2.24.2009

Combine: Defense

Monday was the first day at the Combine for the defense. DL and LBs went through the drills. In the interest of keeping the ex-Mariner Game near the top of the page, I will post my notes as a comment to this post. So, click through to read more.

18 comments:

f. i. n. n. said...

please don't blet the ex-m game slide down. If it lives on then great if not... No big whoop. The draft is priority.

Pete said...

DL
The player I paid the most attention to was BJ Raji. He looks like a big, fat baby. I'm trying to determine whose face his reminds me of (possibly a mix of Hurley and Kuato). He measured out at 6'1" and 337lbs. He put up 33 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.13. He showed pretty good footwork, but I expected him to look good in drills (which he did). It's not that I doubt his abilities, it's just that there seem to be a lot of busts when DTs are drafted highly.

Robert Ayers (DE, Tenn), was impressive in his drills, which continues his solid offseason (great Senior Bowl week). The issue with him is that he came out of nowhere his Senior year, so there are questions about whether or not he is a 1-yr wonder.

Brian Orakpo looked like a beast. He put up 31 reps and ran a 4.7. He got hurt (hamstring) before doing the LB drills. They say he can play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4.

The tweener players (DE/OLB) seem to increase in numbers each year. This year some of those players included: Everette Brown, Aaron Maybin, Larry English, Lawrence Sidbury, and Connor Barwin. Maybin and English ran slower 40 times than people would like to see out of pass-rushers. It doesn't hurt Maybin as much because he has proven production against quality competition. English, having played at No Illinois, does not. Sidbury (Richmond) had the best DL 40 time. Connor Barwin was 2nd and led 4 other categories (broad & vert jumps, 3-cone, and 20-yd shuttle). He played TE and DE at Cinncinnati and will now likely play OLB in the NFL.

Michael Johnson (DE, Georgia Tech) put up good numbers and has great measurables (6'7" 266lbs). The concern is that he is too inconsistent. He doesn't make good use of his abilities.

LB
Aaron Curry proved he was the #1 LB in the draft. He put on a clinic in each drill (and ran the top LB 40 time).

Four USC LBs were at the Combine. Unfortunately, Maualuga pulled up with a hamstring injury after his 40 and had to sit out the rest of the day. Brian Cushing put up 30 reps and ran a 4.74. He looked pretty good in his drills, but did fail to flip his hips in a coverage drill. Overall a good performance, but not the blow-up I thought he would have. Clay Matthews, who walked on at USC, also put in an impressive performance and should be a late-first early-second pick. The 4th SC backer, Kaluka Maiava, was a fill-in for the Trojans, but he looked better than half the guys at the Combine. They said he was related to The Rock, but who knows if that's true.

Jasper Brinkley (So Car) is coming back from an ACL injury and has finally got his weight under control. He was very productive before his injury, so he might be a steal if he can come back to pre-injury form.

A couple of things on 2 Ohio St LBs: Marcus Freeman looked good and is comfortable dropping into coverage; and Laurinaitis could have done more to help himself. Todd McShay had Laurinaitis as one of his 3 players whose stock is dropping. When you have someone as productive as Laurinaitis was at OSU, it's kind of stupid to drop him for running some drills. However, he also skipped the Senior Bowl, so maybe people have attitude concerns.

So that leaves us with just the DBs. They are going through the drills today and I will cover it "Running Diary" style (unless I get tired of it). So stay tuned. I'll post the notes from each hour.

Pete said...

Hour #1 8:00 - 9:00

8:00 - And today’s coverage starts the same way every other day: Rich Eisen saying “it’s a cold day here in Indy.” Not really necessary anymore. I figured it was cold seeing as how it’s a Midwestern city in February.

8:03 – Deion Sanders is on the set today. YES!!! They tell the same story each year about how Deion ran his 40 and then ran right out of building because it was so fast he didn’t need to do anything else. If some guy did that today they’d lose their shit, but they consider Deion a legend for doing it.

8:08 – They make mention of the fact that several notable schools have limited players here. They list FSU – 2; Miami – 1; Notre Dame – 1; UCLA – 1. And then they had Washington on there with 1. Why would anyone be surprised that a team that didn’t win a game has a limited number of players that pro scouts are interested in?

8:10 - Darius Butler (CB, UConn) – 4.45 (Mayock’s #3 CB)

8:11 - Here goes Patrick Chung. Bad start; stopped and will do it over. Ran a 4.51. Confident in press coverage, but not off-man (according to Mayock).

8:14 – Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois) is running right now. He is Vernon Davis’s brother. I’m guessing he’ll run a good time. 4.43. He put up 25 reps. They say he is a freak athlete who has all the talent to be a Pro Bowler but is inconsistent. I guess he really is Vernon’s brother.

8:22 – I would draft Victor Harris just because he goes by Macho Harris. He just ran 4.58. But if the Hawks drafted him, we might be able to do some promotional stuff with Randy Savage and maybe get him to raise the 12th Man Flag.

8:24 – Apparently Deion has a training facility called Prime U. So far every guy who is one of his Prime U guys has run worse than expected. Nice job Prime Time. He said they also train them on life. Yikes. I’d fire my agent if he sent me to learn life skills from Deion.

8:26 – Malcolm Jenkins just ran a 4.55. Mayock says he could be a Pro Bowl free safety his rookie year and teams are thinking that’s where he’ll play in the NFL. Maybe the Hawks should take him.

8:37 – Deion says that each of these corners will run a faster time in their 2nd run. So far, nobody has. Deion said when he timed Darius Butler last week he was much faster. Or maybe you don’t know how to accurately time the 40.

8:43 – Here comes Vontae Davis trying to beat his bro’s 4.38 40. Nope. Ran another 4.43.

8:48 – They showed a clip of Nate Newton talking to the guys at Prime U. My favorite line was “Ain’t no homeboy in the world worth what you can get your family.” Is it too late for me to change my Senior quote?

8:53 - Stephen Hodge (S, TCU) 6’ 234lbs; Straight-line guy. 8 sacks as a junior. Thought is that he is just a thumper. Ran 4.49 and 4.57. Faster than anticipated.

8:58 – Pretty weak 40 times for the first group. Only one sub-4.4. Brandon Hughes from Oregon State.

f. i. n. n. said...

Is it well known that e goes by Macho?

If we draft Victor Harris I will buy the custom jersey and Macho-size it (cut up the sleves and tie them into knots... etc)

I really hoppe this happens!!!

Pete said...

Yeah, it's pretty widely-used. Almost like Magic Johnson, he is Macho Harris.

Pete said...

Hour #2 9:00 – 10:00

9:16 – Darius Butler looks smooth in his back pedal and can turn & run fluidly.

9:21 – Jenkins slow 40 time has created a lot of buzz on the set and they continue to discuss how he can used at the next level. Mayock said he would have to go back and watch more tape to see if he plays at that speed or has better functional speed. He could be used as a big, physical corner.

9:28 – Davis looked to get tripped up a bit in his back pedal while opening his hips.

9:31 – Hodge, after his good 40 time, showed it was straight-line speed by having trouble flipping his hips in the coverage drill. Looked better his 2nd time.

9:38 – Louis Delmas (S, W Mich) looks like a badass. But he only put up 12 reps, which means I could probably hold my own against him.

9:41 – Jenkins, according to Deion, is killing himself today. He thinks he should shut it down. He says he thinks he’ll be a good player in the NFL, but is having trouble with his footwork today.

9:46 – Do you guys think the Hawks should try and sign Houshmandzadeh?

9:48 – Coye Francies (CB, SJSU) has looked decent.

10:00 – Mayock thought his Top 3 Safeties (Delmas, Rashad Johnson, Chung) all did what he expected. They ran as expected and performed well in the drills. His Top 3 CBs (Jenkins, Davis, Butler) did not run as fast as he thought they would. There is less of a gap between those three now.

Pete said...

Hour #3 10:00 – 11:00

10:05 – They’ve spent the last 5 minutes talking about Crabtree. He called in earlier and they spoke about if he’ll run. He said it’s not definite yet.

10:11 – Rich Eisen clocked in at a 6.34 in the 40. They have this simulcast feature showing Eisen (kind of like the ghost feature from Mario Kart) running against Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey is out of the shot before the 10-yd mark. They also did one with him having a head start and having BJ Raji chase him down. I don’t know why, but it’s hilarious. I highly recommend you trying to make time to watch the replay tonight.

10:15 – Deion just made a comment about how back in his day they just showed up and ran the 40. They lined up in shorts and a shirt and ran. They didn’t have all these special shoes and tight fitting clothes. How about waste-of-money training facilities run by people who want to make a dollar off these kids’ hopes and dreams? Did they have those?

10:18 – Some times of notable players:
DJ Moore (CB, Vandy) 5’9” – 4.54
William Moore (S, Mizzou) – 4.53 (stock dropped during a sub-par Senior year)
Derrick Pegues (S, Miss St) – 4.62

10:22 – Glover Quin (New Mexico) won the Beef Master award for being the strongest guy on the team under 200 lbs. That might be the best name for an award in all of sports.

10:26 - Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake) is the most instinctive corner according to Mayock. He loves him. Only 5’9”. 4.5; fast enough, but nothing special.

10:28 – Sean Smith (CB, Utah) 6’3” 214 35in arms. I like this guy. He ran 4.47. If he’s actually a good player the Hawks should take him so they finally have some size in the secondary.

10:42 – Captain Munnerlyn (CB, So Car) has a cool name.

10:58 – Lardarius Webb (CB, Nichols St) ran the only sub 4.4 of the second group.

11:03 – They caught Zorn yawning in the stands.

11:07 – They love Alphonso Smith’s feet. It’s possible that he could drop to the Hawks in round 2, but I would be concerned with having another tiny cornerback.

11:10 – DJ Moore almost fell over coming out of his back pedal.

11:19 – Pegues took a poor angle on a ball drill.

11:20 – Alphonso did the Deion high-stepping running the ball back during ball drills.

11:24 – Official 40 times are in and only 4 DBs ran sub-4.5. That’s not too good. The WRs blew these guys away as far as impressive 40 times.

11:25 – Mayock thinks that Darius Butler was the top performer today. Continued his good offseason (performed well at the Senior Bowl).

Wrap-up
Butler and Smith were impressive today and probably brought the group of the top 4 CBs closer together. Jenkins hurt his stock a bit by showing he did not have great speed and not looking smooth in some of the drills. The safeties did what was expected of them. There aren’t any first rounders probably, but some early to mid-2nd guys.

Fortune said...

Was Newtons quote from the Wonderlick prep part of Prime U?

NY Keith said...

So you're telling me this sean smith character has 35 inch arms? You realize that's 25 percent more than Big Poppa Pump right? And almost as long as Shareef Abdur-Rahim' junk?

Pete said...

Obviously nobody measures up to Abdur-Rahim.

Fortune said...

Let me be the 1st to tell BJ Raji that having short arms is not a big deal. It makes doing decline bench press so easy.

f. i. n. n. said...

How did BJ Raji perform in the "touch your your shoulders with your fingertips" drill? Bet he had a difficult time.

Fortune said...

ouch

Pete said...

I heard he got booted off his intramural b-ball team after he blew a game by not being able to call a 20-second timeout.

wanamaker said...

Hour #3 10:00 – 11:00

10:05 – They’ve spent the last 5 minutes talking about Crabtree. He called in earlier and they spoke about if he’ll run. He said it’s not definite yet.

10:11 – Rich Eisen clocked in at a 6.34 in the 40. They have this simulcast feature showing Eisen (kind of like the ghost feature from Mario Kart) running against Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey is out of the shot before the 10-yd mark. They also did one with him having a head start and having BJ Raji chase him down. I don’t know why, but it’s hilarious. I highly recommend you trying to make time to watch the replay tonight.

10:15 – Deion just made a comment about how back in his day they just showed up and ran the 40. They lined up in shorts and a shirt and ran. They didn’t have all these special shoes and tight fitting clothes. How about waste-of-money training facilities run by people who want to make a dollar off these kids’ hopes and dreams? Did they have those?

10:18 – Some times of notable players:
DJ Moore (CB, Vandy) 5’9” – 4.54
William Moore (S, Mizzou) – 4.53 (stock dropped during a sub-par Senior year)
Derrick Pegues (S, Miss St) – 4.62

10:22 – Glover Quin (New Mexico) won the Beef Master award for being the strongest guy on the team under 200 lbs. That might be the best name for an award in all of sports.

10:26 - Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake) is the most instinctive corner according to Mayock. He loves him. Only 5’9”. 4.5; fast enough, but nothing special.

10:28 – Sean Smith (CB, Utah) 6’3” 214 35in arms. I like this guy. He ran 4.47. If he’s actually a good player the Hawks should take him so they finally have some size in the secondary.

10:42 – Captain Munnerlyn (CB, So Car) has a cool name.

10:58 – Lardarius Webb (CB, Nichols St) ran the only sub 4.4 of the second group.

11:03 – They caught Zorn yawning in the stands.

11:07 – They love Alphonso Smith’s feet. It’s possible that he could drop to the Hawks in round 2, but I would be concerned with having another tiny cornerback.

11:10 – DJ Moore almost fell over coming out of his back pedal.

11:19 – Pegues took a poor angle on a ball drill.

11:20 – Alphonso did the Deion high-stepping running the ball back during ball drills.

11:24 – Official 40 times are in and only 4 DBs ran sub-4.5. That’s not too good. The WRs blew these guys away as far as impressive 40 times.

11:25 – Mayock thinks that Darius Butler was the top performer today. Continued his good offseason (performed well at the Senior Bowl).

Wrap-up
Butler and Smith were impressive today and probably brought the group of the top 4 CBs closer together. Jenkins hurt his stock a bit by showing he did not have great speed and not looking smooth in some of the drills. The safeties did what was expected of them. There aren’t any first rounders probably, but some early to mid-2nd guys.

wanamaker said...

Hour #1 8:00 - 9:00

8:00 - And today’s coverage starts the same way every other day: Rich Eisen saying “it’s a cold day here in Indy.” Not really necessary anymore. I figured it was cold seeing as how it’s a Midwestern city in February.

8:03 – Deion Sanders is on the set today. YES!!! They tell the same story each year about how Deion ran his 40 and then ran right out of building because it was so fast he didn’t need to do anything else. If some guy did that today they’d lose their shit, but they consider Deion a legend for doing it.

8:08 – They make mention of the fact that several notable schools have limited players here. They list FSU – 2; Miami – 1; Notre Dame – 1; UCLA – 1. And then they had Washington on there with 1. Why would anyone be surprised that a team that didn’t win a game has a limited number of players that pro scouts are interested in?

8:10 - Darius Butler (CB, UConn) – 4.45 (Mayock’s #3 CB)

8:11 - Here goes Patrick Chung. Bad start; stopped and will do it over. Ran a 4.51. Confident in press coverage, but not off-man (according to Mayock).

8:14 – Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois) is running right now. He is Vernon Davis’s brother. I’m guessing he’ll run a good time. 4.43. He put up 25 reps. They say he is a freak athlete who has all the talent to be a Pro Bowler but is inconsistent. I guess he really is Vernon’s brother.

8:22 – I would draft Victor Harris just because he goes by Macho Harris. He just ran 4.58. But if the Hawks drafted him, we might be able to do some promotional stuff with Randy Savage and maybe get him to raise the 12th Man Flag.

8:24 – Apparently Deion has a training facility called Prime U. So far every guy who is one of his Prime U guys has run worse than expected. Nice job Prime Time. He said they also train them on life. Yikes. I’d fire my agent if he sent me to learn life skills from Deion.

8:26 – Malcolm Jenkins just ran a 4.55. Mayock says he could be a Pro Bowl free safety his rookie year and teams are thinking that’s where he’ll play in the NFL. Maybe the Hawks should take him.

8:37 – Deion says that each of these corners will run a faster time in their 2nd run. So far, nobody has. Deion said when he timed Darius Butler last week he was much faster. Or maybe you don’t know how to accurately time the 40.

8:43 – Here comes Vontae Davis trying to beat his bro’s 4.38 40. Nope. Ran another 4.43.

8:48 – They showed a clip of Nate Newton talking to the guys at Prime U. My favorite line was “Ain’t no homeboy in the world worth what you can get your family.” Is it too late for me to change my Senior quote?

8:53 - Stephen Hodge (S, TCU) 6’ 234lbs; Straight-line guy. 8 sacks as a junior. Thought is that he is just a thumper. Ran 4.49 and 4.57. Faster than anticipated.

8:58 – Pretty weak 40 times for the first group. Only one sub-4.4. Brandon Hughes from Oregon State.

wanamaker said...

DL
The player I paid the most attention to was BJ Raji. He looks like a big, fat baby. I'm trying to determine whose face his reminds me of (possibly a mix of Hurley and Kuato). He measured out at 6'1" and 337lbs. He put up 33 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.13. He showed pretty good footwork, but I expected him to look good in drills (which he did). It's not that I doubt his abilities, it's just that there seem to be a lot of busts when DTs are drafted highly.

Robert Ayers (DE, Tenn), was impressive in his drills, which continues his solid offseason (great Senior Bowl week). The issue with him is that he came out of nowhere his Senior year, so there are questions about whether or not he is a 1-yr wonder.

Brian Orakpo looked like a beast. He put up 31 reps and ran a 4.7. He got hurt (hamstring) before doing the LB drills. They say he can play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4.

The tweener players (DE/OLB) seem to increase in numbers each year. This year some of those players included: Everette Brown, Aaron Maybin, Larry English, Lawrence Sidbury, and Connor Barwin. Maybin and English ran slower 40 times than people would like to see out of pass-rushers. It doesn't hurt Maybin as much because he has proven production against quality competition. English, having played at No Illinois, does not. Sidbury (Richmond) had the best DL 40 time. Connor Barwin was 2nd and led 4 other categories (broad & vert jumps, 3-cone, and 20-yd shuttle). He played TE and DE at Cinncinnati and will now likely play OLB in the NFL.

Michael Johnson (DE, Georgia Tech) put up good numbers and has great measurables (6'7" 266lbs). The concern is that he is too inconsistent. He doesn't make good use of his abilities.

LB
Aaron Curry proved he was the #1 LB in the draft. He put on a clinic in each drill (and ran the top LB 40 time).

Four USC LBs were at the Combine. Unfortunately, Maualuga pulled up with a hamstring injury after his 40 and had to sit out the rest of the day. Brian Cushing put up 30 reps and ran a 4.74. He looked pretty good in his drills, but did fail to flip his hips in a coverage drill. Overall a good performance, but not the blow-up I thought he would have. Clay Matthews, who walked on at USC, also put in an impressive performance and should be a late-first early-second pick. The 4th SC backer, Kaluka Maiava, was a fill-in for the Trojans, but he looked better than half the guys at the Combine. They said he was related to The Rock, but who knows if that's true.

Jasper Brinkley (So Car) is coming back from an ACL injury and has finally got his weight under control. He was very productive before his injury, so he might be a steal if he can come back to pre-injury form.

A couple of things on 2 Ohio St LBs: Marcus Freeman looked good and is comfortable dropping into coverage; and Laurinaitis could have done more to help himself. Todd McShay had Laurinaitis as one of his 3 players whose stock is dropping. When you have someone as productive as Laurinaitis was at OSU, it's kind of stupid to drop him for running some drills. However, he also skipped the Senior Bowl, so maybe people have attitude concerns.

So that leaves us with just the DBs. They are going through the drills today and I will cover it "Running Diary" style (unless I get tired of it). So stay tuned. I'll post the notes from each hour.

wanamaker said...

Hour #2 9:00 – 10:00

9:16 – Darius Butler looks smooth in his back pedal and can turn & run fluidly.

9:21 – Jenkins slow 40 time has created a lot of buzz on the set and they continue to discuss how he can used at the next level. Mayock said he would have to go back and watch more tape to see if he plays at that speed or has better functional speed. He could be used as a big, physical corner.

9:28 – Davis looked to get tripped up a bit in his back pedal while opening his hips.

9:31 – Hodge, after his good 40 time, showed it was straight-line speed by having trouble flipping his hips in the coverage drill. Looked better his 2nd time.

9:38 – Louis Delmas (S, W Mich) looks like a badass. But he only put up 12 reps, which means I could probably hold my own against him.

9:41 – Jenkins, according to Deion, is killing himself today. He thinks he should shut it down. He says he thinks he’ll be a good player in the NFL, but is having trouble with his footwork today.

9:46 – Do you guys think the Hawks should try and sign Houshmandzadeh?

9:48 – Coye Francies (CB, SJSU) has looked decent.

10:00 – Mayock thought his Top 3 Safeties (Delmas, Rashad Johnson, Chung) all did what he expected. They ran as expected and performed well in the drills. His Top 3 CBs (Jenkins, Davis, Butler) did not run as fast as he thought they would. There is less of a gap between those three now.