While Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and USC safety Taylor Mays slipping out of the first round will generate much more attention, the two players I was more surprised to see slip out are receiving considerably less fanfare.
Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle was being graded by some clubs as the best 3-4 rush linebacker in this class. I've spoken to teams who operate out of a 4-3 alignment that were convinced he could hold up as a defensive end in their scheme, as well, and had given him a first round grade.
Similarly, USC left tackle Charles Brown had been rising up draft boards. Brown had turned down the opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl due in part to the assurances he'd been receiving from teams that he was already a first round lock. The former tight end has the footwork that teams want in a blindside pass protector and had gained considerable strength and tenacity as a senior, his second season as the Trojan's left tackle after taking over for former All-American and first round pick, Sam Baker.
So what gives?
I'm told some teams had red-flagged each player for previous injuries.
Kindle has had multiple knee injuries in the past, drawing an equivalent of a "D" (on a typical A-F) scale grade for at least one team. It also didn't help that teams were concerned about off-field decision-making with Kindle, as he was arrested for a DUI in 2007 and ran his car into a Austin, Texas apartment while text messaging in 2009.
Brown missed no games over his two starting seasons with the Trojans, but his back was red-flagged by some clubs.
Sources were "a little bit" surprised to see both slip out of the first and acknowledged that each "should go quick" on Friday.