Draft News: Oakland target doing well

Less then two weeks away, the NFL combine looms large as we move closer to April's draft. As expected, several of the nation's top prospects are in full preparation and there has been some surprising pre-combine news. One player that the Oakland Raiders covet is doing more than well these days.

Prospects have gathered at major training facilities across the nation. The results pouring out gives us an expected preview of what will happen in the RCA Dome.

Looking very fit, Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is expected to take part in the complete combine routine. Weighing 340-pounds, Ngata has checked in under 11% body fat, an incredibly low number for a man his size. Putting his power to use, Ngata has consistently pushed up 38-to-39 repetitions on the bench and hopes to break 40 at the end of this month.

Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk has been even more impressive in training. Tipping the scales at 248-pounds, 15-more then his playing weight, Hawk measured just 7.8% body fat. Running forty's consistently under 4.60, one source called Hawk a "defensive back in a linebackers body".

Oakland has watched a lot of film on Hawk and are looking forward to watching his progress at the combines. It is expected to lead to a pre-Draft interview as head coach Art Shell looks to bring the defense back to prominence.

Florida Gator receiver Chad Jackson has also been very fast, running under 4.40 (4.39 to be exact) in the forty. Jackson weight has hovered around 207-pounds while his body fat has been an incredible 1.5%. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos have shown significant interest in the talented wide out.

Tight end David Thomas has been running well at 249-pounds, heavier than his playing weight. While Georgia Tech linebacker Gerris Wilkerson has clocked in the low 4.5's at 238-pounds.

Teams are narrowing down target lists and we're getting a better idea who'll they are considering in April's seven rounds.

The Detroit Lions have shown plenty of interest in Jay Cutler and could use their first pick on the Vanderbilt quarterback. Some feel Matt Millen needs to take a player that will help him win immediately but others think the quarterback situation in the Motor City is desperate.

Kamerion Wimbley had a four hour visit with the Houston Texans recently, an unusually long interview for a team unlikely to select another Florida State defensive lineman.

With the team likely to lose Darren Howard in free agency, the New Orleans Saints have an interest in Quince Holman. Like Howard, the quick defender from Northern Illinois is undersized yet very athletic.


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