Scouting Combine: Day three

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.

Here’s an exert from ProFootball Talk on Mallett’s performance:

“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.

Here’s what ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting on the much more important team interviews:

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.

Bucky Brooks and Steve Wyche break down the first day of workouts at the combine.

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.

Can you tell Mark Ingram has been well coached at Alabama? He speaks as well as he runs – a thoroughly impressive prospect.

Larry McDaniel at With the First Pick has a nice piece on Maryland wideout Torrey Smith.

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.


  1. Chavac

    It’s at the point now where the Mallet character issues are approaching ridiculous. He told the room it was a subject he was only going to discuss with the teams, continued to politely sidestep the question 5 times, and then bowed out. Calling that arrogant or immature, especially after maintaining his composure despite the room ignoring his request to lay off the subject, baffles me. What he did is exactly what NFL QB’s and coachs do when reporters hound them on subjects they can’t discuss. If there was some other part of the interview where he missed up, so be it (I only saw the clip), but so far in every interview and conference I’ve seen he has been as professional as anyone.

    As to whether or not he did drugs, his actions and words seem to imply he probably did. But honestly, is that something you would ever divulge to a group of reporters? Is that something you want the fans of the team that drafts you to know? The coaches and GMs, the guys who really need that information, will ask those questions and get the answers. Doing so in front of the public would serve absolutely no purpose at all, so as far as I’m concerned he handled the situation as professionally and maturely as we could expect.

  2. plyka

    The media is a mess now and a mess always. At least here it’s just football we are talking about. In real life, you see the big media people pay more attention to what a politician said about his girlfriend vs wife, than about the politician being a corrupt moron.

    It’s just the way the media works. They are useless TMZ type reporters. A great thing about the Internet is that it was made it possible for EVERYONE tlo be apart of the media, so gratefully you can find great reporting if you look hard enough for it.

  3. Cliff

    If Jones were to fall and the Patriots dont pull the trigger i would love to pick him up depending on what it takes to move up. Yes we’re far from contention but he’s putting up crazy numbers at the combine and when we have the pieces he’ll be in his prime.

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