on location: Videos from the NFL Scouting Combine

Posted by Duke Bobber on February 21, 2013 – 5:29 pm is on location, covering the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Check out some Combine-related videos from Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium:

From the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis,’s Vic Ketchman asks Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News who the best quarterback in the NFL is.

From the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis,’s Vic Ketchman looks ahead to what the Combine holds for the Green Bay Packers.’s Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford go head-to-head in the Don Hutson Center. The event? The 40-yard dash. See whose blazing speed makes him’s quickest writer.

Ketchman asks Gosselin what he thinks the future holds for the read-option: Is it here to stay?

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The trend is toward underclassmen

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 26, 2012 – 9:32 am

INDIANAPOLIS–The scout looked over his coffee through red eyes at six in the morning, and saw a scouting combine that has become the Super Bowl of personnel, and he saw change.

He saw a rookie-pool idea that was intended to encourage players to stay in college. He said it’s not working.

“It’s the opposite. Get started a year earlier to get to your second contract. It’s financially attractive to come out faster. The trend for the future is more underclassmen are going to declare,” the scout predicted.

This year’s draft class has 65 underclassmen in it, he pointed out; 55 underclassmen were invited to this combine. Those are significant numbers he expects to steadily increase.

The big loser is going to be college football. Its better players are less likely to stay and play. The senior class might become the exclusive domain of the lower ranks of each recruiting class.

“It’s going to be three and out,” the scout said.

Get ready for it, the scout said. Get ready for a lot of things associated with the draft and its scouting process. He predicted that within two years the Pro Bowl will be gone, replaced figuratively, if not literally, by the Senior Bowl, which will be renamed the “Draft Eligible Bowl,” because underclassmen will play in it. The scout offered as evidence the NFLPA’s appeal to the NFL to endorse an NFLPA-created all-star game in which underclassmen may play. The NFLPA is clearly rolling out the welcome mat for underclassmen.

If all of this is true, as the scout says it is, then it’s clear to see that the tentacles of the NFL are reaching deeper and deeper into the nation’s, and likely soon to be the world’s, pool of football talent.

“This is the necessary evil in scouting,” he said of the combine, which has become a real-life symbol of the game, the kinder, gentler game the NFL wants played on Sundays in the fall.

“Tackling was worse and there’s no intimidation factor in the middle of the field,” the scout said of the 2011 season. “Everybody is catching the ball right now. Everybody will catch the ball in the middle of the field. It used to be just a few would do it. The days of stop and drop have been replaced by run and catch.”

Where do you find the run-and-catch players, came the baiting question?

“At the combine,” he said with a smile.

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Falcons coach says it’s a third down league

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 25, 2012 – 3:03 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–It was a couple of failed fourth-down plays in a playoff loss to the Giants that helped end the Falcons’ season, but Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith says the NFL is a third down league.

“You have to play them to get to third down. That’s when you get into situational football and that’s where the game is really played. Pass rush is very important to win on third down,” Smith said during his media conference at the scouting combine. “Your predominant defense is a five-defensive back package. You’re seeing more teams playing six defensive backs.”

The Falcons had never enjoyed consecutive winning seasons until Smith came along. Now they’ve had four in a row. So what are they saying about Smith? He hasn’t won a playoff game.

That’s life as a head coach. Unless you win them all, somebody’s going to complain.

There were complaints about Smith’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-one twice in the playoff loss to the Giants. It was one of the first questions posed to Smith in his press conference at the scouting combine on Saturday. He smiled and said: “When it doesn’t work, it’s not a good call. When it works, it’s a great call.”

Just win, baby.

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Reese says Giants got lucky

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 25, 2012 – 2:47 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese introduced a unique philosophy for success: “We got lucky.”

When you’re the personnel boss of the reigning Super Bowl champions, you can spin it any way you want. There is no other way to describe the Giants’ acquisition of wide receiver Victor Cruz, an undrafted rookie in 2010 that became a star in 2011.

“If he wasn’t local, we wouldn’t have brought him in. We got lucky. That’s the beauty of scouting. It’s not a perfect science. We try to get more right than wrong. We had him rated as everybody else did, free agent,” Reese told reporters at the scouting combine.

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Weeden thinks he can play right away

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 24, 2012 – 7:39 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–What if Brandon Weeden was 22, instead of 28?

“I’ll let you decide that,” Weed said to his inquisitor, with a smile. “That’s really the only red flag I have. It’s a small issue. With all of these great quarterbacks, I feel I belong in the middle of them. It’s a tough question to answer.”

Scouts might tell you that if Weeden was 22, instead of a 28-year-old that failed in his attempt at a Major League Baseball career, he might be a top-five pick. At least two scouts told me that Weeden, who threw for a ton of yards at Oklahoma State this past fall, has a better arm than Andrew Luck.

One pro coach told me at the Senior Bowl that one of his main interests in Mobile was to determine if Weed could be a starter in his rookie year. He has to play right away, the coach said, based on Weeden’s advanced age.

Can he play right away?

“I think so,” Weeden told reporters on Friday at the NFL scouting combine. “I’ve already been a pro. Baseball is a game of failure. I’ve already failed and overcome it. That’s the maturity factor that helps me play right away. It just takes one team. I think I’ll be a good pick, whichever team takes me.”

So, which team will it be?

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Here’s my sleeper: Danny Coale

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 24, 2012 – 7:15 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–Remember the name Danny Coale. He’s my sleeper in this draft.

Coale is a 6-0, 198, wide receiver from Virginia Tech who professes to run a 4.44 40. If Coale runs that fast on Sunday, he’ll move up draft boards considerably higher than the seventh round/undrafted free agent that is projected for him by

What’s so good about Coale? Well, he was a starter at Virginia Tech for four years. It is a program choked with impressive athletes, but which tends to hide a lot of those athletes in a pass-offense whose philosophy is drop back and run. Coale has nice size and speed and a strong work ethic. Heck, he’ll shoot up draft boards based on his interview alone; we’re talking major character guy, folks.

For a minute or two, Coale was the hero of what appeared would be a Virginia Tech win over Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, but then his overtime “touchdown” catch was reversed by replay, Tech missed a field goal attempt and Michigan won the game by kicking a field goal.

“One scout asked if I played in the Sugar Bowl,” Coale said on Friday.

Yeah, the kid’s got a glib sense of humor. Hey, by the way, didn’t Carroll Dale come from Virginia Tech?

Coale is a kid who’s delighted to be in Indianapolis this weekend. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have elected not to dain this esteemed gathering with the presence of their strong right arms, but Coale promises to run his guts out when wide receivers are timed in the 40 on Sunday. This will be no less important an event than to have decided the forward momentum of Coale’s football-playing career. If he runs fast, he’s in the league. If he runs slow, don’t bet on him.

“My goal is to have a long pro career. I’m  here to prove to a team I’m worthy of a pick. I’m training for an opportunity,” Coale said. “I want to run under 4.5.”

If he does, look out above.

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Luck performs for media in Manning’s house

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 24, 2012 – 4:48 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–Andrew Luck was in the house Peyton Manning built, which is likely to become Luck’s house soon.

The Stanford quarterback is expected to become the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. The Colts hold the pick and might even sign Luck to a contract before draft day. So it was an event of sorts when Luck met with the media at the scouting combine on Friday.

“Peyton was my hero growing up. You never truly replace a guy like that. I’m not thinking about that right now,” Luck said.

Luck might’ve been the only person in Indianapolis who wasn’t thinking about the prospect of him replacing Manning as the Colts’ quarterback.

Out with the old, in with the new, right? That’s life in the NFL, even for Manning, the star of stars. It is, after all, truly a young man’s game.

It was with Manning-type poise that Luck answered questions on Friday. The similarity was eerie.

“The question has to be asked. I understand it. That’s not uncomfortable. I understand that questions have to be asked,” Luck said.

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Speedy WR in not-so-fast class of WRs

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 24, 2012 – 4:36 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–The wide receiver crop in this year’s draft class is not thought to be especially speedy, and that could raise the stock of Arkansas’ Joe Adams.

“I love being compared to DeSean Jackson. As far as making guys miss, that’s a big part of my game,” Adams said on Friday. “I can catch long or short. However the coach wants to get the ball into my hands, that’s how I’ll make plays.”

Adams is a smallish 5-10, 174, but he’s expected to run a sub-4.0 40 on Sunday and, should he do that or even run faster, Adams might start flying up boards. He raised his stock considerably at the Senior Bowl, where he proved to scouts that he’s more than just a bubble-screen receiver, which was predominantly how he was utilized at Arkansas.

“I think a lot of people doubted me because they didn’t have a chance to see me as a receiver,” Adams said.

He caught just about everything that was thrown to him at the Senior Bowl. He torched cornerbacks deep and caught the ball on slants, and that’s when the fun was just beginning. An NFL wide receivers coach told during a Senior Bowl practice that Adams might become the star of the draft. He also has kick-return ability.

“I didn’t really have a problem with any of the defensive backs,” Adams said during an interview with the media at the scouting combine.

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Elway says Broncos can do it either way

Posted by Vic Ketchman, editor on February 24, 2012 – 11:57 am

INDIANAPOLIS–Coaches and general managers of the NFL’s 32 teams take turns addressing the media during the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. The questions they entertain are usually topical, so they have answers ready to go.

For example, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert had an answer prepared on the potential for losing wide receiver Mike Wallace in restricted free agency, and Packers GM Ted Thompson certainly knew he would face a similar question about quarterback Matt Flynn.

Broncos GM John Elway had a smile on his face when he stepped up to the podium.

“What took you so long?” Elway said when the first question he faced was, “What are your thoughts on Tim Tebow?” The rest was probably rehearsed.

“We’re happy with his year last year. He added a great spark for us. We’re hoping he’s going to be the guy for a long, long time,” Elway said of Tebow.

Fans and media are interested to see what the Broncos will do in this draft. Will they select a quarterback to compete with Tebow? If they do, will be he a spread-offense type of running quarterback, as Tebow is, or will he be a classic drop back type?

“We can do it with either one, whether it’s a guy like Tim or a drop back guy,” Elway said.

What the Broncos do at quarterback will be one of the headline stories of this draft.

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Packers photos from Combines past

Posted by Duke Bobber on February 22, 2012 – 4:11 pm

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, D1-2005 (#24 overall) is heading to the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. Vic Ketchman will cover the event with interviews and analysis, and will provide video coverage on location. Take a look back at some current Packers players from their days as college prospects at the annual invitation-only event.

A.J. Hawk

A.J. Hawk, D1-2006 (#5 overall)

Jermichael Finley

Jermichael Finley, D3-2008 (#91 overall)

B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji, D1a-2009 (#9 overall)

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews, D1b-2009 (#26 overall)

Bryan Bulaga

Bryan Bulaga, D1-2010 (#23 overall)

Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb, D2-2011 (#64 overall)

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