Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Combine kick off - links

The combine begins today as the NFL turns it's attention firmly to the 2009 draft. Today we'll get to see the offensive linemen, kickers and punters in action. To see a collection of links building up to this week's event in Indianapolis, click here.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay conduct a podcast with Ryen Russillo to discuss how the mock drafts will change after the combine and discuss the deep class of offensive tackles. They also run through some small school projects.

McShay also runs through his latest mock draft. He has the Seahawks taking Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji. This is surprising due to Tim Ruskell's character emphasis. Raji was suspended for punching an opponent and also red shirted prior to his senior year for academic issues.

Steve Wyche agrees with McShay and also has the Seahawks taking Raji. He says receiver is a need (Crabtree is still on the board) but that Raji will help Seattle's defense "regain it's swagger".

Alex Marvez writes about the top four quarter backs in the 2009 draft class - all juniors. He writes there are more failures then successes when taking underclassmen at the position, but the rewards are huge - just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NFL Network has been covering the combine closely. There's four new videos to check out: Charles Davis discusses the safety prospects who make transition to linebacker in the NFL, Joey Porter and Rod Woodson talk about the importance of the combine, Brian Robiskie and his football coach father talk about entering the pro's and Washington Redskins representative Vinny Cerrato talks about evaluating talent.

Mike Sando is travelling to Indianapolis to cover the combine. He'll be updating his blog with plenty of NFC West draft analysis over the next few days.

Matt McGuire previews the combine and talks about what he expects to see from some of the prospects.

Ed Thompson holds a Q&A with Oklahoma wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias. Standing at 6"1' and 204lbs, Iglesias could be taken in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Mike Parker contests an article by Josh Morgan (Field Gulls) that predicted the Seahawks would draft Matt Stafford. It seems unlikely the Georgia quarter back will make it passed the first overall pick.

Chris Sullivan adds to the debate and argues he thinks it's unlikely Seattle would take Stafford due to the costs involved. The team's confidence in Matt Hasselbeck's back will likely have a large say in whether or not they'd consider drafting a QB in the first round.

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