DRAFT TALK: JI Combine Preview

By Tony Pauline
Special To Jets
February 20th, 2008
Maryland DT Dre' Moore's stock could be rising this week at the Combine.
Maryland DT Dre' Moore's stock could be rising this week at the Combine.
The NFL combine officially begins today with offensive linemen undergoing orthopedic exams. Executives, coaches and scouts from all 32 NFL teams are all arriving in Indianapolis for the six day event. Yet teams have continued to prepare for the combine since the Senior Bowl ended.

Here’s a look at what the Jets have been up to.

Last week I spent an extensive amount of time speaking with Dre' Moore of Maryland.

The defensive lineman is an engaging young man and a terrific conversationalist. Moore has been training hard in New Jersey preparing for the combine. He is known as an outstanding athlete and is expected to turn out a great workout in the RCA Dome. Moore feels his 40-times will clock under 4.85 seconds and his bench could be in the mid 30's.

Contrary to reports that he had problems with the coaching staff at Maryland, Moore says he has nothing but great respect for Ralph Friedgden and his staff. Moore said his time at Maryland was an experienced he loved.

As to what position he will be playing at the next level; Moore said a number of teams spoke with him at length during the Senior Bowl about moving to defensive end in a three-four alignment. Teams such as the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns interviewed him extensively about the switch.

Another player the Jets have shown a lot of interest in is Iowa State nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin. The big interior plugger came on as a senior and is one of the fastest rising players in the draft. He told me he loves doing the dirty work on the inside and battling double or triple teams all day long. Rubin is a powerful player in the middle and expects to put up more than 35 reps on the bench press.

The Jets interviewed Rubin extensively at the Senior Bowl. What makes this interesting is the fact that Rubin was a late arriving replacement in Mobile. He only had one day of full pads practice after getting to Senior Bowl headquarters on Tuesday, and there was limited time for teams to speak with him.

I also spoke at length with Purdue's Cliff Avril yesterday. Avril is scheduled to workout with the defensive linemen at the combine but has already been told he will be put through a battery of linebacker drills at the end of the day.

Avril was a bit surprised he was never asked to play linebacker at the Senior Bowl, even though several teams such as the New York Jets and New England Patriots extensively spoke with him about playing the position during lengthy interviews which took place in Mobile. Avril said he expects to put up "linebacker type" workout numbers at next weeks combine including a forty in the 4.6-area and a vertical jump of 37-inches.

A source from within the team stated the New York Jets were devastated when the Cincinnati Bengals designated 6’-7” 342 Lb guard Stacey Andrews with the franchise tag. The Jets were ready to throw big money at Andrews in the hopes of luring him and plugging the big blocker into their gapping hole at right tackle.

A separate league source told us if the draft were held today he believes the Jets would select Southern Cal DT Sederick Ellis if he were available with the sixth pick. The team’s interest in Ellis should come as no surprise as we documented this in detail at the Senior Bowl.

Be sure to check back often for all the latest NY Jets combine news and rumors!

Tony Pauline is the NFL Draft analyst at His year round work on the NFL draft can be found at

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