Tag:Andrew Luck
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:44 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 3:02 pm
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Blackmon to 'do it all' at Combine; Fleener won't

NFL scouts will get the opportunity to see Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, who most rated as the elite wide receiver in the 2012 draft, participate fully in this week's Scouting Combine.

NFLDraftScout.com has learned that a high ankle sprain will keep another potential first round pass-catcher from doing the same, however. 

Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that Blackmon plans to "do it all" in Indianapolis this week and even predicts that he'll be timed between 4.4 and 4.5 seconds when he runs the 40-yard dash. Despite Blackmon dominating the competition at the collegiate level, including winning back to back Biletnikof Awards as the nation's elite receiver, scouts have reservations about his straight-line speed. Blackmon, in fact, has been routinely estimated as a receiver with 4.55-4.60 speed by area scouts who have scouted him numerous times in person. A perceived lack of top-end speed is the one physical characteristic Blackmon would appear to be lacking when compared to receivers taken in the top six in recent years like A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson. Scouts also have some reservations about Blackmon's decision-making off the field, in large part due to an arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol in October, 2010. Blackmon was just 20 years old at the time.

While scouts will get some of their biggest questions answered about arguably the elite non-QB skill-position talent in the draft at the Combine, they'll have to wait until Stanford's March 22 Pro Day to see Coby Fleener, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior tight end, perform athletic drills. Considering that some guy named Luck is expected to throw that day as well as the presence of two first round caliber offensive linemen (OG David DeCastro, OT Jonathan Martin) also among those expected to be on hand for the workout, there should be plenty of decision-makers in Palo Alto for the workout.  

Ironically enough, Fleener suffered his ankle injury playing against Blackmon's Oklahoma State Cowboys January 3 in the Fiesta Bowl. The injury kept Fleener out of the Senior Bowl. According to a source close to the situation, Fleener has recovered suffiiciently from the injury but hasn't yet had an opportunity to prepare fully for the Combine-specific workouts. Though he won't be able to work out, Fleener will attend the Combine to participate in the medical testing and interview process.
Posted on: February 19, 2012 2:27 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Report: Tannehill to work out on campus March 29

NFL scouts will get the opportunity to scout Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill Pro Day one week after the only two quarterbacks currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com ahead of him -- Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III -- are scheduled to hold their own

NFL.com's Gil Brandt reports that Tannehill will have an on-campus workout March 29

It will be the first time scouts have seen Tannehill since he guided the Aggies to a Meineke Bowl win over Northwestern December 31st. Tannehill suffered a foot injury while preparing for the Senior Bowl at IMG Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida. It was discovered that he had broken the fifth metatarsal. The injury and subsequent surgery in which a screw was inserted cost Tannehill the opportunity to compete in the Senior Bowl, next week's Scouting Combine or Texas A&M's initial Pro Day March 7.   

While Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins boosted their stock with strong efforts at the Senior Bowl, Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill remains the most talented senior quarterback in the land and is likely to be the first one drafted.

Some believe Tannehill's obvious talent will be enough to land him in the first round. Others, including myself, are having a harder time envisioning a quarterback with only 19 collegiate starts at the position as being a first-round pick. While I don't include him in my mock draft, I do believe he's among the top 32 talents in this draft. 

     
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Tannehill out of boot, will re-schedule Pro Day

While Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins boosted their stock with strong efforts at the Senior Bowl, Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill remains the most talented senior quarterback in the land and is likely to be the first one drafted.

Some believe Tannehill's obvious talent will be enough to land him in the first round, joining redshirt juniors Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III as top 32 picks. Others, including myself, are having a harder time envisioning a quarterback who just 19 collegiate starts at the position as being a first round pick. While I don't include him in my mock draft, I do believe he's among the top 32 talents in this draft. 

Regardless of where he is ultimately drafted, Tannehill will have to first prove his health, as he underwent surgery recently to repair a broken foot suffered during passing drills at IMG Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl and while ESPN's Pat Yasinkas is reporting that Tannehill is now out of the protective boot he was in, Tannehill won't be ready to work out for scouts at the Combine or Texas A&M's scheduled Pro Day March 7.

Yasinkas reports that Tannehill is planning to have a Pro Day "in late March" and asked the Aggie quarterback about his recovery timetable.

“We’ll come back and push it pretty hard,’’ Tannehill said. “I’m thinking I should be getting close to 100 percent by right after the combine and we’ll really jump into the on-field stuff then to make up for the time I missed and get ready for pro day.’’ 


Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:48 am
 

Report: Prior to Tebow, Broncos eyed RG3

Prior to the development of Tim Tebow as the most talked about quarterback in Denver since John Elway, the Broncos were looking at another versatile, Heisman-winning passer as a possible first round target for the 2012 draft -- Baylor's Robert Griffin III. 

Rated behind only Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil among the elite prospects in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Griffin is likely to earn a top-five selection come April. That would almost surely keep RG3 out of Denver's reach, as the Broncos would have to package several picks -- including their current first round selection (No. 25 overall) to move up to get him. 

Steve Wyche of NFL.com reported Tuesday, however, that the Broncos were closely scouting Griffin this season. 

"At a certain point this season,” Wyche said “with conversations I had there, they were really doing their due diligence on RG3 because of some of the things he can do to the offense.”

Blessed with extraordinary foot speed and touch on the deep ball, Griffin is a multidimensional threat who appears perfectly suited to taking the NFL by storm. He's also entering the league at precisely the right time. The immediate success by Cam Newton will be used by some as evidence that Griffin, too, can make a quick transition to the NFL. 

Considering his unique talents, the fact that the Broncos were closely scouting Griffin is no surprise. Frankly, it would be a surprise only if they didn't scout Griffin (and every other highly regarded prospect) closely. Teams don't just scout the players at perceived positions of need. Each team works hard to do their "due diligence" on every prospect who could potentially help their team. 

While the Broncos aren't likely to be among them, there are several teams looking for help at quarterback. As owners of the No. 1 overall pick, the Indianapolis Colts, of course, will have the first option of taking Griffin. Team owner Jim Irsay mentioned RG3 by name when predicting who his Colts might take with the first pick.  

“With [Robert] Griffin and [Andrew] Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft, [it] could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf [1998]," Irsay said.   

Besides the Colts, the Cleveland Browns (No. 4, No. 22 overall), Washington Redskins (No. 6), Miami Dolphins (No. 8 or 9*) and Seattle Seahawks (No. 11 or 12*) are teams thought to be keenly interested in Griffin. *The Dolphins and Seahawks' final draft slot won't be determined until a coin=-flip held at the Combine will break their tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively). 

If Mike Holmgren and Co. want Griffin in Cleveland, they may be able to wait for him to land in their laps at No. 4, overall. Considering the extra first round pick they have due to Atlanta's trade up for Julio Jones last April, they also have the ammunition to move up, if needed. Miami, Washington and Seattle do not have an extra first round pick this year but with enough talent on their rosters to potentially emerge as serious playoff contenders with better play at quarterback, one (or more) of the clubs could be willing to pony up several picks in an effort to move up for Griffin.

All of which is music to the ears of the St. Louis Rams, owners of the No. 2 overall pick and their own young franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The Rams, my CBS colleague Clark Judge argues, should auction off the pick to the highest bidder.
Posted on: February 12, 2012 12:06 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2012 7:06 am
 

Pro Day Schedule / Results

Pro Day workouts are held on campus. While the interview and medical testing components of the Combine are left out at Pro Days, the same athletic drills (40-yard dash, bench press, 3-cone drill, etc.) take place. It is the best opportunity to for athletes not invited to the Combine to audition in front of high-ranking NFL decision-makers. 

The full chronological order of the remaining Pro Day workouts. Check back here for updated stories and news from the various Pro Days around the country.
  
March 1: Missouri (Egnew scores record broad jump)
March 2: Cincinnati (RB Pead, TE Robinson impress)
March 5: Georgia, Alabama-Birmingham, Hawaii, McNeese State
March 6: Alabama A&M, Arkansas, Auburn, California Lutheran, Clark, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Liberty, Rhode Island, Sacramento State, Tarleton State, UCLA, Valdosta State
March 7: Alabama (Richardson rehabbing knee), California-Davis, Colgate, Eastern Washington, Fordham, Fort Valley, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Northern Colorado, Southern California, Texas A&M (Tannehill working out March 29), UTEP, Wisconsin
March 8: Akron, Alabama State, Buffalo, Clemson, Colorado, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Alabama, Northwestern, Ohio, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Washington, West Texas, Western Kentucky, Wofford, Wyoming, Youngstown State
March 9: Florida International, Furman, Mississippi, Montana, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Presbyterian, Purdue, TCU, Troy, Washington State
March 12: Air Force, Arkansas-Monticello, Central Michigan, Central Washington, Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Wayne State
March 13: Ball State, California (Pa.), Florida, Kansas State, Marshall, North Texas, Sacramento State, Slippery Rock, Toledo, Western Michigan
March 14: Bowling Green, California, Central Arkansas, Central Oklahoma, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Grambling, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Maryland, Michigan State, Mount Union, Oklahoma, Penn State, Portland State, Tennessee Tech
March 15: Delaware State, Louisiana Tech, Michigan, UNLV, Nicholls State, Oregon, Southern Illinois, Townson, Tusculum, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wayne State (Mich.), William & Mary
March 16: Arizona State, James Madison, Missouri State, Oregon State, Richmond, Temple, Tennessee, West Virginia
March 19: Appalachian State, Arizona, Florida Atlantic, Iowa, Montana State, Rice, Southern, Wake Forest
March 20: Brown, Idaho, Iowa State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Monmouth, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Carolina A&T, South Florida, Texas
March 21: Baylor, Boston College, Houston, Nevada, N.C. State, North Dakota State, Rutgers, San Diego State, San Jose State, Tulane, Western Kentucky
March 22: East Carolina, LSU, Maine, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Stanford, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Yale
March 23: Cornell, Jackson State, Missouri Western, N.C. Central, Southern Mississippi, Stonybrook, Vanderbilt
March 26: Indiana State
March 27: Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Merrimack College, Stephen F. Austin, Washburn
March 28: Central Florida, Connecticut, Newberry, Northern Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Carolina State
March 29: Alabama, Brigham Young, Georgia Southern, Texas A&M (Tannehill throwing)
March 30: Arizona State (Osweiler throwing), Bethune-Cookman, Dartmouth, Utah State (LB Bobby Wagner missed Combine due to pneumonia)
April 3: Abilene Christian, Notre Dame
April 4: SMU
April 9: Georgia (Brandon Boykin

Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:26 pm
 

Stanford, Baylor each schedule March 22 Pro Days

Unless Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III defy the trend of top-rated quarterbacks choosing not to throw at the Scouting Combine, talent evaluators are going to have a tough time seeing both throw prior to the 2012 draft.

That's because Stanford and Baylor have each scheduled their on-campus "Pro Day" workouts on March 22, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The conflicting schedule could force teams to split up their decision-makers to take in the workouts. This happened last year when the Carolina Panthers sent head coach Ron Rivera to watch Cam Newton's Pro Day workout at Auburn while general manager Marty Hurney reportedly attended Ryan Mallett's workout at Arkansas.

Another possibility, of course, is that Luck and/or Griffin could schedule their own individual workouts so that scouts could attend both.

If scouts are, indeed, forced to choose one or the other, the smart money is on Griffin generating more interest despite the fact that Luck is regarded as the top prospect in the draft. While both quarterbacks are viewed as exceptional talents worthy of top five consideration, Griffin has many more questions to answer prior to the draft than Luck.

Having established himself as the elite talent in the country two years running, Luck's game has already been dissected by most decision-makers. Griffin's ascension has been more sudden. Furthermore, scouts will want to see how Griffin drops back from center after having taken the majority of his snaps out of the shotgun while at Baylor.

While there remains some debate as to which direction the Indianapolis Colts may go with the No. 1 overall pick, they are thought to be leaning towards Luck. Should they take Griffin or any other player with the first pick, the line of suitors to trade up into the St. Louis Rams' No. 2 pick would be a long one. Should Griffin not be drafted No. 1, however, it remains to be seen if he generates the same trade interest or if he "falls" past No. 2 overall. Among the teams expected to be interested in adding Griffin would be the Cleveland Browns (owners of the No. 4 overall pick), the Washington Redskins (No. 6), Miami Dolphins (No. 9*), and Seattle Seahawks (No. 12*).  *Miami and Seattle's first round pick won't be decided until a coin-flip at the Combine. They may move up one spot each in the draft order after finishing tied with the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.

As it stands now, I am projecting Griffin to slip to No. 4 overall, where the Browns could nab him. Dane Brugler has the Heisman winner landing with Cleveland, as well.

Scouts are quick to point out that Pro Day workouts in which quarterbacks are throwing "against air" rather than defenses do not ultimately play a significant role in determining his final grade. That hasn't stopped the "Pro Day season" from becoming a huge part of the pre-draft process. Teams dedicate plenty of money and time crossing the country to attend the workouts.

I, myself, have attended several Pro Day workouts of highly regarded quarterbacks, including last year's for Jake Locker, Sam Bradford's in 2010 and Mark Sanchez in 2009.

Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:22 pm
 

Darron Thomas stuns Ducks, leaving early for NFL

If the Oregon Ducks are going to successfully defend their Pac-12 crown next season they'll be doing so with a new starting backfield.

It had been expected that head coach Chip Kelly would lose LaMichael James to the NFL after this season. But Saturday night, junior quarterback Darron Thomas stunned the program with the decision to also forgo his final season of eligibility and head off to the pros.

Thomas, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 12 rated quarterback in the 2013 class, may be making a terrible decision.

The 6-3, 215 pound Thomas has put up impressive statistics in Kelly's offense. Last season he completed 62% of his passes for 2,761 yards and a sparkling touchdown to interception ratio of 33-7. Considering that Thomas also ran for 206 yards and three scores, he was among the most effective all-purpose quarterbacks in the country and played a critical role in Oregon's run to the Rose Bowl championship and No. 4 ranking. He also boasts one of the more impressive career accomplishments any college quarterback can hope to have -- having thrown for at least one touchdown in every one of his career starts (27). In 31 games over his career Thomas passed for 5,910 yards, 66 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions.

That said, Thomas on tape doesn't necessarily match his hype.

Thomas' prodution is inflated due to Oregon's aggressive scheme and explosive athletes. He averaged 8.14 yards gained each time he even attempted a pass in 2011. He flashes good touch down the seams and enough zip to complete crossing routes over the middle, he isn't the elite passer his statistics would suggest. Too many of his passes forced receivers to adjust their routes, limiting opportunities for even bigger plays. Furthermore, he did not show much improvement in his second season as a starter despite playing in a relatively simple offense.

Kelly offered a luke warm opinion on Thomas' decision.
“As in all cases, we educate our players with the information we feel will be beneficial to them throughout the process but ultimately, the decision is left up to the players,” Kelly said. “I will always support Darron in his decision and want to thank him for everything he has done for this program. He obviously has played a major role in elevating Oregon football to new heights and I wish him well in the future.”

Thomas has talent but is viewed by scouts as a significant project. That fact could push him into late portions of the draft (or worse), especially considering that he comes with off-field baggage. Remember, Thomas was the passenger with former Duck cornerback Cliff Harris on the night Harris was pulled over for speeding in a car rented by a Oregon employee. Harris was clocked at 118 miles per hour, was driving without a license and admitted to police he had been smoking marijuana. Thomas' reaction to questions from the media regarding his role in the incident falls a bit short of inspirational. 

Thomas is the second Pac-12 quarterback to attempt to fill the vacancy left when Matt Barkley made his decision to return Southern Cal. He joins Andrew Luck and Arizona State's Brock Osweiler as early entries from the conference.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:37 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Griffin meets with Briles, draft decision looming

Robert Griffin III met with seven sports agencies and then again with Baylor coach Art Briles as he weighs the decision of whether to return to the Bears for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Sunday.

"He's really contemplating what he feels like is the thing that's going to give him peace," Briles said.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2-ranked quarterback prospect, Griffin met with prospective agents with Baylor compliance officers present to ensure he wasn't sacrificing his eligibility should he opt to return to college football. He first had his parents, both Army sargeants, interview agents and provide him feedback.

Griffin, 6-2, 220, earned his bachelor's degree a year ago after graduating high school a semester early to enroll in January 2008. He's on pace to earn his masters in communication in May and is engaged to be married.

There are no character-related questions with Griffin, who said he arrived at Baylor with the NFL as a Plan B.

"Plan B can overtake Plan A if they come knocking at your door," he said. "Who are you to turn down the NFL."
Indeed, a lot changed for Griffin in the span of one season. At this time last year, he said he received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he was likely to be a second- or third-round pick. In a loaded quarterback class that included five quarterbacks in the top 35 selections, Griffin might have been overlooked.

If he decides to turn pro, that's unlikely this time around.

Stanford's Andrew Luck, the top-rated prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, and Griffin are expected to be the only sure first-round picks. As such, each is projected by NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler's as top five picks in their latest mock drafts. Some might include Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, but his raw skills after just two years at the position make him more of a risk.

Risk should be a consideration for Griffin, who missed most of the 2009 season with a knee injury.

After throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions, Griffin has opened many eyes. He also had 699 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy is on the record that he might even draft Griffin, not Luck, with the first overall pick. He won't be the only one with that opinion, regardless of how flawless the Stanford redshirt junior has been and scouting reports will be in April.

Griffin isn't without some concerns with evaluators, who want to verify his height and weight before projecting him as a franchise quarterback. On appearances alone, there are scouts who are concerned Griffin doesn't have the sturdy build to withstand the rigors of taking pounding in and outside of the pocket in the NFL.

But like Newton in 2011, about whom there were concerns he could throw accurately in an NFL-style offense, it's also worth considering whether Griffin has a reasonable facsimile in the NFL.

Griffin said he patterns his game after Steve Young -- a mobile quarterback who thrives on efficiency -- but can't help but see the comparison many have drawn between 2011 No. 1 overall pick Newton and Griffin.

Griffin owns 46 Baylor records, and in 41 games completed 67 percent of his passes (800 of 1,192) for 10,366 yards with 78 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had 33 rushing touchdowns and 2,254 yards.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com