So here goes, what teams were
doing during the Combine.
The Ravens were hot on the
trail of several offensive linemen. We
saw them commandeer Fred Weary on more than one occasion, speak at
length with Victor Rogers, Marc Columbo, and even
had a long conversation with fullback Jarrod Baxter.
At one point coach Brian Billick himself went over to personally inspect
both groups of tight ends during the vertical jump, so that may tell you
also trotted out many of the offensive linemen for interviews.
Center Scott Peters was a priority for them as Matt
Hill seemingly was.
Oakland took a liking to the
tenacity of Eric Heitman, in fact you may remember an earlier
story of the Cardinal guard fuming over the results of X-rays on his knee and
back and it was the Raiders Heitman was complaining to.
One Raider scout was verbally upset Donte' Stallworth and Josh Reed did
not take part in the pass catching drills.
The Chiefs may have
already answered this question via a trade, but just as in Mobile they were
seeking out the offensive linemen. Marc
Colombo, Victor Rogers and Martin Bibla
seemed to be the apple of their eye.
New York Jets
coaches, scouts and personnel people were very active the entire weekend.
Charles Halley closely followed the wide receivers around, not just
during the pass catching session but also through the cone and shuttle runs
watching the group very carefully. Halley
also took a liking to Josh McCowan, the quarterback from Sam
Houston State. So much so he almost
missed his flight home on Monday. It
was Halley that stayed late the last day to watch McCowan throw as the practice
quarterback for the tight ends, linebackers and cornerbacks.
Herm Edwards took in a lot of offensive line work, while a contingent
from the Jets watched both the punters and place kickers work the first day of
Mike Holmgren of Seattle
was another that took in the punters and kicker. Here's a little something to keep an eye on; the Seahawks
love Bryan Thomas. We
noticed them taking a liking to the UAB end in Mobile but they seemed totally
enamored with him in Indianapolis, shaking their heads as Thomas pulled a groin
during his second forty but still ran a 4.55, then forced trainers to tape his
leg so he could get back into the workouts.
The tight ends as a group had a
close following; Norv Turner, Bruce Cosslett and Charlie Casserly were some who
followed their every move, down to watching the broad and vertical jumps of the
Speaking of Casserly and the
Texans; the Houston general manager sat mid-field Sunday afternoon to
concentrate on the signal callers. The
Texans also closely watched the running backs and receivers, pulling over
Lamar Gordon, Enis Haywood and Javon Walker.
The Vikings need defense, defense
and even more defense, with a few wide outs mixed in.
So it was rather surprising to us when they were constantly approaching
the likes of Najeh Davenport and Jarrod Baxter.
At Shula's Steak House we sat with a few of their scouts we are
friendly with and it was apparent they feel the need to come away with defensive
playmakers from this draft.
What will the Rams do on
draft day? If they gave any
indication it is offensive line help. They
were escorting Mike Pearson around almost by hand on a few
occasions. Another they like is
center Curt McGill, who could offer a cheap reserve on the pivot.
We sat next to an area scout for
the Tennessee Titans every day at the combine; great guy and a former Oiler
actually. Tennessee will look for a
back-up to Eddie George early in the draft and a pair of runners they seem to
like are Lamar Gordon and Ladell Betts.
Keep an eye on Betts who moved himself into the first day with solid
Steve Spurrier, Dan Snyder and
the Skins were very active all five day's.
One lineman they like is Kyle Koiser, who would fill a need
at guard. The Skins want a
defensive end but also need a guard; don't be surprised if they reach for
Koiser a little early in the proceedings.
How bad were the running backs in
Indianapolis? Matt Millen and group
of Detroit scouts sat at mid-field to take in the drills but left halfway
through the session throwing his hands up almost in disgust walking up the
The Eagles were not very
active publicly during the weekend. They
were another group that watched the tight ends and also carefully followed two
defensive players, Keyou Craver and Eddie Freeman.
Another hot on the trail of
Craver seemingly was the Forty-Niners, who need a bigger corner.
San Francisco was another organization that followed around not only the
tight ends but all skills players, receivers and running backs included.
We were surprised that they did not seem to have an interest in
many of the offensive linemen.
Now the Cowboys; love him
or hate him after being at the Combine workouts every day we have a lot of
respect for Jerry Jones. The guy
may not know football but to his credit he works his tail off.
Jones and a contingent of Cowboy scouts sat there and watched every
player run and workout but unlike many of the Dallas scouts who did a lot of
socializing, Jones really worked hard.
Apologies: For the lateness of this report and thanks to one of our loyal subscribers for pushing us to get it out!