2011 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Backs Work Today

Between now and when the NFL Scouting Combine starts later this month SB Nation New York will be looking at some of the most intriguing prospects from the Big East who have been invited to the Combine.

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2011 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Backs Take The Field

Today is the final day of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, and defensive backs will have the stage to themselves in Indianapolis. Matt Bowen of the National Football Post offered a look this morning at five things to watch from the defensive backs today.

Linebackers worked out Monday, and New York Giants fans should be interested in the linebacker breakdown provided by the NFP’s Wes Bunting.

Bunting says Martez Wilson 4.49 speed could have pushed him into the first round. He also said that while Akeem Ayers ran only a 4.83 40-yard dash, he tested well in other areas and “plays faster than he times.” He also had some intriguing comments regarding Ohio State’s Brian Rolle.

Defensive linemen also worked on Monday, and Draft Countdown’s Scott Wright came away gushing about the talent in that group.

Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, which is even more impressive now that we know he did it on a broken foot that will require surgery.


NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Linemen, Linebackers Work Out Today

Defensive linemen and linebackers will hit the field for drills today as the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine continues in Indianapolis. Two Syracuse University linebackers, outside linebacker Doug Hogue and middle linebacker Derrell Smith, will be among those being tested today. You can watch the action on NFL Network.

On Sunday, Stephen Paea, a defensive tackle from Oregon State, broke the record for the most repetitions in the 225-pound bench press, getting 45. The previous record of 45 had been held by three people, including current New York Giants guard Mitch Petrus.

Here are a couple of Big East notes from Sunday's work at the Combine:

University of Connecticut running back Jordan Todman tested much better than anticipated, possibly moving up on some draft boards.

Todman timed much faster than most expected and looked very quick all day. His 40 times also ranged in the low-4.4s, with 4.38 seconds his fastest. Todman was explosive during drills, easily changing direction and showing his burst when the ball was in his hands.

Todman was the 2010 Big East Offensive Player of the Year. According to the CBS Sports draft board, he was looked at as a third- or fourth-round selection entering the Combine.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was not as impressive on Sunday. His route-running ability came in for criticism following pass-catching drills.


Ryan Bartholomew Of Syracuse Impresses At NFL Scouting Combine

Syracuse center Ryan Bartholomew appears to have really helped himself with his performance Friday and Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Entering the Combine, Bartholomew was pegged as a late-round draft choice or possible undrafted free agent type. Coming out of the Combine it seems hard to imagine an NFL team won't take a flier on him with one of its late-round selections.

On Friday, Bartholomew led all linemen with 34 repititions in the 225-pound bench press. On Saturday, he ran the fastest 20-yard shuttle of any lineman, showing terrific short-area quickness.

FOX Sports listed Bartholomew among its top five performers on Saturday. Draft Countdown said Bartholomew "opened some eyes." ESPN said "Bartholomew displays outstanding upper-body strength for a small interior offensive lineman (6-1, 305) and his effort will only help his cause."

Today at the Combine quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will work out on the field. All eyes, of course, will be on Auburn's Cam Newton during the day. With running backs working out that also makes today huge for DeLone Carter of Syracuse. The primary question about Carter seems to be speed, so we will see how he times in the 40-yard dash.

Also today, defensive backs will be weighed and measured. You can catch the proceeding throughout the day on NFL Network.


NFL Scouting Combine: Offensive Linemen, Tight Ends Take The Field

The really good stuff starts this morning at the NFL Scouting Combine, and you can watch the action beginning at 9 a.m. ET on the NFL Network. Players begin hitting the field at that time for the variety of drills they will be put through as NFL coaches dissect their every move.

Kickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends will work out today in Indianapolis.

Beginning at 9 a.m., players will run the 40-yard dash, be tested in the vertical leap and broad jump, run the three-cone and shuttle drills and be put through a variety of positional skill drills.

Also today, defensive linemen and linebackers will be weighed and measured.

For New York Giants fans today should be an excellent day to watch the Combine. Many think the Giants will address their offensive tackle needs in the first round, and coach Tom Coughlin Friday indicated the Giants will be looking for a center in the draft. With the linemen taking center stage this morning today provides an opportunity to get a look at many of the players the Giants could be interested in.

Tight end is also another position the Giants could be interested in trying to upgrade, so that should also be interesting to Giants fans.


NFL Scouting Combine: Tyron Smith, And What To Look For Today

USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith caused the biggest buzz on Day 1 of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. The primary question about Smith was his weight, since he played the 2010 season at an under-sized 285 pounds. Smith weighed in at 307 pounds, causing Pro Footballl Talk to exclaim "Smith 'dominated' the Underwear Olympics with a freakish build."

Draft Countdown gushed about Smith after the weigh-in, predicting that he could be putting himself in position to go in the top 10 of the 2011 NFL Draft this April.

Even more impressive were Smith's extremely long 36⅜-inch arms and massive 11-inch hands. Needless to say Smith passed the eyeball test! Smith took a big step towards his goal of being the first blocker selected in the 2011 NFL Draft today and if he performs as well as expected in drills the Top 10 overall could be within reach.

Still not sure what NFL teams are looking for when they run players through their paces during the Combine? Former Dallas Cowboys General Manager and current NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt breaks down the drills and what they mean for players, based upon their positions.

Big East Conference players will begin strutting their stuff on the field for scouts this weekend. There are 30 players from the conference attending the Combine.

Here is today's agenda.

  • Kickers and punters get their day to impress scouts today as they will be the first group to work out at this year's Combine. There are eight placekickers and only one punter, Chas Henry of Florida, at the Combine.
  • Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will be weighed and measured today.

NFL Scouting Combine: Primer On Who To Watch, What To Look For

The 2011 NFL Scouting Combine begins today in Indianapolis as approximately 330 NFL hopefuls will be tested, analyzed and put through a variety of drills by NFL scouts, coaches and general managers. The Combine runs through March 1.

If you want to watch the action at the Combine you can do so if you are fortunate enough to have the NFL Network. The good stuff, meaning the workouts and drills, begins on Saturday. You can see some interviews today at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post has a look at players who could really be helped by the Combine and players who could really be hurt by it. SB Nation’s Mocking The Draft also has some thoughts on players who need good Combine performances.

Don’t know exactly what goes on at the Combine? NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock offers videos to explain the drills players are put through during the Combine, and exactly what NFL teams are looking for in each test.


2011 NFL Scouting Combine: Four Syracuse Hopefuls Aim To Impress

Four players from Syracuse University will be in Indianapolis when the NFL Scouting combine begins on Thursday, hoping to improve their stock in the 2011 NFL Draft this April.

Running back Delone Carter, center Ryan Bartholomew, outside linebacker Doug Hogue and inside linebacker Derrell Smith will all be participating. Let’s take a brief look at each player. For our purposes here we will use the draft projections currently available on CBS Sports.

Delone Carter – Carter [full profile] is currently considered a third- to fourth-round type selection. He won MVP honors in both the Pinstripe Bowl and East-West Shrine Game, and could have an NFL future as a second back or a pass-catching threat. Carter is not considered a breakaway runner, and the guess here is NFL scouts will be particularly interested in Carter’s 40-yard dash time.

I see Carter as a possiblility for the New York Giants if they don’t address running back in the first round or two. Carter’s pass-catching ability makes him particularly appealing.

Ryan Bartholomew
- A center, Bartholomew is considered a late-round pick or likely undrafted free agent. He is a 6-foot-1, 300-pound player and will be looking to impress scouts and get himself a shot in someone’s training camp.

If the Giants fail to address the center slot early in the draft Bartholomew might be an intriguing option late in the draft. Seems like he does have some upside.

Doug Hogue – Hogue [full profile] is a guy who could draw some interest during the Combine. He is projected to be taken in the fifth round or later, but is a converted running back with just two years of experience at the linebacker position.

The Giants, it seems, have been looking for linebacker help forever. Hogue is not a guy who could help defensively right away, but Giants General Manager Jerry Reese loves intriguing athletes with untapped potential. Hogue fits that description.

Derrell Smith (ILB) — A potential late-round choice or undrafted free agent. Smith is a bit undersized in the middle at 6-foot-1, 232 pounds. There are questions about his size and his athleticism. The guess here is that scouts will look at Smith’s 40 time and his performance on many of the agility tests to see if they believe he is athletic enough to take a flier on.

I don’t see him as a fit with the Giants. Possibly with the New York Jets if they think he can bulk up enough to be a factor in the middle of their 3-4.


2011 NFL Scouting Combine: Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia

When the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 24 in Indianapolis, West Virginia running back Noel Devine will have a lot of work to do. Despite a stellar career with the Mountaineers, Devine's 2011 NFL Draft stock took a big hit during the Senior Bowl in January.

All you have to do is look at the headlines generated by Devine's work during that All-Star showcase in Mobile, Ala.

2011 Senior Bowl: Noel Devine Slipping Because Of Size Concerns?
Devine's Future Not So Bright
Devine Has Poor Senior Bowl
Devine Struggling

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay summed up Devine's Senior Bowl week this way:

"I think WVU RB Noel Devine has hurt his draft stock. Inability to break tackles and gets lost in passing game. Third-day prospect."

The biggest problem is Devine's size. Smallish speed backs are becoming more accepted in an increasingly wide open, pass-oriented NFL. But, you still have to be able to find them and get them the ball. During Senior Bowl practices, reports were that quarterbacks were saying they simply could not locate the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Devine when looking through on-rushing defensive linemen. That, obviously, is an issue.

Devine will have to convince NFL scouts and general managers that, at the very least, his speed and big-play ability could allow him to become a game-changing kick returner.


NFL Scouting Combine: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin is one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2011 NFL draft class, and likely will be one of the most closely scrutinized players at the upcoming Scouting Combine. In a profile of Baldwin at Big Blue View I described Baldwin as a potential “home run or a horror show for whoever picks him.” That still seems pretty much on target.

Baldwin has been connected by some draft analysts to the New York Jets, who have the 30th pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. That might make sense, since the Jets stand to lose both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards to free agency.

Baldwin’s draft stock seems to be all over the map as the Scouting Combine approaches.

There is absolutely no consensus around Baldwin’s status right now. Mayock bumped him down, though that may be more about just how good Titus Young looked at the Senior Bowl. Just yesterday, Wes Bunting of the NFP noted that several scouts he talked to love Baldwin’s talent, but have concerns about his “passion and character.” Maybe that’s behind Mayock’s big board. Rob Rang from NFL Draft Scout left Baldwin off his top 32 prospects list all together.

At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds the physical comparisons to former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress are inevitable. Scouts love the talent, but there are questions about Baldwin's character, work ethic and his ability to get open against NFL cornerbacks.

Baldwin caught 128 passes in three seasons at Pitt, scoring 16 touchdowns and averaging 18.3 yards per catch.

Baldwin’s week at the Scouting Combine is not likely to be about proving to NFL scouts and general managers that he has the talent to be a top-notch NFL receiver. More likely it will be about dispelling doubts about his work ethic and character, so how he carries himself around NFL personnel will be critical.

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