Sunday, 28 February 2010

Live combine updates

By Rob Staton
I'll be following the action from Indianapolis closely today as the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers work out. I'll keep updating this blog post as events happen, so stay tuned and hit refresh. We've already seen Jarrett Brown (QB, West Virginia) run a very good 4.53 forty yard dash. Not many of the quarterbacks are working out today, but there's some big name running backs who will be hoping to run fast times - last year was a disappointing work out for running backs trying to make quick times. Keep an eye on Jacoby Ford (WR, Clemson). You can watch live here.

Noticeable WR's running the forty yard dash 9:15am EST

Dezmon Briscoe: 4.63 & 4.61
Arrelious Benn: 4.53 & 4.48
Riley Cooper: 4.52 & 4.53
Jacoby Ford: 4.28 & 4.27
Mardy Gilyard: 4.56 & 4.62

Thoughts
Benn didn't explode out of the blocks but got to his top speed quickly. Ford glided his way to 4.28 and 4.27 with the minimum of effort - he has amazing speed and could offer teams an immediate special teams threat and a deep option. He ran at 24mph, reaching top speed right at the end of his run.

After the first group ran the forty yard dash, they moved on to passing/catching drills. I don't take a lot out of these work outs. They're fun to watch, but I'll be damned if I'm going to made a judgement on someone's ability as they, for example, run a gauntlet (the drill where you run a straight line catching passes as you run along). No pressure, no specific route, having to drop the ball to catch the next one. How does this translate to anything? People say it shows good hand/eye coordination, but for me it doesn't translate to the game at all. Give me game tape when a guy is in coverage, running through traffic and in a pressure situation - that's when hand/eye coordination is really tested. I'm keeping my eye on measurements, athleticism and just finding out a little more as to how these guys carry themselves.

In between work outs there was some discussion about whether the Seahawks would consider drafting Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame) sixth overall. The NFL Network's Vic Carucci suggested it was a distinct possibility. He also said that Clausen had interviewed well and dispelled some of the concerns teams may have had about his personality. Clearly Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma) and Jimmy Clausen are different characters. Just watching the work outs, Bradford was quietly contemplative, mainly stood on his own taking things in. Clausen spent a lot of time chatting to Eric Decker (WR, Minnesota) sharing some laughs and generally looking relaxed. Clausen said he'll throw April 9th on his pro-day and described interviews as "crazy". Amongst the questions he was asked: "If you had to choose, are you a dog or a cat?" Welcome to the NFL combine.

Noticeable QB's running the forty yard dash 11:20am EST

Tony Pike: 4.92 & 4.98
Colt McCoy: 4.77 & 4.81
John Skelton: 4.95 & 4.89
Jevan Snead: 5.01 & 5.06
Tim Tebow: 4.70 & 4.72
Dan Le Fevour: 4.67 & 4.64

Thoughts
No real surprises here. Tebow ran fairly well, he was never about breakaway speed in Florida. He's a power runner, not a speed guy. He's in incredible shape though athletically. Jevan Snead didn't look in the same kind of shape. It's incredible that a year ago he was a hot tip to go first overall. What happened?

Noticeable receivers running the forty yard dash 11:45am EST

Brandon LaFell: 4.60 & 4.59
Carlton Mitchell: 4.44 & 4.42
Taylor Price: 4.43 & 4.43
Andre Roberts: 4.40 & 4.46
Jordan Shipley: 4.57 & 4.60
Golden Tate: 4.36 & 4.37
Damian Williams: 4.53 & 4.55
Mike Williams: 4.45 & 4.56

Thoughts
We've had the first shock of the day. Golden Tate managed a 4.36 and a 4.37 in the forty yard dash. At his media day, he said he expected to run a 4.5. This will help Tate's stock. There are still issues with his game (body catches a lot, blocking non existent) but those times will raise eye brows. Brandon LaFell's times are disappointing and pairs with a sub standard 2009 season. He has a lot of potential but he's running out of justifications for a sloppy year. Damian Williams wasn't explosive, but he's the most precise route runner on offer and could go in round one.

Noticeable RB's running the forty yard dash 2:00pm EST

Jahvid Best: 4.39 & 4.33
LaGarrette Blount: 4.62 & 4.69
Anthony Dixon: 4.67 & 4.65
Jonathan Dwyer: 4.59 & 4.69
Toby Gerhart: 4.53 & 4.58
Montario Hardesty: 4.49 & 4.58
Stefan Johnson: 4.66 & 4.71
Ryan Mathews: 4.41 & 4.49
Dexter McCluster: 4.55 & 4.56
Joe McKnight: 4.49 & 4.42
Charles Scott: 4.72 & 4.67
C.J. Spiller: 4.28 & 4.27
Ben Tate: 4.45 & 4.46

A lot of mocks have pinned Jonathan Dwyer (RB, Georgia Tech) in the first round for quite some time. I've always been very doubtful of that. He added 'bad' weight in 2009 and looked a lot heavier than he did the previous season when he was the ACC offensive player of the year. Buffalo's new head coach Chan Gailey (Dwyer's former coach at GT) told the media in Indianapolis this week that Dwyer struggles with his weight. He's listed at 229lbs for the combine, but watching him work out on the broad jump he still looks far too heavy to me. I've maintained for a while that he looks, to me, like a third round pick at best - and that might be generous. Nothing I've seen here has convinced me otherwise. He ran a bad 4.69 in the forty yard dash.

C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) ran a 4.28 and a 4.27 to confirm his lightning speed. Make no mistake, he's a legitimate high pick. Don't rule out a match at #7 with Cleveland. People will see that time and think Chris Johnson. The only differences between Spiller and Johnson heading into the league? Spiller has a better college resume and is a greater blocker and pass catcher, but Johnson had a better frame and avoided getting knicked up.

The hype around Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State) is unwarranted in my opinion. When I watched the tape from 2009, I didn't see an explosive running back. I didn't see great speed or size, an ability to break off or push the pile. He's a jack of all trades and master of none. He ran a 4.41 and a 4.49 in the forty yard dash, which is quite good for him. People say he's a sure fire first rounder because of that. Why? Ben Tate ran a 4.45 and a 4.46 at 220lbs (similar size). Is he now a sure fire first round pick too? Tate offers a more physical presence, he plays harder. I gave both prospects a middle round grade. Tate is better value if Mathews' stock is really going up.

Bench Press: Defensive lineman and linebackers

Ndamukong Suh managed 32 reps of the 225lbs bench press, beating fellow prospect Gerald McCoy (23). Briane Price bettered both by making 34 reps. Sean Wetherspoon, despite weighing a significantly trim 239lbs, managed an impressive 34 reps too. Brandon Graham (31) and Everson Griffen (32) also beat the thirty reps mark, but Terrance Cody and Derrick Morgan opted not to lift. Rolando McClain managed 24 attempts.

Final updates for the day - some video links to check out:

Golden Tate didn't just run well, he interviews well too.

Tim Tebow is incapable of a bad interview. Nobody matches his character.

Here are the all important running back forty yard runs.

Damian Williams talks about the combine experience. He's asked about Seattle too.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

After seeing the QB's out of pads, I'd love to see the Seahawks consider drafting these QB's in rounds 3-5:

In order of my uneducated interest:

1. Skelton - really like his youtube were he threw the ball ALL OVER the field. He is one of the FEW QB's that teams would have to alter game plans for if he's starting. Huge arm. Simply looks like a stud QB.
2 Tebow - Seemingly already a seasoned PRO at most things QB need to be, except the motion and some reads. Will simply lead through actions and given enough time and tutelage he'll get himself sorted and be the poster child for a NFL franchise
3. Le Fevour - just look the roll of NFL QB. Haven't seen any tape yet.

Snead, McCoy and Pike I simply saw fear in their eyes that they were being exposed and their bubble burst. All 3 seemed REALLY uncomfortable being out there.

These guys simply passed the eyes test and won't take a 1-2 round pick. OK, maybe Tebow will. I'd rather have Skelton anyway.

-Anon

cysco said...

Tebow has impressed me. The guy is in incredible shape, is really bright and has a competitive fire that would be off the charts if you could measure such things.

There is definitely a part of me that is intrigued by the idea of taking him at #40. By no means is he in a position to jump in and play next season, but what would a year+ of training with our staff and learning from Hass get him? Can he be molded into our qb of the future?

Like many have said, I wouldn't want to bet against him.

cysco

Rob Staton said...

I would be very surprised if Pete Carroll drafts a guy like Tebow. He avoided the spread at USC. Not sure he takes a spread QB early upon his return to the NFL.

Anonymous said...

i want to see jahvid best already

Anonymous said...

I'm still baffled by Tate's time. His on field speed is nowhere near 4.3s. I always thought he looked somewhat sluggish.

Rob Staton said...

He also gets caught from behind a lot. My initial instinct was that there was a mistake with his first 4.36 time. However, he ran a 4.37 second time out. Not expected.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jahvid Best looks thick. Surprised how well built he is.

Jon said...

4.28 for Spiller!!! Let the Chris Johnson talk flowwwwww!!!

Chavac said...

Why am I hearing a 4.37 on Spiller on nfl.com? That seems a little more realistic to me.

Rob Staton said...

The 'official' time for Spiller was 4.37. That's based on six checks - two stopwatches and an electronic timer for the two runs. I think the 4.27 and the 4.28 are the electronic times if I'm not mistaken. The official one seems like quite a drop though.

Kip Earlywine said...

4.55 for McCluster? Ouch. Speed was all he had in college.

Blount, Dixon, and Johnson all did some damage to their draft stock as well. Especially Johnson, since at least Dixon and Blount have the excuse of being bigger backs.

Mike said...

Everyone seems excited about Spiller, but how great would a backfield of Best and Gerhart be? Seriously thats some speed and power hitting you in the face. I think Gerhart would be a steal in the third, if we could trade down and get one, and a great change up from Forsett.

Anonymous said...

I really like Carlton Mitchell.

He's big, fast, like Brandon Marshall. I think he would be a perrfect fit in Bates' system!

Jon said...

Did Dan Williams bench?

DUWORKSON said...

I was amazed with Gerhart's 40 time...damn thats a fast thick white-boy!! Not so with Blount...I was expecting better. Alright Rob, here's my hawk's war-room draft board. This is contingent on the hawks trading for Brandon Marshall!!

6th- Russell Okung/Anthony Davis
14th-Bryan Bulaga
40th- Jahvid Best

Kip Earlywine said...

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but Williams said it was other teams that asked him about Carroll and Seattle. Now, ask yourself why would teams care about that? Nobody thinks Seattle would take Williams at #14. So it seems to me, they view Williams as a 2nd rounder and want to know if he'd fall past #40 or if they might need to trade up.

ICEr said...

Rob...

What do you think about Jahvid Best?.

Anonymous said...

Alex H here.

I know that Rob still seems to be a relative fan of Anthony Davis (upside), but I'm just not convinced that the Hawks would spend the #6 pick on him because he, in a sense, bombed the Combine compared to the others. If he had done just ok, I could see the Hawks taking him at #6, but just disgracing #s usually suggest bad shape or simply bad working ethics.

As for Bradford, I know if Bradford fell to #6 (assuming he does fine at Pro Day), I would probably take him. Yes, he is a shotgun QB, but he has almost everything else. He most important things in a WCO- intelligence, mechanics, accuracy (the most accurate the last 2 years), reads- are all there. He also has pretty good footwork. I know durability was a concern, but weighing in at 236 alleviates some of it. And normally, I would be concerned that he comes from a shotgun rather than pro-style offense, but he luckily has a "redshirt" year in the NFL.

As for my draft, I would obviously change it based on the circumstances. But for my first 3 rounds with order of preference. And note that if picked, it won't show up again.
6th pick-
DT-McCoy or Suh
QB- Bradford, but not Clausen.
LT- Whoever is highest rated by the Hawks. Could be Bulaga or Okung (solid Combine), but not Davis or Campbell (injury history).
14th pick-
FS- seems to have the most value relative to the position. Thomas or Berry.
DE- Derrick Morgan only. If not, the remaining DEs are no better than Lawrence Jackson.
LT- whoever's best. Could be Bulaga. Potentially Brown.
DT- Price. Depends on how he is graded. Concerns about durability+potential size.
40th pick
LT- best remaining. Could be Brown (unlikely now). Could be Jason Fox or Selvish Capers depending on Pro Day.
DT- best availible- Tyson Alalu or Lamarr Houston are potential ones.
FS- Chad Jones

If you sum it up, I feel there are 3 immediate critical needs. 1. A LT. 2. A pass rusher with a heavy preference toward DT to replace Colin Cole and free up the DEs. If not, Derrick Morgan. 3. An impact free safety. If the right QB (Bradford) falls to #6, I would gladly take on that project.
If not, I would project the rest of the draft as
4th round- best OG. Mike Petrus of Arkansas looks ZBS-like.
5th round- if not Bradford. A QB like Sean Canfield might work. Know he's not your prototypical NFL QB, but he impressed me when i saw him last year.
6th round- best RB available.

If possible, I would like to trade down from #6 because it just seems like an awkward position where all the elite players have passed by. To me, #6 is all that different from #10-#12. Plus, if we can get a 2nd or even a 3rd round pick, there is lots of value there. I was impressed with Jordan Shipley's technique, Toby Gerhart's speed as a big back. Lots of offensive talent there.

Jon said...

Kip,

I think Williams was talking about people in general, media types interviewing him asking him about the obvious Carroll connection.

I loved that interview though. I've only seen youtube clips of his play and didn't see much that got me excited about his translation to the pro's(bubble screens, body catches) but he sounded like a pro in that interview. If he's all about running great routes and models himself after Isaac Bruce, he might make it.

Mark said...

Gerald McCoy did 23 bench reps, not 29. Check your facts.

Anonymous said...

#6: CB Joe Haden
#14: OT Charles Brown or Bruce Campbell
#40: RB Jahvid Best or WR Demaryius Thomas or S Chad Jones
4th round: S Major Wright or RB Montario Hardesty or RB Ben Tate

I still think Haden has all the tools to be an elite Corner. They don't come around often. He comes across as not only an athletically gifted kid, but very intelligent and hard working.

I like Brown because I think he's a very sure thing as an LOT in ZBS and Campbell's upside + Gibbs coaching could be a scary sight in 2 years.

Best or Thomas would give us a much needed presence on offense. Best is explosive while Thomas offers rare size and speed. Perhaps the best part is the idea that we can secure tougher positions with our first two picks without sacrificing our need for a "playmaker."

Rob Staton said...

Icer - love Best's speed and ability to break off. Concerned about his inside running ability and durability. Could be a Ray Rice who goes in R2 and is very productive in a committee, but Rice is much more durable and better up the middle.

Mark - I was told he did 29 reps.

Bill said...

I like Charles Brown because he didn't give up a sack for more than half of his Jr. year and all of his Sr. year. That is really impressive, that and his injury history. I think he's got to be our guy. Hopefully we are able to trade back a little, grab Brown a little later then pick up an additional 2nd rounder or a 3rd round pick.

If Best is there at #40 the only way we pass is if we already have taken Spiller. I don't think Best is as much of an injury concern as others view him to be. He was a pretty durable guy having only minor injuries that he was able to recover from and still play at an extremely high level. The concussion was a pretty freak play. If you watch the video the guy fell from 6 feet in the air right on his neck. That would have given anyone a concussion. I doubt he'll be there at #40 but if he is we should pull the trigger.

I really hope that we trade down a little and grab some extra picks. This draft seems to be loaded with talent at positions that we really have needs (DT, OT, S, CB, RB). That being said I really hope that we don't reach for a QB. Clausen would be good at 6 I guess but I think if we could trade that pick and address 2 of those above positions we'd be better off. Plus it's hard to get over the prickish look that is his face. You never know, he may be a great team guy and if he is then I hope we get him because he does have skills but from my limited perspective I just don't see it. Maybe someone should ask John Carlson. I'm going to email Danny O'Neil now.

Bill said...

I like Charles Brown because he didn't give up a sack for more than half of his Jr. year and all of his Sr. year. That is really impressive, that and his injury history. I think he's got to be our guy. Hopefully we are able to trade back a little, grab Brown a little later then pick up an additional 2nd rounder or a 3rd round pick.

If Best is there at #40 the only way we pass is if we already have taken Spiller. I don't think Best is as much of an injury concern as others view him to be. He was a pretty durable guy having only minor injuries that he was able to recover from and still play at an extremely high level. The concussion was a pretty freak play. If you watch the video the guy fell from 6 feet in the air right on his neck. That would have given anyone a concussion. I doubt he'll be there at #40 but if he is we should pull the trigger.

I really hope that we trade down a little and grab some extra picks. This draft seems to be loaded with talent at positions that we really have needs (DT, OT, S, CB, RB). That being said I really hope that we don't reach for a QB. Clausen would be good at 6 I guess but I think if we could trade that pick and address 2 of those above positions we'd be better off. Plus it's hard to get over the prickish look that is his face. You never know, he may be a great team guy and if he is then I hope we get him because he does have skills but from my limited perspective I just don't see it. Maybe someone should ask John Carlson. I'm going to email Danny O'Neil now.