Saturday's Combine News - Player Updates

Notes from player interviews and workouts. Included in this report is an update on Penn State's Tamba Hali, who is raising some eyebrows in Indianapolis. Plus, interview notes on players from around the college ranks looking to boost their stock.

Bench Press Results

Jason Avant/WR/Michigan: 20

Damarius Bilbo/WR/Georgia Tech: 19

Naufahu Tahi/FB/BYU: 25

Chris Denney/WR/Neb-Omaha: 13

Kamerion Wimbley/DE/Florida State

- Measured in at 6'3 ¾/248 pounds.

- He has talked to the Cowboys and Jaguars so far. He has more meetings Saturday night.

- Represented by agent Joe Linta that played and coached at Yale. Wimbley said it helps that Linta has good relationships with NFL teams and that he knows so many people in the league.

- He feels his best attributes are his athleticism, ability to get to the quarterback and flexibility.

Jesse Mahelona/DL/Tennessee

- He measured in 6'0 ½/310 pounds.

- He will not work out due to sprained MCL (knee) but will be ready for his Pro Day. Has been told here at the Combine that his game film was good enough that this shouldn't hurt his stock.

- He believes his warrior attitude that he inherited from his ancestors in Hawaii will help make him stand out as teams evaluate him.

- He has met with the Falcons, Browns and Bengals. Also met with the Broncos which was particularly exciting for him as they were his favorite team growing up.

Elvis Dumervil/DE/Louisville

- He measured in at 5'11/257 pounds.

- He's been working on his change of direction skills and his flexibility.

- He listed pass rush speed and his great anticipation as his strongest attributes.

- He tried to model his style of playing after former Chiefs' OLB Derrick Thomas and more recently, Colts' DE Dwight Freeney.

- He forced ten fumbles his senior year.

- He has not talked to any teams yet but has interviews scheduled.

Leonard Pope/TE/Georgia

- Measured in at 6-7/258 pounds.
- He feels good about his decision to leave early.
- Was a basketball player; also got a basketball scholarship.
- He quit basketball to concentrate on his future in football.
- Feels his height gives him a big advantage over linebackers.
- He will work out fully here.
- He has spoken with Washington, Philadelphia, and Jacksonville so far.

Mike Kudla/DL/Ohio State

- Measured in at 6-2/265.
- Ran down Minnesota RB Laurence Maroney from behind.
- Strong man who hopes he can open some eyes with his speed.
- Does Pilates during the season, which he says really helps his core strength.
- Would be open to playing linebacker.
- Shooting for 45 reps at 225 pounds.
- Does a lot of dropping into coverage.
- Friends with former OSU LB Mike Vrabel.
- Came to Ohio State as a linebacker.
- Has met with the Broncos so far.

Haloti Ngata/DT/Oregon

- Measured in at 6-4/338
- He considers himself a pure run-stopper.
- Overwhelmed at the prospect at being the first defensive tackler taken.
- Entered the draft to support his Mom, who was in and out of the hospital for Diabetes before dying last month.
- Likes to play in the 4-3 scheme.
- Has talked with the New York Giants, Raiders, Bengals, Rams, and has an interview scheduled with the Browns.

Montavious Stanley/DT/Louisville

- Measured in at 6-0/313.
- Played nose tackle and defensive tackle.
- Loved the late Reggie White growing up and emulates his life.
- He has a torn pectoral muscle that will not allow him to bench at Indy or at his March 6 Pro Day. He expects to be flown back to Indy in April to lift. The injury occurred December 3 and he had surgery December 23.

Babatunde Oshinowo/DT/Stanford

- Measured in at 6-0 1/8, 304 pounds.
- Has six names because Nigerian grandparents all give their grandkids name.
- Said Stanford has a large network of Nigerian football players, including nine in 2005.
- Went to Stanford to be an engineer and got his degree in Electrical Engineering.
- Parents grew up in Nigeria and met at Oxford. Babatunde was born in Columbus, Ohio.
- Has a lot of experience at nose tackle.
- Wants to be a full-time player, not just a first- and second-down player.
- Has talked to mostly 3-4 teams, including Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Carolina, Kansas City, Atlanta, Miami and New England.
- Has been playing football since the seventh grade.

Davin Joseph/G/Oklahoma

- Measured in at 6'5 ½/311 pounds.
- Did 24 reps at 225 pounds.
- Ran a 5.09 in the 40.
- Has met with about 14 teams.
- Says he is an NFL guard and could play some center despite playing tackle in college.
- Played at 320 and has been working out at Athlete's Performance in Arizona.
- Talked to the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl.
- Says his experience with wrestling and playing on the defensive line has helped him on the offensive line.
- He has a 2-year-old son.
- Tore his PCL a couple of years ago.

Daniel Fells/TE/Cal-Davis

- Measured in at 6-3 3/8/259 pounds.
- Played tight end, wide receiver, safety, and defensive back in high school.
- Was trying to gain weight, eating six meals a day.
- Has a sweet tooth, especially for cheesecake.
- Hoping to run 4.75 in the 40.
- Has had a number of interviews, with the Bengals standing out.
- First started playing football in 2003.
- When he started playing, blocking was his weakness.

Vernon Davis/TE/Maryland

- Weighed in at 254 but couldn't recall his height.
- Will do a full workout.
- Got a first-round grade coming back from the NFL, spurring him to declare early for the draft.
- Felt he accomplished what he could at Maryland.
- Nicknamed "Duke." His dad was "Big Duke" and he was "Little Duke."
- Has received interest from Kansas City, Detroit, Washington, Jacksonville and San Diego so far here.
- He has watched a lot of film on Chargers' TE Antonio Gates
- Played basketball at Dunbar
- Averaged 17 yards per catch, saying the coaching staff was creative in using him.
- Says his speed is a mismatch for defenses.
- Had fun returning kicks for touchdowns in high school.
- Is friends with Chargers' OLB Shawne Merriman, who encouraged him to declare.
- Thinks playing under Ralph Friedgen's offense helped him talk the pro language to coaches and scouts.

Dominique Byrd/TE/USC

- Checked in at 6-2 ½/255 pounds.
- He hasn't done any interviews yet.
- Said there is "nothing better" than the Senior Bowl experience for providing the "crème de le crème" of college football players.
- Chose USC because of Pete Carroll's pro background and reputation as a player's coach.
- Talks with many of the USC alums now in the NFL.
- Will not work out here, saving it for Pro Day on April 2 to be in familiar surroundings and having Matt Leinart throw to him.
- Tattoo on his arm says "Minneapolis' Finest."
- His mother worked concessions at the Metrodome while she was in college. His mother now works as a teaching assistant for kids with social behavioral problems.
- He's being told he's a first-day draft pick.
- Is working to get better body position.

T.J. Williams/TE/North Carolina State

- Weighed in at 6-2 1/3, 269 pounds.
- Will do a full workout.
- Pro Day is March 22.
- Has talked with Detroit, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Bucs here and the Carolina Panthers at the Senior Bowl.
- Thinks his game is similar to Alge Crumpler and Antonio Gates, with his strengths in stretching field and reading defense.
- Played wide receiver, tight end, quarterback, defensive end and linebacker in high school, with wide receiver being his favorite.
- Put on 20 pounds in two weeks the summer before entering college so he could get up to 240 pounds.

Stanley McClover/DE-OLB/Auburn

- Checked in at 6'2 ½/262 pounds.
- Came out early because he felt he showed enough progress after he recovered from an ankle injury last year.
- Can play defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
- Will do a full workout.
- Felt like going against Marcus McNeill made him ready for the NFL.
- Sees himself as going between the third and first rounds.
- The Dolphins envision him as a Jason Taylor type.
- Says of his quick first step: "Speed kills."
- Wants to improve playing in space.
- His long hair is his pride and joy.
- Working out at Athlete's Performance in Arizona.
- Has received interest from Jacksonville, Miami and Carolina.

Parys Haralson/DE-OLB/Tennessee

- Checked in at 6-1, 253 pounds.
- Some teams want to see if he can play outside linebacker.
- Says he most comfortable at defensive end.
- Will do a full workout.
- Is working out in Atlanta.
- Played linebacker and defensive end in high school.
- Came to Tennessee as a linebacker and switched to defensive end early in his freshman year.
- Talked with Kansas City at the Senior Bowl.
- Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Texas want to see what he can do as a linebacker, Minnesota as a linebacker and defensive end, and Indianapolis as a defensive end.

Anthony Fasano/TE/Notre Dame

- Checked in at 6-4,/259 pounds.
- Considers himself an all-around tight end.
- Called it a deep class for tight ends.
- Coach Charlie Weis coached him on the draft process.
- Declared for the draft early because he thought he was ready and had a love for the NFL.
- Sees more NFL teams are using more two-tight end offenses.
- Tweaked his hamstring preparing for the Combine and won't work out here. Expects to run at his March Pro Day.
- Wants to run in the 4.6s.

NFL teams have been very impressed with the interviews given by Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali thus far.  Hali has been confident yet at the same time well spoken.  He spoke at length on his hard upbringing and dodge no questions.

While he had a solid workout with the offensive lineman today there is still real concern for the health of Marcus McNeill 's back.  Unable to practice most of the year due to his ailing spine, scouts are more interested in the MRI and x-ray results of McNiell's back rather then his workout results.<

Chad Jackson/WR/Florida

- Measured in at 6'0/213. His playing weight this season was 210.

- Will do everything here.

- He knows because the receiver class isn't strong this season, working out at the combine could really help his draft status.

- He has talked to the Packers, Broncos, and Titans so far here.

Skyler Green/WR/LSU

- Measured in at 5-9/ 1/2 and 192 pounds.

- Toughest part of the Combine is keeping up with the pace. He doesn't want to be late for anything or leave anyone with a bad impression.

- NFL returner he admires the most is KR/PR Dante Hall of the Chiefs.

- He feels he is a very easygoing person, yet very competitive and hopes that will make a good impression on people here.

- When asked what teams have shown interest, he immediately said the Patriots. Then he added the Dolphins, Bears, Vikings, and Rams have also shown good interest.

Brodie Croyle/QB/Alabama

- Measured in at 6024 and 205 pounds.

- He makes pride in taking care of the ball, thinks he has shown people that he doesn't force things and give up many turnovers.

- He toughest part of the combine for him has been the non-stop pace.

- He has met with the Chiefs, Jets, Bills, and Broncos so far. Is scheduled to meet with the Dolphins tonight. Said he thinks the Chiefs system would be a very easy transition for him.

- He says he's a quarterback who is going to make plays and get wins for you.

Erik Meyer/QB/Eastern Washington

- He measured in at 6'1/210 pounds.

- He feels his best skills are his mobility and ability to throw on the run.

- He's been working out in Florida working on his long ball in preparation for the Combine.

- He has talked to the Falcons, Lions, Raiders, Rams, and Vikings so far this week.

Omar Jacobs/QB/Bowling Green

- Measured in at 6'3 7/8/232 pounds

- He is going to do all the workouts.

- He had a shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm and is scheduled for a routine MRI, but noted he hasn't had any problems with it.

- He hasn't talked to any teams yet as he just got in Thursday evening.

Group 1 Running Backs 40 times:

Joseph Addai/LSU: 4.37 || 4.37

Maurice Drew/UCLA: 4.47 || 4.43

Jerome Harrison/Washington State: 4.52 || 4.48

Brian Calhoun/Wisconsin (Very Disappointing): 4.63 || 4.60

1st Group OL

Nick Mangold/Ohio State, Winston Justice/USC and Chris Chester/Oklahoma all had outstanding practice sessions today at the Combine.

Fastest OL from Group 2:

Guy Whimper/East Carolina: 40's of 4.97 || 4.97

Eric Winston/Miami: 40's of 4.99 || 5.01

Mario Williams/DE/NC State

-Measured in at 6'7/295 pounds.

-He said he usually plays at 285 – 290, but also usually puts on about 10 pounds during the off-season.

-He has interviewed with the Texans, Rams and Panthers so far, but has six teams scheduled for Saturday evening. But he hasn't been told who they are yet.

-He said his main goal is to be versatile whether teams want him to play end, tackle, or outside linebacker. He said has just a slight preference to playing on the left side.

Javon Nanton/DL/Miami

-Measured in at 6'3/250 pounds.

-He said he has an attitude on the field that reflects excitement and who loves making big plays.

-He has been working on his overall strength coming into the Combine.

-He believes his speed will be his greatest attribute and is looking forward to showcasing it in the 40.

Johnathan Lewis/DL/Virginia Polytech Institute

-Measured in at 6'1/209 pounds.

-Started 42 consecutive games. Takes pride in that streak and credits his coaches for teaching him good technique and to play hard.

-He said four teams interviewed him thoroughly: Bengals, Cardinals, Eagles, and Panthers.

-Describes himself as a disrupter on the inside.

-Main strengths are explosion off the line and ability to get into the backfield.

Jason Avant/WR/Michigan

- He said he saw more double coverage in 2005.

- He grew up a Bears and White Sox fan.

- He played cornerback and safety in high school.

- He's friends with Patriots S Rodney Harrison.

- Is deeply religious. Calls May 4, 2003 the best day of his life, when "God saved me with the Holy Spirit, and I've been running for him ever since."

- The biggest game of his career was in his freshman year when he didn't play a snap and found him quietly on the bench while the rest of the team and fans were cheering loudly. Said that day he became a Michigan man, not Jason Avant.

- Was grounded for five months for bad grades and not allowed to leave the house.

- Graduated from Michigan on Dec. 18, 2005.

- Feels especially good on the fade route.

Tamba Hali/DE/Penn State

- Measured in at 6-2/275.

- Grew up in war-torn Liberia, escaped to the Ivory Coast and came to the United States about halfway through his life. His father is a professor at Farleigh-Dickinson and was able to get him, two brothers and one sister to the U.S., but since his father had remarried, Tamba's mother had to stay behind. The last time he saw her was in 1994, and he talks to her about twice a week. He hopes to get her to the U.S. after receiving his citizenship.

- Mother lives in a hut and "she doesn't have a clue what's going on (football-wise)," he said. "She'll go from living in a hut to a nice home (after he signs and gets her to the U.S.)."

- Fell in love with football with "just being able to go out there and hit people and not get fined for it.

- Played some basketball before Penn State but said all his fouls came on offense.

- Felt like a family atmosphere at Penn State.

- Has talked with the Broncos, Chargers, Falcons, Bucs, Cowboys, New York Giants, and Vikings among others.

Sinorice Moss/WR/Miami

- He measured in at 5'8/185 pounds

- He said he talks to his brother Santana every day and while they are competitive, they are very close. They've discussed how great it would be to play on the same team at the same position.

-He feels his size works to his advantage as a punt returner.

-As a receiver, he said his size isn't an issue. His speed and heart will provide challenges for cornerbacks.

- He said that he feels the Bears have shown good interest in him, and he felt very comfortable with them.

-Teams are talking to him primarily as a receiver, not a returner.

Tony Scheffler/TE/Western Michigan

- He measured in at 6'5 3/8/254 pounds

- He believes his height and great hands will help his stock. But his speed is the thing that will distinguish him against the rest of the field.

- He said he will do a full workout here.

- He said his basketball experience has helped him with how he uses his body on the football field.

Jeff King/TE/Virginia-Polytech

-He measured in at 6'5 ½/246 pounds.

-Met with the Jaguars, Eagles, and Seahawks Friday night.

-He played on all the special teams in college except kickoff coverage and is hopeful that will give him an edge since tight ends are often counted on to contribute on special teams at the pro level.

Barry Cofield/DL/Northwestern

-He measured in at 6'4/304.

-He as talked to the Bengals and liked head coach Marvin Lewis very much.

-He liked his experience at Northwestern because he got to play Big 10 football while attending an Ivy League type of school.

Ray Edwards/DL/Purdue

-He measured in at 6'5 ½/273 pounds.

-He will do a full workout here.

-The only team he has met with so far is the Bengals on Friday night.

-He feels his best attributes are his first step and his pass rush ability.

-He said the toughest part of the combine experience so far is the fact that he just got here last night and the airlines lost his luggage, so he's scrambling for clothes for his workout.

-He followed the 49ers growing up and that would be incredible if they called on draft day.

Chris Gocong/DE/Cal Poly State

-He measured in at 6'2/263 pounds.

-He came in as a LB, moved to nose tackle at just 235 pounds. Then moved outside and established himself as a speed rusher.

-He chose Cal Poly because he wanted to major in biomedical engineering.

-He didn't have a favorite pro team growing up and didn't even watch it much other than the Super Bowl. He followed some college football but didn't get to watch much television growing up.

-He will do full workout here.

Orien Harris/DL/Miami

-Measured in at 6-2 ½/301 pounds.

-Met with the Lions, Rams, Bengals, and Browns on Friday night.

-He wants teams to know that he's a hard worker, self-motivator, and a playmaker.

Joe Kloppenstein/TE/Colorado

- Measured in at 6'5 6/8/255 pounds.
- Will do a full workout.
- Wants to get a little heavier.
- Blocking will probably be the biggest adjustment, he said.
- Played guard, quarterback, linebacker, and split end in high school.
- Wants to run his 40 in the 4.6 area.

Charles David/TE/Purdue

- Checked in at 6'5 3/8 and 263 pounds.
- Will do the entire workout.
- Says playing a year of basketball at Purdue helped his lateral movement.
- Liked basketball better growing up.
- Said he needs to work on his blocking, which he wasn't asked to do much of at Purdue.
- Likes the game of Falcons' TE Alge Crumpler.
- Expects to run a 40 in the low 4.7s or high 4.6s.

Marcedes Lewis/TE/UCLA

- Checked in at 6-6/261 pounds.
- Will do a full workout.
- Likes to think of himself as a mix of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates.
- Played basketball too as a freshman in college and was offered a basketball scholarship first.
- Says he received about eight basketball scholarships, the biggest being from Connecticut and Arizona, and a lot more football scholarships.
- Has to fight the perception that a former basketball player can't block well.
- Says the "unknown" is the biggest challenge of the predraft process.

Maurice Stovall/WR/Notre Dame

- Measured in at 6'4/217.
- Met with the Patriots on Friday. Feels he would be a great fit since they ran the same offense under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.
- Will do everything here but the bench press.

Offensive Linemen 40 Times:

Chris Chester/Oklahoma: 4.87 || 4.90

Max Jean-Gilles/Georgia: 5.47 || 5.51

Davin Joseph/Oklahoma: 5.10 || 5.17

Nick Mangold/Ohio State: 5.05 || 5.07

Marcus McNeill/Auburn: 5.02 || 5.05

CB William Blackmon/Boston College has been seen working out at the combine as a Wide Receiver.

Mike Bell/RB/Arizona St.

- Broncos showed the most interest in him so far.

- He has talked to 16 running back coaches at the Senior Bowl and combine so far.|

Donovan Raiola/C/Wisconsin

- Checked in at 6-2/300.

- Brother Dominic is the starting center for the Detroit Lions.

- Said he doesn't talk much with Dominic about football.

- Coaches are telling him he needs to be more consistent.

- Started 38 straight games.

- Started one game at guard and played there in another eight games.

- He has interviewed with eight or 10 teams so far, including the Vikings.

- Pro Day is March 8.

- Will do a full workout.

Winston Justice/OT/USC

- He said while he played right tackle most of his career, he could play left tackle at the next level. He play there in his freshman season.

- When discussing his suspension for the 2004 season, he said the incident was basically over a prank he had with a bunch of friends that went awry. He said he pulled a toy gun prank on who he thought were friends of his but they wound up not being that.

- When on suspension, he boxed of an area gym.

Mike Degory/C/Florida

- Measured in at 6'5/305

- Has met with the Broncos, Bucs, Raiders, Texans and Jets so far.

- Believes his strengths are his durability (never missed a game at Florida), his "football smarts" and solid fundamentals.

- Doesn't have any thoughts at this point as to what round he might be picked. Says he just wants a chance.

- He played 3 games at guard in '02, the rest at center. But teams are looking at him at both positions.

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