Scouting Combine: Day two

Work outs begin tomorrow for the offensive lineman and tight ends. Today both positional groups took on the bench press, which is probably more relevant for these guys than anyone else.

Tyron Smith has a superb wing span and he’s edged over 300lbs for the combine after methodical weight gain. These things aren’t the greatest combination for bench pressing – long arms make it difficult to lift and if he’s added quick weight, it won’t necessarily translate to arm and chest muscle. Therefore, Smith’s 29 reps at 225lbs today is quite simply stunning.

Top-ten pick material and by far the offensive lineman with the most potential in this class.

Nate Solder has similar issues with long arms (he’s 6-8) and only managed 21 reps, which is understandable and just highlights Smith’s achievements further. Derek Sherrod and John Moffitt both benched 23 times, while small school diamond Will Rackley benched 29 reps – as did Baylor’s Danny Watkins. USC center Kris O’Dowd had an impressive 31 reps.

Two prospects I’m particularly high on – Rodney Hudson and James Carpenter – benched 27 and 23 reps respectively. Mike Pouncey didn’t participate.

Interior offensive line has been a big issue for a while for Seattle, in fact ever since the ill-fated day Steve Hutchinson left for Minnesota. The Seahawks are simply not good enough at the guard position. Being able to make aditions in free agency would indicate the level of importance the front office value the position in terms of the draft. Instead we’ll go into April’s event unsure as to the team’s intentions, with no new CBA on the horizon.

It’ll be hard to pass on Mike Pouncey. I often wrote on this blog during the 2010 season about his major improvents as a center for Florida after some initial concerns snapping the ball. He will start in year one at center or guard. He may not achieve the high levels witnessed by his brother Maurkice in Pittsburgh, but he will still have a fine career in the NFL and lock down a position for years (health permitting). Miami, Kansas City and Philadelphia all pick before Seattle and it’ll be something of a coup if he falls to #25.

Brian McIntyre passes along information that Pouncey met with Seattle’s new offensive line coach Tom Cable this week.

If the team don’t want to draft a guard in round one or haven’t the option, I still think Rodney Hudson is the best bet at #57. He’s 299lbs at the combine, he’s completely mastered his technique in college and for me he’s going to be a long term high-end starter in the NFL. I think he’s possibly the most polished offensive lineman in this class. is good for combine video at this time of year. Here’s some highlighted links:

Mike Mayock breaks down tape of Blaine Gabbert – who should remain a distinct possibility as the #1 overall pick.

Jake Locker spent some time with the NFL Network crew, including the sharply dressed Mayock again in a polished waistcoat number.

Michael Lombardi produces a top-ten mock draft minus AJ Green. The prospect of Green landing in St. Louis to catch passes from Sam Bradford is scary. On the plus side it could encourage a drop for Julius Jones – who is another hugely talented receiver.

Elsewhere, Brandon Adams at 17 Power breaks down GM John Schneider’s combine press conference.

Walter Cherepinsky’s latest mock has the Seahawks taking Jimmy Smith, which would be an absolute steal.

Candice Caldwell has a twitter review on the recent NFLPA/NFL discussions. It’s almost certain a new agreement won’t be in place before the draft and this appears to be a long way from a positive conclusion. What should be an exciting time just before free agency begins is anything but.

Todd McShay has a combine report for ESPN:

A heads up for the weekend combine coverage – work commitments mean only reaction will be possible to Saturday’s offensive line and tight end work outs. I will be watching closely work outs that take place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I’d like to hear your thoughts too in the comments section.


  1. Alex

    I’m not reading too much into it yet, but I’m hearing that the Detroit Lions would pass on the CB position and more specifically Jimmy Smith if Peterson and Amukumura are already picked because of “work ethic” and “character concerns”. This is the first time I’ve heard these two things matched with Smith. I wonder if you’ve (Rob) heard about these things?


    • Rob

      I read the article where this report came from. It’s written by MLive’s Tom Kowalski – who in fairness argued bluntly throughout the 2009 draft build up that the Lions wouldn’t draft Matt Stafford first overall. He wrote several articles and made TV appearances saying an offensive lineman would be the pick, despite it seemingly being a foregone conclusion Detroit would draft Stafford early in the process.

      Here’s a piece from Kowalski stating it will be Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe going first overall:

      So while I appreciate the report Kowalski has filed on Jimmy Smith, I’m not taking it as gospel.

  2. Jay

    Rob, would 32in arms be a problem for Mike Pouncey? Is that average for a OG/C?

    • Rob

      I see your point Jay and it may be in some cases, but nothing on tape suggested it’s an issue with Pouncey in particular.

  3. Blake

    The thing about Hudson weighing 299 is that it’s all fat. His frame is meant for the low 280s and if he is up around 300, his quickness, technique, and stamina will all suffer dramatically. He is still too small/too fat to play effectively. Marcus Cannon looked to have about the same amount of body fat as Hudson, but he weighs 358. I have no clue how Tyron Smith gained 25 pounds without looking sloppy; he looks great. Do they test for steroids at the combine?

    • Alex

      it’s supposedly due to a change in diet. Cutting the junk food for a balanced and healthy diet.

    • Matt

      I highly doubt Smith was on steroids before the combine. They test all that. Not to mention, he just turned 20 and if you aren’t focused on diet, it’s pretty tough to gain weight as a kid. Look at his photos from high school, he’s simply a freak of nature.

  4. Andy

    “On the plus side it could encourage a drop for Julius Jones…”
    Man I hope we get Julius Jones!

    Just kidding. How many times is that mistake going to be made?

  5. Mike

    Mayock is great. I never thought about it before, but I watched some tape and he is right, Locker shortens his stance up and overstrides from the pocket all the time. He falls back on baseball habbits. On the run he doesn’t do it. You can say that he should have fixed it by now, but he has been playing baseball in the spring/summer for the Angels rookie team. Stop his baseball play and just play football and it may help, along with more coaching.

  6. Mike

    Rob, you are conviced that Shanahan wants him, but when asked if he saw him as a Jay Cutler type, he said no he is more of a Jake Plummer type. That isn’t exactly a winning endorsement. Was it just coaches speak, or has Shanahan gotten over him?

    • Matt

      You gotta remember that he probably takes attitude and personality into account when asked a question like that.

  7. Ben

    Mallett with the non-denial on the drug use question. Sounds like there may be some truth to the rumors.

    • plyka

      Yeah, some truth to smoking pot? Seriously man, half of every local high school would have “truth to some rumors” and so would about 95% of the NFL.

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