By Rob Staton
The Scouting combine officially starts today, with the first group of prospects (offensive lineman, tight ends and kickers) arriving in Indianapolis. Each group conducts a four-day plan, with work outs falling on the final day. I've listed the itinerary below as it occurs to the best of my knowledge:
-Generic work-out (40 yard dash, bench press, broad jump etc)
-Position specific work-out
This means we'll see the start of work outs on Saturday. You can watch the action as it happens live on the NFL Network and online by clicking here. Coverage begins at 9am EST.
Over the next couple of days we'll be focusing on what to look out for. Don't forget to follow Seahawks Draft Blog on twitter by clicking here and if you ever have anything to say - feel free to let me know in the comments section on any of the articles - it's the best way to get in touch and guarantee a response. You can also email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Mel Kiper posts his pre-combine big board. The one noticeable thing I've picked up in recent weeks is the quiet slide of Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State). I make no secret that I don't think he's the dominant force a lot of people argue. Despite Kiper being one of those voices earlier in the year, Okung has fallen from as high as 6th overall at the end of December to 12th overall now. He began the year 14th on Kiper's big board. I think he deserves a late first round grade.
Kiper joins Todd McShay for the latest edition of their 'First Draft' podcast. There's a lot of combine talk here - what they think will happen, who will run the fastest, what teams will take out of the drills/interviews etc. Kiper says it's vital Jonathan Dwyer (RB, Georgia Tech) runs well. I couldn't agree more. Dwyer is wrongly tagged as a power back because of his size. He added bad weight before the 2009 season seemingly for his increased role in GT's triple option offense. Dwyer says he's lost 17lbs since the season's end - he needed to. His best chance of going in the first two rounds is to run well and prove he's back to his 2008 size.
Pat Kirwan lists his ten things to bare in mind ahead of the combine. Kirwan: "When you watch the combine on NFL Network, you will see players run around in shorts, move in and out of cones, slap bags, roll on the ground and simulate football moves. It's not football and it does very little to convince most NFL coaches that they learned anything about the football skills of these prospects. I do find it revealing, however, that you can see the desire to compete when the players go through the drills."
Joe Haden (CB, Florida) runs us through his typical day leading up to the combine. Haden has opted to work out at home in Maryland with his father rather than train at one of the many 'camps' that the top prospects seem to congregate on. Haden certainly appears level headed and grounded, a nice compliment to his on-field talent.
Colt McCoy won't throw at the combine. It might be easier to list who actually will throw in Indianapolis. Reports are blaming an injury he picked up in the BCS Championship - but that seems a stretch for what appeared to a minor issue. Prospects don't enjoy throwing in an unnatural environment. I think it'll matter little for McCoy - who never looked like a NFL quarterback in his time at Texas.
Mike Mayock has moved Earl Thomas ahead of Eric Berry in his defensive back rankings. I think the two share similar qualities but also very similar weaknesses. I maintain that I don't think Berry warrants a pick at the very top of the draft and is more likely to go between picks 10-20.