Tag:pro day
Posted on: August 16, 2010 12:17 pm
 

Tebow's first game as predictable as it comes

There are times when I really do try to not mention a certain quarterback wearing the No. 15.

In explaining the hoopla to a few family members who don't care about football I realized that unless Tim Tebow truly revolutionizes the game, he'll never be able to match his hype. John Elway, who was the best all-around quarterback I've ever seen, couldn't live up to the expectations some are placing on Tebow.

And let's be clear, Tim Tebow is no John Elway.

Like many of you, I've intently watched Tebow for the past four years light up NCAA defenses with a brand of leadership, toughness, power running and passing just consistent enough to keep opponents in check.

I'm kicking myself this morning for not writing a Tebow Preview post yesterday prior to Denver's preseason game at Cincinnati.

Sure, it is easy to sound like a know-it-all after the fact, but was Tebow's up and down premiere really that surprising?

You tell me -- what wasn't predictable about last night?

Consider that:

  • One could see Tebow's nervous energy on the Denver sideline as the game went on and he knew his time was coming.
  • Once on the field, Tebow was loudly booed (amidst some cheers) by the Ohio crowd. Surprise, surprise that Buckeye and Bearcat fans remembered Tebow's impact in the 2007 BCS Championship Game (41-14) and 2010 Sugar Bowl (51-24) throttlings, respectively, of their beloved teams. 
  • Tebow's best throw was a 40-yard bomb to wideout Matt Willis. Though the ball wasn't perfectly placed -- it would have hit Willis in the helmet had it not bounced off of both hands first -- it was thrown with enough trajectory and speed to allow the receiver to catch and run away from the cornerback. It should have been a 60 yard touchdown. Tebow's deep ball prowess was among his most impressive traits I noticed when scouting him during his Pro Day workout and the Senior Bowl .
  • Once pressured, Tebow reverted back to the long wind-up delivery that we'd seen throughout his four years at Florida. By dropping the ball to his hip like he'd done hundreds of times with the Gators, Tebow had the ball knocked free when hit by a Cincinnati blitz. Bengal pass rusher Frostee Rucker picked up the ball and ran for an apparent touchdown. Replay ruled that Tebow's arm was going forward and the defensive touchdown was wiped away, but this was precisely what scouts were concerned about . Even when the ball wasn't knocked away during his wind-up, Bengal pass defenders still got a half-step advantage in breaking to the ball. Again, for all of the talk about Tebow's smoother throwing motion following the season, did anyone really believe the tutoring in a controlled situation would take over for his instincts and muscle memory once back in an actual game?
  • Finally, was anyone surprised that Tebow was able to score on the game's final play? Trailing 33-17, the last timed play of the game wasn't going to have any bearing on the final outcome. The players giving their all on this play would be the ones whose jobs were on the line or simply the most competitive on the field. Tebow's competitive fire is as impressive as any player I've ever scouted and he's a load as a runner (as his SEC-record 57 rushing touchdowns can attest) so it was quite predictable to see him take off from the 7-yard line and bowl over a defender (Bengals safety Kyries Hebert) on his way to the endzone. Even Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer wasn't surprised with the outcome. As he told reporters following the game, "It was one of those things where you knew he was going to score on the last play of the game, either run it in or throw it in there," Palmer said. "He's such a competitor. I've been a big fan of his ever since he started at Florida. He's one of the greatest college football players."
Now, the day after the game, sports analysts everywhere are micro-analyzing Tebow's performance. Some are surprised he didn't fall on his face, completely. Others, buying into Tebow-mania, are surely certain that his last-play touchdown forecasts immediate NFL success.

And I guess that mixed reaction is the most predictable of all.
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:41 pm
 

ASU WR McGaha helps cause in late workout

Arizona State wide receiver Chris McGaha may have improved his stock with a late workout Monday. The former all-Pac-10 receiver had been unable to workout for scouts at the Combine and Arizona State's Pro Day March 26 due to a strained hamstring.

With teams focusing on their draft board, a scout from the Buffalo Bills was on hand to record McGaha's times and circulate the results to the rest of the NFL clubs through the APT system.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, McGaha measured in at 6-1, 199 pounds and was timed at 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- an impressive time considering McGaha is known more for his sticky hands and savvy route-running and the fact that the workout was done on grass. Most impressive about McGaha's speed was his time over the first 20 yards (2.54). Only one receiver tested at the Combine was clocked faster over the first 20 yards and that was Clemson's Jacoby Ford, whose hand-held time in the 40-yard dash, according to records provided to me by a league source, was 4.24 seconds.

McGaha's slowing over the final 20 yards could have been a result of his only recent recovery from the hamstring injury. He's only recently been able to prepare fully for this workout.

McGaha was also impressive in the short shuttle (4.10) and 3-cone drills (6.75).

Though he was not able to perform in the timed drills at the Combine, McGaha did impress scouts with his explosiveness in the vertical jump (40"), broad jump (10'2) and bench press (19 reps).

McGaha, who recently underwent Lasik surgery to improve his vision, caught 56 passes for 673 yards and 4 TDs in 2009.

He was not asked to catch passes during today's session.


Posted on: April 18, 2010 9:38 pm
 

WR Demaryius Thomas works out, doesn't run 40


Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas worked out for NFL scouts Sunday, but was unable to run any timed drills or complete the routes of a pro-style offense due to the fact that he's not yet fully recovered from surgery for a broken foot.

The 6-3 (1/4), 229 pound Thomas characterized his recovery from the broken fifth metatarsal as "90 percent healed" according to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

According to a source on hand for the workout, Thomas did not drop any passes during the hour-long workout, but wasn't able to answer some of the questions scouts had about his ability to acclimate to a pro-style offense. The source also characterized Thomas as running the drills at roughly "half speed."
 
Thomas caught 46 passes for 1,154 yards and 8 touchdowns last year for Georgia Tech, but did so primarily by running go-routes as a deep target in Paul Johnson's run-heavy, triple-option offense. '

Scouts were concerned about the fact that Thomas wasn't able to get timed in drills. While they would have liked to have seen his agility and straight-line speed firsthand, Thomas' speed is not questioned.

Thomas had been timed at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash while training for the Combine at Athletes Performance. The workout was recorded and when it became apparent that Thomas would be unable to workout for scouts in Indianapolis, his agent, Todd France, sent out DVDs of the workout to all 32 NFL teams.

Thomas' rare combination of size and speed might be enough to convince a team to spend a first round pick on him Thursday. He has been invited to New York by the league and will be in attendance, according to the AJC's article.
Posted on: April 10, 2010 10:59 am
 

Scout: Clausen good, Tate better at Pro Day

Despite all of the attention heaped upon Jimmy Clausen's workout yesterday, the true star on the field, one scout in attendance told me, was Clausen's former wide receiver, Golden Tate.

"Clausen was good. Give him credit. He fired the ball in there better than I thought he would and he handled the pressure well. He looked like he was having fun out there, and that was important to the guys who questioned his leadership," the high ranking scout told me on the condition of anonymity.

"But, the best player on the field was Tate. No question."

Tate's strong showing doesn't surprise me -- nor should it surprise any one who has done any legitimate film review of him.

While I'm always hesitant to make comparisons of college players to NFL standouts, I've consistently compared Tate to Panthers All-Pro Steve Smith.

Smith (5'9, 185) and Tate's (5-10, 199) lack of prototypical size might be the most obvious reason for the comparison, but in reality, this is just one of the several attributes each player brings. Both are more like running backs after the catch than wide receivers, showing not only the agility and acceleration to make defenders miss and pull away from them -- but also the vision to set up downfield blocks and the willingness to cut back into the middle (where few undersized receivers are willing to go). Both are short in stature, but giants in terms of toughness and physicality.

What I like most about Tate (and Smith) is that despite their height, they each boast spectacular timing and body control during their leaps for contested passes. Few, if any receivers, consistently win more "jump balls" than these two so-called "undersized" receivers. 

And let's not forget that Tate is far from just a workout warrior. Sure, his 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine was impressive, but his production at Notre Dame was even better. Tate won the Biletnikof Award as the nation's best receiver, breaking school records for receptions (93) and receiving yards (1,496) and tying the mark for receiving touchdowns (15). He also scored two touchdowns as a runner and another as a punt returner. 

When Tate falls out of the first round -- and according to sources throughout the league there is a growing consensus that he will -- don't take that as a sign that he's been overrated or that his former quarterback was the best Notre Dame player last year.

If taken with anything less than a first round pick, Tate will prove to be one of the great steals of the 2010 draft.


Posted on: April 9, 2010 2:09 pm
 

Clausen "looked pretty good" at Pro Day

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw for scouts Friday morning in South Bend, easing concerns about his surgically repaired toe.
According to scouts in attendance, Clausen "looked pretty good," driving the ball on intermediate routes and completing 57 of 59 passes overall. His two incompletions come on long balls in which he overthrew his receiver.

Like Sam Bradford's Pro Day, Clausen's workout was scripted. He took 3, 5 and 7 steps drops, though he did not attempt any bootlegs or perform in the 40-yard dash due to the fact that he is still recovering from the injury. Afterwards he described himself as "75-80%" of his normal self. Clausen has only recently been able to throw and fully workout following his surgery, January 5. Due to the surgery, Clausen was unable to workout for scouts at the Combine or in Notre Dame's first Pro Day. Clausen will be traveling to Indianapolis for a medical re-check, but afterwards has visits and private workouts lined up with several clubs, including the St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.

Clausen threw to four former Notre Dame receivers: Golden Tate, James Aldridge, Robby Parris and David Grimes.

There were 16 teams represented Friday. Among the heavy hitters in attendance at Clausen's Pro Day were St. Louis general manager Billy Devaney, head coach Steve Spagnuolo, Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix, and Seattle offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.

I currently have Clausen being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in my mock draft.

Posted on: April 7, 2010 11:33 am
 

DT Arthur Jones finally works out

Syracuse defensive tackle Arthur Jones finally had his opportunity to work out for scouts.

Jones, a two-time first team all-Big East pick, entered the 2010 season graded by NFL scouts as a potential first round choice. However, suffered two injuries in 2009, a torn pectoral during the offseason and a knee injury late in the season that sidelined him for the final three games of the season. Both injuries required surgery. The knee injury sidelined him for the final three games of the 2009 season and kept him from being able to participate in the Senior Bowl, though he'd been invited. Jones, due to the injury, was unable to participate in the Combine.

He and a handful of other former Syracuse players worked out for scouts yesterday.

Jones, 6-3, 301, was the headliner, though former Duke point guard and Orange quarterback Greg Paulus was also on hand.

Jones disappointed scouts by not running in the 40-yard dash due to a pulled hamstring. He did however, show off his agility in defensive line drills and pushed up the bar 30 times. His impressive strength erased any concerns scouts may have had about his previously torn pectoral.

Tampa Bay, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and Indianapolis were among the clubs represented at the workout. Jones has met privately with the Buffalo Bills and has plans to meet with the New England and Atlanta in the coming days.
Posted on: April 6, 2010 7:23 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2010 11:28 pm
 

Internet not enough? PDF Draft Guide available

As helpful as the internet has become for searching for information on draft day, I have to admit I'm old school -- I want a magazine or newsletter I can thumb through quickly. No pop up ads. No distractions. Just the raw data I'm looking for.

If you are of a similar mind, NFLDraftScout.com has created a 142 page PDF file just for people like us.

This document features profiles on the 320 players we feel are the most likely to hear their name called on draft day. These profiles are updated with the latest workout information.

Also available in the guide is a Mock Draft Matrix in which all of the most realistic scenarios are played out, updated team needs (post free agency, trades) and a few extra articles by Chad Reuter and I.

Perhaps best of all, this PDF file is available to download immediately after you purchase it. 24 hours a day. No waiting for an email with the PDF attached. No waiting by the mail box for a package.

I'm confident that you'll find our 2010 guide the most accurate, up to date and handy NFL Draft accessory on the market. For only 14.99, it might also be the most affordable.

                                                                                  Click here for more information.




Posted on: March 31, 2010 7:15 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2010 7:21 pm
 

USC Pro Day results filtering in

Unlike in years past where the Trojans have featured several elite prospects, the USC Pro Day today has generated surprising little buzz among scouts I've spoken with.

Some of this is the fact that the most highly touted player from USC -- safety Taylor Mays -- lit up the Combine with his blazing times in the 40-yard dash and wasn't expected to do the full workout in LA today. As expected, he did not run. He did go through defensive back drills, however, and, according to scouts in attendance, struggled a bit in his transition. This is no surprise to anyone who has watched him in person. We mentioned as much about Mays on several occasions, including at the Senior Bowl.

It didn't help that today's workout was in drizzly, cold conditions. There were, however, several noteworthy performances.

One athlete that did help himself with another strong performance I'm told is pass rusher Everson Griffen. Not only did Griffen get timed at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash, he demonstrated an explosive burst off the snap in defensive line drills and good fluidity in linebacker drills.

Cornerback Kevin Thomas continues to move up draft rankings with another strong performance. He was timed in the early to mid 4.4s and looked very good in positional drills. Thomas won't have much time to rest before working out again, as he's scheduled a personal workout with Cleveland scouts for Thursday.

Versatile offensive lineman Alex Parsons helped his cause by shaving nearly three-tenths of a second off his Combine time in the 40-yard dash. Parsons had been clocked at 5.16 seconds in the event in Indianapolis, but scouts had him in the early 4.9s Wednesday.

Wide receiver Damian Williams did not run the 40-yard dash in LA, which was a bit of a surprise as scouts thought he'd might want to try to better the 4.55 time he recorded in Indianapolis. He did show off his quick feet and balance as a route-runner. I've said it before... I see Damian Williams as a poor man's Greg Jennings and feel that his sure route-running and hands make him one of the more pro-ready receivers of the 2010 draft.

Considering that left tackle Charles Brown was one of the few Trojans who did not do the full workout at the Combine, his Pro Day performance was more important. Unfortunately for Brown, he suffered a pulled hamstring running the 40-yard dash and was unable to participate in the position drills. He also wasn't able to match the 21 repetitions of 225 pounds he posted at the Combine, lifting the bar 20 times today.

Like Brown, running back Joe McKnight was unable to fully compete Wednesday due to injury. McKnight told scouts that he's battling a toe injury. He had been timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.

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