|02-20-2014, 12:21 PM|
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The Combine's Here, Bitch!
2014 NFL Combine schedule: TV channel, online streaming, invite list, workouts and more
By Matt Conner
on Feb 20 2014, 10:12a
he road to the NFL Draft is longer in 2014 than any other offseason given the league's decision to push it back a few weeks to May 8-10. For the next three months, draftniks will circle around prospects like hawks, analyzing their every move and weighing the pros and cons of each player.
The process starts en masse this week with the start of the 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. If you love the Draft, then this is a big week for you.
For those who are new to the NFL Combine, it's a seven-day event broken up into four-day shifts for each position group (quarterbacks to punters). Each group comes to Indy for four days to meet with representatives from each NFL team for medical assessments, interviews and a number of workouts. It's termed the Underwear Olympics for that reason, as teams fall in and out of love with prospects based on 40-yard dash times and vertical leaps.
The quick guide to the Combine
The Combine workout schedule
Here are the days the actual workouts for each position group:
Saturday, Feb. 22: Tight Ends, Offensive Linemen, Special Teams
Sunday, Feb.23: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers
Monday, Feb. 24: Defensive Line, Linebackers
Tuesday, Feb. 25: Defensive Backs
There are four groups of players arriving as shown above. Each group has four days of events.
Day 1: Travel to Indianapolis* ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Day 2: Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Day 3: NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ PK/ST Workout ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Day 4: On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis
With the first arrivals coming on Wednesday, that puts the first day of workouts on Saturday.
The players invited
Every top college football player will likely be in attendance in Indianapolis, even if some of the top athletes won't participate in the workouts. The NFL invited over 300 players to attend. Teddy Bridgewater to Jadeveon Clowney, your favorite college players will likely be there.
Who is eligible to be invited to the Combine? Basically, seniors without college eligibility left and those who have declared early.
And how are players selected to the Combine? Read this:
The most important one is not a workout -- it's the interview. Teams will have the opportunity to interview players where they'll get about 15 minutes with them. With so little time, the questions have to be precise and all have a purpose.
The second most important item there is getting the medical check-up -- essentially confirming that the player is healthy or checking out previous injuries. Team doctors will want this information so the GMs and coaches can make an informed decision.
Some of the other workouts, via Big Blue View:
NFL Network will televise some of it.
NFL.com will stream the action.
KCChiefs.com will have full video of Andy Reid and John Dorsey's press conferences but will not stream them live.
|02-25-2014, 07:15 AM||#616|
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Darqueze Dennard: 4.42 40 yard dash for him. He's going top 10 for sure now. Damnit, lol. I was hoping that he would run a 4.6 and fall to us, haha.
|02-25-2014, 07:45 AM||#626|
It's All Good
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M. Huff is an intriguing prospect who could help fill the CHIEFS needs @ safety. I have to watch some more film on this guy.
|02-25-2014, 08:05 AM||#628|
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|02-25-2014, 08:22 AM||#629|
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Jadaveon Clowney of South Carolina met his high expectations head-on, clocking an official 4.53 40-yard dash at almost 270 pounds. He wasn't as impressive in the positional drills, but he still showed that he was a special athlete.
Even more impressive to me was Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald at 6'0 3/4", 285 pounds running a 4.68 40-yard dash. That was flat out amazing. Wow, he got up to a high top speed.
Missouri Defensive Ends Michael Sam and Kony Ealy disappointed with 40 times just north of 4.9 seconds. Sam was projected by some to be a potential outside linebacker, but he will likely end up a pass-rush specialist on a 4-3 team. Ealy later showed very violent hands in positional drills and looks to have the makeup of a very sturdy LE in the pros. Ealy participated in OLB drills for the scouts, so tome teams are evaluating him for that role.
Disappointing by not running were Auburn's Dee Ford, Florida's Dominic Easley, Oregon's Taylor Hart, and South Florida's Aaron Lynch. All are athletic guys and could have put on a good show in the 40.
Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat, Louisville's Marcus Smith, and Arkansas' Chris Smith all showed plenty of speed to open up the 3-4 OLB position as potential landing spots, though personally I think Chris Smith is most-suited to it of the three.
Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence looked pretty smooth in positional drills other than when he was backpedaling. He turned the corner well in the edge rush drill performed with heavy bags. He seemed to be the most-natural OLB candidate of the DL in the first group.
Cassius Marsh of UCLA was very underwhelming athletically throughout the day.
IK Enempkali of Louisiana Tech has the body you'd expect an NFL defensive end to have. Very solid and muscular. He also participated in the OLB drills.
Delaware's Zach Kerr performed the drills with high energy. He was non-stop effort and put up a solid showing, especially at his size. He looks like he can be a hustle contributor in a rotation that can keep him fresh.
DE Scott Crichton of Oregon State showed some heavy hands in the edge rush drill. Crichton lined up in different spots on the line at Oregon State but is likely strictly a 4-3 DE in the NFL. He was asked to participate in the OLB drills, however.
DE Howard Jones of Shepard was fast, but looked a bit out of control or clumsy in the positional drills. He definitely has measurables, as he also high-jumped 40 1/2" inches, but it takes more than just raw speed and explosion to be successful.
Defensive Line Group 2:
Louis Nix, the big defensive tackle from Notre Dame, got a lot of play from Mike Mayock to start off the second group of defensive linemen. I think he is pretty overrated, especially by Mayock (who happens to broadcast Notre Dame football.) He has hyped Nix up to himself so much that he even made Marcus Martin of USC the top center in the class after Martin kicked Nix's butt this year. Comparing Nix to Vince Wilfork? I understand the need for sensationalism in the media broadcast, but come on. Nix did put forth a good effort in positional drills.
Kareem Martin of North Carolina exploded out of the blocks in the 40 yard dash but didn't sustain great speed. Still, a 1.60 10-yard split at 270 pounds is very good and speaks well to his pass rush potential. He seemed a little out of place in change of direction positional drills.
Missouri's Michael Sam was clearly extremely nervous during his 40. It looked like the pressure from the week was starting to get to him and it made me wish his combine was just about football.
Mike Mayock had some silly things to say about Shrine Bowl Co-MVP Ethan Westbrooks of West Texas A&M, questioning why he wasn't "more dominant at his level." The guy was the 2012 Division II Defensive Player of the Year. Yes, he had a bit of a down year in 2013, but he was still a force. He seems like he will make a better end than OLB. He showed off a strong slap in the edge rush drills.
Caraun Reed of Princeton has a body that reminds me of 1st round pick Brodrick Bunkley coming out, but he's got superior pass rush ability from the under tackle position.
Daniel McCullers, the 350 pound nose tackle from Tennessee, was kind of a mess trying to do positional drills. That's not surprising, but it was entertaining.
Concordia's Zach Moore isn't particularly fast, and was lumbering a bit moving through drills. He was tried out in the outside linebacker drills, but didn't look like he fit.
Tenny Palepoi of Utah is a very fluid runner and can change directions very well for a defensive tackle.
Bloomsburg's Larry Webster, who has flat-out dominated Division II the past couple seasons, showed great speed with an official 4.58 40 yard dash. He showed good pass rush ability when he notched a sack at the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl before returning to school for his Senior season. He doesn't always show that explosion in his game film but he is very naturally gifted. He definitely moves more like a DE than an OLB, however, and I think his oversized frame plays into that.
Arkansas' DE Chris Smith looked like a very solid OLB conversion candidate. He was a very talented edge rusher at Arkansas and moves very well. He wasone of the few participants that was able to do the agility drills with "eyes up" and just seemed more natural than the other ends. Overall, I'd say he had the most-impressive session of the second group of defensive linemen.
Louisville's DE Marcus Smith probably was the second-best OLB conversion candidate from the second group of defensive linemen. His combination of movement skills and size showed a bit better than Ball State's Johnathan Newsome, who was fast but had trouble keeping his feet under him.was fast but had trouble keeping his feet.
UCLA's Anthony Barr showed decent movement skills but I expected more from him. He actually fell down turning the corner in the edge rush drill.
LSU's Lamin Barrow was solid all day. He put up very good measurables and showed better drill skills than Barr, who was lined up right before him for each test.
Ohio State's Ryan Shazier is an absolute freak athlete. He has piled up incredible stats at Ohio State, then he comes to the combine with a 42" high jump, and 25 presses of 225. I am very surprised he decided not to run the 40 yard dash.
Buffalo's Khalil Mack, on the other hand, participated in every drill and showed very well. He has the best overall size and speed combination of all the linebackers and is likely to be a top 10 pick.
Chris Borland of Wisconsin I think is an overrated linebacker. Most of his responsibility at Wisconsin was to attack the line of scrimmage on the snap and he does not seem to be a complete player to me. One area where he showed well was in the wave drill where he showed good lateral movement skills.
Louisville's Preston Brown looked smooth running the 40 but only clocked a 4.86. I was expecting a better time from him.
Max Bullough of Michigan State ran a very good time of 4.78 at his size. He looks huge on the field and led all linebackers with 30 reps of 225 on the bench. Bullough executed the positional drills quite well, especially considering his hulking size.
Florida State's Telvin Smith ran very well, which is important because at his size he might be asked to convert to safety. The first time I saw him with the Seminoles I actually thought he was the strong safety and he is very skilled in coverage. The difference between him and the other linebackers in drills was striking in terms of both movement skills (good) and size (bad).
The only linebacker who could stay with Smith in terms of athleticism was Boston College's Kevin Pierre-Louis. His athleticism was on display all day. Very good change-of-direction skills.
Yawin Smallwood of Connecticut is a favorite among many draft followers, though I don't think he's as good of a player as most. When I watch him his speed is clearly limited. He pulled his hamstring running the 40, so of course I don't think the 5.01 he ran is an accurate representation, but I don't think he would have done better than a 4.8 even if he hadn't injured himself.
Kyle Van Noy of BYU showed a great burst out of the blocks in the 40 then slowed a bit. He does have good explosion as a pass rusher and showed it here. He did not look good whenever he had to backpedal, though, which may hurt his value in coverage.
Rich Eisen got a chuckle from me when he referred to North Dakota standout Tyler Starr as "Brett Michaels." His dirty blond locks appeared to be slowing him down. He ran a poor 40, but actually looked quite natural in coverage drills. He also did well in the edge rush drill. I don't know much about him and he seems like he could be a player or a disaster. Very interesting candidate, and very much a projection.
Montana linebacker Jordan Tripp fared very well, putting up a 4.67 40 time and showing he has the athleticism to stick with the big-school kids.
Khairi Fortt of Cal showed very good movement skills and powered 30 reps on the bench. He is a heck of an athlete.
Florida State's Christian Jones looked awkward shuffling his feet to start the positional drills, but he already showed his ability to play linebacker at the Senior Bowl, where he surprised with good coverage skills. He did perform better in coverage drills later.
Boseko Lokombo of Oregon showed well in the drills, but why doesn't he show up the same way in games? He was a complete non-factor in the Oregon State game and with his movement skills he should be more of a factor in the games.
Picking up where he left off in the Auburn game, Alabama LB CJ Mosely dropped every pass thrown to him in coverage drills. At this point, I think he's got a mental block about catching the ball.