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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Who has the most to gain?
    Twenty prospects with a lot on the line at combine
    Posted: Wednesday February 22, 2006 11:40AM; Updated: Wednesday February 22, 2006 5:57PM

    By Tony Pauline, Special to SI.com

    The NFL is in Indianapolis this week as scouts, coaches, general managers, medical staffs and even a few owners take over the city. They are joined by more than 300 NFL prospects eligible for April's draft. The week will be full of medical exams, physical tests and psychological exercises as players hope to impress future employers.

    As is the case every February, draft boards will shake-and-bake after the results of the '06 combine are in the books. Here are the players with the most to gain next week.

    OFFENSE
    1. Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt: After a good Senior Bowl performance last month, Cutler could cement himself in the top eight with a solid throwing workout.

    2. Omar Jacobs, QB, Bowling Green: The underclassman looked like a world-beater in '03, but he struggled at times last season.

    3. LenDale White, RB, USC: Taking a backseat to Heisman winner Reggie Bush, White is preferred by many scouts as a "feature runner" at the next level. Fast 40 times will push him into the upper Round 1.

    4. Quinton Ganther, RB, Utah: A favorite of NFL scouts, the Utes' back is one of the most underrated ballcarriers in the draft.

    5. Demetrius Williams, WR, Oregon: Rising up draft boards faster than any other receiver in the nation, Williams is another player who had a splendid week at the Senior Bowl.

    6. Mike Hass, WR, Oregon State: A forgotten man in the receiver corps, the ultra-productive Hass was snubbed by the most important All-Star games.

    7. Joe Toledo, OT, Washington: The former tight end looked dominant during his initial campaign at offensive tackle. Weighing near 330 pounds, Toledo can push into the top 75 with good performances during the skill drills.

    8. Charles Spencer, G, Pittsburgh: He played left tackle as a senior, but Spencer looked more natural and dominant at guard during the Senior Bowl. A top 3 player at his position, he will head into Round 2 with good results at the combine.

    9. Greg Eslinger, C, Minnesota: Snubbing several postseason invitations, Eslinger has been on a free fall down draft boards and must stop the bleeding.

    10. Jahri Evans, OG, Bloomsburg: One of the few Division II invitees, Evans played tackle in college but could project as a guard at the next level.

    DEFENSE
    1. Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College: Kiwanuka was a potential top 6 choice in last year's draft, but he spurned the NFL for another year in college. His senior season was marred by injuries.

    2. Darrell Adams, DE, Villanova: Solid small-school lineman little known outside the scouting community. Teams like his size, growth potential and versatility.

    3. Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan: A dominant force at times the past two years, Watson's laissez-faire attitude and penchant for skating through plays has many concerned.

    4. Thomas Howard, OLB, UTEP: Productive since his sophomore season, Howard has been rising up draft boards the past four months.

    5. Dale Robinson, LB, Arizona State: Bursting on the scene two years ago, Robinson is a versatile linebacker with possibilities at several spots. A late-season injury slowed his play and will be checked thoroughly.

    6. Elvis Dumervil, DE-LB, Louisville: The undersized record-setting pass-rusher was manhandled at the Senior Bowl against top competition. He must display skill when put through a battery of linebacker drills on Monday.

    7. Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State: Only a junior, Cromartie was considered first-round material coming into the '05 season until a knee injury last August canceled his season. Offers tremendous potential but has not performed in front of scouts for more than a year.

    8. Derrick Martin, CB, Wyoming: A talented shut-down corner, Martin admitted he plays hard only half the time.

    9. Danieal Manning, DB, Abilene Christian: Starring on the Division II level, Manning is a physically gifted return specialist who must show defensive-back skills on Tuesday.

    10. Jarrad Page, S, UCLA: Coming off a poor senior campaign, Page needs a big boost. Speed is imperative for the hard-hitting safety.

    NOTES
    Vince Young hired former NFL offensive coordinator Jerry Rhome less than a week ago to help him prepare for the draft. That's one reason he is thinking hard about participating in the combine. Word is Young's throwing workouts were not going well and his targets at practice, former high school teammates, were not helping his cause.... Matt Leinart will not work out in Indianapolis, preferring pro day at USC on April 2.... Jason Allen, the talented defensive back from Tennessee who suffered a severe hip injury on Oct. 8 against Georgia, is planning to partake in combine workouts.... Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata of Oregon expects to weigh in at 340 pounds with only 10 percent body fat.... Scouts expect the top performer from the offensive line to be tackle Winston Justice of USC.... Miami (Ohio) linebacker Terna Nande, who missed much of last season with a lacerated liver, has high expectations at the combine. Considered a workout warrior, the 230-pound prospect expects to run under 4.55 seconds in the 40 and complete more than 40 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Is the combine televised? Does it last for the entire weekend? Is this something that you guys watch?
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Ngata...340 lbs with only 10% body fat? Oh my goodness.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    Is the combine televised? Does it last for the entire weekend? Is this something that you guys watch?
    It's on the NFL Network and I believe you can watch from NFL.com
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy
    Ngata...340 lbs with only 10% body fat? Oh my goodness.
    That's scary.

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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    It's on the NFL Network and I believe you can watch from NFL.com
    Thanks...I may check in....I don't want to let football get too much of my time.

    I started watching the draft when I started hanging out with the Clan.
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    I think Brodie Croyle has a lot to gain at the combine. He had the best showing at the Senior Bowl of any QB. A strong showing at the combine could put him in the early second round to a possible late first round berth.
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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I think Brodie Croyle has a lot to gain at the combine. He had the best showing at the Senior Bowl of any QB. A strong showing at the combine could put him in the early second round to a possible late first round berth.
    I think Croyle going late first is pretty wishful thinking by an Alabama fan, regardless of what kind of combine he has. He could rise into the mid second, but I would be pretty surprised if he snuck into the first, especially since there aren't a lot of teams at the end of the first round draft order desperately in need of a QB.

    I think Elvis Dumervil has a lot of ground to gain, because I don't recall him having a good display at the Senior Bowl, and there are some questions about if he's really a pass rushing DE or a rush LB. It'd be best for Elvis to have a good showing here and either work his way up in the LB rankings as a 3-4 rush backer or show he does have the stuff to work as a pass rushing 4-3 DE.

    Also, I'm looking for Omar Jacobs to have a good showing and make people remember that he's a definite contender to be the fourth QB taken. He's kind of disappeared from the radar since declaring, so here's a big chance to show why he chose to come out.
    Last edited by Nick; -02-23-2006 at 04:26 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    I think Croyle going late first is pretty wishful thinking by an Alabama fan, regardless of what kind of combine he has. He could rise into the mid second, but I would be pretty surprised if he snuck into the first, especially since there aren't a lot of teams at the end of the first round draft order desperately in need of a QB.
    I wouldnt be too surprised to see him go in the second to a team like the Jets. Brodie was the best QB at the Senior Bowl despite the hype of Jay Cutler. The kid from Alabama has a pretty good chance of going in the second which is a far cry from the 3rd-4th round pick that I expected him to be before the Senior Bowl. With the second to first round berth, I gave him a rating of where his stock could fall. There isnt a team towards the end in need of a QB so I expect to see Brodie go early in the second.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  10. #10
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I wouldnt be too surprised to see him go in the second to a team like the Jets.
    So the Jets are considering cutting Pennington because of injuries, only to turn around and spend a second round draft pick on a QB with some major injury concerns? I'm not feeling it.

    Croyle in the early second is incredibly optimistic. I really don't think his stock rose that much at the Senior Bowl. I think he solidified himself as a good Day One QB prospect in the Senior Bowl, but and will likely go late second to early third. Also consider the number of quality quarterbacks available as free agents.

    Again, I'd be really surprised to see a team go with Croyle in the early second, let alone the late first. I think you might be getting a little carried away with him.
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    So the Jets are considering cutting Pennington because of injuries, only to turn around and spend a second round draft pick on a QB with some major injury concerns? I'm not feeling it.
    I think Croyle answered some of the injury concerns last season. The guy was torn up all season, but played his heart out. Despite the constant pressure he still only threw 4 INTs. I can see a team falling in love with a guy who has his arm and his decision making ability.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  12. #12
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Croyle has alot to prove. He is probrably the most underrated player in the draft. He has a great arm. Throws it hard and far. And has good accuracy. I think he is a top 4 QB above Whiteherst and Leinart.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I think Croyle answered some of the injury concerns last season. The guy was torn up all season, but played his heart out. Despite the constant pressure he still only threw 4 INTs. I can see a team falling in love with a guy who has his arm and his decision making ability.
    He answered injury concerns by... being injured? Sorry man, I don't see it. Good for him for playing through it, but the Jets want someone they can depend on. I'm not convinced Croyle, for all his talent, will be able to play 16 games a season consistently.
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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    He answered injury concerns by... being injured?
    You have to be fair to Croyle. In 5 years at Alabama (including his redshirt year) he never missed an entire season. In his three years as a starter, he played all of his first season and then was injured in the third game of his second season. Last season he was not hurt at all. I think the injury concerns have really been overrated. Any QB who gets beat up is going to get hurt.

    The thing that Brodie did this season was NOT get hurt. He played all of every game. He got sacked 11 times in the Auburn game and played all but the last series. How many QBs can actually walk to the locker room after being sacked 11 times in one game?
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


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    Re: Combine: Who has the most to gain?

    I think that for us the person that has the most to gain is Jimmy Willams

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