There will be 327 NFL hopefuls who will make the trip to Indy, along with the hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers there to watch them work out, interview and be tested medically. We take a look at the story lines you'll want to follow throughout the Scouting Combine.
1. We start, naturally, with the quarterbacks. This will be many NFL writers' first crack at firing softball questions at the revered Andrew Luck and the possibly more intriguing Robert Griffin III. They (the quarterbacks, not the media) predictably will pass on throwing in Indy, an annual rite of passage for the top quarterbacks who by doing so are said to be able to "only hurt themselves" by the NFL literati. But the eyeball test is an interesting one for the media's first impression. Last year, Cam Newton came out a day later than expected (and after all the rest of the quarterbacks, foreshadowing for his post-game ritual of making the media wait a long period before speaking to him) and read a strange, prepared statement about his checkered past. The resulting reception was, at best, a mixed bag, although it clearly didn't affect his standing with the Panthers as the would-be No. 1 overall pick. The biggest thing for Griffin likely is going to be his size. He's listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds but might be as much as two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. That could scare off a team or two that have specific minimums for size with their quarterbacks.
2. Luck and Griffin have less to gain at the Combine than any other quarterbacks, or any draft-eligible players for that matter. They are sure-thing top-five picks, barring disaster. But other QBs could score big in their bids to move up the draft totem pole. Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill now is roundly regarded as a strong first-round possibility, perhaps going as high as No. 6 (Redskins), or to whatever team misses out on its big-fish catch at the position (likely Griffin, via trade). The biggest thing for Tannehill in Indy will be the interview process because he's coming back from a broken foot, and teams will grill him on his knowledge of passing schemes considering he was a wide receiver a mere two years ago. Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden opened eyes at the Senior Bowl, but at 28, is he a first-round possibility? That might be a slight stretch. Arizona State's Brock Osweiler is another intriguing fast riser, and he could decide to throw here. He has a strong arm that could tickle the TV-watching media's fancy from the interview room. So could Osweiler's height — he's nearly 6-foor-8, which should not, for now, evoke memories of Dan McGwire.
3. The first two picks might be those quarterbacks we'll continue to hear so much about, but what about the third pick? The Vikings are in need of a left tackle (and a cornerback and a wide receiver and ...) and are said to be honing in on USC's Matt Kalil if they cannot swing a trade down to pick up more picks. But hold that thought right there. Kalil, the top dog at the position for many months, could be challenged — after all, PFW's Nolan Nawrocki, in his mock draft for Pro Football Weekly's 2012 Draft Guide, had the Vikings taking Iowa's Riley Reiff ahead of Kalil when few others have yet to jump on that train. They soon could; Kalil is not every evaluator's favorite player, despite his obvious upside, and he could be ripe for the overtaking. Also hot on his trail is a pretty good list of tackles, led by Ohio State's Mike Adams and Stanford's light-footed Jonathan Martin.
4. Another top-five possibility is Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon, whose one major drawback right now could be a faulty 40-yard dash. Reports suggest he plans to run in Indianapolis, which no doubt will prompt a slow clap behind closed doors from NFL personnel folks who annually bemoan the lack of top talents who work out in full there. One of those people is Vikings GM Rick Spielman, whose semi-famous rant on the subject years ago (when he was with the Dolphins) earned him a lot of quiet praise from his NFL peers. It just so happens, too, that the Vikings need a receiver — and a big one such as Blackmon — quite badly. Will Blackmon's decision to run mean that other top talents will follow suit? Let's hope, but again, like the top QBs throwing, best not to hold one's breath. In fact, save for a few high-round burners such as Baylor's Kendall Wright, this appears to be a strong group of receivers in the size department but perhaps not as much in terms of elite speed. Those teams looking for a Marques Colston-Anquan Boldin type of receiver will be very happy with this crop, led by Blackmon; those seeking the next Steve Smith, DeSean Jackson or Wes Welker might be a little disappointed towards the top of the draft with the type of player available.
5. And you thought the Combine was a draft thing. Lo, even if it is by definition, the fact that the NFL for the second time in three weeks will descend on Indy means but one thing: Peyton Talk. Yes, Manning will be a hot topic, perhaps cooled some from the pre-Super Bowl cooker, but there will be daily updates on the situation to be sure. It affects many things. Teams seeking a veteran, quick-fix quarterback (assuming Manning projects to be fully healthy) will be sniffing around town, and his agent Tom Condon, who is expected in for the event, will be within earshot. Will deals be consummated this week? No, not until Manning and Jim Irsay come to some sort of accord; until then, Manning is a Colt. But groundwork for any potential future dealings could be happening behind the scenes. Let's not be naďve: Tampering happens all the time in the NFL. Guessing that won't change this week.
6. Defense takes a bit of a backseat in this edition of TFF, and it might be that way, to a degree, on Draft Day. Right now, the offense stands to dominate — perhaps sweep — the top five picks. But there are a few potential interlopers to the scoring party, namely LSU CB Morris Claiborne, LSU DT Michael Brockers, Mississippi State DL Fletcher Cox, Alabama S Mark Barron and 'Bama OLB-DE Courtney Upshaw. The first three have the best chance to do so, with some folks saying Claiborne might actually have a higher ceiling as a corner than Patrick Peterson, Claiborne's college teammate and the fifth overall pick last year. Brockers and Cox don't figure to fall to far, and they are in the mix with Penn State DT Devon Still as the top interior defensive talent available. Between lifting, medical evaluations and interviews, those three players will start to separate from one another this week.
7. The media, happy they won't have to attempt pronouncing "Kuechly," merely will throw questions at the top-ranked Boston College linebacker with the following intro: "Luke, talk about (some earth-changing topic) ..." Kuechly is a rarity: An inside linebacker apparently worth taking in the top 20 picks of the first round. One source close to the B.C. program said Kuechly will blow NFL teams away in his interviews. The on-field product will supplement that, and he might just throw up some 225-pound benches for good show. That certainly will impress Cardinals strength and conditioning coach John Lott, who orchestrates the lifting portion of the workouts and lovingly nicknames players things such as "meathead" and "big lug." It's must-see TV, really.
8. Dudes dig the 40-yard dash. It's the workout that gets the most buzz and attention from media and fans. Forget that Boldin's 40-yard dash (4.71 seconds) knocked him down to Round Two or that Victor Cruz ran in the 4.6s in his pre-draft workouts. This is a chest-puffing exercise, one that can make (or lose) players tens of thousands of dollars. Players have been training, for weeks in some cases, for the sprint and will be judged in part by their results here. So who will run the fastest? The odds-on favorite might have been Florida RB Jeff Demps, but he has chosen to go for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and might not attend this week. His college teammate, RB Chris Rainey, is said to have once beaten Demps in a backyard race, so he has to be considered a favorite. Wright, Claiborne, Fresno State WR Devon Wyllie, Miami WR Travis Benjamin, N.C. State WR T.J. Graham, Connecticut WR Kashif Moore, Cal Poly CB Asa Jackson, Virginia Tech RB David Wilson and South Carolina State FS Christian Thompson are some other fast guys to keep an eye on. But sometimes you have to look at not just the fastest 40 but the variance from the means. For instance, a defensive tackle who runs in the 4.7s might be more impressive than a receiver in the 4.4s. Some of the quickest players at other positions include North Carolina LB Zach Brown (maybe one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in Indy), Cox (he could break the 4.8 mark), Georgia TE Orson Charles (fast tight ends never have been more popular), Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, USC DE Nick Perry, Boise State FS George Iloka (a king-sized safety who can fly), West Virginia pass rusher Bruce Irvin and, for fans of running quarterbacks, Griffin (if he so chooses) and Wisconsin's Russell Wilson.
9. There will be some names that become more household as the draft process waxes, including an intriguing crop of small-school cornerbacks. Given the demand for talent at the position, these guys will be small-ponders no longer. Janoris Jenkins landed at North Alabama after a bit of a tumultuous stay at Florida, so he's a big-time talent, but the Combine will be important for him: workouts, interviews, the gamut. If he wants to be the second corner off the board, he needs to come ready to impress. It figures that a player named Ryan Steed, PFW's seventh-ranked corner, would have attended Furman (nickname: the Paladins), but he had better dismount ready to roll here. Questions about his level of play, technique, hip tightness and top-end speed all could come to bear this week. Just below Steed is Montana's Trumaine Johnson, a beautifully sized corner (6-2, 205) who could remind some of a thicker version of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (who attended smallish Tennessee State, coincidentally), and Johnson could emerge as a riser coming out of the Combine. Farther down the list are other small-schoolers: Louisiana-Lafayette's Dwight Bentley, Cal Poly's Jackson, Coastal Carolina's Josh Norman and Hampton's Micah Pellerin. They have a chance to match up against the big boys starting this week.
10. There are other small-school players who will get more attention as the process goes on. Midwestern State OG Amini Silatolu is Nolan Nawrocki's 29th-ranked player (overall, not among guards) and could be a low first-rounder or a high second when it's all said and done. An injury forced him out of the Senior Bowl, but he should be able to lift and maybe do some other workouts to get himself back on track. A couple of talented mid-round receivers, Appalachian State's Brian Quick and Florida International's T.Y. Hilton, will be in town. So too will McNeese State FS Janzen Jackson and San Jose State SS Duke Ihenacho. Tennessee-Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman is someone worth watching throw and evaluators are said to love his fire as a leader. But the biggest mystery man in town no doubt has to be Regina (Saskatchewan) DT Akiem Hicks. A former LSU recruit, Hicks grabbed some attention at the Shrine Game and heads to the Combine with a little momentum. He's nearly 6-5 and 324 pounds, up from 295 a year ago. NFL teams will be intrigued by his size and upside, although he hardly dominated the D-II competition, which could be a red flag.
11. Is there a blue-chip pass rusher in this year's lot? Maybe not. North Carolina DE Quinton Coples will be a first-round pick, but questions about his work ethic are considerable. Mercilus, Upshaw, Perry and South Carolina's Melvin Ingram are versatile and talented rushers who could slide between the DE and OLB positions, depending on teams' schemes, and might be solid rushers. But right now there doesn't appear to be a blue-chip backfield wrecker in this year's class. Of course, Jared Allens (he was a fourth-rounder) do come out of the woodwork, so keep an eye on Marshall's Vinny Curry, Arkansas's Jake Bequette, Boise State's Shea McClellin and Nevada's Brett Roy as they all try to work their stock values up from the middle rounds.
12. Safety also looms as a so-so position, with Barron headlining a fairly weak crop on early glance. Notre Dame's Harrison Smith and Iloka also are solid free safety possibilities, and strong workouts and interviews could help entrench them in the second-round area. NFL teams are dying for quality safeties; there just are not a lot of sure-fire options, it appears, in this group. Expect some of them to be overdrafted because of that.
13. Other names that could earn some buzz in Indy include RBs Lamar Miller (Miami), Doug Martin (Boise State), Edwin Baker (Michigan State) and Chris Polk (Washington), all vying to be the second back drafted behind Alabama's Trent Richardson. You'll hear talk about Stanford OG David DeCastro and Wisconsin C Peter Konz being two of the most sure prospects down there, almost certain first-rounders, but there are a few others at those positions who could fall closely behind — Georgia OG Cordy Glenn, Silatolu, Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler, Wake Forest OG Joe Looney, Utah OG Tony Bergstrom, Baylor C Philip Blake and Georgia C Ben Jones. The DT position is cluttered with talent: Cox, Brockers, Still, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy, Clemson's Brandon Thompson and Memphis' (giant) Dontari Poe all are vying for a first-round call. This position is strong and deep, with all shapes and sizes to fill needs.
14. One of the more underrated elements of the Combine is the fact that more than 30 NFL bigwigs — head coaches and general manager types, some of them new to the job — will be yakking with the media, doing their best not to tip their hands on the draft, free agency or trades. But there will be updates on injured players, talk of quarterback competitions (Denver and Kansas City come to mind, Arizona too) and coaching changes. Stay tuned for the excitement.
15. For the first time ever, fans will be allowed inside Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the Combine. Two-hundred fifty lucky fans will get to watch spandexed athletes run around in fancy shoes versus air. Fun? Interesting? Suppose it depends on one's lifestyle. But it's an experience few outside of NFL employees are bestowed, even with the wall-to-wall coverage on NFL Network. Only in recent years has the league allowed media members inside to "scout" certain players for pool reports, and those are relatively worthless — save for some lesser-known players who don't get their proper attention on TV — because of the network coverage. But the NFL has capitalized on the fact that 5,000 giddy fans watched players conduct interviews on Media Day a few weeks ago in this same city and has realized that fans are bloodthirsty for this kind of exposure. Media Day cost $25; the Combine is free this year, first come and first serve. Don't be stunned if next year's Combine population hits quadruple digits after this initial run is deemed a success — and there is a charge for the experience. Anything for a buck, right ?
Indianapolis hosted perhaps the best-run Super Bowl in the game's 46-year run. This week's return to Indy for the NFL scouting combine should be a breeze.A total of 327 draft prospects started converging on downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday to be poked, probed and tested by NFL teams in the next seven days.More than just draft research, the combine is to pro football what the winter meetings are to baseball. With the official league year starting shortly after the conclusion of the combine, teams will start talking trades, determining the value of potential free agents, working on getting under the salary cap and making other plans for the 2012 season.
Virtually every scout, coach, general manager, agent and most of the top draft prospects will be in town. Here are 10 things to watch in the 2012 combine.
1. Figuring out the quarterback hierarchy: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to go to the Indianapolis Colts as the first pick in the draft. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is the next quarterback pick, and, if the Rams can begin shopping his talents, a team will move up to the No. 2 selection to take him. But who's No. 3? Most teams have different ratings on the quarterbacks behind Luck and Griffin. The list includes Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, Brock Osweiler of Arizona State, Kirk Cousins of Michigan State and Nick Foles of Arizona.Luck and Griffin might run 40-yard dashes, but they won't be throwing Sunday, reserving their shows for their pro days in March. Tannehill is injured and won't work out. The rest of the quarterbacks need to do as much as they can to sort out this year's class. Each has to overcome questions. For Weeden, it's his age. He's going to be a 28-year-old rookie. If Osweiler measures out close to 6-foot-8, that could be a negative because very few quarterbacks that tall succeed. A good combine could help Cousins and Foles improve some second- and third-round grades.
2. Placing the running backs: It's tough to be a running back these days. The move to a passing league has devalued featured backs. Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2010, but that netted him only the 28th pick in the first round, when the Saints traded up to get him. The next back didn't go until the 38th pick.This year's backs will be battling similar problems. Trent Richardson of Alabama is clearly the best back in the draft. In many circles, he's a top-10 pick. But he either has to run a good 40 time or convince a top-15 team in need of a running back that he's too valuable to pass up. As with the quarterback position, the combine starts the battle to see who is the No. 2 back and whether that back merits first-round consideration. Among the candidates are Lamar Miller of the University of Miami, Chris Polk of Washington, David Wilson of Virginia Tech and Doug Martin of Boise State.
3. QB-WR match game: A recent successful trend has been drafting a big, fast wideout to become the go-to receiver for a talented, young quarterback. The Falcons traded up to acquire Julio Jones to help out Matt Ryan. The Bengals had instant success putting A.J. Green with Andy Dalton. The Calvin Johnson-Matthew Stafford and Andre Johnson-Matt Schaub pairings created major problems for defenses.Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State is considered the best receiver in a deep class of pass-catchers. The Rams found out last season that they lacked the receiving threats to advance the development of Sam Bradford. They have the second pick in the draft and could trade down to a team that needs Griffin, but trading down too much could cost them Blackmon. The Panthers, a team that used to emphasize defense and the running game, advanced into the quarterback age last season with the success of Cam Newton. They might be willing to trade up to get Blackmon.Most of the top receivers, such as Michael Floyd, Mohamed Sanu, Alshon Jeffery, Rueben Randle and Stephen Hill, have great size. Good 40 times and great workouts could excite teams.
4. Hot corners : One of the highlights of the upcoming draft is the depth at cornerback. More than 10 corners could go in the first two rounds. Because recent combines have been on television, corners have treated combines like track meets. They train hard, and, if they have speed, they don't fear running at the combine. More defenses are looking for man-to-man corners, and the bigger and faster the better.Taller cornerbacks such as Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama, Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina and Trumaine Johnson of Montana could really help themselves with great workouts. Because there are so many good prospects at corner this year, the combine will start sorting out where they might go.
5. Figuring out the hybrids: Because quarterbacks are getting rid of the ball so quickly, the premium in drafts is finding pass-rushers. One of the problems, though, is determining whether they fit as a 3-4 linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end. Melvin Ingram of South Carolina and Courtney Upshaw of Alabama are 270-plus-pound linebacker prospects, but 4-3 teams such as the Seahawks have to watch the workouts carefully to see whether these players could work as defensive ends in a 4-3. Nick Perry of Southern Cal and Whitney Mercilus of Illinois are undersized defensive ends. Would they fit better in a 3-4? Their workouts could help the teams in need of pass-rushers answer those questions.
6. Bulking up the middle of offensive lines : Guards and centers do not get selected often in the first round because teams in need of blockers prioritize the tackle position. But the recent successes of interior blockers such as Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers and Mike Iupati of the 49ers have allowed teams to appreciate guards and centers more in the first round.That's what makes this an interesting combine for guards David DeCastro (Stanford) and Cordy Glenn (Georgia) and center Peter Konz (Wisconsin). DeCastro has the dimensions of a tackle, but, because he's so dominant in the middle, he could go in the top 15. Glenn (6-6, 346 pounds) could be switched to tackle. Konz (6-5, 315) is considered the best center prospect. With a few more teams shifting to the 4-3, the value of guards and centers to protect the pocket of the quarterback will influence this combine.
7. Competition at tackle: Matt Kalil of Southern Cal is considered the best offensive tackle in the draft and could go as high as the second pick if the Rams can't pull off a trade. Offensive line coaches will be hoping many offensive tackles work out to see which ones have the footwork to be a left tackle and protect the quarterback's blind side.Left tackles are on islands blocking defensive ends and pass-rushing linebackers. Good combines could only help Riley Reiff of Iowa, Mike Adams of Ohio State, Jonathan Martin of Stanford and others.
8. Will the great run on tight ends continue? Thanks to Vernon Davis, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and others, the NFL is in a golden era of tight end play. All of a sudden, it's hard to win without a top tight end who can stretch the seam or have a big presence in the middle of the field.There are 14 tight ends at the combine, and all will be trying to prove themselves. Among the names to watch are Coby Fleener of Stanford, Dwayne Allen of Clemson and Orson Charles of Georgia. This doesn't appear to be a deep class, but the combine will begin to show whether it's a good one.
9. Franchises and franchise players: Starting Monday, teams with unsigned players will have 15 days to decide how they'll use the franchise tag. With agents for the top players here in Indianapolis, negotiations on long-term deals will be intense. With more than $700 million of cap room and more than 470 free agents, something has to give. Agents and general managers will be huddling up in coffee shops, restaurants and suites throughout the city.
10. Trade discussions, salary-cap cuts and Peyton Manning: The new collective bargaining agreement rolled back the value of top draft choices. Instead of six-year contracts that topped out at $78 million, the top pick settles for a $22 million, four-year deal. For the first time in years, teams won't fear trading into the top five. The Rams might as well set up a trading post to service teams such as Cleveland, Washington and Miami, which might want to trade up to acquire RG3.It's not out of the question for swaps of draft picks to start as early as March, but the foundations of those discussions could start in Indianapolis. This week, teams should find out the final salary-cap number, which isn't supposed to go much higher than $120.375 million. And yes, the big offseason story remains Manning. Colts owner Jim Irsay could meet with Manning this week to sort out whether he will stay a Colt or be released.
This February afternoon is almost over in the middle of America and the Jets — along with each of the 31 other NFL clubs — are engrossed in their draft preparations at the NFL Combine workouts.“It’s just the next step in the process,” GM Mike Tannenbaum told me inside Lucas Oil Stadium. “Our area scouts and [senior personnel executive] Terry Bradway and [VP of college scouting] Joey Clinkscales do a great job in the fall, and we’re just kind of adding to that now. We saw them down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, we get to see them work out here, and the interviews are really important. It’s just the next step in the process.”
While many of the Jets coaches and scouts are here at Lucas Oil during daylight hours, the team personnel move down the street to an Indianapolis hotel and interview selected prospects at night. Each team is permitted to interview 60 players over the course of the combine and each session has a 15-minute time limit.
What are the Jets looking for from the prospects ?
“A lot of their football acumen — some of them really separate themselves quite a bit,” Mr. T. said. “You know which guys have a better feel for their responsibilities than others and our coaches do a great job. We’re looking forward to that getting started in a couple of hours here.”Tannenbaum and the Jets don’t rehearse their interview approach. They listen first and then see where the interview goes from there.“It just develops as a guy comes in there, but we have the position coach leading the discussion,” he said. “We’re sitting there observing them and seeing how they answer the questions.”A loyal boss, Tannenbaum has a scouting staff that he both trusts and respects. Area scouts have mined the country since the final selection of the 2011 draft symbolized both a conclusion and a beginning.
“They’re tireless workers, the Matt Bazirgans of the world, the Jeff Bauers, the Jay Mandolesis. They’re great, they care, they work hard,” Mr. T. said. “Joe Bommarito, Jim Cochran, Mike Davis — they all do great jobs. We’re lucky they’re here and they have such passion. Sometimes they have to watch our games listening to the radio or on the Internet, but the wins and losses mean as much to them as anyone.”
Inside a stadium suite today, the stopwatches were out and pens and papers scribbled in notebooks. There wasn’t much conversation as the Jets observed drills that will be weighted, but the gametape never lies.“Those are interesting and they’re great for comparison purposes, but at the end of the day it’s how do they play football,” Tannenbaum said of drills such as the 40-yard dash, benchpress and shuttle run. “Rex is a natural evaluator. His input has been great. He really works at it — he watches a lot of tape. Again this is important, but it’s just another step in the process.”
During Thursday’s meeting with the media, Tannenbaum reiterated his belief that Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes will be able to thrive as teammates once again. Barring something unforeseen, the Jets starting QB and No. 1 wideout will remain unchanged on the depth chart.“The fact that they’ve played well as Jets together under this coaching staff gives me every reason to believe that an issue that came up last year is very solvable,” he said.
Tannenbaum’s core belief is he’ll look under every rock every day to get better. The Jets are in need of safety help with both Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool set to become unrestricted free agents on March 13, but there are multiple ways of addressing voids.“I look at any position as a big continuum,” the GM said. “We’ll look at potential trades, potential signings in free agency, the draft, claiming guys on Labor Day.”
Tannenbaum chose not to make public if he would consider a franchise tag for NT Sione Pouha, but he would like the veteran lineman to remain with the Green & White in 2012.“Within reason we’re going to do everything we can to keep him,” he said.This spring’s labor harmony means a return to free agency preceding the draft. The Jets currently own choices in every round and should be in position to obtain one or more compensatory selections, but trading up is always an option for Tannenbaum.“I do believe in quality over quantity,” he said. “That’s just based on a lot of research and what’s a replaceable part and what the odds are of success in every round.”
The search to get better is a never-ending for Tannenbaum and his crew.
A Jets' perspective on some developments at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis:
1. The wide receivers were timed Sunday and, to me, the most eye-opening performance came from Notre Dame's Michael Floyd, who clocked an impressive 4.47 in the 40. That speed, coupled with his 6-foot-3 frame, makes him attractive in the middle of the first round. The Jets, picking 16th, need a No. 2 WR to play opposite Santonio Holmes. Floyd has some off-the-field concerns, so he will have to be checked out in the coming weeks.
2. Baylor's Kendall Wright (5-10) was regarded as the No. 2 WR in the draft, behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, but he may have lost that spot to Floyd by running a disappointing 4.61. The general feeling about Wright is he plays a lot faster than he times, but scouts will be looking for a faster time at his Pro Day.
3. Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu (6-2) produced monster numbers last season as a possession receiver, but he ran only 4.67 -- a pedestrian time. He reportedly showed terrific hands in the gauntlet drill, when receivers are exposed to rapid-fire passes, but that 40 time probably will keep him out of the first round. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay had this to say about Sanu: "I like him, he's physical, he has good hands, but he's way overrated. He can't get open." Maybe he'd be a second-round option for the Jets.
4. South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram checked in at 6-foot-2, 264 pounds, and that's important to the Jets because ... well, Ingram has dropped 12 pounds since the Senior Bowl. He's showing teams he's willing to make the transition to 3-4 OLB after playing 4-3 DE. The Jets, of course, need a pass-rushing OLB in the worst way. Ingram has been working out with Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, a good guy to emulate. If Ingram lasts until 16, I'd say he's a definite possibility for the Jets.
5. A couple of offensive linemen linked to the Jets turned in impressive performances. Stanford G Dave DeCastro, projected as a mid-first rounder, recorded the best three-cone time (7.3 seconds) since 2008. Ohio State T/G Cordy Glenn came in a shade below 6-foot-6 at 345 pounds and ran an impressive 4.93 in the 40. He played left tackle last season, but some see him at a right tackle in the NFL or maybe even a guard.