The Official 2012 NFL Combine Thread (Feb. 22-28 on the NFL Network)
|5 years ago||'09 #1|
$39,823 | 873
The Official 2012 NFL Combine Thread (Feb. 22-28 on the NFL Network)
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Feb. 22-28, 2012
More than 300 top prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft will be invited to participate at the combine in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This event is a vital step in athletes achieving their NFL dreams. Follow this event on NFL.com and NFL Network.
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NFL.com | Combine
Did this thread last year, going to do it again this year, going to me more difficult for me this year, because I got a full time job now, where last year, I was on unemployment but I will do what I can, I will be streaming it on my laptop from work. I will update news, analyst, etc.; whenever I see it.
Last edited by ReggieA; 02-23-2012 at 10:01 AM..
|5 years ago||'09 #2|
$39,823 | 873
The 2012 NFL Draft class is loaded at the quarterback position, with Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III pegged as can't-miss prospects at the top of the board. Both are elite-caliber playmakers capable of reversing the fortunes of dismal franchises, and their extraordinary potential will most likely lead to both coming off the board within the first five selections.
Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is widely regarded as the third-best prospect, but an injury threatens to sideline him for most of the workout season. This inability to work out might prevent him from addressing concerns about his readiness at the next level. Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Arizona State's Brock Osweiler have been thrust into the conversation as potential first-round prospects, but they must perform exceptionally well in workouts to make up for some of the bad film that exists in their profiles.
Given a big stage to perform at the NFL Scouting Combine, several quarterbacks have the potential to send their draft stock soaring by the end of the four-day visit.
Here are the top five quarterback prospects entering the combine, plus one sleeper:
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford: Luck is the most polished quarterback prospect to enter the league since Peyton Manning. He elevated the Cardinal to the ranks of the elite with his play, and his ability to put the program on his back suggests he is capable of thriving as a franchise quarterback in the NFL. While some scouts have nitpicked his game, Luck has a chance at the combine to cement his status as the undisputed top prospect in the 2012 draft class.
Good fits: Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.
2. Robert Griffin III, Baylor: Griffin is an electrifying athlete with exceptional skills as a dual-threat playmaker. He is the master of improvisation, but also possesses the football aptitude and arm talent to pick apart defenses with a series of pinpoint throws from the pocket. There has been some concern about his ability to transition into a conventional offense after directing a spread system at Baylor, so Griffin's impressions in interviews and on the field at the NFL Scouting Combine will be vital to sway the opinions of some critics.
Good fits: Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.
3. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M: Tannehill won't be able to perform at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a foot injury, so he must make his impact in the interview sessions. Through intense discussion and chalk-talk sessions, Tannehill will still have opportunities impress scouts and coaches with his football IQ and leadership skills. If he can prove to evaluators that his game is advanced beyond his limited game experience, Tannehill could solidify his status as a first-round pick.
Good fits: Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
4. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: The former pro baseball player has created a buzz in scouting circles after putting together a pair of impressive performances at the Fiesta Bowl and Senior Bowl. Weeden's exceptional arm talent has convinced some scouts to overlook his advanced age (28), but a spectacular showing at the NFL Scouting Combine could make the issue a moot point come draft day. With so much riding on his performance on the big stage, Weeden has a lot to prove on his visit to Indianapolis.
Good fits: Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.
5. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State: The former highly touted basketball recruit is beginning to garner some attention as a potential franchise quarterback after scouts pored over the tape of his solid junior season. However, questions persist about his inconsistent play in big games and quirky arm motion. While Osweiler can't address concerns about his game-management skills during the workout, the 6-foot-8 signal-caller can showcase his arm strength, accuracy and throwing mechanics. If he can display consistent ball placement and velocity using an unorthodox motion, Osweiler can continue to maintain his high standing on draft boards across the league.
Good fits: Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and New York Giants.
Sleeper to Watch: Kirk Cousins, Michigan State. Cousins lacks the flashy game of his counterparts, but has been a winning quarterback in a highly competitive conference. His leadership skills and game management are ideally suited for the next level, but scouts want to see if he possesses the arm talent to develop into a potential starter. While most a.ssessments will be based off tape evaluations, Cousins could alter opinions on his pro potential with a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.
|5 years ago||'09 #3|
$39,823 | 873
As the NFL shifts to a league built upon the pass, more teams are seeking explosive playmakers at wide receiver and tight end to create mismatches in space.
In the 2012 NFL Draft class, there are several intriguing options at both positions, with Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon and Clemson TE Dwayne Allen garnering most of the attention. Blackmon, a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner, is one of the most polished receivers the draft has seen in years. His ability to create big plays in space makes him an ideal No. 1 target.
Allen is the versatile tight end offensive coordinators covet these days, due to his impressive combination of size, speed and athleticism. He excels playing in an upright position from the slot, and his ability to do damage over the middle of the field will quickly endear him to quarterbacks.
Notre Dame's Michael Floyd, Baylor's Kendall Wright and Stanford's Coby Fleener are also regarded as potential impact players, with natural receiving skills that shine above their counterparts. Teams looking to fill out the roster with explosive perimeter players will extensively study their every move at the NFL Scouting Combine to a.ssess their potential as difference-makers in the passing game.
Others to watch include South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery and Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu, due to their prototypical size. Both excel at coming down with contested balls in traffic and their potential to function as red zone threats will make them intriguing possibilities.
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State: Blackmon is the most dynamic playmaker in the draft. He is extraordinary with the ball in his hands and his ability to gain yards after the catch reminds some of Anquan Boldin. Blackmon's high football IQ and polished route-running skills make him an ideal No. 1 receiver, but he must answer questions about his speed and explosiveness in workouts. If he can post 40 times in the sub-4.5 range, he could come off the board within the first five picks in the draft.
Good fits: St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins.
2. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame: Floyd is an exceptional talent with superb ball skills and athleticism. He displays Larry Fitzgerald-like concentration coming down with acrobatic catches. While some questions persist about his speed and burst, the biggest concerns surrounding Floyd stem from a few off-the-field transgressions. If he is able to knock out the interview portion of the NFL Scouting Combine while also putting on a spectacular display on the field, his stock could soar up draft boards across the league.
Good fits: Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and New England Patriots.
3. Kendall Wright, Baylor: Teams looking to add a legitimate deep threat have already pegged Wright as an intriguing prospect, but he is also garnering interest as a potential No. 1 receiver. He concluded a spectacular career at Baylor with a scintillating series of performances that have cemented his standing as a legitimate first-round talent. With another opportunity to impress evaluators at the NFL Scouting Combine, Wright must display the speed and explosiveness that everyone expects after studying the tape. If he records times in the sub-4.4 range and shows consistent hands, he could garner serious consideration in the middle of Round 1.
Good fits: Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.
4. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina: Jeffery is a big-bodied pass-catcher with the size, athleticism and ball skills to create matchup problems on the perimeter. He excels at posting up smaller defenders on vertical routes and is one of the best natural pass-catchers to enter the league in some time. In spite of his remarkable traits, Jeffery is not considered one of the top prospects due to questions about his fitness level (weight) and speed. He must show up to Indianapolis in tip-top condition and post 40 times in the mid-4.5 range to retain his potential first-round status.
Good fits: Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.
5. Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers: Sanu has flown under the radar for most of the season, but evaluators have started to take notice of his well-rounded game following a spectacular junior season at Rutgers. He is a fine route-runner with a great feel for finding the soft spots in coverage. Furthermore, he is a dependable pass-catcher with remarkable hand-eye coordination. If he can continue to display the polish and hands in drills that he has shown throughout the season, Sanu will make a strong push for first-round consideration.
Good fits: Houston Texans, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.
Sleeper to watch: T.Y. Hilton, Florida International. Teams looking for more bang for the buck will closely study Hilton's performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is one of the most electrifying playmakers in college football, and his ability to generate production in multiple phases (receiver/returner) makes him a coveted commodity for several teams. If he can put together a spectacular performance in front of evaluators, Hilton could enter the discussion as a Day 2 prospect.
Good fits: Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and New York Jets.
1. Dwayne Allen, Clemson: Allen is an athletic pass catcher in the mold of Antonio Gates. A combination of size, speed and quickness makes him one of college football's toughest matchups in space. To solidify his status as a top prospect, Allen must display excellent strength and explosiveness in drills, while also showcasing balance and body control running routes. If Hilton can convince evaluators his impressive receiving skills outweigh his limitations as a blocker, Allen could be the first tight end to come off the board.
Good fits: Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.
2. Coby Fleener, Stanford: Fleener is one of the few all-purpose tight ends in the 2012 draft class, so scouts are clamoring about his potential impact at the next level. At 6-foot-6, 245-plus pounds, he is an underrated athlete with superb speed and quickness. If he can surprise scouts by posting a better than anticipated 40 time while also displaying terrific hands, ball skills and route-running ability, Fleener might be a surprise selection at the bottom of Round 1.
Good fits: New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.
3. Orson Charles, Georgia: The reemergence of the H-Back in pro football has certainly increased the value of guys like Charles. The Georgia star brings a unique blend of speed and athleticism to the table despite lacking prototypical dimensions for the position. Scouts will fall in love with his movement skills when they see him on display, but he must pass the eyeball test at the official weigh-in to maintain his lofty position on most draft boards.
Good fits: Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals.
4. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette: With more and more teams utilizing the tight end to create mismatches on the perimeter, talented athletes like Green are benefitting from the movement. The 6-6, 237-pound pass-catcher is an experienced slot receiver with the speed and athleticism to make plays in space. Scouts have questions about his size, strength and blocking ability on the edge, but he can address those concerns with a strong performance in the weight room to complement his dazzling display of athleticism on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. If he performs as well as advertised, Green's stock should surge in the run-up to the draft.
Good fits: San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.
5. Michael Egnew, Missouri: Egnew is regarded as one of the top prospects at the position, but his stock took a hit after underwhelming play at the Senior Bowl. He has a chance to salvage his status as a mid-round pick by performing exceptionally well during the workout portion of the event. If he can display consistent hands and show fluid movement skills, scouts will bypass some of his glaring deficiencies to keep him afloat as a possible No. 2 tight end for teams employing multiple-TE systems.
Good fits: Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys.
|5 years ago||'09 #4|
$39,823 | 873
The headlines and attention typically heads in the direction of skill players, but championship teams are built around a collection of stalwarts along the offensive line.
Teams capable of controlling the line of scrimmage are able to impose their will on their opponents, leading to big plays on the ground or through the air. Coaches are constantly searching for difference makers to play upfront, and the 2012 draft class certainly features several elite players at prime positions.
USC's Matt Kalil is regarded as the top player in an offensive tackle pool that has at least four prospects carrying first-round grades on draft boards across the league. Kalil possesses the combination of size, athleticism and technical savvy to thrive at left tackle, and his potential to protect a franchise quarterback's blindside without a.ssistance has earned him rave reviews from scouts.
Iowa's Riley Reiff, Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Ohio State's Mike Adams are also worthy candidates in the early stages of the first round due to their remarkable skills. Adams, in particular, might be the most talented edge blocker in the class despite ranking behind his counterparts at this time. His physical tools are off the charts and he has shown flashes of being a dominant player when focused. If scouts can come away with a strong feel for his motivating factors, Adams could be the biggest riser coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine.
Stanford's David DeCastro is viewed as the top interior blocker by most scouts around the NFL. He is a nimble athlete who also displays exceptional strength and power in the hole. He displays a toughness and intensity that is coveted by coaches, and he is certain to come off the board within the first 15 picks.
Wisconsin's Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler will enter the discussion as Day 2 prospects, but they will need strong performances at the combine to cement their standing at the top of the board.
1. Matt Kalil, USC: Kalil is regarded as the premier offensive tackle in the draft after dominating the Pac-12 as a three-year starter for the Trojans. He is a sound technician who also possesses the size, athleticism and length typically found in Pro Bowl-caliber left tackles. Some scouts have questioned his temperament and toughness, but it is hard to dispute the consistent excellence he has displayed on tape. With an opportunity to silence his critics at the combine, Kalil could solidify his place at the top of the draft with a strong performance in Indianapolis.
Good fits: St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers.
2. Riley Reiff, Iowa: The Hawkeyes' hallowed tradition of producing quality offensive linemen continues with Reiff poised to take the league by storm. His game is more refined and polished than former teammate Bryan Bulaga, and he displays the combination of strength, athleticism and quickness to capably man the right or left side. Although there are some questions about his ability to play on the blindside, a solid workout in front of a large NFL contingent could lead to a late surge up the board. He is on the cusp of the top 10 entering the event but could cement his status by the end of the weekend.
Good fits: Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins.
3. Jonathan Martin, Stanford: As much as Andrew Luck deserves credit for the Stanford's ascension to the ranks of college football's elite, the strong play of the Cardinal offensive line deserves praise as well. Martin, in particular, has been one of college football's most dominant blockers, and his ability to excel on the edge has been critical to the offense's success. His combination of athleticism, strength and power poses problems for defenders when he plays with aggression. Martin certainly displays a nasty streak at times, but scouts would like to see him finish with more force in the run game. Although the combine will not provide him with an opportunity to address that concern, his speed, quickness and movement skills could entice an evaluator to gamble on his impressive physical tools.
Good fits: Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.
4. Mike Adams, Ohio State: Adams might be the most talented offensive tackle in the 2012 class with his remarkable combination of size, strength and athleticism. There are few blockers in the NFL with his extraordinary physical gifts, and scouts are salivating over his pro potential after watching his dominant performance at the Senior Bowl. However, Adams must alter the perception of his inconsistent motor and focus by impressing scouts and coaches in interviews. He must demonstrate a strong work ethic by hustling in drills during the position-specific portion of the workout.
Good fits: San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
5. Zebrie Sanders, Florida State: Sanders didn't have a great week at the Senior Bowl, but he gets an opportunity to make amends with his performance at the combine. He is an experienced edge blocker adept at playing on both sides, and that versatility is certainly valuable in the minds of evaluators. If he can display better than anticipated athleticism and movement skills in drills, Sanders could solidify his spot as a Day 2 prospect.
Good fits: New York Giants, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers.
Sleeper to watch: Rishaw Johnson, California University of Pennsylvania. Johnson might carry the label of being a small-school standout, but the truth lies in the fact that he was a productive starter at Ole Miss before being dismissed from the program due to numerous team violations. His questionable decisions in Oxford will make his performance in interviews critical to his chances of emerging as a top pick in the draft. If he can convince scouts he is no longer a character risk, a team will be willing to take a calculated gamble on one of the best interior blockers in the draft.
Good fits: Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.
1. David DeCastro, Stanford: If offensive guards were valued at a premium, DeCastro would be considered a shoo-in to be a Top 10 pick in the draft. He is an underrated athlete with exceptional balance and body control. He plows through defenders in the hole and is one of the best finishers I've seen in college football in years. He is equally impressive in pass production, displaying excellent power and pop in his punches. Although the combine consists of a battery of drills conducted in shorts, DeCastro can solidify his standing as the top offensive guard by putting together a strong performance in drills.
Good fits: Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.
2. Cordy Glenn, Georgia: Coaches and scouts hold prospects with position versatility in high regard, and the buzz surrounding Glenn is due to his ability to potentially contribute as a swing player as a pro -- Glenn is viewed as capable of playing right tackle or offensive guard. While most expect him to find a home along the interior, Glenn's athleticism and movement skills could prompt a team to give him a try at tackle. If he is able to display enough agility to hold up on the edge, Glenn could inch up the board as a legitimate tackle candidate.
Good fits: San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers.
3. Peter Konz, Wisconsin: It is unusual for a pivot to come off the board in the middle of the first round, but Konz is garnering consideration in that range thanks to his consistent performance. Scouts view him as the top choice at the position, and his status could be cemented with a strong showing in Indianapolis. If Konz can display the combination of power, explosiveness and agility that appears on game film, he is certain to hear his name called near the end of the first round.
Good fits: Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers.
4. Kevin Zietler, Wisconsin: Teams intent on running the football have a preference for mobile offensive guards with strength and power. Zeitler fits the bill with his rugged game and aggressive mentality. To solidify his status as a Day 2 pick, Zeitler must display the movement skills and athleticism scouts covet in agility drills, while also showing power and explosiveness in the position-specific portion of the workout. If Zeitler can show coaches and scouts he is capable of fitting into any scheme with his athleticism and mobility, he could vault into the top 50 on draft boards across the league.
Good fits: Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Chicago Bears.
5. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State: Osmele has experience playing offensive tackle, but most project him as an interior blocker as a pro. His combination of size and strength should allow him to dominate the line of scrimmage, but scouts will want to see confirmation at his workout. Osemele can provide proof to evaluators by posting impressive numbers in the weight room and displaying explosive power in drills. He also must display the footwork, balance and body control to convince scouts he is capable of being used on pulls or traps in the running game. If he can state his case with authority, Osemele could emerge as a possibility for a team in Round 2.
Good fits: Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.
Sleeper to watch: Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State. It is not often a small school prospect garners the kind of buzz and attention that Silatolu has drawn in scouting circles. The Midwestern State standout is viewed as a future starter at offensive guard and evaluators are certainly smitten by his talent and potential. Although Silatolu's game is rough around the edges, his combination of size, strength and power is enticing for teams looking for rugged interior blockers. If Silatolu can show evaluators he is more advanced in his development than it appears on game film, he could emerge as an intriguing option on Day 2.
Good fits: Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
|5 years ago||'09 #5|
$39,823 | 873
The flurry of offensive production during the regular season appeared to de-emphasize the importance of defensive football in the minds of many, but the New York Giants' unexpected title run will lead some franchises to focus once again on that side of the ball, particularly with regard to the defensive line.
Teams will look to replicate the Giants' depth and talent along the defensive front, so their defensive coordinators can have an effective counter to the sophisticated passing games currently dominating the NFL. There are several potential difference-makers in this year's class of pass rushers, but they all have weaknesses, and none are deemed "can't miss" prospects.
North Carolina's Quinton Coples is the headliner of the class. He is a versatile talent capable of aligning anywhere from the one-technique (over the center) to the nine-technique (outside shoulder of the offensive tackle or tight end). He displays freakish athleticism for his size and is a natural disrupter against the run or pass. While there are certainly questions about Coples' play as a senior (his efforts seemed lackluster at times on film), his flashes of dominance at the Senior Bowl will force teams to think about him as draft day approaches.
Illinois' Whitney Mercilus and USC's Nick Perry are talented pass rushers, but their production surged so dramatically last season that some scouts have dismissed them as one-year wonders. With others, like Syracuse's Chandler Jones and LSU's Michael Brockers, carrying similar labels based on limited resumes, scouts will head to Indianapolis seeking answers from this year's top prospects.
There will also be plenty of questions about the defensive tackles. Penn State's Devon Still and Michigan State's Jerel Worthy dominate the competition at times on tape, but inconsistent play makes some wonder about their ability to have an immediate impact.
With so many questions surrounding the top prospects on the defensive line, the NFL Scouting Combine could provide some valuable answers.
1. Quinton Coples, North Carolina: Based on his impressive showing as a junior, Coples was expected to be the most dominant defender in college football in 2011. When he didn't play up to expectations, scouts began to question his potential. But Coples dominated the competition at the Senior Bowl, changing perceptions of him yet again. He can build on that momentum by putting together a spectacular workout at the NFL Scouting Combine. If he can convince evaluators that his performance as a senior was an aberration and not an indication of how he will play as a pro, Coples has a strong chance of being a top-10 pick on draft day.
Good fits: Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
2. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois: Mercilus will certainly be burdened by the "one-year wonder" tag. He led the nation with 16 sacks in 2011, but in his first two seasons, he totaled only two quarterback takedowns. Mercilus is a skilled pass rusher with a sneaky first step and burst. He complements his impressive hand skills with a relentless motor that results in sacks on extra effort. While game tape from his junior season suggests he could be an impact player, scouts will examine his football aptitude carefully, looking for the reasons behind his early ineffectiveness. Mercilus' interview sessions will be critical in determining his eventual draft position.
Good fits: New York Jets, San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions.
3. Nick Perry, USC: Perry has caught the eye of scouts searching for an athletic pass rusher, but he enters the NFL Scouting Combine with a bevy of questions to address. Evaluators are concerned about his durability and inconsistent production, so he needs to get a clean bill of health from the league's medical team while impressing in interviews. On the field, Perry must show the speed and athleticism that he appears to have on tape. He is viewed as one of the best athletes at the position, but a poor performance on the turf could alter that perception.
Good fits: Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers.
4. Chandler Jones, Syracuse: Jones has flown under the radar during the run-up to the NFL Scouting Combine, but scouts, who have been poring over film, are beginning to recognize his talent. He is a tall, rangy athlete with an explosive first step and polished rush skills. Jones' ability to turn speed into power allows him to overwhelm edge blockers, prompting some to think he can slide inside to the five-technique (aligned on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle) in a 3-4. Teams want explosive pass rushers, and Jones could create buzz in scouting circles.
Good fits: New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints.
5. Billy Winn, Boise State: Winn has emerged as a top-50 talent after displaying outstanding versatility during his time at Boise State. He seamlessly transitions from defensive end to defensive tackle, and is one of the few players in the draft capable of manning any position along the defensive front. While his talent certainly stands out in matchups against elite competition, Winn's inconsistent motor is troublesome. He doesn't bring the effort expected from an elite player, and scouts will research his character extensively in interviews. How well he handles the interrogation could determine his fate on draft day.
Good fits: Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans.
Sleeper to watch: Cam Johnson, Virginia. Johnson is one of the most talented defenders in the draft, but he has seemingly gone unnoticed on the national scene. However, scouts are aware of his unique combination of speed, quickness and athleticism, and some view him as a potential sack artist. Although he is coming off a nondescript performance at the Senior Bowl, Johnson can certainly generate some buzz with an impressive (that is, athletic) showing in Indy.
Good fits: Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.
1. Devon Still, Penn State: Still possesses all of the physical tools scouts covet in an interior defender. His combination of size, strength and power allows him to overwhelm blockers at the point of attack, but he is more than a bull rusher in the middle. He flashes athleticism and quickness when used on the move, and his ability to disrupt plays behind the line of scrimmage has earned him strongly positive reviews in scouting circles. Some have reservations about his unrefined technique, but his natural tools will entice coaches looking for a potential disrupter in the middle. If he puts together an impressive performance in the weight room and on the field, Still could become the top interior defender on draft boards across the league.
Good fits: Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals.
2. Michael Brockers, LSU: Brockers created quite a stir in the scouting community with his surprising decision to enter the draft as a redshirt sophomore. The former LSU standout displays a rare combination of size, speed and athleticism, and is an explosive player at the point of attack. Although his game is still raw and unrefined by pro standards, Brockers flashes the kind of talent that suggests he could develop into a difference-maker. A nice showing in front of scouts could make him a potential top-15 pick.
Good fits: Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans.
3. Jerel Worthy, Michigan State: Teams looking for disruptive interior defenders with speed and athleticism are enamored with Worthy's game. The former Spartan flashes enormous potential as a penetrator, and his remarkable first-step quickness is complemented by excellent snap anticipation. Worthy will be unable to squelch concerns about his limited rush moves or stamina during his workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he can display the athleticism and power that stands out in film of him. If he gives scouts a glimpse of his immense potential, Worthy could cement himself as the third-best defensive tackle in this year's draft class.
Good fits: Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans.
4. Dontari Poe, Memphis: Teams on the hunt for an immovable object in the middle will certainly find Poe intriguing. He was one of the strongest players in college football and his explosiveness overwhelms blockers at the point of attack. He holds his ground against double teams, freeing up linebackers to flow to the ball. To solidify his status as one of the top interior defenders, Poe needs to put on a show in the weight room and dazzle scouts with his underrated athleticism in drills. If he can demonstrate that he can move better than his enormous frame would suggest, Poe could come off the board near the end of the first round.
Good fits: Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
5. Brandon Thompson, Clemson: Run-stoppers aren't valued at a premium, but Thompson's ability to clog the middle is certainly coveted by teams looking to shore up their defensive interior. He certainly holds his ground at the line of scrimmage, and his ability to win against single- or double-team blocking allows active inside linebackers to run and chase the ball. Although Thompson is unrefined as a pass-rusher, scouts will gamble on his potential if he displays athleticism and agility.
Good fits: Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.
Sleeper to watch: Jared Crick, Nebraska. Heading into the 2011 campaign, Crick was a top-five defensive tackle, but a season-ending pectoral injury prevented him from solidifying his spot among the elite. However, he hopes to return to action prior to the draft, and a good prognosis from the league's medical staff could be enough to salvage his status as a prospect for Day 2. Crick certainly has the talent to emerge as an exceptional pro, but concerns about his injury history must be addressed before he leaves Indianapolis.
Good fits: Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers.
|5 years ago||'09 #6|
$39,823 | 873
With the NFL Scouting Combine beginning on February 22, Mike Mayock updates his position-by-position rankings for the 2012 NFL Draft. Changes from last month's initial rankings are noted below each position.
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
2. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
3. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
4. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
New entry: Cousins
1. Trent Richardson, Alabama
2. David Wilson, Virginia Tech
3. Lamar Miller, Miami (Fla.)
4. Doug Martin, Boise State
5. LaMichael James, Oregon
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
2. Kendall Wright, Baylor
3. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
4. Rueben Randle, LSU
5. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Fall: Floyd, Jeffery
New entry: Randle
Out: Wake Forest's Chris Givens
1. Orson Charles, Georgia
2. Coby Fleener, Stanford
3. Dwayne Allen, Clemson
4. Deangelo Peterson, LSU
5. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Fall: Allen, Green
New entry: Peterson
Out: Missouri's Michael Egnew
1. Matt Kalil, USC
2. Riley Reiff, Iowa
3. Jonathan Martin, Stanford
4. Mike Adams, Ohio State
5. Cordy Glenn, Georgia
New entry: Glenn (switched groups from interior offensive lineman to tackle)
Out: Troy's James Brown, Florida State's Zebrie Sanders
Interior Offensive Lineman
1. David DeCastro, Stanford
2. Peter Konz, Wisconsin
3. Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
4. Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State
T-5. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State
T-5. Philip Blake, Baylor
New entry: Blake
Out: Glenn (switched groups from interior offensive lineman to tackle)
1. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
2. Quinton Coples, North Carolina
3. Andre Branch, Clemson
4. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
T-5. Vinny Curry, Marshall
T-5. Nick Perry, USC
Rise: Ingram, Branch
Fall: Coples, Mercilus, Perry
New entry: Curry
Out: Syracuse's Chandler Jones
1. Michael Brockers, LSU
2. Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
3. Dontari Poe, Memphis
4. Devon Still, Penn State
T-5. Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St.
T-5. Kendall Reyes, UConn
T-5. Brandon Thompson, Clemson
Rise: Brockers, Poe
Fall: Still, Thompson
New entry: Reyes
1. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
2. Luke Kuechly, Boston College
3. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
4. Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
5. Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.)
New entries: Lewis, Spence
Out: North Carolina's Zach Brown, Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict
1. Morris Claiborne, LSU
2. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
3. Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
4. Trumaine Johnson, Montana
5. Leonard Johnson, Iowa State
Fall: Jenkins, Leonard Johnson
New entry: Trumaine Johnson
Out: Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard
1. Mark Barron, Alabama
2. Harrison Smith, Notre Dame
3. George Iloka, Boise State
4. Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State
5. Phillip Thomas, Syracuse
New entry: Phillip Thomas
Out: South Carolina's Antonio Allen
|5 years ago||'09 #7|
$39,823 | 873
Well, we're headed back to Indy! The NFL Scouting Combine begins on Wednesday and runs through the following Tuesday (Feb. 22-28). A grand total of 328 prospects were invited to the annual event, which will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium, fresh off hosting Super Bowl XLVI. Some players will take part in all activities, some won't (ahem, potential first-round pick Ryan Tannehill, who's recovering from a broken foot). But this event represents an important step in the evaluation process leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft in April.
With that in mind, which prospect has the most at stake in Indianapolis?
Steve Wyche NFL.com
Potential top-10 pick Coples must squelch lingering questions
North Carolina DL Quinton Coples has the most at stake (and also the most to gain). There were a lot of mixed reviews coming out of the Senior Bowl. He is still regarded as one of the top pass rushers in the draft, but if his effort and overall performance don't improve -- consistently -- from the Senior Bowl, there will be more questions asked as to why he didn't have the great senior season that was expected of him.
There are some other pass rushers who seem to be gaining steam -- Syracuse's Chandler Jones is a player GMs have told me they are eager to see -- and could definitely move up if Coples slips.
Jason Smith NFL.com
North Alabama/Florida CB Jenkins has first-round talent ... and plenty of off-field baggage
There's no one with more at stake than North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins. A true star at Florida, Jenkins was dismissed from the Gators after two drug-related incidents and a brawl. He played his senior season at North Alabama and was terrific. He's everything an NFL team wants in a shutdown corner -- a first-round talent with plenty to spare. But here's the thing: He has to spend his time at the combine convincing teams he's worth investing a first-round pick on. If teams don't get a good vibe from him, or come away feeling that he hasn't turned the corner on his past, forget about taking him in the first round -- they'll remove him from their draft boards completely.
Jenkins has some major work to do because clubs are going to be looking at him sideways, already suspicious about his ability to not just perform at the next level, but fit in enough where he won't get in trouble and be a waste of a pick. He won't get the benefit of the doubt from anyone. You wash out at Florida and there's no sweeping that under the rug. Good luck, Janoris.
Charles Davis NFL Network
Will the real Quinton Coples please stand up?
Quinton Coples carried a top 10 grade into the 2011 season, despite playing out of position at defensive tackle often in 2010. With the move back to defensive end, his production was expected to increase exponentially. It did not. And everyone in the NFL wants to know why, and learn if there were extenuating circumstances. (Head coaching change so close to the season? NCAA investigation turmoil? What?)
But the Quinton Coples seen at the Senior Bowl was, for the better part of the week, THAT dominating player everyone expects to see. (One NFL GM whispered to me prior to the practice sessions had even begun: "Top 10 for sure.")
This week is a huge week for Coples, one that can continue the positive momentum he generated in Mobile, Ala., with excellent practices and a game filled with splash plays. A top 10 draft selection is still very attainable, and the combine provides a stage to earn it.
Elliot Harrison NFL.com
At age 28, QB Weeden can't afford a poor showing in Indy
It has to be former Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden. No one knows for sure where this guy will go in the draft. With his age (28) being the preeminent factor in how a team sees him, a bad outing in Indianapolis could be catastrophic. If Weeden doesn't perform well in workouts or the interview process, it's not hard to imagine what some GMs and personnel directors will think: He's already five, six years older than everyone else, and he was terrible at the combine. Nice college player, not for us. Actual game-day production should matter most, but at 28, Weeden can't afford a poor showing at the combine.
As an aside ... I, for one, am rooting for him. Age is just a number, right?
Charley Casserly NFL.com
While the combine's influence is overrated, RG3 does have a lot at stake
The NFL Scouting Combine is overrated for evaluating talent. Teams rely on game tape to determine the vast majority of a player's grade. That grade can be adjusted by what happens at the combine, particularly learning a player's unknowns, especially those that can't be changed. I'm talking about height/weight, medical conditions or a failed drug test. It is impossible to tell who will fit into those categories before the combine, or which prospect has the most at stake.
One player who does have a lot at stake is Robert Griffin III. This is his first chance to make an impression on those top 10 teams pondering whether to trade up and get him. He will not disappoint them -- in fact, he will blow them away when they meet him.
Adam Rank NFL.com
LSU DT Brockers is flying up draft boards with his immense upside
One name to keep an eye on during the combine is LSU DT Michael Brockers. I liked him a lot when I put together my initial mock draft, and his name is starting to fly up draft boards.
Brockers is a dominating presence at 6-foot-6 and has the most upside of a talented group of defensive linemen entering the draft. Brockers, despite being just a redshirt sophomore in 2011, stood out on one of the most talented lines in college football.
If Brockers dominates the combine, as I believe he will, he'll be locked in to a top 10 draft slot.
|5 years ago||'09 #8|
$39,823 | 873
INDIANAPOLIS -- By the time the NFL's 32 teams arrive here for next week's NFL Scouting Combine, much of the work that goes into the draft will be done.
Every player invited to the combine has put a college career on tape, area scouts have made dozens of campus visits, draft meetings have been held, initial boards have been set and opinions have formed.
Can things change between now and April 26? Certainly. But the most important stuff -- the track record that counts -- is already in the books.
With that in mind, here are five of the most intriguing questions -- that still need to be answered -- going into next week's Indianapolis meat market ...
How big is Robert Griffin?
Since they do indeed have tape measures and scales in Waco, this may seem like a silly question to ask about the Baylor quarterback. But taking someone at that position at the juncture of the draft where Griffin's expected to go -- second overall -- is a mighty big decision for a franchise. And most of the decision-makers for franchises considering him will get their first chance to eyeball him in Indy.
"Is he 6-1 or 6-2? Is he 200 pounds or 220?" an AFC college scout said. "One of the biggest questions with him concerns his style of play vs. his body's ability to make it through 16 weeks. So you have to ask the question with the thing that makes him special, that off-the-charts athleticism. Is he going to be able to use that, and survive the grind in the pros? Remember, Sam Bradford had some of these questions, too, and he weighed in well above what people thought he would, and it really helped him."
With Griffin, it's the difference between Mike Vick, who sometimes struggles to stay on the field, and Ben Roethlisberger or Cam Newton, who are built to withstand the pounding. And of course, the interview process for Griffin will be important, too, and not just because he'll have to explain how he plans to transition from Baylor's spread offense.
"With a quarterback, you have to feel like you can see him in your uniform, playing under your coach, running your coordinator's offense," an AFC personnel director said. "That's a vital meeting with the coach and GM. When you're meeting with a defensive end or a tackle, you don't look at the player as a potential centerpiece. So the interview process is huge for Griffin. The workout is secondary."
Is Ryan Tannehill a winner?
Last year provides a perfect example of how quarterbacks get pushed up the board -- four went in the first dozen picks, despite the fact that the crop was seen as just so-so by folks around the league. This time around, we know Andrew Luck is a near-lock to go first. RG3's a good bet to go second. And Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is next in the pecking order, a candidate for the kind of meteoric rise that Christian Ponder had in 2010. One black mark he'll f!ght this week: a 7-6 record last year.
"What he needs to answer: Why couldn't you win a game?" a college scout said. "He's got all the throwing talent, the athletic ability, the strength. You can see everything, it's all there. But when it's nut-cutting time, you don't see it. A&M had a lot of close games, and something would always go wrong."
Tannehill's also rehabbing a broken foot, and the fact that he won't work out here will only amplify the interview, since he won't get back on the field until well into next month. One thing that will help is the good words of others, with Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, his coach at A&M, having vouched for him in the past to clubs. "From that standpoint, I wouldn't consider Tannehill an 'edge' guy," an NFC personnel executive said, "because he's so highly recommended by the A&M group."
Because of his athleticism, Tannehill could wind up in the top 10, perhaps fitting a team like the Redskins. A little high? Well, some clubs have him as a better prospect now than they had Blaine Gabbert or Ponder last year, so it's not as far-fetched as it might seem.
How will the offensive line shake out?
We know that USC tackle Matt Kalil will be off the board quickly, even if he's not perfect. "You gotta look at body type with him," one AFC personnel executive said, "and growth potential, because he's not a power player."
After that, things get cloudier, with the idea being that there are a lot of good players available, but no real great ones. An average of 6.4 offensive linemen have gone in the first round over the last five years, and it's one of the most stable positions draft-to-draft in that regard. The question is whether guys like Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Iowa's Riley Reiff are closer to the top or bottom of the first round.
"I don't think there's a second or third tackle where you say, 'I gotta have this guy in the first round,' " the AFC personnel director said. "Martin might be comparable to someone you see in the second round, and there are differing opinions on the guards, particularly [Stanford's David] DeCastro. The kid from Midwestern State [Amini Silatolu] is more talented, but are you comfortable with a juco guy who wound up there? There are lots of questions like that."
These positions aren't the s3xiest ones, but generally there are runs on linemen at spots in the draft, and part of the work in Indy for the evaluators will be figuring where those should happen in the first and second rounds.
Who's the second tailback?
You can mark this one down: Trent Richardson will be the first back off the board. And after that, it's anyone's guess. Virginia Tech's David Wilson, Miami's Lamar Miller and Oregon's LaMichael James headline the next tier, and one of those guys burning up the 40 -- like Chris Johnson did in 2008 -- could wind up being a tie-breaker.
"They're situational guys," the AFC personnel director said. "There isn't a lot of strength at the position, but I can see a team taking James because he runs well, and saying, 'OK, he's situational, but in our offense, he'll get enough snaps to justify taking him in the first round.' "
So even while the proliferation of the NFL passing game has deemphasized this position in a global sense, there are players with versatility and quick-strike skill, like James, that can wind up benefitting from the evolution of offenses.
Where are the pass-rushers?
The Giants' second Super Bowl triumph in five seasons will shine the spotlight on teams looking for explosive edge-rushers, something New York has by the bucketful. And that spotlight will show a pretty bare shelf when it comes to this draft class.
"It's disappointing," the AFC scout of the class said. "What will happen is you'll have someone with prototype measurables have a good workout there (at the combine), and he'll get taken higher. This is a rough year for pass rushers."
One name to keep an eye on in that regard is Illinois' Whitney Mercilus, an athletic freak who declared for the draft after a breakout junior year and could be the second edge player selected behind Alabama's Courtney Upshaw.
Where are the safeties?
This is a problem that's not specific to this draft. It's one, talking to folks around the league, that's becoming a real problem in general, with bigger safeties being converted to linebacker to combat spread offenses and corners lacking prototypical NFL size being moved safety to fill the void. Scouts and execs say it's increasingly difficult to find a traffic director back there, with defenses simplified to combat spread offenses, as well.
Alabama's Mark Barron stands alone atop the board, because he played in a NFL-style system with NFL-type responsibilities and NFL size. Safety-needy teams that don't get Barron may have to get creative, looking at bigger corners or smaller linebackers to convert to play on the back end of the defense.
Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer
|5 years ago||'04 #10|
$16,124 | 4634
Great thread. I honestly don't watch college football on a regular bases but I'm a huge fan of the NFL combine. I've been watching every since they've been airing on the NFL network. They do a great job bringing me up to speed on these incoming guys..
Any bets on what Rich Eisen 40 time this yr???
|5 years ago||'07 #13|
$8,303 | 87
|02-22-2012, 09:18 AM||#14|
I'll just say this...Whoever takes Justin Blackmon in the top 10 deserves to be fired....
got class/work thursday so i'll miss it,but Friday +Weekend a n*gga gonna be gettin' his ghetto Mayock on.
|5 years ago||'04 #16|
$31,686 | 9
|02-22-2012, 11:24 AM||#18|
If i'm taking a Reciever/RB in the top 10 i want a elite game changer,Calvin Johnson,AJ Green,Larry Fitz, type of player.Blackmon won't be that and Micheal Floyd will probably be just as good.
|5 years ago||'05 #19|
$12,850 | 297