Combine Notes: Saturday 2/22
More notes from Indy
Our second day at the Combine was not as action-packed as our first, but I did get a few solid bits of information. I’ve also included some notes I neglected to include in yesterday’s article. Hey, cut me some slack, folks. I’m old, and it was a long day!
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finally took the podium and he was an engaging kid. He’s into the nuts and bolts of the game and it shows. His best line was about how he likes to play Madden football as a way of “taking virtual reps.” No, he was not kidding. Teddy also said, point blank, that he’s “the best QB in this draft.”
Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo had a meeting with the Jets, and the rising prospect said “everything was very positive.” By our math, Garoppolo could beat out Geno Smith right now. No ... really. He already processes the game better than the Jets nominal starter. Garoppolo also has meetings scheduled with the Saints and the Browns.
The Saints are clearly looking for a QB to groom. They are also meeting with LSU's Zach Mettenberger, who, like Garoppolo, is also meeting with the Jets. That's interesting given the state of the Jets’ QB situation and their position in the second round plus the early third rounder they received in the Revis trade. Mettenberger is a good fit for Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and is a strong contrast to Geno Smith. We’ll have a scouting report out on Mettenberger in the near future. The LSU QB appears to be ahead of schedule with his recovery from ACL surgery. While the Saints are looking for a QB to groom, the Jets are still looking for their first legit signal caller in years. Adding real competition for Smith should be a huge priority. It'll be interesting to see what New York does on draft day. They will be armed with as many as 12 picks if the compensatory process holds true to form.
Giants GM Jerry Reese said that he “breaks free agency into three waves.” I asked him if the late May draft would have any impact on how the waves play out. He seemed to think that it would all end up the same in the end though the timing is different. The big names go first, then the second wave, and then the value wave. Reese was pretty impressive and confident. I guess Super Bowls do that to a GM.
When asked about the progress of WR A.J. Jenkins, Chiefs GM John Dorsey had this to say. "With regards to A.J., I think he made great strides this year. As the season unfolded, he became comfortable with the offensive scheme.
Toward the end of the season, he got very comfortable and that's a credit to the coaching staff. When asked about the draft philosophy of taking the best available player rather than drafting for need, Dorsey had this to say. "I think history has shown that if you stay true to that model, the best player usually will prevail." Dorsey was an impressive guy. Chiefs fans may be in for a nice run. Denver had better watch their backside in 2014.
Bills HC Doug Marrone on C.J. Spiller’s ankle injury and health. “He worked extremely hard. He practiced well. I think at times you could see when he really felt good. There were times he felt great and within the first series maybe something happened, and he continued to play. So I think once you get a nagging-type of injury and you don't have a full amount of time to really let it heal, I think it's something that could affect you as the season goes on.” This from the coach who allowed Spiller to play with a fresh high-ankle sprain. Weak sauce for sure. When asked about our guy Marquise Goodwin, Marrone said “we expect him to grow and develop. That’s an important part of what we’re trying to accomplish with all of our players.”
Colts GM Chuck Pagano indicated that they expect much more out of Trent Richardson in 2014. “The sky’s the limit, having a full offseason with us. We all know obviously he underwent a minor procedure a couple of weeks ago to clean up a shoulder that he got. Again we think the sky’s the limit for Trent. This will be a very important offseason for him and for everybody on our roster and every facet of our football program. I look for great things from Trent. Trent looks for great things from himself. Moving forward, there’s high expectations there, not only from us but he has for himself.” The only takeaway from that fluff answer is that Indy will be giving Richardson any and all opportunities to make the Colts look smart for giving up a first rounder for him.
Pagano’s take on Da’Rick Rogers was more interesting. “There’s a guy there that physically is what you’re looking for. Height, weight, speed and all those things. He makes ‘wow’ plays. Again, he’s a young guy that’s got some playing experience, which is going to be invaluable moving forward. It’s a matter of him coming in and getting better every day and have a great offseason. You’ve got a big target. Big, fast guy that can make those huge plays down the field. He’s a mis-match against a lot of the guys he goes against. We saw him make some big plays when he had some opportunities. He needs to become more consistent.” Rogers has monster upside if he can grab a starting job in 2014 catching passes from Andrew Luck.
UNC TE Eric Ebron is a confident kid. He ran really well today and I liked his answer when asked why teams don’t use press coverage against him. "I think why teams don't press me is because they can't. I will not be pressed at the line of scrimmage. That's a prideful thing of mine.” Well, alright! When asked to describe his style of play, he said “fast, I play fast.” Ebron weighed in at 250 pounds and measured 6’4”.
One team that you can bank on drafting a receiver or two is Carolina. HC Ron Rivera pulled no punches on that front. Rivera indicated that they are looking for receivers that can contribute right away. I have a feeling they will take Odell Beckham Jr. if he's still on the board. He’d be a perfect fit for what they need. They want a player to open up the downfield passing game and Odell could still be there when the Panthers select.
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro seems to like the idea of playing in New England. “It’s hard to ignore sometimes but I think that starting (out with) maybe one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game would be a great start for me especially in a system like that. Yeah, I’ve taken notice of teams like that. I think that would be an ideal place for me.” When asked if he considered himself a tight end or a receiver, Amaro said “I think I’m a mixture of both.” Sounds like a Patriot tight end to me. Amaro went on to say that he’d met with the Patriots and that they broke down his tape and thought he fit their system.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman on our guy Cordarrelle Patterson and his role in Norv Turner's offense. "I know Norv already put in 10 plays for him. That’s the first thing he was doing when he was putting the X’s and O’s part of it together. He is a unique talent. Last year, we were able to collect three first round draft picks and felt very strong about him where we did trade back up in the first round to get him and know what type of unique traits that he has as an athlete just not only because of his speed and movement skills, but his size. When we did trade Percy Harvin away last year, we wanted to get that dynamic returner back. We wanted to get a guy that had traits Percy Harvin had for us and it’s a young guy that I think is going to continue to develop, and I expect him to thrive under Norv." Spielman went on to say that "Norv is very creative, and I had an opportunity to work with Norv in Miami when he was the OC in Miami. I know Norv’s reputation not only as a playcaller on gameday but what he did with Josh Gordon this year up in Cleveland who had a very successful year." That's some very positive news for those who own Patterson in long term formats.
2014 Scouting Reports:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M
- Dustin Vaughan, QB, West Texas A & M
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
- L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
- Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
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