INDIANAPOLIS–I have a scout friend with whom I have established this annual midnight meeting tradition on Sunday night of combine weekend at a downtown Indianapolis “Steak and Shake.” It’s all hats-pulled-down and collars-turned-up stuff, if you know what I mean. I buy him a steak and a shake, and he feeds me his notes from the weekend.
All right, here’s what the guy said about some of the highlights of this past weekend’s workouts.
The running back class is deep but it may lack a headliner following a somewhat disappointing workout by Alabama’s Mark Ingram, who ran a 4.6 and wasn’t especially impressive in drills. Meanwhile, UConn’s Jordan Todman and Maryland’s Da’Rel Scott may have pushed themselves a little higher in the order by running fast. Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray also helped himself by running well. Pitt’s Dion Lewis turned in a top pass-catching performance and was impressive throughout his drills but ran in the 4.5-4.6 range and may have fallen off some boards the moment he measured out at a little over 5-6 in height. Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams ran in the 4.5’s, too.
Colorado’s Nate Solder may have taken the lead among a solid offensive tackle crop with his workout on Saturday. It’s important to note that USC’s Tyron Smith did not participate in the workout and Smith could take the tackle lead with a top pro-day effort.
As expected, A.J. Green and Julio Jones maintained their lead among wide receivers, but Jones may have passed Green by turning in a lights-out workout, highlighted by Jones’ broad jump. Scouts use the broad jump to gauge explosiveness. The wide receiver crop came away looking better overall based on Sunday’s workout. Pitt’s Jon Baldwin ran a 4.45, which is eye-popping speed for a guy 6-5 plus and 235 pounds. He was “just OK” in drills, but Baldwin likely moved up the board based on his measurables. The speed demons among wide receivers this year are Edmond Gates of Abilene Christian, Ricardo Lockette of Fort Valley State and Al Robinson of SMU. The scout had all three at sub-4.4.
Among the quarterbacks, Auburn’s Cam Newton certainly looked the part of a first-overall pick, but he didn’t throw with the accuracy you would expect of a number one selection. Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett was impressive.
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