Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Combine Highlights

by: William P. Tomisser

Here's some highlights and tidbits from the combine over the weekend.

A defensive tackle prospect Sammie Lee Hill from Stillman College had a good showing. Projected as a 4th or 5th round pick by WalterFootball, he's the kind of project defensive tackle we could be interested in because of his size and athleticism. His speciality is the bull rush which is just what we're looking for. Stillman's head coach moved him to the outside as a defensive end because he didn't draw double teams there and he had the speed to get to the outside and seal off the end. He was also a skilled basketball player reminding people of Shaq when he played. One to watch.

One of the more interesting prospects at the combine is Sammie Lee Hill, a defensive tackle from Stillman College. Hill is big (6-foot-3 plus, 329 pounds) and athletic (his vertical jump is 30 inches), and he has the versatility to play in the middle of a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.

The fastest receiver at the combine was Derrius Heyward-Bey. Projected to be a second round pick initially, his 4.3 combine run has people talking first round now. Here's your guy to stretch the field with.

Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey posted the fastest official time Sunday at 4.30 seconds. His time is tied for the second-fastest mark among receivers since 2000, trailing only the 4.28 posted by Hampton’s Jerome Mathis in 2005. Kansas State’s Yamon Figurs also had a 4.30 run in 2007.

To Continue..............

Expect the crop of Left Tackles to be gone early in this year's draft. I've seen a lot of mocks where all 4 of the top offensive tackles are gone in the first ten picks. I still believe that can happen but Andre Smith's departure from the combine could drop him out of the top ten.

In sitting with senior analyst Pat Kirwan, it became obvious that the trend of left tackles being drafted near the top of the first round is likely to continue.

Kirwan said this year’s class features a number of top-flight tackles, but their value is so high that waiting on one to drop into the later rounds is not a good decision. If a team wants or needs a left tackle, it’s going to have to use its first-round pick on one. There just isn’t enough quality depth.

The receivers among others put up some blazing 40 times Sunday at the Combine. Here's the times for the quarterbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, tight ends, and running backs. You can also get the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, cone drill, 20 yard shuttle, and the 60 yard shuttle times at this site.

There was some impressive speed on display. Some of these guys just crushed the 40 with what is believed to be near-record combine times. Just using the eyeball test, it was obvious that Abilene Christian’s Johnny Knox can really move. Texas’ Quan Cosby, Florida’s Percy Harvin and Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey also appeared to run well.

Unofficially, they were blazing. We’re waiting on the official times to come in after the second group runs, and we will pass those along as soon as we can. (Click here for times.)
It also appeared that Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin ran well. In the second group of receivers later Sunday is Ohio State’s Brian Robiskie, Penn State’s Derrick Williams, North Carolina’s Brandon Tate and USC’s Patrick Turner, among others.

Here's WalterFootball's combine page showing the latest times, weigh ins, and news.

More 40 yard dash times from Danny O'Neil at the Times. Also from O'Neil is an interview with Michael Lewis author of "the Blind Side" which describes the unlikely path Michael Oher had to take to get to where he is expected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and also explains the importance of the left tackle in today's pro football game. Follow the link to listen to the interview as a link from the article.

Follow the links to get the full stories and all the information and to catch up on the combine. Enjoy.