Top TE Prospect Witten Works Out Again

Rumored to be a potential first round pick for the Cleveland Browns, tight end Jason Witten was among a group of Volunteers that went out Wednesday and worked out for the second time in a month. Inside Tennessee's Nick Grinnell gives us the lowdown about what the scouts saw.

Jason Witten caught the ball very well today. His only exercise this afternoon was to re-attempt the vertical jump. Two weeks ago Witten finished with a 32.5 on both attempts. Today, he closed with a 34-inch jump. That is a tremendous improvement in that short amount of time for Jason. He finished the day catching the ball and only dropped one pass, which came on a deep ball. Witten weighed in at a slender 258 pounds, two pounds heavier than his last timing session (256).

Standout WR Kelley Washington seemed a little unhappy with his first timing session 14 days ago, but that was not the case today. During pass catching drills, Washington had a couple of great catches. The most notable came on a deep post pass that he stretched out to pull in.

"There was not as much pressure today it seemed like," Washington said this afternoon. "I had already performed the 40 and some of the other big drills, so it was a little more relaxed. I got to just go out and catch the ball and have fun, which is what I love to do. I feel very confident with what I have been able to do." Kelley said he has a couple of trips to visit NFL teams, but he couldn't recall what cities that he would be traveling to. The only other exercises he did were the 20 and 60-yard shuttles. He timed in at a 4.08 and 11.48 respectively. Washington's 60-yard time was better than track champion and fellow wide receiver Leonard Scott (11.72).

Witten agreed with Washington about the level of pressure being down. "Oh yeah it was much easier. Not running the 40 took a lot off my mind. We were able to go out and do what we wanted to in front of the scouts." Witten said that the main interest seems to be coming from the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. Witten did say he liked the closeness that playing in Nashville would provide. "It would be nice to be that close to home. You know New Orleans has a great offensive setup and the Niners are one of the best franchises in NFL history, so I am really pleased with where I am." Houston has expressed interest earlier in the 2002 and that could be something to keep an eye on as draft day approaches. The Saints are sitting with a first round pick at position. The trips are more along the lines of a recruiting trip and not a workout session. The team officials (coaches, general manager, owner, etc.) usually take you around their particular city to show them around in addition to the team facilities.

Linebacker Eddie Moore worked out on Tuesday. Moore missed the first timing day because he wasn't 100 percent healthy. Moore had a good workout. He made many nice plays, mostly in the interception drill the scouts put linebackers through. He seemed quicker than he was at season's end. He didn't show as well on the bench press as he would have liked. He pushed up 225 pounds 18 times. In comparison, his teammate Keyon Whiteside performed the same drill 28 times. Moore appears to be ticketed as a late round pick at this point. Here are Eddie's numbers for the day:

40-yard dash: 4.61
Height: 6'03
Weight: 231
Vertical jump: 38 inches
Broad jump: 9'10
20-yard shuttle: 4.39


Witten, Washington and Leonard Scott were very fortunate two weeks ago as they had Washington Redskin's quarterback Patrick Ramsey slinging the football their way. Today the three pass catchers were pulling in passes from former Tennessee quarterback Jeff Francis. "It was a little different," Witten said about the change. "Jeff puts a lot of heat into his passes, but he is still very accurate." Last year, Francis threw the ball to eventual first round pick Donte Stallworth so this could be a measure of good luck for the three prospects.

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