The NFL is the most popular sport in America. Even fans of teams who feel like their team may not be going anywhere are still heading to games.
To help increase the popularity (like it needs any more help) and give the fans what they want, the NFL Draft has been moving from city to city, and it has worked well. At first, I thought that was sort of a stupid thing to do, but then I saw the response of the people in the cities that host the draft, and it’s been nothing short of awesome.
It’s also nice because a city can now host either a draft or a Super Bowl, giving more options for fans to interact. While a draft doesn’t bring as much revenue as the Super Bowl does, it still gives the city a chance to shine. Much like the success of Nashville this past draft.
This weekend, all eyes in the football world are on the NFL Combine taking place in Indianapolis.
300 College players were invited to participate in drills and get measured so that Top Executives, Coaching Staffs, Player Personnel Departments and Medical Personnel from all 32 NFL teams can evaluate them. These players are all hoping to make a good impression this weekend so that, along with their game film, will get them drafted into the NFL in April.
I spent some time this afternoon talking with a few of the defensive linemen that are here for the Combine and will be working out tomorrow.
During the next few weeks, I will be writing articles on the top 10 prospects heading to the NFL Combine. And I’m proud to announce OurTurf Football will be there live and in person to bring you all the top stories from Indianapolis.
I won’t even pretend who my first NFL prospect is gonna be. For all my followers and colleagues who know me, certainly know it’s gonna be a quarterback.
Right out of the gate, this weeks spotlight is Heisman Trophy winner QB Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. Murray is listed at 5’10” – 190 lbs.
One of my favorite offseason events. It’s always fun to armchair GM to see who potentially is going to change the face of your franchise. Personally, I enjoy it because I love watching the players do their drills. I don’t know why…I guess I’m just weird that way! Plus, I enjoy listening to the analysts break down what they’re looking for and who has a good motor and good hands or who’s got a good backpedal. You know…The details!
It certainly has evolved over the years, and now that it’s televised, it’s pretty cool. So much like my other articles throughout the season, I will post my big winner and my not big winner of the combine. Of course, you can feel free to disagree. I mean, there were 330 players there, and I’m only picking 2. OK fine, I’ll pick 3. It is the Underwear Olympics. You have to have a gold, silver and bronze.
Another long day for teams. We saw linebackers, defensive ends, edge rushers, and defensive linemen.
Denver Broncos only met with one player, a safety from Colorado. I may have missed that yesterday. Denver met with LB Keith Kelsey, Louisiana Tech and DL Jaleel Johnson, Iowa. Hopefully this changes since John Elway said he wanted to keep the defense a focus. That means pumping in new blood.
Once again, I’ve included charts from Chase Kuntzsch, whom I owe big time. If you look, you’ll see more and more players not running or lifting or other events. The reasons vary from a player being sick or recovering from an injury, to wanting their Pro Day to be all scouts see.
After three days, my brain is now starting to blend everyone together. It doesn’t help that the media all focus in on the same top five players of every group and talk about them non-stop. After a while, it’s tough to remember the other guys. It’s a disservice to the players with poor agents, like QB Brad Kaaya.
Kaaya played for our enemies, Miami Hurricanes, so I’ve seen this kid play often and if he had a better agent, he’d be in the often talked about and regurgitated media reports.
Why do I bring this up? Because he’s not alone. There are tons of guys there who aren’t getting the same exposure because their representatives have failed. So, just because you only see five guys on TV, don’t assume those five are the only players worth watching.
Moving on. Today was wide receiver 40 and drills, plus quarterbacks and tight ends. In case you’ve been cut off from all media, John Ross set a combine record of 4.22.
Denver Broncos general manager and head coach gave interviews. Concerning what Denver personnel said, it was almost exactly what Vance Joseph and John Elway have been saying for a month. Little was shared that hasn’t been heard before.
Elway wants to address all needs through Free Agency and draft depth, and the future. This obviously won’t be the case for all needs due to price. Or a class deep in some positions. A position like running back will not be an every down back picked up in FA.
He verbalized his displeasure with the Offensive Line. Also suggested that at the right price, he’d be interested in bringing LT Russell Okung back. Based on the weak class and price of tackles, this is something I’d love to see. Adding some continuity to the OL is a good thing.
He mentioned letting Sylvester Williams test the market, but said he was an asset. He indicated an interest in bringing DeMarcus Ware back.
As far as the quarterback situation, he gave PR answers that depending on where you stand, was good, bad, status quo or a bunch of hooha. My vote is PR hooha. I didn’t take much away.
Depending on who he spoke with it went from looking at any veteran available and who would help them win, to wanting to stick with who they have. He mentioned that they have to weigh the downside of what a vet QB would do to the growth of his young guys and to the team down the road. He also said that he thinks Paxton Lynch is ‘that guy’. He also said that if he wasn’t ready to go, he didn’t want him to go.
Which of course begs the question: how do you know if he’s ready without spending all the offseason working with the ones? If he brings in Tony Romo, that takes away the reps with the ones. If he waits to determine he needs Romo, it’ll be too late. A catch-22.
This leaves Trevor Siemian the odd man out if Romo is brought in. Why? Because no matter what some may tell themselves, being a first draft pick matters. Elway isn’t going to want Lynch as the third string guy. Making Siemian it, isn’t best for him, either. This sets up a trade. He also said he was happy with his two young guys. So, while Elway talks in circles, it won’t be until next week for a real answer.
Vance Joseph gave the same lock step answers.
Last evening teams interviewed players. Today, we know Denver spoke with RBs, FSU Dalvin Cook, Samje Perine, Toledo Kareem Hunt, Stanford Christian McCaffrey, D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Alvin Kamara, and Wyoming Brian Hill.
They also spoke with OT Ramzcyk, OG, Dan Feeney. Tonight they will meet Alabama OT Cam Robinson, USC Zack Banner and Utah Garrett Bolles. Plus, Guard Isaac Isiata.
Each team is allowed to interview up to 60 players in 15 minute segments.
Some notes on the bench press: the most was Perine at 30 reps (225 pounds) and least was McCaffrey at 10. Since Denver fans don’t care what Christian does in anything at the combine, this very low number won’t hurt him as it would others.
One thing for readers to keep an eye on for OTs is arm length, not wingspan. An OT needs 34″ or more. Anything shorter starts becoming an issue.
*Note* Cam Robinson will not be bench pressing due to shoulder issue.