At least one NFC team has moved Indiana's James Hardy to the top of their wide receiver list and doesn't think he'll last beyond the top 15 picks in this year's draft. And a league source has stated that he knows of a few teams that have now moved James up to the top position on their wide receiver boards after the 6-foot-6 receiver followed up his impressive college career by running a 4.47 40-time and placing among the top performers in the bench press, broad jump, 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle at the NFL Scouting Combine.
While he's been forced to focus on numbers and statistics in recent months, James told me that people shouldn't expect to see him thinking much about them once he finds out which NFL team he'll be playing for in 2008.
"Achievements are individual statistics and I don't really worry about that. I just do whatever I can do to help my team win," he said. "I did the best that I could possibly do to help us get to a bowl game. And honestly, out of all the accomplishments, that's the one that stands out to me. As long as we get the Ws, statistics really don't matter."
Hardy wrapped up a strong 2007 season with 16 touchdown catches and 1,125 total receiving yards. Averaging 14.2 yards per catch, he decided to enter the NFL Draft early as a junior.
So far, it looks like he made the right choice.
You know what I like about Texas A&M center Cody Wallace? He's just downright scrappy. A really nice guy off the field, Wallace likes to tear it up when he's battling in the trenches. And at 6-foot-4, 296 pounds, he has the size along with the footwork to be effective as a guard, if need be, at the next level.
Cody Wallace ready to snap the ball.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Wallace mentioned that he's got a visit set up with the Buffalo Bills next week. So I had to ask him if he had thought about how cold it gets up there compared to what it's like to play in Texas.
"Yeah, I don't know that I'm used to playing in anything nearly that cold," he said with a laugh. "But I'm sure it'll be all right. I'll be able to handle it."
During the first week of April, the three-year starter for the Aggies will visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he's also been drawing interest from some other good clubs. At the Combine, he sat down with the Seahawks and the 49ers. The formal interview with San Francisco was a nice compliment since their coaching staff already had the opportunity to work with Wallace at the Senior Bowl. They were obviously impressed by what they saw as were the Jaguars, the Rams and the Bengals after he completed his Pro Day workouts.
Knowing that he's got quite a reputation for his physical strength, I asked Wallace to rattle off a couple of his top numbers from the weight room. "I squatted 740 (pounds) and I've done 480 in the bench," he said, before modestly adding, "I know there are guys out there stronger than that, but I'm pretty pleased with how I've done."
I told him that made my back hurt just thinking about it.
Some team is going to add a valuable player to their roster on Day Two of the NFL Draft when they send Cody Wallace's name on a card up to the podium. Keep an eye on him.