Let the on-field activities commence.
On Saturday the kickers, offensive linemen, and the tight ends showed up to hopefully show out. I’ll briefly talk about what was buzzing around Indy today and my take on each situation.
If it’s not your job or your wife won’t let you sit around the house for 8 hours on a Saturday to watch men in underwear (can’t say I blame her), don’t fret as I’ll catch you up to speed on all of the happenings.
- Romeo Crennel – After the Kansas City Chiefs general manager, Scott Pioli wisely dodged questions surrounding the Chiefs’ interest in Peyton Manning, his head coach, Crennel decided to open his mouth. Pioli smiled when asked if they would make a play for Peyton and asked if they were trying to get him fined, because the league doesn’t allow teams to talk about other players that are under contracts with other teams. When Crennel was asked, he started off with the same stance as Pioli but gave in to the situation. With a name like Romeo, who can blame him for giving in to the true desires of his heart. Romeo had this to say about his future Juliet, “With a talent like that, I would be crazy not to consider it if he were available.” Some may say that he just made a simple statement and even added in “if he were available”. That shouldn’t be his saving grace, especially after his boss demonstrated on national TV, how to answer the question appropriately.
- Jerry Jones – Jones was asked up to the stage for an interview with Mike Mayock and Rich Eisen. During the interview, Jones said that he loves the coverage and excitement surrounding these rookies coming into the league. He said that the fans always wants more and that he would welcome the thought of allowing cameras into the front office / players interviews that are held during the combine. Mayock was surprised and couldn’t believe that NFL front offices would be willing to pull back the curtains that far and allow everyone, including opposing front offices to see the wizard. Jones mentioned that the Cowboys were the first to allow cameras into their room during draft day and stated that there was an understanding that anything being said that was inappropriate wouldn’t air. It’s a great concept and I’m sure most fans would love a peak at these prospects and how they handle situations and uncomfortable questions. The rumors of absurd questions like, “have you every tried on women’s clothes” or the famous question a few years ago, where Dez Bryant was asked if his mother was a prostitute, only drive more intrigue into what’s going on in those rooms. It can also explain why some of these players that the media has rated high, all of a sudden slide on draft day. The media and the fans will never turn down more access but will the agent feel inclined to put their young clients on camera on their most nervous and important day?
- Cordy Glenn – 6’5 3/4 height, 345 pounds, 35 3/4 arms, 31 reps of 225 pounds, and a 40 time of 5.15 (official). Glenn had an outstanding combine and stole the show on Saturday. Here’s his scouting report I did a few weeks ago and also our Top 10 Offensive Tackles that we completed before the combine. For the weeks leading up to the combine, we received a lot of messages about how insane we were to have a 345 pounder listed as our #2 offensive tackle. Every kept telling us that he was a Guard and that we were crazy for not only listing him as a tackle but the #2 tackle at that. Even NFL Network’s Mike Mayock didn’t list him as a tackle until the end of last week as I’m told. Mayock had this to say about Glenn after his performance on Saturday, “He’s going to make me go back and watch some more film on him.” Other highly touted offensive tackles had some questions arise. Riley Reiff measured out with 33 1/4 arms. Teams don’t like for their tackles to be this short on their reach. Mike Adams could only push up 225 pounds, 19 times. This will call into question his strength and if he could handle the more physical NFL pass rusher. Here’s my reports on Adams and Reiff from a few weeks back. I mentioned in Adams’ report that he lunges during games to try and grab defenders. He gets off balance and doesn’t have the strength to combat their physicality. In Reiff’s I mentioned how long armed defenders got the best of him. While the combine isn’t the end all be all, it’s used to confirm what you saw on film. For us, it did just that.
- Matt Kalil – 6’6 5/8 height, 306 pounds, 34 1/2 arms, 30 reps, and a 4.99 official forty. We had Kalil as the #1 offensive tackle due to him being the most technically sound in the draft. He confirmed what most thought about him. He can add weight to his frame and be a franchise guy for years to come. He ran effortlessly and was fluid in all drills. He is who we thought he was, now will the Vikings let him off the hook? Here’s what I had to say about Kalil a few weeks ago.
- Oklahoma Drill – This isn’t the football term of the “Oklahoma Drill” that you’re used to. Instead, it’s what they had to rename the 40 yard dash today as two former Sooners owned it. Donald Stephenson took the prize as the fastest offensive linemen today with an official time of 4.94. His teammate James Hanna did the same in the Tight End group, with a time of 4.49. Hanna didn’t impress with his hands though and that’s more important than running fast for a Tight End.
- Rishaw Johnson – 6’3 3/8 height, 313 pounds, 35 1/4 arms, and a 5.24 forty time. I’ve heard this whole off season that people really liked Rishaw Johnson. When we put on the game film, we never saw anything to get excited about. He didn’t make our Top 10 interior linemen list before the combine or even our bubble guys that we wanted to watch more on in Indy. Unfortunately for Johnson, he showed in Indy the same flaws as we saw on tape. He was visibly frustrated and his footwork was all over the place. On another interior linemen, Michael Brewster, his technique was a mess today. He’s someone we didn’t like as much as other but we still liked him enough to place him in our top 10. We will go back and watch more film on how he handled himself when he didn’t have help and his footwork came more into play. Here’s the Top 10 interior linemen list.
- Adam Gettis – 6’2 3/8 height, 293 pounds, 33 1/8 arms and an official 5.00 forty. He also had a 31.5″ vertical and a 9’4″ broad jump. Gettis wasn’t on our radar and he still may not be. We have to go back and see if he’s just an athlete or can he be a player at the next level. There’s plenty of guys that show up to Indy and their body style is built better to compete in athletic events but it doesn’t make them a football player. But, Gettis has at least earned us to take another look at his on-field football play.
- Jeff Allen & Tony Brown – Both of these guys were on our watch list as bubble guys for our Top 10 offensive tackles. Neither one of them let us down. Both players stood out and were highly impressive. Philip Blake was and David DeCastro both performed to the level we expected as well. We’ve been saying all along that DeCastro is the best guard prospect in years and he looked it today. Blake is another Canadian transplant that performed well, like his former Baylor teammate, Danny Watkins did last year.
- Dwayne Allen & Orson Charles – Due to Coby Fleener not performing, it was Allen & Charles and no one else in my eyes. While other guys looked good, none were on their level. It’s odd because the two were almost teammates as Allen was committed to Georgia before switching at the last minute to become a Tiger. How do they measure up? Allen 6’3 1/8, 255 lbs, 33″ arms, 27 reps, and 4.89 forty. Charles 6’2 1/2, 251, 32 1/2″ arms, 35 reps, and while Orson ran all of the routes, he didn’t participate in any timed exercises. It was odd to me that Charles didn’t mind running full speed in the pass catching drills but wouldn’t do anything that would have timed him. Also, most people will focus on Allen’s 4.89 forty but overlook his 7.12 three cone drill. Allen also made the catch of the day, laying out for a ball along the sideline. I view Charles as a glorified wide receiver and was shocked when he didn’t run. I felt this would have helped his value but now looks as if he was hiding something. I expected Dwayne to be around 4.75-4.85 in his forty, so the 4.89 isn’t alarming to me and his three cone proves why. While Charles not running the timed drills disappointed, he didn’t do anything that would make me drop him down or raise him up from the #3 ranking that we have him at now. Here’s the complete Top 10.
- Coby Fleener – Due to an injury he didn’t perform, outside of lifting and he impressed there. 6’6, 247 lbs, 33 7/8″ arms, and 27 reps. It was already impressive to see the long armed Fleener push up 27 reps but what pushed it over the top was how bad he wanted that last rep, to tie Allen. Allen had already went and completed 27 reps. When Coby pushed up 26, I looked at how bad his body was shaking and felt that was it, he was done. His body looked as if he was in the midst of an earthquake and his will finished the last rep as his body had already given up on him. Every coach and scout in the room, probably walked away with a smile, saying “alright, we have a competitor here”.
- Ladarius Green & Deangelo Peterson – Peterson really hurt himself today. He showed over and over again that he doesn’t trust his hands. Green on the other hand, didn’t look great but you could tell that he had been working his butt off and looked a ton better than what I saw on film. It also didn’t hurt that Green came in just a hair under 6’6 and ran an official 4.53, broad jumped 10’4″, and had a vertical of 34.5″. There were plenty of people that saw value in Green, in that building today. I can’t blame them because he looked like a great project player. Other tight ends that caught my eye for one reason or another were, Drake Dunsmore and Michael Egnew. Drake was comfortable running routes and catching the ball. It all came naturally to him. He’s nowhere near an early round pick but he can make a roster and contribute. Egnew looks the part but was frustrating as he didn’t go all out during the route running and receiving drills. The gauntlet was where I had the biggest bone to pick with Michael. While he didn’t forget the last last passer altogether like Orson Charles, he jogged through the whole thing and looked sloppy. Most of his routes were conservative and it calls into question, whether he has the confidence to compete with the best in the world.
It was an exciting day and the NFL Network did an outstanding job with their coverage. They focused more on the players this year and even when they were talking, the camera was still on the athletes that need the exposure. Tomorrow is the most exciting day for fans at home as they get to watch the skill positions of quarterback, running back, and receivers….that is if the rest of the quarterbacks didn’t back out of throwing as well. That reminds me, the highlight of the day was when Mike Mayock looked into the camera and called out Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, and Justin Blackmon.
Obviously, he was having fun at their expense but there’s always truth in humor. Enjoy the rest of the combine and if your wife takes you to the in-laws on Sunday, just check out TheXLog.com as we’ll have you covered on all of the “buzz”.
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock