NFL Prospect Update

The New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers could all be looking in the same direction this April as teams prepare for the NFL Combine. Also- are the Cowboys and Packers considering a quarterback? Here's a look at how players have fared as they prepare for Indianapolis as well as some breaking news, which could affect the Bears, and Lions in round two.

Khalif Barnes continues to reap the benefits of what was a sensational week of practice at the Senior Bowl. NFL teams were not only impressed by his performance but also the toughness he displayed. Before arriving in Mobile, Barnes had a cast on his injured wrist, which he promptly cut off, then had a joint tightly taped so he would be able to participate in all the practices.

We have learned that both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are seriously considering using their initial pick to choose Barnes but the question remains; will the big offensive tackle be available late in the first round.

Several scouts believe Barnes could be this year's version of Levi Jones and his name could be called much earlier then anyone expects. The talk in the Jacksonville camp is that the team who has been looking to replace Mike Pearson for some time, could use their pick in the 21st slot to take Barnes and rumblings out of Carolina the Panthers may select him with the 14th pick. Carolina would use Barnes at the left tackle slot and slide former first round pick Jordan Gross over to the right side, an area team officials feel he's much better suited for. Many we spoke with expect Barnes to pull off an incredibly athletic workout at the combine in a week and a half.

Early results from combine training in Arizona say former Nebraska lineman Richie Incognito looks very good. The athletic blocker has impressed many, though there are those who still question Incognito's ability to mentally keep it together.

Louisiana Tech running back Ryan Moats is being compared by many scouts to Houston Texans running back Domanick Davis. Training in New Orleans Moats expects to run a time of 4.50 at the NFL combine.

In similar fashion defensive back Brandon Browner of Oregon State is hoping for a 4.50 clocking in two weeks yet expects to measure in 6'-3.5" and 214 pounds.

Cincinnati quarterback Gino Guidugli was a late addition to the combine and has looked good as he prepares for Indianapolis.

Prior to the draft, we will run a series of articles on quarterback Adrian McPherson as he prepares for his big day at the combine. Before declaring his eligibility last month, several teams approached McPherson and tried to sign him as a free agent but the league stepped in. Dallas, Green Bay, Tampa Bay and New Orleans were very interested in his services but league officials declared McPherson had to go through the draft process and was ineligible to be considered a free agent.

Besides the solid week of practice, he turned in at the Senior Bowl and proving to scouts that he is more than a two down run defending linebacker, Kirk Morrison turned in several outstanding interviews during the week. Teams are impressed with the leadership capabilities of the former San Diego State star. Already a lock to be a first day pick, Morrison could potentially move into the late part of round two with a good combine showing.

Down in Atlanta, a pair of middle round prospects look good as they prepare for the combine. Louisville linebacker Robert McCune has been burning up the track running forty-times in the 4.4 range, while Lehigh tight end Adam Bergen is clocking at a much better than expected 4.65 / 40 time.

Finally, Miami Hurricane tight end Kevin Everett, whom both the Bears and Detroit Lions are considering in round two, is recovering from surgery, which was performed on his labrum. And while the shoulder injury will keep him from running at the combine, scouts have been gushing about his athletic skills. More on Everett tomorrow.


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