Mixed Results From The Combine

Yesterday began with the second group of running backs taking to the field at the RCA Dome for their workout. Well, at least some of them anyway. Sixteen running backs and full backs were suppose to take part in drills this morning, only four got around to it.

Twelve invitees did not run today and while you'd expect Larry Johnson and Onterrio Smith to pass the combine up in favor of Pro-Day, players like Tom Lopienski, Cecil Sapp and Andrew Pinnock deciding not to partake is ludicrous.

That aside, Derek Watson performed well this morning running a pair of 40's in the 4.5 range and did a solid job catching the ball. Jeremi Johnson was slow afoot turning in times near the 4.9 area (though he slipped at the start of his second run) but afterwards really showed his athleticism and caught the ball extremely well. Nick Maddox ran slow but has very quick feet and also caught the ball well. A session that usually takes 90 minutes was over in thirty this morning.

The defensive linemen were next and had mixed results. Tyler Brayton was solid and had the interest of Bill Parcells. Nick Eason ran slower than expected but performed well in drills. Dan Klecko is explosive and relentless but at the same time tiny compared to the rest of the prospects and has very short arms.

Johnathan Sullivan also looked good; he was much more athletic and had more range than we originally thought. His lateral movement skills were solid. Sullivan impressed in two different ways; he originally said he would not work out at the combine but relented and took part in every test yet at the same time he really believes his ideal playing weight is 305; he was 313 today.

Kevin Williams keeps improving his stock. Like Sullivan he displayed sideline-to-sideline range, terrific footwork and is a lot more than just a big thug in the middle. Take note; he is officially listed as a defensive end here at the combine.

Nick Burley and Brandon Green both had solid sessions and performed well during the linebacker segment. We spoke at length about Pierson early in the day and will get into his practice more next week. Chris Kelsay had a nice workout but we expected more from him during the linebacker drills. Antwaan Peek was good all session long and though Bryant McNeal did not time well in the forty, he looked very natural at linebacker.

Several players disappointed; Alonzo Jackson did not torch the field, was terrible in the weight room and only average as a linebacker. Again, Clint Mitchell did not test well athletically and is starting to slip.

We were not impressed with Rien Long at all today. Regardless of the fact that Long did not run the forty it is easy to see he lacks that umph or something special. Long seems to have dead legs, something that was proven when he participated in the broad and vertical jumps. Even in the drills he seemed a bit sluggish. To our minds Long needs a great pro-day to redeem himself.

BTW: Terence Newman was at the hospital today getting multiple MRI's.

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