Rumor mill

Many of teams in the NFL have as many as six-to-eight members of the organization in Indianapolis, many waiting to flag down players and agents. With each team being held to 60 player interviews at the combines, this has been an effective tool to work around that league mandated number.

The Chicago Bears have been as active as any organization at the event that runs through Sunday, covering all the top rated players in attendance and not giving much of a clue as to who they like and who hasn't impressed.

The Minnesota Vikings has spent a significant amount of time looking at the defensive linemen in and around the combines, indications coming from team sources is that a couple defensive tackles, Dwayne Robertson from Kentucky and Johnathan Sullivan from Georgia have impressed.

Most teams talk of selecting the best player available at draft time, listening to NFL player personnel members from the combines, this is once again the common belief, "Looking at this group of players eligible for the draft, we have a group of players that are very similar in physical ability. Some may have already peaked and others haven't reached that level yet, it is going to be a tough couple months to determine what players fit into which category."

One NFL team player personnel evaluator tells this column what he believes to be the top rated offensive players by position, as the combines continues and into the workout days for players at their respective schools:

QB: Carson Palmer - Has all the tools, has the ability to be a special player if given the time and weapons to work with.

RB: Willis McGahee - We do not have any doubt that this kid will play football in 2003, the 2004 season should be his time.

WR: Charles Rogers - Big, strong, quick and fast. Kid has great hands, runs terrific routes, can be an explosive playmaker.

TE: Jason Witten - All the tools, quicker than he times, won't be a Shockey, but has ability to be close to that type of player.

LT: Jordan Gross- Proto-typical LT, good size, athletic, good footwork, very solid technician.

OG: Vince Manuwai - Good size and strength, solid in man-to-man, pulling ability is a question that needs to be answered.

RT: Kwame Harris - Physical and can be nasty. We believe he has ability to play the left side, could be the best offensive linemen.

Lane Adkins

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