Draft Notes: Leftwich and Long

Notes on Byron Leftwich, who directly affects the San Diego Chargers Draft, and his passing performance during today's private workout as well as information on Rein Long, Jerome Riley, Marcus Trufant and Derek Roche from Washington State's recent Pro-Day.

Besides the testing numbers floating around we hear scouts were pleased with Byron Leftwich and his passing today in Florida. Most seemed content with the issue of his health and though he won't be the first pick of the draft (as was the consensus six month's ago) he will stay in the upper echelons of round one.

Earlier in the day we had a long discussion with someone involved in the Washington State football program, talking specifically about Rein Long but also touching on a few other Wazzu prospects.

As far as Long is concerned we got mixed reviews.

We were told Long's 40-time was slow and in general his recent workout was very unimpressive, just like the one we reported on from the combine in February.

When pointing out the TFY Draft Preview had characterized the Outland Trophy Winner as having "dead legs" during his Sunday workout, we were given a seemingly plausible excuse.

Long weighed 302-pounds during the combine and at Pro Day but his natural playing weight is 20-pounds less and he tipped the scales at 282-pounds during most of the 2002 season.

The belief in Pullman is Long got to big to fast trying to impress scouts with added bulk and as a result now looks sluggish and unexplosive. Ironically all this added weight has not translated into increased weight room strength. Long is starting to slip down draft boards and does not have any additional workouts scheduled to our knowledge.

One prospect our source was high on was Jerome Riley. While Riley clocked a pair of forties in the high 4.5-area, he did turn in a 34-inch vertical jump and caught the ball well during the workout. There is a feeling in that Riley's much more a natural receiver than his celebrated teammate Mike Bush. The program was very impressed with Riley, a late junior college transfer in 2001, after immediately producing once stepping on the field and the prevailing thought is you're looking at a number three receiver.

As impressive as Marcus Trufant is on the field the same can be said for his actions in street clothes. Talking about his character our source made this prediction; "in two years he'll be doing commercials for the United Way."

Lastly, the thinking is guard Derek Roche will make a roster next September as a back-up and is the type of offensive lineman that will bounce around the league then, before you know, it he'll be a ten year veteran.


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