Combine Drills, Day 1

by Tommy Lawlor  –

Let’s start by talking about the OL.  Basically we got what we expected.  The top guys looked good in drills and athletic tests.  Other players stood out in one area or the other.  There were no surprises or small school guys who really stood out.  Last year we had Roger Saffold put up a great workout and really help his cause.  Jared Veldheer had a good workout and showed he was more than just a D2 guy with some potential.  In that sense, I was disappointed.

I’m not going to say too much about the top guys.  Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo, and Gabe Carimi all had very good days.  Tyron Smith didn’t work out, but is a star of the Combine strictly by his weigh-in (6’5, 307 and a huge wingspan).


* Marcus Cannon is 6’5, 358. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he almost looked svelte. I’ve never seen a player carry that much weight so naturally. He ran well in the 40 and had a solid workout.  He’s still probably too stiff for OT, but surprised me.

* C Ryan Bartholomew did a great job on the bench on Friday and then ran well in the 40 on Saturday. Impressive athlete. He didn’t do anything great, but certainly helped his situation.

* Rey Dominguez did better than I expected.  He looked pretty unathletic on tape, but much better in Indy.

* Jason Kelce had a good day.  He tested well.  There is a catch.  He only weighed in at 280 pounds.  That gave him a nice advantage.     * Rodney Hudson did well in the drills, but I was shocked at how poor he was in the athletic stuff.  He bulked up to 299, but tested like someone weak, fat, and stiff.  I still like him as a prospect, but that was disappointing.  Rodney snapped the ball on quite a few of the drills, to show clubs how he looked as a C prospect.

* Orlando Franklin ran well, but I felt he struggled in most of the drills.

* Clint Boling continues to impress me.  He had a very good Senior Bowl week.  He wasn’t great yesterday, but proved to be more athletic than I expected.  I’ll be moving him way up in the rankings.

As for the TEs, this just isn’t a good group.  Every player has a flaw…or two…or more.  There are a lot of projects.  There is something to like about the guys, but you can’t escape the fact that they’re still projects.

* Kyle Rudolph is everyone’s top TE and he was unable to workout.

* Charles Clay worked out with the TEs.  He was okay, but failed to impress in the way that a guy like him needed.  He had a so-so showing at the Senior Bowl and right now is a man without a position.

* Virgil Green got everyone’s attention with a great VJ of 42.5 inches.  He had a broad jump of 10’10.  He was a bit stiff in some of the other tests.  His overall numbers were still good, but you could see that he’s tight in his upper body.  That showed in the Gauntlet Drill as well.  Green was solid catching the football during the day.

* Rob Housler is a guy I’ve written about a time or two this year and he had a big day.  He led all TEs with a 40 time of 4.55.  He did well in the other tests.  Rob caught the ball pretty well.  He does have skinny lower legs, sorta odd for a TE that is 248 pounds.

* Zack Pianalto is a guy I’ve liked all year.  I was hoping he’d have a big day and make me look pretty smart.  Only a so-so day.  He didn’t do anything to hurt himself, but he also didn’t stand out.

* Jordan Cameron looked like a good athlete.  He’s a project, but will intrigue some teams.

* I’ve got to watch tape of Northen Iowa TE Schuyler Oordt.  He is 6’6, 261.  He looked athletic and had a solid day.  He did let the ball get into his body too much during the Gauntlet Drill.

* Charlie Gantt had a better than expected showing.  He didn’t do anything great, but showed that he has legit NFL potential.  He still projects as a backup TE.

* Luke Stocker isn’t Jason Witten.  He’s not close.  Both were white guys from Tennessee.  That’s it.  Witten was a terrific college player.  Stocker is a big guy with some potential, but he’s nowhere near as good as Witten.  Stocker did some good things in his workout.  I guess my biggest beef is that he’s not a natural receiver.

* Julius Thomas looked good in the Gauntlet Drill and had a solid overall showing.  I’ve got to break out some Portland State tape and really check him out.  Natural athlete with some size and pretty good hands.

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