Three days of position drills have been completed at the 2009 Combine. With just the defensive backs left, it is time for a brief recap of the offensive positions and some things that stuck out over the past couple days (defensive recap will be posted tomorrow).
Saturday (OL and TE)
Obviously, the big story of the day was Andre Smith’s departure. He and his agent mishandled the situation and failed to inform the appropriate people. The guys on NFL Network seem to be split on how much this effect his stock. He will probably still go Top 10.
Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe both looked good in the drills on Saturday. Monroe put up disappointing bench press numbers, but that was the only knock on him. He looks to be the more complete and polished player of the two. Smith is a converted TE who is still learning the position and developing. The thought is that he has more potential than Monroe.
Michael Oher looked a bit stiff in some of the drills, but still pretty good. William Beatty (UConn) put up some good numbers and might be a tackle that sneaks into the first round if a run on tackles happens similar to last year. Jamon Meredith (So Car) looked like the most athletic tackle out there.
With Alex Mack not participating, the two top centers were Max Unger (Oregon) and Eric Wood (Louisville). They both looked impressive. I still think Mack is the #1, but there probably won’t be much separation between the three.
I won’t spend too much time on the Tight Ends, because I figure it’s one of the only positions the Hawks are set at. Brandon Pettigrew did nothing to hurt his status as the #1 TE. His 40 time was slow, but people weren’t expecting it to be much better. Jared Cook (So Car) looked like the best athlete out there, but not much of a blocker (according to Mike Mayock). Shawn Nelson (So Miss) also showed his athleticism, but is apparently a “willing blocker” and can be taught better techniques.
Sunday (WR, RB, QB)
The big news for this group was the Crabtree foot injury. The receivers who actually participated put up some good numbers. Maclin ran a 4.46, which is good but not as fast as I thought he would be. He landed a little funny during one of the drills and is having an MRI done on his knee. It’s not expected to be too serious.
The fastest 40 time was run by Darrius Heyward-Bey (4.3). This should cement him in the first round. Percy Harvin ran 4.41, but scouts wanted to see him take part in route-running drills, which he did not do. There is still some concern as to how he can be used in NFL schemes. Mike Wallace (Ole Miss) and Mike Thomas (Arizona) both looked good and ran well.
The receiver I was most impressed by was Brian Robiskie (Ohio State). He is almost 6’3” and weighed in at 209lbs. He ran a 4.51, looked good in all the drills, and caught everything thrown to him. Most impressive: he is a gifted athlete who is also a student of the game. Hopefully he would be there for the Hawks in the 2nd round if they pass on Crabtree.
NFL Network’s coverage of the RB drills was a bit weak, or maybe I somehow missed half of it. Beanie Wells ran a 4.57 and looked really uncomfortable doing so. He also took about six attempts to land his broad jump. And before each jump he would wag his arms back and forth for like 30 seconds. Very annoying. I would move him down my draft board just for wasting time. Moreno ran a 4.63. Mayock’s concern is if he can run away from people. Marshall Faulk added that he can run that time for 4 quarters, so even though it’s not too fast, he doesn’t wear down as the game goes on. Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian has attended 4 schools and been arrested 5 times. He would be a big reach for the Bengals at #6, but they’ll probably take him in the 4th or 5th round.
Stafford decided not to throw at the Combine, but Sanchez did. He looked fine on the limited number of throws I saw. If anything, I like him more now because he threw. It’s lame that Stafford didn’t.
I was pretty impressed by Pat White. He made some very nice throws (“a catchable ball”) and ran a 4.49. He did not go through the receiver drills here, but will at his pro day. If he can show the ability to play the receiver position, I would think he’d jump up many teams’ draft boards. He could factor into a team’s wildcat formation. Wildcat.
Check back tomorrow for notes on the defensive players.