2008 NFL Draft Buzz: February 12

What NFL teams are showing interest in Texas DB Marcus Griffin, the brother of Titans' safety Michael Griffin? Who's taking a look at UTEP wide receiver Joe West, Kansas State's Justin McKinney and Louisville's Malik Jackson? Scout.com's Ed Thompson has the inside scoop for you in today's NFL Draft Buzz.

Ask Texas safety Marcus Griffin what he's most proud of out of his many accomplishments as a safety at the University of Texas, and you might be surprised by the answer.

"Coming in I was at a disadvantage," he told Scout.com during a brief interview after a Senior Bowl practice in Mobile last month. "A lot of people don't know I was a two-year walk-on at first. Just overcoming that and having the chance to be a two-year starter and having a chance to play at the Senior Bowl is a huge deal."

Marcus is the twin brother of former Longhorn and Tennessee Titans top draft pic, Michael Griffin. And he's been trying to share some of his insight on the pre-draft experience in hopes of making the road a bit easier for his brother.

"Mostly Michael told me just to relax," Marcus said.  "He went through it last year, and I guess he kind of got stressed out.  

"He was telling me just little things I can do, because he's been through it and can tell me what scouts are going to look for."

According to Marcus, some of the teams that talked to him during Senior Bowl week included the Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Making the Most of His Opportunities

UTEP wide receiver Joe West is preparing for the NFL Combine this month after completing a college career that included 93 catches for 1,540 yards and 13 touchdowns. West's most impressive aspect of his career may be that he averaged 18.4 yards per catch during his junior year and 17.9 yards per catch during his senior season. Towards the end of the season, he spoke with a scout from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Following a strong performance in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game, West drew plenty of attention from pro scouts. Over the weekend he told Scout.com that he talked to representatives from the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs while practicing and playing in El Paso.

Kansas State Connection


Kansas State's Justin McKinney tackles Rutgers RB Ray Rice.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kansas State's Justin McKinney's good showing at the Hula Bowl has helped his stock rise a bit. The Jayhawks cornerback snared three interceptions his senior year while defending nine passes and making 74 tackles. McKinney also forced a fumble and blocked a kick.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound defender is hoping to surprise talent evaluators at the NFL Scouting Combine this month who may not be as familiar with him as other NFL coaches and scouts. But one coach who has certainly been monitoring his progress is Tampa Bay's defensive backs coach, Raheem Morris, who coached McKinney while Morris was the defensive coordinator for the Jayhawks. 

One NFL source told Scout.com on Monday that Morris is really high on McKinney's athletic ability, strength and competitiveness. 

Second-Day Steal?

Louisville linebacker Malik Jackson will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on in the coming months. In his first season as a starter at strongside linebacker during his junior year, he earned All-Big East second team honors. The 6-foot-2, 231-pound linebacker finished second in the Big East in sacks with nine and second in tackles for a loss with 16. But during his senior year, he logged just one sack and 4.5 tackles for a loss. 

Jackson's still considered to be an intriguing prospect among NFL teams because of what he accomplished during his junior year. That spike in activity will intrigue many teams to assess whether or not he could perform at that level in the NFL if put in the right situation with the right coaching. And and NFL source told Scout.com recently that the Jets, Giants, Redskins and Eagles are among the teams that have already expressed some interest in the speedy linebacker.

Learn about what contributed to Jackson's dropoff in production during his senior year — along with more insight on his skills and talent — in this exclusive Scout.com interview.

Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and are syndicated through FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.


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