NFL Draft Buzz: February 19

Is your favorite NFL team in the hunt for Texas A&M DT Red Bryant? Or maybe for massive, yet athletic offensive lineman Branden Albert out of Virginia?'s Ed Thompson has the scoop on those players along with Tulane RB Matt Forte and Kansas State cornerback Justin McKinney inside...

Texas A&M's Red Bryant was a popular guy during Senior Bowl week. The tough-nosed defensive tackle talked about the some of the teams that had shown interest in him before he left Mobile to begin training for the Combine.

"I met with the Jets. I got the opportunity to meet the general manager of the Cleveland Browns after the game, I met with the general manager from Miami," he said during a recent interview with "I got the opportunity to talk with some scouts from the Cowboys, I met with the president of the Rams. I met with the Carolina Panthers — I met with quite a few teams. I don't want to leave anybody off the list, but it was a great experience to get the opportunity to meet with them and interview.  

"They were trying to find out who Red Bryant really is — as far as background checks, where I come from, how did I feel I played this past season, more stuff along that line."

Bryant wrapped up a successful career at Texas A&M with 93 tackles (28 solo), 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 8 passes defended and 3 blocked kicks. He missed just three full games during his college career after tearing his ACL near the end of his junior season. But the injury didn't seem to hold him back much as he logged a strong senior season that helped him earn a Combine invitation this week. Bryant has a good shot at being selected during the first two rounds of April's NFL Draft. With his 6-foot-5, 320-pound frame, he could hold his own in a 3-4 defense or in a 4-3 scheme.

You can learn more about who Red Bryant really is in this exclusive interview.

More Interest in McKinney

Justin McKinney defends a pass against Iowa State's Marquis Hamilton.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

As reported in an earlier edition of the NFL Draft Buzz, Kansas State cornerback Justin McKinney had received some interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But now, has learned that he also drew the attention of a number of scouts during Hula Bowl week.

The New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers all had questions for McKinney as he worked out in Honolulu. A Day-Two pick whose stock is on the rise, McKinney is a scrappy corner who registered 6 career interceptions, including 3 during his senior campaign. But perhaps more importantly, he consistently displayed his physical nature by leading his team in tackles in 2007 with 74, including 51 solo tackles.

McKinney also revealed to that the scout that he believes liked him the most was one from the Miami Dolphins

"I didn't really have to tell him anything about myself," said McKinney, as it turned out that the scout had attended a number of the cornerback's games during the season as well.  

MVP on the Rise

Tulane running back Matt Forte was the MVP of the star-studded Senior Bowl last month. And while some believed him to be a third-round talent heading into the Senior Bowl, he's looking more like a second-round lock — especially if he puts in a strong showing in the forty-yard dash at the Combine this week. 

The teams showing the most interest in him so far are the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, and the Chicago Bears.

Forte stated that people watching the Combine this week should "expect the unexpected" from him as he continues to stake his claim as one of the top backs in this year's draft. Read more about him in this recent interview.

Guard or Tackle?

The University of Virginia's Branden Albert is hearing that he could be playing guard or tackle in the NFL after gaining some game experience at both positions in college. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive lineman is confident he could play either role at the next level.

"Because of my size, I'm bigger than most guards," he explained during a recent interview. "And I can play tackle because of my athleticism." 

Albert started all 36 games of his college career before opting to head to the NFL following his junior year. And two teams have definitely taken notice of his durability and his overall skill. Albert said that both the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers have made inquiries about him recently.

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

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