Friday Night's NFL Draft Buzz

Scout.com's Ed Thompson has visits and team interest info on 15 players on the eve of draft weekend. Get the scoop on players like Eddie Royal, Keenan Burton, Steve Justice, Darrell Robertson, Terrence Wheatley and many more talented players you'll be seeing selected this weekend during the NFL Draft.

Wide receiver and returns specialist Eddie Royal visited with the Vikings, Titans and Giants in recent weeks. Michigan State's Devin Thomas was also visiting with Tennessee at the time, and Royal told Scout.com that Michigan's Mario Manningham and Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus were among the familiar faces he spotted during his New York trip. The Giants had previously shown interest in Royal, pulling him off to the side and working him out for a few minutes during his school's pro day. He said that he also enjoyed meeting Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin that day.

Tennessee defensive end Xavier Mitchell told Scout.com that after his school's pro day, a scout from the Cleveland Browns spent a long time talking with him. The New Orleans Saints also took time to compliment him on his workout. In addition to those two teams, the other clubs who have been showing the most interest in the 6-foot-3, 255-pound lineman are the Bears, 49ers, Eagles, Broncos and Texans.

Outside linebacker Robert James out of Arizona State told Scout.com this week that he had private workouts with the Packers, Colts, Giants and Falcons.

"The Falcons' linebacker coach came out and we sat down for two hours going over plays, drawing up formations, checking the pass slots, and run gap responsibilities," he said.  "Then they taught me some other defense and we went out there and got on the field to run out the actual plays they just taught me.  They wanted to see if I could learn defenses, if I could do what he was coaching me to do."

The 5-foot-11, 219-pound James is a fly-to-the-ball style of linebacker who earned the nickname "The Beast" from his teammates for his aggressive style of play.


Keenan Burton gets more yards for Kentucky after making a catch.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky's Keenan Burton had a pair of visits during April, visiting the Cowboys and the Titans. The talented wide receiver told Scout.com this week that Dallas team officials told him that their interest is genuine.

"They told me that if they didn't have interest in me, they wouldn't have brought me out," he said. "And whatever receiver they draft, they'll be drafting a receiver to complement Mr. Owens on the other side."

Burton also held personal workouts for the Chiefs, Patriots, Jets and Falcons.

North Carolina State cornerback Jimmie Sutton didn't have the senior season that he had hoped for, especially when the coaching staff shook up the secondary and he found himself primarily as a special teams contributor instead of a starter. But Sutton made the most of his opportunities and turned in some big plays on special teams and on defense when he did get the chance to be on the field. In fact, he defended the pass that would have allowed North Carolina to defeat the Wolfpack on a fade route into the end zone. Sutton thinks that how he handled the whole situation will send a positive message to NFL teams.

"I wanted to let people know that I'm not one to get down on myself or pull someone down with me because I'm not getting the opportunity to be out on the field," he told Scout.com. "The first week I was on special teams I gave it my all and came out with a blocked punt for a touchdown."

Sutton has heard from the Patriots, Packers and Falcons in recent weeks. And at his school's pro day, the defensive backs coach for the New York Giants spent time with him showing him techniques they use. Sutton said that the coach told him that the Giants liked his press technique.  

Georgia Tech's Darrell Robertson terrorizes quarterbacks with his pass-rushing speed and technique from the defensive end position. So it wasn't surprising that the New England Patriots invited him for an official team visit. New England also talked with him at his school's pro day, as did the Giants and the Dolphins.

Robertson said that the first formal interview he had at the Scouting Combine was with the San Diego Chargers. And he was quick to provide the names of two players when he was asked if there were any current NFL players he watches to help him refine his technique as a pass rusher.

"Dwight Freeney is the master of the spin move, so I've watched some film on him to try and make that better," he said. "I've also watched film of Jason Taylor and how he uses his quickness to get around players."

Utah State receiver Kevin Robinson grabbed the attention of scouts at the East-West Shrine game when he caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown. Up to that point, Robinson had returned four punts and four kickoffs for touchdowns during his college career.

Robinson told Scout.com that at the Combine he had formal interviews with the Cowboys, Chiefs and 49ers. And after working out at Fresno State's Pro Day, he talked with the Giants and the Packers. Prior to the workout, he held a personal workout for the Chiefs. The Rams and the Falcons are also considered to be taking a strong look at the 6-foot-tall, 202-pound receiver.

Wake Forest center Steve Justice told Scout.com this week that he had a personal workout with the Falcons. And although many teams left the school's pro day when they saw that only the centers were the only ones left to yet to work out, representatives from the Browns, Giants, Bills and Chargers stuck around to watch him go through his workouts. Afterwards, the Giants asked a few questions and the Chargers asked for his agent's phone number.

Army's hard-hitting safety Caleb Campbell told Scout.com that he had a personal workout with the Falcons on April 11th. While at the Combine, he felt that he hit it off well with the 49ers, Chargers, Colts and Falcons. Although Campbell will have a military commitment, he's able to pursue an NFL career immediately through recently revised rules that will allow him to be a recruiter while playing in the NFL. The strong safety led his team with 97 tackles in 2007.

A league source told Scout.com that Maryland tight end Joey Haynos has been drawing the most interest from the Jaguars, Colts, Bills, Panthers, Bengals and Seahawks. The 6-foot-8, 259-pound target has drawn comparison's to former Colts tight end Ben Utecht due to his size, solid blocking ability and good hands in the open field.


Terrence Wheatley uses his vertical leaping ability against Oklahoma.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Colorado cornerback Terrence Wheatley had the opportunity to visit with the Ravens, Browns, Cowboys and Patriots. He also told Scout.com this week that he had personal workouts with both Dallas and New England.

During his visit with the Patriots, Wheatley found that he had something in common with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"He's a good guy, he jokes around, but when it's time to get to business he's about his business," the talented cornerback explained. "I like that a lot because that's how I am.  I'll joke around a lot, but when it's time to watch film and break stuff down, all jokes aside, let's go ahead and watch it." 

Georgia running back Thomas Brown told Scout.com that he had a personal workout New England and then attended the local athletes workout in Atlanta even though the Falcons were already well aware of his skills due to his proximity. During his school's pro day, team representatives from the Panthers and the Buccaneers spent some time getting to know him better.

San Diego State offensive tackle Will Robinson tacked 11 pounds onto his 6-foot-5, 286 pound frame after the season to show scouts that he could still maintain his athleticism at closer to 300 pounds. During the East-West Shrine Game, he believes that he showed that and more.

"I think I showed them my competitiveness as an athlete.  I'm very competitive," he told Scout.com.

According to Robinson, the Browns, Texans, Raiders, Chargers, Patriots, Bears and Giants are among the teams who have been showing a good level of interest in him.

Purdue wide receiver Dorien Bryant was clearly excited during his phone interview with Scout.com on the eve of draft weekend. And he said that one of his memorable moments from the past few months was sitting down at the Combine for a formal interview with the Eagles coaching staff since he grew up cheering for Philadelphia since he lived nearby in New Jersey. Bryant also mentioned that he had an interview with the Buccaneers while he was in Indianapolis.

Purdue's career leader with 6,219 all-purpose yards, Bryant said that the Titans, Falcons and Cardinals were all interested in setting up a personal workout with him, but that he was rehabbing a minor injury so he was unable schedule them.

Running back Xavier Omon didn't have the advantage of playing at a major football program since he rolled up his more than 1,500 yards at Northwest Missouri State. But a league source has told Scout.com that the Packers, Colts, Browns, Jets, Seahawks and Cardinals have all expressed interest in the tough, inside runner who is expected to excel right away as a short-yardage back at the pro level since he's demonstrated his ability to pick up the tough yards.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.


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