By Rob Staton
Lot's has been happening at the combine today. We saw the third group take their turn to get measured (defensive line/linebackers), the QB/RB/WR group prepared to work out tomorrow and we saw the offensive lineman and tight ends begin drills included the most important 'mirror drill' and not the so important forty yard dash. I've listed a collection of video links at the bottom of this article which show the prospects working out and being interviewed - recommended viewing.
Let me offer some thoughts on what we've seen so far. I find it hard to get too carried away by offensive lineman working out at the combine. They aren't going to be running forty yards in a straight line in the NFL, so running a fast time means little to me. What I want to see is good mirror skills, quick feet and and a strong punch. You don't earn a strong punch doing weights - it's a technique. Out of all this group of offensive lineman, only Charles Brown has convinced me he's capable of offering that based on college tape.
Bruce Campbell looks like a machine. We expected a physical beast and it's exactly what we've got. He's run well, benched well, measured well. You can almost hear Al Davis salivating from here. People will thrust him up their mock drafts and anoint him one of the starts of the combine. Something to remember here - Campbell has suffered a handful of injuries that have led to missed time. He's relatively inexperienced anyway. You'd be investing in raw athleticism, but you'd have to mould it into a starting left tackle. Great physical qualities don't always equate to great performance.
Russell Okung has performed the most complete work out amongst lineman. He benched 225lbs 38 times (two more than Campbell) he ran a very solid forty yard dash and he has the prototype size and build. He talks a good game in interviews. If you're looking for someone who is probably at their peak entering the draft - Okung is your man. However, I don't think he has much upside. He's sloppy in pass protection at times - that can be worked on. But do you want to spend a high pick on a tackle in that position? When I watched him, I didn't see a dominant force. Prospects like Anthony Davis might not have wowed anyone with a sluggish forty time and an average bench press - but he's only twenty years old and with good coaching could be a real force in the NFL. He has a very high ceiling, he needs refining but his pass protection is very good even now. Okung suffered a groin injury during work outs and didn't complete all of the drills.
You can see all the results so far from work outs by clicking here.
Watch the offensive lineman running the forty yard dash by clicking here.
Meet Bruce Campbell here.
The all important mirror drills can be witnessed here. Look out for #5 Charles Brown (OT, USC) and #6 Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa) and #10 Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland). Brown looks real smooth and the best of the three by some stretch for me - footwork is vital because if you can get into position quickly, you're not always having to make adjustments. Watching tape, this was a major strong point for Brown in SoCal last year.
If you want to see the measurements for the defensive lineman, this is the place to be.
Jimmy Clausen talks to the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.
La Canfora also speaks to Sam Bradford about his shoulder.
Clausen or Bradford? Who do you prefer?
Trent Williams had a very good day. He says it was only "ok".