Niners see Huff shine, Young hazy at Pro Day
Young's arm strength was impressive during the workout before more than 100 NFL types and a horde of media, but no one thought it would not be. The problem was Jerry Rhome, who ran Young's workout, made sure it was very Vince Young friendly and sanitized the workout. Scouts walked away with almost as many questions as they came in with since the workout was not based on the usual NFL routine run at the combine. The fact Young threw a very limited number of downfield passes had scouts miffed. Factor in Young was working with a pair of slow receivers - one of which was Idaho junior Daniel Smith, who barely broke 4.65 seconds during his Pro Day workout - and scouts are not convinced Young is worth a top seven pick. Young looked solid, but nothing special. And in this draft, a player will need to be special to be selected among the first seven players off the board. Young's passing workout did not hurt his draft stock, but it also did not move him into the top six picks. But he did placate some doubters after reportedly having a series of poor workouts in previous weeks. Despite working with the slow receivers, Young was late on his timing throws and really only threw one deep pass. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow of the Titans will work Young out Thursday, bringing in his own receivers, and the Houston Texans are scheduled to individually work out Young this weekend and the New York Jets will follow suit on Monday. Young notched a 33-inch vertical jump a and 9-foot-8 broad jump. A shocking announcement was made when the Longhorn strength coach told everyone on hand that Young would not take part in any of the running or jumping workout. After much booing and prodding, Young ran a single 40 and was clocked between 4.59-and-4.61. While the perception has been Young is working hard with Rhome, we have learned the reality of the situation is much different. Sources confirmed Rhome has worked with Young for less than a week's time and there is concern about his accuracy and throwing mechanics. His sidearm motion presents a challenge, yet the bigger problem seems to be Young's inability to release the ball from one consistent spot, which has his passes flying all over the place. Worse yet is Young's inability to concentrate. When pulled to the sidelines and taught how to run certain drills, Young struggled to grasp what was being asked of him and rarely got drills correct on the first run-through. The opinion is the Texas gunslinger needed a lot of guidance running up to his Pro Day and has not received it. Also of concern is Young's affinity for socializing, as many report seeing him out on the town nightly in Houston. Defensive back Michael Huff - who has moved into consideration to be picked by the Niners with their No. 6 overall selection in the first round - continued to shine in offseason workouts, running his 20-yard shuttle in 3.96 and managed a 6.84 in the three-cone drill. He also participated in secondary drills and looked fluid working out at both safety and cornerback. "With the positional drills at the combine and my Pro Day, people will be able to tell whether I can play corner or not," Huff said confidently. The 49ers are looking at Huff at corner, but he could easily slip into their starting lineup at free safety, too, since that is what he played last season at Texas. Cedric Griffin had an outstanding day and may have looked even better than Huff at times. Neither Huff or Griffin ran the 40, both opting to stand pat on their combine times. Each participated in the pro-shuttle, with Huff turning in a time close to 4.00 and Griffin clocking in the low 3.9 area - both quality times. Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott improved from a poor bench press and was solid during position drills. Scott did not run the 40 and only completed 17 reps on the bench. After a poor combine in which he ran the 40 in 5.35 seconds, turned in a vertical jump of just 24.4 inches and did not lift because of a strained pectoral muscle, Scott needed a big workout to solidify himself as a top-75 selection. Yet sources have told us his attitude has been quite to the contrary and Scott put limited time into preparing for Wednesday's Pro Day. One player who received a lot of positive comments for his terrific workout was tight end David Thomas, who put on a pass-catching clinic. Thomas also completed 21 reps on the bench press. Thomas has moved up to become a top-10 tight end in the draft, and the 49ers are giving him a look if he slips into the late middle rounds if they don't opt to take a prospect sooner at the position. Defensive tackle Rodrique Wright, a massive 6-foot-5, 315-pounder who also is on the 49ers' radar, ran the 20-yard shuttle, hoping to better his time from the Combines. "I had a good time but felt I could do even better," Wright said. "It was the last drill we did (at the Combines) and I was a little drained." He posted an unofficial 4.47 shuttle, besting the 4.54 he had in Indianapolis. Linebacker Aaron Harris was unable to break the 5-second barrier in the 40.
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