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Updated Gil Brandt notes combine today


StillerPaul
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They made an interesting comment about the USC players there. Something along the lines of they look so much more NFL ready than the rest. Faba, have you any info on the USC players? And what are your personal thoughts on the LB class. Thanks in advance.

Its like what they say about the Univ of Miami guys. They are just NFL ready....

LL

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They made an interesting comment about the USC players there. Something along the lines of they look so much more NFL ready than the rest. Faba, have you any info on the USC players? And what are your personal thoughts on the LB class. Thanks in advance.

USC guys are the most technically sound from what I've seen. They have really done a great job coaching these guys. It kinda then makes it tough to see how much these guys will improve in the pros.

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Thanks faba and thanks for the reply via PM to my draft info...

Great stuff, as always, by Brandt.

Couple points: Grigsby is a workout freak...Looks like a bodybuilder, who got lost on his way to a lifting competion...

McCune is a great story, but age hurts him--already 26 (or very soon to be)...Still there has to be a place for him, somewhere.

Dustin Fox is a player we found out ran a 4.35 at OSU's 2004 Pro Day....Don't be suprised if that 4.47 today (which is great for a FS/CB) goes down to like a 4.32 at a upcoming Pro Day....OSU has a "fast track"...too bad for Clarett, he can't step foot there again to run :twisted:

Odell Thurman's time is real good at mlb, but he's not a 4.4, as his agent hinted toward...I take Ruud as the top mlb, unless he does a "Clarett flop" soon...at least he's proved himself on the field for 4 seasons (Thurman played 2; Crowder 1.5 seasons).

P.S: Doing the blog, I scan dozens of articles a day and I've had a "great vibe" on Justin Beriault....So far at JI, no has even noticed---but he is said to have "off the charts quickness" in short-shuttles (almost best all time for the combine)....He ran a fast 40 too...

I wonder when he gets noticed by fans (NFL teams know him)?...3 or 4 time all-conference player.

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They made an interesting comment about the USC players there. Something along the lines of they look so much more NFL ready than the rest. Faba, have you any info on the USC players? And what are your personal thoughts on the LB class. Thanks in advance.

First Stillerpaul

I will go on record the real experts around here are GJ & Ham, Bit and R44.

I do not know much about the safety from U.S.C you refer to I am sure one of them can chime in.

There are some inside lb guys that I think are going to be good players in the league- Thurman, Boley and Mccune- as a couple-maybe not all stars but solid players.

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P.S: Doing the blog, I scan dozens of articles a day and I've had a "great vibe" on Justin Beriault....So far at JI, no has even noticed---but he is said to have "off the charts quickness" in short-shuttles (almost best all time for the combine)....He ran a fast 40 too...

I wonder when he gets noticed by fans (NFL teams know him)?...3 or 4 time all-conference player.

Great point on Beriault.

One other note is that he was had 100+ tackles at Ball State. Big frame and ran a good 40 for his size and position. Looks like a John Lych type but faster and more athletically gifted imho.

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RSHerry, never really bought into Beriault, until we got info he was having insane workouts in Jersey at an elite traing school.

The workouts were huge, because everyone knew he was a "football player"...

Now, add into the mix great athletic ability and you may have something--3rd round, maybe?

By the way, I've never seen a picture of Justin smiling--perpetual scowl...which is good for a SS.

*******

USC LB's are both special teams types at this point....Tatupu was told by the NFL he'd be a 4th round, if he opted in the draft as a junior--he's not real highly regarded, to my knowledge.

Matt Grootegood is a LB/S tweener, who could be a superstar--almost Pro Bowl like-- special teamer....Think Larry Izzo?

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sports02.jpg

Strengths: Very instinctive...Has good height and the frame to get bigger...Tough and gritty player...Has been very productive...Good tackler...Does a nice job against the run and in the box.

Weaknesses: A little undersized and needs to add some weight...Could stand to get stronger...Doesn't have the top speed you look for...Doesn't look natural in coverage...May only be a situational player at the next level.

Notes: Doesn't have the physical tools you look for but his intangibles are excellent...Could be a solid backup and very good special teams player in the pros.

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Bumped

By Gil Brandt

NFL.com Senior Analyst

NFL.com draft expert Gil Brandt is in Indianapolis at the 2005 National Scouting Combine. While there, he will file daily reports for draft-hungry fans to read about. NFL Network will also provide live coverage of the combine and have daily wrap-ups on

Analysis, opinions, features and more!

INDIANAPOLIS (March 1, 2005) -- By this afternoon, the combine will be finished up in Indianapolis, and without question this has been the best combine we've ever had by far. The reason for this is because the players are coming in just fantastic condition, mostly because they're training and working out in preparation for these days as soon as their college football season ends. For instance, Georgia's David Pollack left school right after the season and trained every day.

When we see these guys go through the drills, we realize just how hard they've worked and what that means at the pro level. If a guy is willing to train just for the combine, imagine what they will do for the NFL season. We had a greater percentage of players run more than ever, and that includes guys who are certain first-round picks.

Adding to it all is what's at stake financially. These guys realize how much money is involved. A good workout can mean being picked a few spots to a few rounds higher than expected. And for the first-round guys, a couple of spots means a couple of millions in signing bonus money.

That brings me to the point everyone here has been talking about for days. Because of the turnout of players who decided to work out, those that were advised not to by their agents or coaches or whoever are going to be at a significant disadvantage until they actually do work out. This year more than ever proved that it is vital to give a complete workout at the combine.

Linebacker crunch

The batch of inside linebackers ran already. Of the 13 in the group, 12 ran with one medical exception. And of the 12 that ran the 40-yard dash, 11 of them ran it in 4.9 seconds or better.

Boomer Grigsby from Illinois State (4.62), Robert McCune from Louisville (4.50), Adam Seward from UNLV (4.56) and Odell Thurman from Georgia (4.6 ran for some of the best times.

There are more outside linebackers than inside linebackers at the combine. Seventeen of the 22 linebackers in attendance worked out on Tuesday. Four of them had medical excuses and one, Florida's Channing Crowder, was advised by his agent not to run.

All of their times were impressive. Not one of them topped 4.95. Of note, TyJuan Hagler of Cincinnati ran a 4.53, Derrick Johnson of Texas ran a 4.56 and Michael Boley of Southern Miss ran a 4.59 twice with an injured right elbow.

Sizing up the linebackers

The tallest linebacker was Troy's Demarcus Ware, who is 6-foot-4. The shortest linebacker was USC's Matt Grootegoed, who stood in at 5-10 3/4. Ware is an interesting case study: He grew up in Auburn's back yard in Alabama, but wasn't recruited to play there. Part of the reason is because he was a 165-pound wide receiver, and the Tigers' staff liked him but didn't know what to do with him. Troy took a chance on him, and he's blossomed into a heck of a football player.

The heaviest linebacker was Ryan Claridge from UNLV, who tipped the scales at 254 pounds. He has a banged-up right shoulder, so he didn't run or lift. The lightest linebacker was USC's Grootegoed, who weighed in at 218 pounds. Grootegoed is working out as a linebacker but some teams may have designs on him becoming a safety or special-teams expert.

Secondary thoughts

Thirty players made up the early group of defensive backs to work out, and 26 of them did actually run. One of the players who didn't run was Adam "Pac-Man" Jones of West Virginia. That's too bad, because a lot of people wanted to see what he could do.

Several players ran under 4.50 in the 40. Nebraska's Josh Bullocks, Ball State's Justin Beriault, Bethune-Cookman's Nick Collins, Ohio State's Dustin Fox, Illinois' Kelvin Hayden, Iowa State's Ellis Hobbs, Miami of Ohio's Alphonso Hodge, Cincinnati's Daven Holly, and Washington's Derrick Johnson.

But two guys worth mentioning are Ronald Bartell, Jr. of Howard, who ran a 4.43 and a 4.37, and Domonique Foxworth of Maryland, who ran a 4.34 and 4.37. Bartell is a 6-1 1/4 cornerback, and with that kind of speed he will garner some attention. Foxworth stands at just over 5-11, but that speed can't be ignored.

Secondary thoughts

Thirty players made up the early group of defensive backs to work out, and 26 of them did actually run. One of the players who didn't run was Adam "Pac-Man" Jones of West Virginia. That's too bad, because a lot of people wanted to see what he could do.

Several players ran under 4.50 in the 40. Nebraska's Josh Bullocks, Ball State's Justin Beriault, Bethune-Cookman's Nick Collins, Ohio State's Dustin Fox, Illinois' Kelvin Hayden, Iowa State's Ellis Hobbs, Miami of Ohio's Alphonso Hodge, Cincinnati's Daven Holly and Washington's Derrick Johnson.

But two guys worth mentioning are Ronald Bartell Jr. of Howard, who ran a 4.43 and a 4.37, and Domonique Foxworth of Maryland, who ran a 4.34 and 4.37. Bartell is a 6-1

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North Carolina strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who once blocked three punts in one game when he played for Eastern Tennessee State University in 2003, had a 46-inch vertical jump.

This kid is a nice player. He did some good things in his one season at Carolina. Not a stud, but a nice player for someone in the later rounds.

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