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Covering the Combine 7: Wait! One More Thing!

[The credits are rolling, everyone is filing out of the theater, when I suddenly come back on and interrupt the credits.]


One nugget I held back from you loyal readers was the press conference of NFL Network's Charley Casserly. The media need Casserly and flock him as heavily as any team representative to get some specific opinion of the former general manager and scout. Next to Marvin Lewis and Mike Holmgren, Charley had the most interesting 15 minutes of the Combine.


Here are the highlights:

  • This is the best draft since 1983.

  • The top three quarterbacks each have injury concerns.

  • At this point in the process, teams are 90 percent finished with their draft perpetration. The Combine is a place where prospects separate themselves marginally with their measurables, but that small separation makes the difference in the eye of the scouts. Still, Casserly says that the combine doesn't fluctuate a player's draft stock all that much.

  • The 40-yard dash is important, though. Prospects are coached on the forty and he explained that it's wise to distinguish between game speed and time speed.

  • Teams will grade certain players on a curve. He used pass-rushing defensive end, Brandon Graham from Michigan, as an example. At 260ish, Graham is on the lighter side to play defensive end in the NFL, yet he would be the prototype outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense; fellow Wolverine, Lamar Woodley, comes to mind as a comparison. So when 3-4 teams grade Graham playing with his hand on the ground each snap, the give him some leeway when grading him as a linebacker.

  • A three-day draft could mean more trades on draft day(s).

  • In an uncapped year, teams will not dramatically improve. Most teams will retain there restricted free-agents and and everyone is hesitant to get rid of any draft picks.

  • With such a deep draft, it's a great year to have extra picks. Many teams made trades last off-season that gave them more picks in this draft.

  • It's largely assumed Sam Bradford is ranked ahead of Jimmy Clausen;

  • McCoy could drop to the second round. There are questions of his height (6'2''), and the tape is unclear of his quickness, athleticism and arm strength.

  • The first overall pick to the St. Louis Rams will largely be determined by how easily the Rams can sign a particular player.

  • Offensive Tackles:

    • Trent Williams (Oklahoma) is more of a right tackle, though Williams says he's more comfortable on the left side.

    • Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) is the most polished of the tackle group, but has short arms (33''), small hands (9''), and smells like cabbage. (Disclaimer: Casserly did not say the last comment about cabbage)

    • Anthony Davis (Rutgers) is the most intriguing of all of the tackles.

    • Russell Okung (Oklahoma State) plays to the level of his competition.

  • He expects offensive tackles to be gobbled up early in the draft because it's not a position where pro-bowlers sometimes emerge from middle rounds.

  • Safety Eric Berry (Tennessee) is the best overall player in the draft. He has corner speed and is high on many charts.

  • Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) is rated slightly higher than Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska).

  • There won't be a huge free agent market for Julius Peppers. There are games where he doesn't show up and he's 30 years old.


[Roll credits again. Lights go up. Everyone shrugs and exits]



Mojokong—that's it, I promise.