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Combine Notes 2/27

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Old 02-27-2005, 11:45 PM   #1
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Combine Notes 2/27


Matt Jones, the Arkansas quarterback who some teams project as a wide receiver in the NFL, opened eyes on Sunday with a pair of scintillating 40-yard times. The gargantuan Jones, who measured 6-feet-6 and 242 pounds when he checked in, was clocked at 4.40 and 4.37 by scouts. He ran effortlessly and, for a man so big, the times were amazing. Jones, who would prefer to play quarterback but realizes his NFL future will probably be at wideout or perhaps even tight end, had predicted on Saturday that he would run in the 4.4s or better and a few skeptics kidded him about that claim. After Sunday, a lot fewer people are going to doubt Jones when he tells them he can do something. Jones isn't going to be a first-round pick, and never was, but probably moved himself comfortably into the first three rounds now.

As noted here before the combine began, there is a group of tailbacks in the 2005 pool who won't be chosen in the first round, but who will be later-round bargains and enjoy very good NFL careers. One of those tailbacks is J.J. Arrington of the University of California, who ran 4.41 and 4.49 in the 40 on Saturday afternoon. Arrington is a very compact back, shorter than 5-feet-9, but is powerfully built and, obviously, pretty quick. He led the nation in rushing in 2004, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green pointed out, and has nice balance and vision. He won't crack the tailback "Big Three" of Ronnie Brown and "Cadillac" Williams of Auburn or Texas' Cedric Benson, but some team is going to get a very good back in around the second round. Another smaller back to watch is Darren Sproles of Kansas State, who was so quick out of the blocks in the 40 that the scouts monitoring the event made him start over because they couldn't hit the stopwatch fast enough.

The knee injury sustained by Nebraska center Richie Incognito on Saturday afternoon in a simple pass-block drill doesn't not appear as serious as initially feared. While combine officials did not release information on the injury, Incognito was walking around Sunday with only a slight limp and his knee wrapped. Incognito went down in a heap Saturday as he tried to "mirror" another lineman while moving laterally. Before the injury, he posted a 4.90 time in the 40, the best of any of the offensive line prospects.

Sometimes when a school has two prospects at the same position, it is the lesser-known of the players who emerges with the better NFL potential, and that appears to be the case with the two University of Georgia wideouts here. Certainly Fred Gibson is the better known of the two. But the former Bulldogs wideout who is opening more eyes, and who likely will go off the draft board much quicker on April 23, is Reggie Brown. In fact, there are some scouts who contend that, if he continues to progress, Brown might sneak into the bottom part of the first round. That might be a bit too high for him, but there is no doubt Brown is a player on the rise. He ran a 40 time on Sunday in the 4.53-second range but caught the ball very well and was pretty fluid in his routes. Scouts also love Brown's toughness and willingness to block downfield. He began his rise at the practices leading up to the Senior Bowl all-star game and has continued his positive momentum.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the University of California, the possible first overall choice in this draft, claimed two days ago he would run in the 4.8 range. Turns out, he was a man of his word. Rodgers was unofficially timed at 4.80 and 4.71 in the 40 on Sunday, very good times for the quarterback position.

In an earlier combine notebook, it was suggested that LSU defensive end Marcus Spears might require arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair some minor damage that he suffered in his combine preparations. Turns out that Spears had the surgery two weeks ago, is well on his way to recovery, and that the procedure elicited no medical "red flags" from team doctors here. Spears, who checked in at 6-feet-4 and 307 pounds, perfect for the strongside end spot in a conventional 4-3 defense or for either end position in a 3-4 front, should be fully rehabilitated in time for his campus workout next month. Spears is not noted as a great pass-rusher, but can anchor against the run, and gets a little more push on the pocket that some people think.

At a time when a lot of the defensive end prospects here are suggesting they can also stand up in a two-point stance and get some snaps at linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, one guy who isn't looking for a hybrid role is Justin Tuck of Notre Dame. Tuck has nice "length" to him, at 6-feet-5 and 268 pounds, and with long arms, but clearly feels that he is best suited to play right end in a 4-3 defense. "I've played my whole career with my hand on the ground, rushing the quarterback from [a three-point] technique, and that's my game," said Tuck, projected by several teams as a first-rounder. "I'm aware that teams are looking for the all-around guy who can do a lot of things. But I think I've established what my strengths are and hope people evaluate me on those."

Just walking down the corridor that connects the Indiana Convention Center to the RCA Dome, former Georgia safety Thomas Davis made quite an impression on scouts Sunday. Davis is 6-feet-1 and a rock-solid 231 pounds, runs well, hits big, and fits the mold of the modern safety in the league. "I look at guys like Roy Williams [of Dallas] and that's my game," Davis said. "I'm kind of a combination linebacker and safety. I love to play close to the line of scrimmage, where I can lay people out. On third down, you can use me in coverage, bring me up inside on the blitz, whatever. I'm going to be a factor."

The last word

"I think there's a number of talented tight ends in the league and I'm sure they've opened the doors for the guys on the college level. They're not just used as blockers anymore. They're used a lot in the passing game in a number of different ways, and it makes our job fun to do." -- Heath Miller of the University of Virginia, the consensus top tight end prospect, on how the position has evolved now in the league
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:15 AM   #2
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

that guy sounds like a beast but how are his hands.
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

I almost wish he becomes a redskins but he wont be around by the time we pick agian, and 9 is probably to high for him, mabye not though
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:48 AM   #4
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

Hrm - wonder how that guy hits. Sounds like he could be a nasty safety!
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:50 AM   #5
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

His hands looked good from what I saw of him. He made a beast of a one handed catch on a go route in the endzone.

On another note, I don't think he;s gonna be a first round pick skinsncanes simply because of the fact that he doesn't have the proven wide receiver experience. However, I think he could go mid to late second round. The Skins could definitely nab him with a second rounder, but there are always those doubts about the guys who don't have the experience. (Personally, I think he will work out to be a pretty decent receiver)
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:58 AM   #6
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

Originally Posted by SKINSnCANES
I almost wish he becomes a redskins but he wont be around by the time we pick agian, and 9 is probably to high for him, mabye not though
Oh, sorry misread your post, but yes 2nd round is a bit high for him.
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

Yes please be realistic. Are you really going to use your first rounder on a guy who has never played WR before, and draft him to be a WR??? He might get drafted in the 3rd round on potential alone, but I want to know what I'm getting when I use a 1st or 2nd round pick.
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

We don't need him but some team will steal this guy. He looks like clone of Jeremy Shokey.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

shockey doesnt run 4.40 my man. why woudlnt someone want a guy that has a bunch of talent. he does have decent hands and great speed. oh yeah, he runs a 4.40 at 6'6 242 lbs !! you cant teach speed and size. but you can teach him route running. i seen this guy catch and run with his enormus height and weight, now we can polish him into route running and we have a specimen of no kind. the guy has moss speed with 2 whole inches in height and about 30lbs heavier. this is gonna be interesting. i hope we get him in someway. this draft doesnt have the most talent anyway from years past. so i dont say thats to high for a guy.
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Old 02-28-2005, 02:26 PM   #10
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Re: Combine Notes 2/27

Matt Jones reminds me more of a Hines Ward type player and I hope we get him in the second or third most likely the third unless we get a second round some time soon through trade. But he would be a nice pick up, the steelers love players like that. I see them targeting him
That got ugly fast
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