Scouting Combine Report-Day One
Written by Curt Popejoy on 02/25/2012
Alright, the first big day of the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine is done and thanks to the NFL Network we are privy to all the dirty details. I won’t lie, the offensive line/tight end day isn’t my favorite. When I look at offensive linemen, I know that when I played guard I prayed I would never have to run 40 yards on a play, much less with someone timing me. I won’t inundate you with numbers like hand size and 3 cone drill time; everyone is giving you the minutia of pointless numbers. I’m just going to run down in a very general sense what I saw in the day of drills and who if anyone specifically impressed or depressed me.
Offensive line(overall)-This wasn’t a wow group. Matt Kalil and David DeCastro are fabulous prospects, so you didn’t watch them for something new. But after watching this day of fat guys in tight pants I have to say that what I saw were a lot of guys who were pretty fit, almost clones of one another and a lot of sloppy form. I’m fine if Cordy Glenn wants to continue to have a floppy waist and elbows in drills. His draft position is pretty locked. But there are plenty of questions about a guy like Mike Adams and he did nothing to help himself. You’d have weeks to prepare for these drills, act like you did that. And then we get to see David Molk try and crush his own sternum to get 41 reps up on bench. But that’s still better to the sort effort by some of these massive men. There are probably still 3 or 4 first rounders among this group but especially the tackles past Kalil seem more like right tackle prospects to me at least initially.
I will repeat that Kalil and DeCastro are fabulous. They are easily the 2 most NFL ready linemen in this draft. They both were lean and fit and looked like they were prepared and ready for the drills and showed excellent technique. And because they did so well, they made some of these other supposed elite prospects look pretty average. Quite honestly, there were far more players that depressed me than impressed me, but if you want a couple of names of guys other than Kalil and DeCastro I did like, put be down for Donald Stephenson, James Brown, Jeff Allen, Tom Compton, and Phillip Blake, all of which I will give another look to because of what I saw today.
Tight Ends(overall)-I almost re-wound to watch the offensive linemen again. I think there were around 15 tight ends at this year’s combine and I’m not sure more than 8 or 9 of them should even be drafted based simply on what I saw today. I am sure after seeing what the New England Patriots did this year with two tight ends NFL teams are really scouring the college ranks to try and catch that lighting in a bottle. Well sorry to break it to you, but this crop of football players fail to impress on that sort of level.
Almost across the board the tight ends I watch today disappointed. John Hannah showed athleticism he never did while playing at Oklahoma. Maybe the uniform just weights him down too much. Many of the tight ends looked like former wide receivers who enjoy the training table a bit too much. Orson Charles has active hands but his concentration looked shaky. Michael Engnew has ideal NFL size, but he looked slow in drills and had lazy hands. DeAngelo Peterson looked lost in the gauntlet drill. Ladarius has a nice mix of size and athleticism and looked adequate in drills, but not spectacular. All in all, for these top 5 guys it’s going to come down to game film to determine how good they can be in the NFL, because they didn’t show it today.
Did I say 5? Yep. My favorite tight end in this draft, Coby Fleener from Stanford didn’t participate in any of the drills today. He is dealing with an ankle injury, so it’s excused that he is not working out. And in hindsight it was genius. He looks even better after watching this group stumble around.
All in all, it was a pretty uneventful day for the NFL draft community. It makes me sad when I see guys try and force a day like today like there was more to it. I am hopeful that the rest of the combine will be more exciting and more important more enlightening about the talent in this class.
Last Edited: 02/25/2012