Posted on: March 8, 2010 1:36 pm

An eye towards 2011? LSU WR Toliver arrested

With the 2010 draft only six weeks away, most are understandably focusing on it. NFL scouts are always looking ahead to next year, however, and news of a highly touted prospect getting arrested is always worth monitoring. 

According to published reports , LSU wide receiver Terrance Toliver was arrested outside of Fred's, a bar close to the LSU campus, and charged with disturbing the police, public intoxication and interfering with a police officer. Police, according to the report, were forced to taser Toliver after he would not cooperate.

Toliver, along with two other men involved in the fight, was cited and released. Toliver participated in LSU's spring practice prior to the incident. He met with head coach Les Miles Sunday.

Toliver, who just finished his senior season, is expected to be the next in a long line of Tiger receivers to earn a high round selection in the NFL Draft. Since 2002 the Tigers have had nine receivers drafted, including five among the top 50 picks.

Toliver finished the 2009 season with 53 catches for 735 yards and 3 touchdowns, behind Brandon LaFell, another likely top 50 selection. 
Posted on: February 28, 2010 9:41 am

There is no "official" time in the 40-yard dash

It is easy to be confused by the wide range of times being reported for players' 40-yard dash times. LSU's Trindon Holliday, for example, had been reported by some as having been timed as low as 4.22 seconds and as high as 4.34 seconds. Obviously a pretty significant disparity.

It's important to understand what happens to get the 40 times at the combine:

. Those who participate in the 40 actually run twice, and on each run they are timed by two hand-held stopwatches and one electronic timer (that is actually initiated by hand on the player's first movement.

. Combine data put together for NFL teams by National Scouting includes all six of those times for each player, but no single official time.

Team scouts and coaches have various approaches for getting the 40 time they use from those six timings. Some use averages. Some throw out slowest and fastest and then average the rest. Some ignore the whole thing and use a time taken by their own scout.

However, beware any 40-yard time that is labeled as "official" from the combine. In deference to the players, NFLDraftScout.com uses the best verifiable -- or listed -- time from the combine unless it is conspicuously skewed from the other times, which happens when a hand timer has an itchy trigger finger on the stopwatch. However, the times are usually well grouped.

Posted on: February 27, 2010 10:49 am

Watch out, Chris Johnson

LSU running back/wide receiver/return man/track star Trindon Holliday put up the explosive forty yard dash this morning everyone expected. Depending upon whose watch you're looking at, he ran anywhere from a 4.22 to 4.25, which puts him in the same category as Tennessee's Pro Bowl running back.

However, Holliday's 5-5, 161-pound frame and track background made Holliday's run much less surprising than Johnson, who measured in at 5-11, 197 two years ago coming out of East Carolina.

Holliday's lack of size will prevent him from ascending high in the draft after his show of speed (which teams already knew he had, anyway), but look for someone to take a chance on him sometime on Draft Saturday. 

--Chad Reuter
Posted on: February 11, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 6:14 pm

Michael Johnson Performance Boasts Big Names

I traveled last year to Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Arizona to get a firsthand look at the training that goes on prior the Combine. Following this trip, I also spoke to gold medal winner and world record holder Michael Johnson about the performance center which bears his name and his work with high profile NFL prospects prior to the Combine.

Johnson boasted an impressive class last year, including first round picks Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno and Brandon Pettigrew.

Some of his detractors were quick to point out that Moreno and Pettigrew were disappointingly slow in workouts and that Crabtree, Johnson's most celebrated prospect, never did work out for scouts.

Those detractors must not have carried much weight, however, as Johnson boasts an impressive group of prospects this year -- even more impressive than last's year's crop.

Among those signed up to work with Johnson is Ndamukong Suh, LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer, Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle, Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy and his former teammate, Dexter McCluster, among others.

A strong showing by these athletes in workouts this year not only will boost their own stock, it could further improve Michael Johnson's profile within the pre-combine training community.

Posted on: February 2, 2010 11:13 am

SEC's Jones and Jones stand out on film

I've been focusing on writing player profiles for in advance of the Combine for NFLDraftScout.com and the upcoming issue of Lindy's NFL Draft Preview. This week I've been working on the safeties and two juniors from the SEC have stood out.

LSU's Chad Jones is an extremely athletic prospect who sources tell me could "shock the world" when he works out. Characterized by some close to the LSU program as the team's best athlete (remember, this team features Trindon Holliday...), scouts feel that he, while a bit unpolished, could ultimately rank as one of the top safeties from this exceptional class. He had became a full-time starter in 2009, but is being characterized by some as big enough to play linebacker and athletic to even see time at cornerback. He's also proven to be quite the pitcher, as this video proves .

His namesake, Georgia's Reshad Jones, is a similarly gifted athlete. An extremely highly touted prep prospect out of the state of Georgia, Jones quickly developed into a standout and unlike his LSU counterpart, leaves having started each of the past three years. Unfortunately, he is most known by some for his missed tackle that led Georgia Tech defeating the Bulldogs two years ago. Since, he's developed into a surer open field tackler and has always demonstrated very good ball skills.

With all of the attention being heaped upon All-Americans Eric Berry, Taylor Mays and Earl Thomas, these two haven't earned the attention from the media that they'll be soon be getting from NFL scouts.
Posted on: January 26, 2010 5:42 pm

FB John Conner replaces Charles Scott for South

LSU running back Charles Scott failed the physical to participate in the Senior Bowl but because he was in town yesterday was measured by scouts anyway.

To fill his spot on the roster, Kentucky fullback John Conner was added to the South roster. He participated in this afternoon's practice, wearing #32 and sporting a Miami Dolphins helmet.

The Dolphins, of course, are coaching the South...

Conner is among the only true fullbacks worthy of draft consideration. The former walk-on played in a school record 54 games for the Wildcats and is not only a devastating lead blocker, he's an underrated runner and receiver. Considering the use Tony Sparano and his staff got this year out of Lousaka Polite, Conner should get plenty of reps in practice.

Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:12 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2009 11:54 pm

LSU wins game, but loses LaFell?

LSU won an overtime thriller against a gutty Arkansas team, but may have lost the best senior receiver in the country in doing so.

One play before LSU kicker Josh Jasper hit the 36-yard field goal that would ultimately be the game-winner, LaFell dropped to one knee to try to make the catch of a poor pass from Jordan Jefferson. With his left knee bent behind him, LaFell was hit on his right side by Arkansas linebacker Jerry Franklin. The hit hyperextended LaFell's left knee, causing him to lie on his back for several moments in obvious pain. LaFell was able to walk off the field under his own power, but he had Tiger medical staff on either side of him in support and he was limping badly. With the game ending so soon after LaFell's injury, no news about the actual extent of LaFell's injury is likely to be released until Sunday, at the earliest.

The 6-3, 205 pound receiver had been highlighted as NFLDraftScout.com's Player of the Week after LSU's loss to Ole Miss last Saturday. There are few receivers of his size with the quick feet and feel for tight quarters to be used outside and in the slot. This versatility, along with his great strength after the catch, has made him one of the more highly touted receivers in the country over the past two seasons. 

Despite a largely inconsistent offense around him, LaFell has been a headliner. He leads the Tigers with 52 receptions for 703 yards and is tied for the SEC-lead with 10 touchdowns. LaFell caught 4 passes for 68 yards and a score against Arkansas, Saturday.

Posted on: March 23, 2009 7:42 pm

Britt Impressive at Rutgers Pro Day


 Forty one representatives from 27 NFL teams were on hand at the Rutgers Pro Day Monday. As many as five different Scarlet Knights could be drafted one month from now, as head coach Greg Schiano and his staff have done a terrific job of building this program.

Like LSU and other top flight programs, Rutgers has taken the step of inviting media into workouts and releasing the results of the workouts online. You too can see the actual results in a PDF format by following the link provided below.

Junior wide receiver Kenny Britt was the headliner of the bunch, though all told, 11 members of last year's Rutgers' program worked out for scouts.

The 6-3, 210 pound Britt was clocked as fast a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, though league representatives on hand reported that they clocked him at 4.46 seconds. Senior receiver Tiquan Underwood was even faster, timing between 4.36-4.41 according to the watches of scouts. Both receivers ran well in drills and caught the ball cleanly.

Two sleepers to keep an eye on for the second day of the draft (or perhaps even free agency) that helped their stock were linebacker Kevin Malast, who ran in the 4.6s at 236 pounds and quarterback Mike Teel. Teel didn't wow with his athleticism, but threw the ball well enough to encourage teams who were intrigued by his stellar play over the second half of the 2008 season. Neither Malast nor Teel were invited to the Combine, so their performances Monday were critical in earning consideration for the next level.

This is the link to the full results from the Rutgers Pro Day:  http://scarletknights.com/football/



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