NFL Draft Buzz: April 13th

Scout.com's Ed Thompson has been talking to his NFL sources and to NFL prospects like Brigham Young quarterback John Beck to find out about team interests, workouts and visits. Beck has his first three visits next week while other players were also on the move. Get the details inside...

During an interview that will be published next week at Scout.com, Brigham Young quarterback John Beck told me that he's got his first three visits lined up. Between April 15th through the 20th, he'll be meeting with the New Orleans Saints, the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens.

Beck had a personal workout for Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron and general manager Randy Mueller. And he's also worked out for quarterback coaches from the Rams, Jets and Panthers to date. Miami was one of five teams that conducted a formal interview with Beck at the Combine in Indianapolis. He also met with the Texans, Bengals, Eagles, Dolphins and Vikings.

The Ravens previously showed interest in Beck at his Pro Day back on March 21st, and he said that the Chiefs and the Browns also spent some time with him that day. Scout.com NFL Expert Tom Marino currently has the strong-armed and accurate Beck ranked as the number five quarterback in this draft and projects him to be a first-day draft pick.

Oregon State tight end Joe Newton, one of the most complete players at his position in this year's draft, has primarily drawn interest from two teams so far. He had a formal interview with the Eagles at the Combine, and the Rams showed some interest at his Pro Day. Beyond that, Newton said he's having a tough time figuring out which of the many other teams that have talked to him are the most interested in adding him to their roster.

Newton is a huge red zone target at 6'7 and 258 pounds. He set an Oregon State school record for a tight end with 15 touchdown catches during his career.

Texas defensive end Tim Crowder talked to me Thursday night while on a flight delay at JFK airport in New York. He's already completed his visits with the Falcons, Buccaneers and the Rams. And on Thursday he met with the Jets.

Texas DE Tim Crowder (InsideTexas.com)

A previously scheduled visit with the Patriots has been canceled as the team decided they had enough information to complete their evaluation of him, and one with the Colts has apparently been moved into next week, but Crowder said he wasn't sure of the date.

The standout Longhorns defensive lineman then told me that the Dolphins have now entered the mix for his services. He said he's been told to expect to head to Miami next week with the date yet to be determined. Watch for my article on Crowder in the coming days where he provides some insight on his visits so far and what those teams told him.

Crowder wasn't the only player inconvenienced by flight delays on Thursday. Miami LB Jon Beason was scrambling, trying to make his way to San Diego Thursday for an evening with the Chargers and a subsequent visit at their facilities on Friday. During his flight delay he brought me up to date on his completed visits with the Bengals and the New England Patriots, providing lots of insight and details on his interaction with the teams. I'll have an audio feature up this weekend so that you can hear the scoop directly from Jon while he continues his 7 team visits in 12 days.

Beason flies to Detroit on Saturday to meet with the Lions and to Indianapolis on Sunday as he continues his pre-draft journey.

Did you know that long-snappers, the guys who hike the ball to kickers and punters, just started to be included as Combine invitees last year? I learned that while talking to UTEP's Aaron King this week, who was one of those specialists who attended this year's Combine in Indianapolis. Until he got the invitation to attend this year's event, he didn't know that long-snappers had been added to the Combine workouts either.

My interview with King, that will be published next week was actually pretty fascinating as I hadn't interviewed a long-snapper before. There's a lot more to it than you probably realize.

King told me that he's had personal workouts with the Steelers, the Jaguars, and (are you ready for this?) the Dallas Cowboys. So maybe that botched kick in the NFC playoffs wasn't all Tony Romo's fault.

Florida defensive end Ray McDonald told me Thursday evening that his visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went well and that he can see himself fitting into their defensive scheme. A previously scheduled visit with the Ravens has been canceled, but as I reported a couple of days ago, he's got visits this Sunday and Monday with the Saints and the 49ers.

One of my NFL sources told me that Virginia Tech DE Noland Burchette will be heading to Indianapolis next week to meet with the Colts.

With Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis currently in place as the starters, some may wonder about the Colts' interest in defensive ends in this draft. But their depth behind them could be improved.

The 6-foot-two, 259-pound Burchette consistently provided pressure on the quarterback and was able to create some turnovers while doing it at Virginia Tech, and that's a common set of attributes with their starters at that position. During his collegiate career Burchette made 135 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 17.5 TFL, 50 QB pressures, forced 5 fumbles and recovered four.

As I previously reported, he recently completed a workout with the New York Jets. You can learn more about him in this NFL Draft Snapshot feature that includes a link to an NFL Draft Q&A with Noland.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.


Scout NFL Network Top Stories