Matt Gambill Interview Part II

In part two of our discussion with Matt Gambill of All-Pro Scouting Services we focus on player visits, who the Chargers want and who they can get at pick 15 in the first round.

DENIS SAVAGE: So who is coming into San Diego for a visit?

MATT GAMBILL: Wayne Hunter, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Dave Kircus. I know I have a list of about nine guys right now, I can't remember everybody off the top of my head though.

MATT GAMBILL: Marty really wants to get a cornerback.

DENIS SAVAGE: Who is going to be available, at pick 15 are you going to stretch?

MATT GAMBILL: That is the thing, if you take a cornerback at 15 you are going to be stretching five or ten picks.

DENIS SAVAGE: Or do you go with someone like Rashean Mathis, someone who can play free safety or cornerback?

MATT GAMBILL: That certainly is an option, but I don't think it is something I would do. I think Mathis is a great player, a mid to later first rounder. I don't know if I would take him in the top 15.

DENIS SAVAGE: So among those at the top of the list for the Chargers is Kwame Harris, and you think he is overrated if I am not mistaken.

MATT GAMBILL: It is not that he is overrated, I just think three other tackles that I graded out higher than him, Wayne Hunter being one, Jordan Gross and Eric Steinbech out of Iowa.

DENIS SAVAGE: Do you think Wayne Hunter is worthy of the number 15 pick?

MATT GAMBILL: One thing to remember about Wayne is he is far from being a finished product. The thing that I like about Wayne is he is a left tackle, Kwame is a right tackle. I am not a big believer in spending a top 15 pick on a right tackle unless he is a stud.

DENIS SAVAGE: And unless you have a left handed quarterback.

MATT GAMBILL: Exactly, which obviously San Diego does not have. I think that they could easily take a guy like Wayne Hunter at 15. I know that Marty loved him. Absolutely loved him. He was the only Head Coach in attendance at the Hawaii Pro Day. And he spent extensive time with Pisa Tinoisamoa and Hunter.

DENIS SAVAGE: Well he does like his Samoans, especially Pisa.

MATT GAMBILL: Both of them are, they will tear the ass right out of ya. Wayne Hunter, this is a kid who is 6-6, 310 pounds. Probably the most flexible offensive lineman by far in this draft.

DENIS SAVAGE: I have heard he could do some yoga.

MATT GAMBILL: It is freakish.

DENIS SAVAGE: And at the same time didn't he win the bench press contest with 37 reps?

MATT GAMBILL: No, he came in second Tony Pashos did 38.

DENIS SAVAGE: I just came off an interview with Courtney Hall, the ex-Chargers center and he says he won his year when he did 36.

MATT GAMBILL: They get stronger and stronger. I think 36 this year was third or fourth place. It's crazy, you had two kids who did 38, Hunter who did 37 and Makoa Freitas from Arizona did 36.

DENIS SAVAGE: So is Hunter worth the 15th pick?

MATT GAMBILL: I think you can have arguments both ways. I would say yes based on the fact he has tremendous athleticism for a tackle. Long arms, good strength, good feet. The problem is he is coming from a system like Hawaii. You are looking at somebody who is not going to a force in the run game. With LaDainian Tomlinson and now Lorenzo Neal you are going to need a left tackle who is going to get and really bump the shit out of people. That may be a concern but I think he is worth it cause his upside is through the roof. He started off at Cal-Berkeley as a defensive tackle and was a freshman All-American at D-tackle. The kid is legit, he is a freak. I would say no because he is still missing a big part of being an offensive lineman in the NFL and that is his run blocking. That is the same argument you could say with Vince Manuwai who is coming out this year and everybody thinks is a top flight offensive guard. I watched him personally at Mobile in the Senior Bowl and he really struggled. Getting out in space and blocking downfield, he was more of a straight line power run blocker. He was a little stiff pulling out getting traps and stuff like that. He has got some room to grow.

DENIS SAVAGE: What about defensive tackle, will anyone fall to 15?

MATT GAMBILL: I think William Joseph from Miami. He is probably one that will be there.

DENIS SAVAGE: I think he could fall into the 20 range.

MATT GAMBILL: That is very possible. The thing that is keeping him alive in the top 15 is he just has so much ability and just the stuff he was able to do the first three years in Miami… and then he got caught up in that John Henderson type syndrome where you take your senior year off.

DENIS SAVAGE: Does he just need solid coaching, a Herm Edwards type of guy?

MATT GAMBILL: He needs to be motivated. This is a kid who has tremendous strength, I mean the kid has 35 1/2 inch arms and the kid dished 29 reps at 225, and that is just phenomenal. Then you compare that to Rien Long who did 18 reps and 32 1/4 inch arms at 6-6. He will probably go in the second/third round cause he is the Outland Trophy winner but he can't do anything on the field. Stiff, can't move well laterally…He needs to be led. He was a kid who was committed to staying in school even after Mike Price went to Alabama and his agent Ralph Cyndrich and Mark May of ESPN and Len Pasquarelli of ESPN both called him and told him the smart decision would be for him to leave, you are a sure fired first round pick and the kid listened to them instead of going with his gut feeling and staying in school, and now he is paying the price.

In part three of our conversation with Matt Gambill of All-Pro Scouting Service we take a look at players coming off injury and a look at cornerbacks and safeties in the Draft.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link:: Denis Savage

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