I asked about Justin Boren, and things took a different tone. Taylor was short: "He's not my brother."
I'll have a notebook with the full deal later. 3:00 p.m.Flying fast and furious now as James Laurinaitis was at the podium. I'll do a full story on him in a bit, but here's some quick hitters on him as well:
Measured at 6-1 7/8, 244 pounds. He said he's comfortable in all three spots in a 4-3 and at the inside spots in a 3-4. Said he has no regrets about coming back this year even though his stock appears to have dropped. The biggest thing he got out his senior year was a greater understanding of defensive schemes. The only team he's talked to thus far is the Saints but there will be many others. It was a fever of 103.2 degrees that kept him from playing in the Senior bowl. Feels Vernon Gholston is a freak athlete who just needs to get comfortable in the NFL.
Like I said, full story coming.
Also, Percy Harvin was at the podium shortly thereafter. He measured at 5-11 3/4, 194 pounds. Will be running the 40 and doing the bench at the combine but doing everything at his pro day. Asked about his goal for the 40, he said he doesn't have one but said he hopes to run in the low 4.3s or 4.2s.
That's it for OSU guys today, but I'll be here until 5 or so while more players come through. 2:27 p.m.And an Ohio State player makes an appearance!
Just spoke with Marcus Freeman for about 13 minutes, and I'll do a separate story on him in a little bit. Here's some quick hitters:
Checked in at 6-0 1/2, 239 pounds. Primarily viewed as a Will linebacker. Was hobbled by both a knee sprain and a high ankle sprain for the year and said he wasn't 100 percent for nearly the entire season but he was the closest against Michigan and Texas. Feels his best attribute is his overall athletic ability. Said he thinks Malcolm Jenkins can play safety but knows he can play cornerback. Said he has talked to the Browns, Cowboys, Jets and Colts among many others but has no gut feeling about where he might end up or what round he might go in.
Full story forthcoming. 2:11 p.m.Finally, some players!
Texas' Brian Orakpo was here, and he weighed in at 6-3, 263 pounds. He talked about going against Alex Boone in the Fiesta Bowl and praised his run-blocking abilities but alluded to the fact that he's a work in progress against the pass rush.
Immediately afterwards, Penn State's Aaron Maybin took the podium and was quizzed up and down about his decision to leave and how he knows he's ready. He said he models bits of his game after different players and cited the likes of Ray Lewis, Michael Strahan and Dwight Freeney as examples.
Maybin said he feels playing in the Big Ten has helped prepare him for the NFL, and when asked which teams really stuck out to him he first cited Ohio State and then Iowa.
I asked Maybin for his funniest story about Joe Paterno, and he talked about how Paterno doesn't know his age and will just jump into drills and nearly get trampled. 12:42 p.m.Just had Mitch King from Iowa at the podium.
Asked about some of the best players he's faced, King mentioned how one of his first career starts came against Nick Mangold.
"He's good," he deadpanned with a sly grin.
He weighted in at 280 pounds and was measured at 6-1 1/2.
King also said that playing in the Big Ten with its physical style of play might prepare defensive tackles a bit better for the NFL, but he does not feel that it will make him any more desirable to NFL coaches. 11:53 a.m.Things are going pretty slow right now. Two notes:
Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said he feels junior running backs are a strength in this draft and also said that inside linebackers typically don't go very high.
Missouri defensive lineman Ziggy Hood was asked about effort. Best quote of the day I've heard so far: "I always try to give my best at 100 percent or more -- 111."
11:13 a.m. Brian Hoyer from Michigan State is at a podium. I asked him about the best defenders he's gone against, and he first mentioned Laurinaitis, Freeman and Jenkins before mentioning Maybin and a few others.
He said he measured in at 6-2, 215 pounds.
Hoyer is training in New Jersey, and he shares a trainer with Morgan Trent. The QB said he has been rubbing it in that MSU beat Michigan this season. He described it as one of the top moments of his career and said he has a picture on his phone of himself holding the trophy from the win.
He also credited playing defenses such as Iowa, Penn State and Ohio State for making him prepared for the NFL, although he mentioned that he is still learning how to do a seven-step drop because the Spartans don't utilize one.
Asked who was the best player he's gone against, he immediately cited Alex Boone. But when asked who would typically win, he laughed and said, "Me, of course."
"We're hoping (he'll grow). He has to learn the pro football game. The jury's still out on him. It's going to be a big year for him."
10:24 a.m.I'm actually flanked by Chris Steuber and Ed Thompson from Scout.com, and they are doing an overall blog on the combine. Here's a link to the story:
9:58 a.m.Tyrell Sutton from Northwestern was first on the docket today. He weighed in at 5-8, 211 pounds. Asked if he is shrinking since he was listed at 5-9 out of high school, he laughed and said he might be.
Sutton was asked about playing basketball against Beanie growing up, and he was asked who would win. His response? "He was probably 6-4 then. That's like LeBron James going against Spud Webb."
Of Beanie: "That's my boy. He's like a brother to me."
He also plugged the city of Akron and mentioned how Antonio Pittman is also in the league. INDIANAPOLIS -- 9:29 a.m. I just arrived and got set up at Lucas Oil Stadium for our coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine. I'll be here today and tomorrow as we get linebackers and defensive backs during the next two days.
Walking to the stadium from my car I was suddenly joined by about 30 players headed here as well. Turns out it was the linebackers, and I snapped a few pictures of Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman and Ray Maualuga walking together. If you see any footage of a bunch of linebackers crossing the street en route to the stadium, you'll see tiny me surrounded by them and probably start laughing.
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