut. A high ankle sprain suffered against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl kept Fleener out of the Senior Bowl and the Combine this week.

In all, Stanford has four prospects currently viewed as potential first round prospects: Luck (rated No. 1), Martin (14), Fleener (37) and junior offensive guard, David DeCastro (9), NFLDraftscout.com's top-rated prospect at the position.

Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:08 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2012 8:36 am
 

Doctor's note confirms ILB Wagner's pneumonia

Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner has been hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona since Monday with pneumonia and was advised by a doctor there not to travel this week for the 2012 Scouting Combine. 

Wagner's agent, Kenny Zuckerman, sent a doctor's note explaining as much to National Football Scouting, the group that organizes the Combine in an effort to have the news distributed to all 32 NFL teams. 

Wagner, who earned the North Team MVP honors wih an impressive seven tackle, one tackle for loss, one interception performance in the Senior Bowl last month, is expected to make a full recovery and be discharged "in the next few days." His performance in Mobile helped ease concerns about Wagner's ability to play inside or out in the 4-3 defense as well as inside linebacker in the 3-4 as he demonstrated athleticism, instincts and physicality. Because of this, he's been charging up draft boards as one of the 2012 draft's more versatile linebackers. 

Wagner, whose 446 career tackles are the most from any Western Athletic Conference defender since 1999, earned All-WAC honors after each of the past three seasons. Experienced inside and out, Wagner is gaining grades from some teams as an inside linebacker and at weakside linebacker for others. Due to his athleticism, he's currently rated as the No. 5 OLB prospect in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com.

To maintain his lofty grade at OLB, Wagner may have to show scouts he has the speed to match up in coverage. It is not yet known, however, whether Wagner will be recovered sufficiently to participate in Utah State's Pro Day March 8 or if a new workout date will have to be set up. 

Update: Wagner has scheduled his on-campus Pro Day for March 30.

Scouts, of course, are interested to see Wagner perform in athletic drills, but like with all players, the bigger need may be for Wagner to travel to Indianapolis prior to the draft for a Combine medical "re-check" after missing the in-depth medical testing this week recovering from his illness.  

Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:26 pm
 

NFL: Once order set, Colts free to sign No. 1

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed the media today at the 2012 Scouting Combine that once the final order is determined for the first round, the Indianapolis Colts are free to sign whomever they intend to draft No. 1 overall. 

The Colts are widely expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, but owner Jim Irsay also specifically mentioned Baylor's Robert Griffin III as another player his franchise is considering with the first pick. Irsay has said that his team plans to select a quarterback with the first pick. Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco and I each project the Colts to ultimately choose Luck in our current mock drafts.

The Colts aren't necessarily expected to actually sign anyone at this early stage of the process but the ability to negotiate with players could make their decision at No. 1 that much easier. 

The vast majority of the draft order has already been determined, but four teams -- the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks -- won't know which pick they'll be using until coin-flips break ties. The winner of a coin flip tomorrow morning will determine whether it will be the Panthers or Dolphins selecting eighth. The loser will pick ninth. The Buffalo Bills own the 10th pick. The Chiefs and Seahawks' coin flip will determine which club gets the No. 11 and No. 12 overall picks. 

Regardless of which teams win the coin flip, the competing teams will alternate picks in Rounds 2-7.   
             

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 22, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 11:34 am
 

Under radar underclassmen set to light up combine

With the NFL Scouting Combine kicking off Wednesday, nearly every where you look you'll find another analyst with a list of athletes who could put up astonishing workout numbers. 

Dane Brugler and I collaborated on a that identified ten players with questions to answer in Indianapolis. Our colleague, Bruce Feldman, identified ten "athletic freaks" who should put forth some of the best numbers of any players invited to the combine this year.    

The simple reality of the combine season is that only occasionally are scouts surprised by the athleticism shown by prospects. At least among the senior prospects, scouts have been looking at them all year long and know what to expect. Prospects who don't perform well despite having a month (or more) typically to prepare for the very specific drills tested serve as more of a red flag to most talent evaluators than a surprisingly strong workout usually helps a prospect. 

The story is very different for underclassmen, however. 

Teams haven't had nearly as much time to prepare for these athletes and considering that the 2012 draft will feature a record 65 underclassmen, no year in history has as much potential for under the radar underclassmen to emphatically put their names on the map than this one. 

Rather than wait to see which underclassmen will surprise, I thought I'd take a chance at predicting five I believe could light up the combine and see a significant boost to their draft stock, as a result. 

CB Cliff Harris, Oregon: Harris has been a bit of a forgotten man since multiple run-ins with authorities led to his ultimately being kicked off the team by head coach Chip Kelly. While he'll certainly need to answer scouts' questions, once Harris is allowed to show off his athletic gifts, I believe he'll quickly force NFL teams to recognize his upside. After playing at less than 170 pounds throughout much of his career with the Ducks, scouts will be just as interested in how Harris physically measures up as well as how fast he runs, etc.

WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech: Hill reminds me a lot of former Georgia Tech standout Demaryius Thomas for his size, straight-line speed and big play ability. NFLDraftScout.com is currently estimating Hill as being able to run the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds. I think he'll shave a tenth off that time, as well as impress in leaping drills. He's undeniably raw but don't be surprised if a strong showing in Indianapolis pushes Hill into the second round.

OT Bobby Massie, Mississippi:
Massie signed with Ole Miss as one of the elite prep talents in the country but partially due to the anonymous nature of the right tackle position and to Ole Miss' relative struggles, Massie isn't getting much attention in the mainstream media. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if he shows very impressive athleticism, balance and power in drills based on his tape. The "big three" junior tackles -- USC's Matt Kalil, Iowa's Riley Reiff and Stanford's Jonathan Martin -- get the bulk of the attention but with the position essentially wide open after them, don't be surprised if Massie gives Ohio State's Mike Adams a run for his money as the 4th tackle off the board.

QB Brock Osweiler, Arizona State: Osweiler is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4-rated quarterback and No. 45-rated prospect, overall, so he hardly qualifies as under the radar. However, considering the amount of hype being generated around Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and even Ryan Tannehill, the lanky Osweiler hasn't received the national attention his talent warrants. If Osweiler can calm concerns about his mobility at a estimated 6-7, 240 pounds, scouts won't be able to resist admiring his strong, accurate arm.

CB Josh Robinson, Central Florida: Robinson is one of three relatively "unknown" cornerbacks that I am significantly higher on than most (the other two are seniors Ryan Steed from Furman and Trumaine Johnson from Montana). Robinson's speed, agility and leaping ability jump off tape. If he works out as well as I think he will based on the athleticism I've seen on the field, scouts may have a hard time justifying Robinson not winding up a top 100 pick.        
Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:03 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 9:14 pm
 

RG3 pushes pro day in front of Luck's

Robert Griffin III has moved his pro day up to March 21, one day before Andrew Luck's pro day, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move avoids a conflict for NFL scouts, who can now take in both workouts.

The change might benefit teammates more than Luck and Griffin III, who are the top two rated players by NFLDraftScout.com. With Stanford and Baylor both boasting several draftable players, scouts won't have to choose which workout to attend.

Luck and Griffin will both be in Indianapolis this week for the Scouting Combine. While they will interview with teams and take part in measurements and the media sessions, both may choose to skip the throwing sessions. Many top quarterback prospects choose to wait until their personal pro days, when they can work out on their home turf and with their own receivers.

UPDATE: Griffin said he is looking forward to talking to executives, will run the 40-yard dash and take part in drills at the Combine, but will not take part in throwing drills.
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:44 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Blackmon to 'do it all' at Combine; Fleener won't

NFL scouts will get the opportunity to see Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, who most rated as the elite wide receiver in the 2012 draft, participate fully in this week's Scouting Combine.

NFLDraftScout.com has learned that a high ankle sprain will keep another potential first round pass-catcher from doing the same, however. 

Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that Blackmon plans to "do it all" in Indianapolis this week and even predicts that he'll be timed between 4.4 and 4.5 seconds when he runs the 40-yard dash. Despite Blackmon dominating the competition at the collegiate level, including winning back to back Biletnikof Awards as the nation's elite receiver, scouts have reservations about his straight-line speed. Blackmon, in fact, has been routinely estimated as a receiver with 4.55-4.60 speed by area scouts who have scouted him numerous times in person. A perceived lack of top-end speed is the one physical characteristic Blackmon would appear to be lacking when compared to receivers taken in the top six in recent years like A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson. Scouts also have some reservations about Blackmon's decision-making off the field, in large part due to an arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol in October, 2010. Blackmon was just 20 years old at the time.

While scouts will get some of their biggest questions answered about arguably the elite non-QB skill-position talent in the draft at the Combine, they'll have to wait until Stanford's March 22 Pro Day to see Coby Fleener, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior tight end, perform athletic drills. Considering that some guy named Luck is expected to throw that day as well as the presence of two first round caliber offensive linemen (OG David DeCastro, OT Jonathan Martin) also among those expected to be on hand for the workout, there should be plenty of decision-makers in Palo Alto for the workout.  

Ironically enough, Fleener suffered his ankle injury playing against Blackmon's Oklahoma State Cowboys January 3 in the Fiesta Bowl. The injury kept Fleener out of the Senior Bowl. According to a source close to the situation, Fleener has recovered suffiiciently from the injury but hasn't yet had an opportunity to prepare fully for the Combine-specific workouts. Though he won't be able to work out, Fleener will attend the Combine to participate in the medical testing and interview process.
Posted on: February 18, 2012 12:49 pm
 

NFL to open Combine gates for 250 fans

The NFL's ever-expanding marketing promotions have taken the next logical step and will be allowing 250 fans into the 2012 Scouting Combine. 
 
Fans interested in attending the quarterback and wide receiver position drills on Sunday, February 26 are asked to register at 1iota.com. Tickets are free but won't be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans are encouraged to write a "short essay" on why they deserve to be among the lucky ones allowed into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to watch wide receivers run the 40-yard dash as well as quarterbacks and receivers performing their positional drills. Fans fortunate enough to be picked will also be given a raffle ticket, giving them a chance to win NFL Shop gift cards, a mini helmet signed by the Colts' Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai and Under Armour swag bags. 

The Scouting Combine has historically been a secretive event in which only NFL personnel were allowed to attend. The media on hand to cover the event largely were contained in a few rooms to conduct scheduled interviews with players and league personnel. NFL Network cameras were allowed unprecedented access to the Combine several years ago, giving fans sitting at home better access to the proceedings than the media working just a room away. Beginning in 2007, a handful of media members were allowed to view the drills that the league is now opening up to fans. 

I have been fortunate enough to be among those allowed in for several of these workouts. I can tell you from experience that the inside of the stadium during these workouts is quite different from that of a game or even practice. While the players and a few coaches/scouts are down on the field, league personnel is generally scattered throughout the lower level seats and suites. The place is eerily quiet other than the occasional shouts of encouragement from players to each other. Media allowed into workouts were asked to be quiet when inside or be asked to leave. Cell phones and recording devices were banned from use. Fans will likely be asked to follow the same procedures.

The decision to open the Combine to fans is an interesting reversal. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed media at the Super Bowl that the NFL had no plans to allow fans into the Combine at that time.

For a list of all the prospects invited to this year's Combine, click here.
  

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