The offensive lineman and tight ends have been running drills today. More on that in a moment, because it’s taken a back seat at the combine.
All the headlines have been provided by Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett who gave interviews ahead of their work outs tomorrow. Here is a link to Newton’s ‘opening statement’ where he read a prepared speech on his recent comments about being an ‘icon’. I had no problem with the words Newton used and feel it’s a shame that the combine has come to this now. No personalities please, just robots churning out the same scripted answers. Yes this is a job interview, but it’s also just a bunch of guys working out in order to play football for a living. The hype and nonsense that blew up in reaction to what can only be described as a cocky yet harmless throwaway remark is astonishing.
Nobody forced Newton to make that address, but no doubt someone would’ve brought it up anyway. A shame for me, because brilliance stands alongside confidence.
But it’s Mallett who made the biggest waves. He abruptly ended a press conference after one too many questions about off the field rumors. Good for him I say. The media are well within their rights to ask Mallett about reported drug use, but repeated questions are unfair considering how much is at stake here. Let the teams do their work if the guy isn’t going to discuss it. I’ve already seen numerous negative ‘reviews’ of Mallett’s performance at the podium, but how on earth can the guy be expected to handle that subject matter with the world watching? He won’t be able to dodge questions in the interview rooms, but personally I think it’s time to let the teams do their work and give the guy a break.
“Yes, he’s only a college kid. But he had the opportunity to address the drug rumors directly Saturday and he chose not to. There is a fine line between cocky and immature. How will he handle the spotlight when he faces adversity in the NFL? We hear it repeatedly this time of year: Film doesn’t lie. Teams will watch the tape of Mallett’s press conference Saturday, and we doubt they will like what they see.”
Make up your own mind about this situation, no doubt NFL teams will. For me, the quote listed above is completely unfair. We can only guess if the rumors are true and if they are – what level of seriousness they hold. It’s a shame that a guy as talented as Mallett has seen his off season dominated by stories that haven’t really been backed up.
Whereas Ryan Mallett is getting panned for his presser at Indy, reviews from some teams on his private interviews are pretty favorable.
The team interviews will define Mallett’s stock. It’s a commonly used phrase – but he only needs one franchise to buy in.
On a more positive note for both Newton and Mallett, I enjoyed watching this little video. It is ok to have fun at the combine too, right? Or is that a red flag these days?
The NFL Network provides tape on the lineman running the forty yard dash. I stil think it’s hard to trust the forty times when a simultaneous broadcast of Anthony Castonzo and Gabe Carimi clearly shows Castonzo finishing faster, yet he clocked a slower time than the Wisconsin lineman.
It’s a shame Will Rackley didn’t perform through injury. He’s the top small school prospect at offensive tackle. Tyron Smith didn’t run a forty, but Nate Solder managed a 4.92 which was particularly impressive. He stood out today according to Mike Mayock.
Rodney Hudson carried his bigger 299lbs frame well and I’m still very high on the Florida State lineman. Here’s what he had to say after working out.
For full details on the offensive lineman work outs click this link courtesy of Walter Football.
Von Miller weighed in at 246lbs, which is good news for him if he performs well.
Jason La Canfora publishes a top-ten mock which looks incredibly similar to fellow NFL Network reporter Michael Lombardi’s (they were sat next to each other when these were broadcast). He has AJ Green going #8 to Tennessee which seems highly unlikely to me, especially with Blaine Gabbert still on the board. I doubt the Titans aren’t going to pass on a QB to draft another wide out in the top ten, but La Canfora justifies it by pointing to the team’s addition of Randy Moss during the 2010 season.
If Green does slip a bit as La Canfora and Lombardi suggest, it increases the possibility that maybe a team like St. Louis would move up to get him. That would be a great match for Sam Bradford and Josh McDaniels. It may also increase the possibility of another talented wideout falling – such as Julio Jones. The Seahawks still need to consider the position with their first round pick. Only two prospects are worth moving up for – Green and Jones. If either lingers in the teens, it could be the catalyst for a move up the board. Either falling as low as #25 (which seems unlikely) would be a gift.