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.