A few notes on the top two
Recently there was a story on
Mike Williams, the big tackle from Texas, and allegations he is covering up a
torn knee ligament. On our plane
ride home from Indianapolis Monday evening on the US Airways jet, with several
scouts from northeastern teams the feeling was unanimous; its' totally untrue.
First, many suspect it is a
smoke-screen from a organization that wants to draft Williams with the hopes
that this will make him slide a few slots.
It makes sense; a team wants to do an MRI, Williams says, "no" another
team that wants him makes a big stink. It is done all the time and
the scouts we spoke with told us Buddy Ryan was a master of "talking
players down only to have the devalued prospect fall to his slot then select
Secondly, Williams did
partake in the drills and even gave one attempt at the broad jump (which
measured 8-4) something he probably wouldn't have done with a torn ligament in
his knee. These stories crop on
players all the time. Last year we
were bombarded with this same type of rumor though the player in question was
Richard Seymour and it was ridiculously false.
The other top tackle, Bryant
McKinnie, "cheesed off" more than a few scouts at the combine by not working
out. In fact the soft-spoken
McKinnie explained to everyone why he was not
going to lift. McKinnie speaking in a low-tone barely audible voice said, "I
am not lifting because I have a pec strain," but some scouts in the room
thought he said something totally different. Some, believe it or not, took it as "I did not train", as
opposed to "I have a pec strain." (You
know that commercial that says "get a back-up for O'Niel??!!).
One scout, sitting in the row
directly in front of me said, "Did not train?
What the hell was he waiting for."
That is a true story!
Now, onto the action.
We've already posted our
thoughts on Mike Pearson's performance. The Gator tackle looked like his old self displaying power,
strength and explosion. He even
looked more athletic than usual, especially with his footwork in pass protection
drills and ability to move laterally. Technically
sound and patient, he displayed top arm jolt.
Our only criticism was he didn't attack his blocking drills like he
should've. Overall a good job by
the recently maligned junior.
also displayed surprising athleticism and intelligence. His footwork was better than any game film we've watched
the past two years and though a mauler, he also displayed excellent patience
with his blocking. Gurode is
powerful but plays a little stiff and does not move all that well in space.
Several linemen looked really
good when asked to kick-out or pull across the line of scrimmage and prove they
have the ability to block on the move. Chester
Pitts, Ben Miller and Antwaan Kirk-Hughes
were the best of all while Tango McCauley also surprised in that
aspect. Even big Bryant
McKinnie displayed some ability to block on the move.
Speaking of McCauley, the
former Texas A&M Aggie who transferred to Alabama State really attacked the
morning session and moved himself into the later rounds.
Probably the best athlete of
all was Artis Hicks Jr. Hicks
is fluid and light on his feet, displaying nice blocking range.
Though he moved well in space Hicks seemed to struggle with his pass
protection techniques and really did not practice aggressively, something almost
as disappointing as his bench press results (22).
built upon his Senior Bowl performance and has obviously been working on his
footwork as he displayed much improved quickness and skills to shuffle and slide
when "blocking the edge" during drills.
A few linemen upped their
stock at least a whole round higher than where they were ranked prior to the
showed solid footwork in pass-protection and effectively used both blocking
angles and body positioning. He is
strong but must do a better job of keeping his arms up at all times to use that
power. After watching him we feel he is still better in confined quarters.
Much the same can be said
about Melvin Fowler, who received applause from the coaches on
had an uneven practice. His game
has a lot of pop and explosion to it. For a 300-pound man he is light on
his feet but is best going in one direction; straight-ahead.
When asked to move in space or shuffle and slide his feet the Cornhusker
bruiser had his troubles.
The injury that sidelined Alonzo
Cunningham has really slowed his development. The athleticism is apparent but he looked haphazard moving in
drills and off his game. We've
always liked Cunningham and the mid-west scout we sat next to all four days
firmly believes he is a prospect.
helped himself greatly displaying a lot of natural abilities and just needs to
fine-tune the mechanics a bit.
Other highlights; Kevin
Barry can be a force when he decides and displayed great lower body
power and surprising footwork. Matt
Hill plays much better than he tests, Jason Ball was solid
and Marquise Muldrow with succeed if kept in confined quarters.
On the flip side…
really struggled if asked to move in any direction other than straight ahead
almost tripping over his own feet at one point.
His footwork was not good, something we noted during the season, and we
doubt he has the abilities to play left tackle. To his credit, Colombo worked incredibly hard and picked it
up as the practice proceeded.
Though he is obviously a good
athlete, PJ Alexander got beat in drills, looked unsure of himself
and at one point was put on his ass, the only linemen to hit the turf on
Matt Anderle, Andy
Eby, Ed Ta'amu and Konrad Dean displayed
almost no abilities to play in anything other than a restricted area and had
We spoke at length with Broderick Lancaster. Following him extensively on film since his sophomore campaign at Colorado State, we asked him about the knee injury he sustained against Louisville last season and his junior campaign.
Lancaster told us his knee
would be fine for CSU's pro-day in the middle of the month and as far as his
junior year was concerned the coaches were, "messin' with my time."
Lancaster was one of our
favorite linemen coming into the 2000 season but fell out of favor with the Ram
staff and though he played sparingly only starting five games, he was still a
second team All Conference selection. If
there is a "sleeper" at guard this guy is it. He is strong, athletic
and is probably the best pulling guard in this draft no one talks about.
As far as the body fat test's are concerned, we will post them all but here are the highlights. The "worst" goes to Alonzo Cunningham, 26.12% body fat, Jason Skuanec at 30.68% and Dwayne Pierce at 30.55%.
The best were Michael Collins at only 13.15% body fat, Ben Miller at 14.67%, Scott Peters at 14.48%.
The "big boys" results: Mike Williams, 24.28%, Bryant McKinnie, 20.54%, Toniu Fonoti, 19.82% and Andre Gurode, 19.47%.