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hawaiiansteel
02-22-2012, 09:56 PM
Various line spots could be top target in scouting combine

Indianapolis today-Feb. 28
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Steelers have spent the past three years using their No. 1 draft choice to rebuild and strengthen their lines of scrimmage.

Could this be No. 4?

Is this the year they find the heir apparent to Casey Hampton, 11 years after they drafted their five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle in the first round?

Do they draft a pulling left guard to line up between young stars Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert and upgrade an offensive line that has been a problem spot the past two seasons?

Or is it time to find a replacement for defensive captain and inside linebacker James Farrior, who turned 37 last month?

The Steelers will begin to seek answers to those questions when the NFL Scouting Combine -- the market district of college talent -- begins today at Lucas Oil Stadium.

And it might be a good time to find Hampton's eventual replacement because there is good depth at the defensive tackle position, especially nose tackle. At least, that is the opinion of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who thinks there is good value in the interior of the defensive line through the first three rounds.

"I think the nose tackle position is important for that defense, always has been," said Mayock, who was drafted in the 10th round by the Steelers in 1981 but never played for them.

"At defensive tackle, you can go two or three rounds deep and get a really good football player. So, whether you get them at [No.] 24 [in the first round] or get them further down, I think you can get a good football player."

Mayock, though, believes the Steelers top priority is offensive line -- "They've got to continue to get younger and more athletic" -- and finding players who can protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Here is a look at five of the top needs for the Steelers as they enter the 2012 season.

Nose tackle

The Steelers have long considered nose tackle to be one of the two most important positions in the 3-4 defense, and nobody has done it better than Hampton.But Hampton is 34 and will be coming off a second ACL surgery on his left knee. Complicating matters is that the surgery was performed in mid-January, making it unlikely he will be ready for the start of the regular season.

With veteran Chris Hoke's retirement, Steve McLendon, a former rookie free agent, is the only nose tackle on the roster.

The best available nose tackle in the draft is Dontari Poe of Memphis (6-5, 350), who is thick, stout and tough to move. But the Steelers might have to move up from No. 24 to get him.

"He's got a physical skill set that reminds me of Haloti Ngata," Mayock said. "I don't think he's Haloti Ngata, he's that big and he's got those kind of movement skills. But he's so raw, it's scary. He might not make a tackle year one. You know what I mean? He's one of those guys."

[b]Inside linebacker

If the team keeps Farrior, their longtime defensive captain, it is unlikely they will retain his top backup, veteran Larry Foote, because of salary-cap reasons. And, even if Farrior does come back, he cannot play every down any more.

The best inside prospect could be Boston College's Luke Kuechly, but Dont'a Hightower of Alabama and Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State are projected as possible first-round picks, too. Kuechly, though, will be gone before the Steelers select.

"I think Kuechly is a special player ... he's going to get everybody lined up in the right place," Mayock said. "I think a guy like Dont'a Hightower could be available in the first round, but there are positives and negatives about him. But he's a big, strong, downhill inside linebacker."

Guard

The Steelers are set at tackle and center and the combination of Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster gives them options at right guard.

But the team needs to find a left guard who can pull and lead their counter plays -- something they thought they had with Chris Kemoeatu. But Kemoeatu was benched last season because of poor performance and mental mistakes, and their bread-and-butter counter plays suffered.

Among the guards, there is a big dropoff after the top two -- Stanford's David DeCastro and Georgia's Cordy Glenn. Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin is a late first-round to mid-second-round pick and Ben Jones of Georgia could last until late in the second round.

"I think, depending on how it plays out, I think there is a lot of flexibility with interior offensive linemen in the draft," Mayock said. "I think for the first three rounds, you can get a lot of quality at center or either guard."

Defensive end

The Steelers have used their No. 1 pick on a defensive end in two of the past three drafts, so they will not do so again.

But, faced with the possibility that longtime end Aaron Smith might not be back, the Steelers could continue to build their depth with young players.

It is unlikely the Steelers would address this position until the middle rounds, where players such as Jared Crick of Nebraska and Kheeston Randall of Texas have the lean body-type they desire.

It is not a good year for defensive ends in a 4-3 defense, but, in the 3-4 defense, tackles play more like an end. "It's the deepest position in this year's draft," Mayock said.

Tight end

It remains to be seen how much new offensive coordinator Todd Haley likes to use multiple tight ends, but the Steelers likely could afford one in the draft. Especially because No. 3 tight end Weslye Saunders has been suspended for the first four games of the '12 season and could be released.

Clemson's Dwayne Allen (6-5, 255) might be the best combo tight end because he can run, catch and block. Coby Fleener of Stanford (6-6, 248) is a former basketball player who can catch, and Georgia's Orson Charles (6-3, 242) is like a big wide receiver. Fleener will not participate in the combine because of an ankle injury.

"The problem with all three of them is, none of them are in-line blockers," Mayock said.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12053/12 ... z1nA7o2yjj (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12053/1211755-66.stm#ixzz1nA7o2yjj)

phillyesq
02-23-2012, 10:53 AM
The more I read, Poe sounds intriguing, but not necessarily like a Steelers pick. The Steelers last boom or bust first rounder was Ben; they generally seem to lean more towards the safe selections in the first round.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
02-23-2012, 12:14 PM
I rarely talk about targeting positions in the draft, but this is one year that it has to be a consideration - for a few reasons.

1) Due to the salary cap issues that we have, we don't have the same flexibility to go out and sign even mid-level guys to add depth and experience.

2) Rarely have we been so naked at certain positions i.e. NT - Steve McClendon, LG - Kemo, Foster, or Legursky, RG - Foster, Legursky, Scott.

IMO these are two positions that must be filled with highly touted rooks. We need players who can push for a starting position from day 1 and show the ability to handle it long term since neither of these positions have any viable starters in the pipeline.

ILB can survive one more year with Timmons and Farrior/Foote while we cut the other and hope that one of Ivy, Sylvester can play or wait a year to find a replacement for the other one of Farrior/Foote.

OT is thin but with two starters in place we don't need a day one starter (hopefully).

We can hope that the combo of Redman, Batch, Dwyer, Clay, Spann can somehow hold down the fort.

Slapstick
02-23-2012, 12:31 PM
I can also see the Steelers sliding Hood over to NT. He is the same size as Hoke, but more athletic.

Not only does that put the Steelers best three DL on the field at the same time (Keisel, Hood and Heyward) but I think Hood might play better over the center (closer to where he played in college) than lined up out at the 5-technique...

McClendon has proven to be capable as a backup and can start in a pinch. We don't know how guys like Al Woods and Corbin Bryant would perform, but there is a reason they kept Bryant around and brought Woods back...

hawaiiansteel
02-23-2012, 03:15 PM
Steelers look toward Combine for different NFL Draft options

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 23, 2012

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-02-23/FBNstill-b.jpg

Devon Still

The Steelers haven't missed on a first-round pick since taking receiver Troy Edwards 13th overall in 1999, and this is not the year to break that streak.

The Steelers have short- and long-term needs at various positions, including offensive line, defensive backfield and inside linebacker.

They and the rest of the NFL get an up-close look at more than 300 prospects — including a record 65 underclassmen who declared for the draft — at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Priorities could shift — or become more pronounced — depending on what the Steelers do with veterans such as inside linebacker James Farrior, nose tackle Casey Hampton and receiver Hines Ward before March 13, when free agency begins.

The draft appears to set up well for the Steelers.

General manager Kevin Colbert said this year's draft is deep at cornerback and receiver. The Steelers may need to add more than depth in the latter, especially if Pro Bowler Mike Wallace gets away as a restricted free agent.

Cornerbacks are coveted by all teams in today's pass-happy NFL, even the Steelers, who last year drafted Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown, both of whom appear to be keepers.

Even better for the Steelers is Mike Mayock's take on the draft. The NFL Network analyst said the draft is loaded with defensive tackles and interior offensive linemen, and those are arguably two of the Steelers' biggest needs.

What is important to remember, as players' stock can easily rise and fall this week, is that the combine is just part of the evaluation process, a process that still has almost two months to play itself out.

FIRST-RATE (AND ROUND) TALENTS

Here are five players to watch at the NFL Scouting Combine, given the needs the Steelers are likely to address in the draft:

David DeCastro, G: The Stanford product is widely considered — at least for now — the top interior line prospect. DeCastro could start from Day One, which makes it likely he will be gone before the Steelers pick in the first round.

Cordy Glenn, G: The 6-6, 346-pound Glenn from Georgia has been linked to the Steelers in mock drafts, and he has the size and athletic ability to dominate at guard after playing tackle last season. Glenn's versatility also would be a plus to the Steelers.

Dont'a Hightower, LB: A consensus All-American at Alabama, Hightower is a classic run stuffer. The 6-4, 260-pounder would make the Steelers think about taking him if he is still available at No. 24.

Dontari Poe, DT: The 6-4, 350-pounder is considered a bit of a project after playing three seasons at Memphis. But he also has been linked to the Steelers, given his upside and the team's need at nose tackle.

Devon Still, DT: He had a monster senior season at Penn State, recording 17 tackles for losses, but he is only a good fit for the Steelers if he can play nose tackle. The 6-4, 310-pound Still could be gone before the Steelers pick.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1nELLUcFQ (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_783074.html#ixzz1nELLUcFQ)

steelz09
02-23-2012, 07:21 PM
The way I see it... it could be between Poe, DeCastro, Glenn, and Hightower.

I'm not going to say any of those will be "long gone by the time we pick". I've heard that so many years in a row but but yet, somehow ... people fall because of trades and surprise picks.

With that being said, NT/DE (I'll explain the potential DE need), FS, ILB and OG.

NT / DE - The team put themselves in this position. NT is a tough position to fill in our defense and now it's crunch time. Poe may be the pick and I wouldn't be upset if they went NT or DE again in the first but does it make economical sense? Probably not. However, I don't think the Steelers have a choice. They need a NT for the future. The question is..... do the Steelers plan on having McClendon and Hood fill that spot? If so, then we could draft another DE possibly in the mid rounds. We wouldn't need to reach for a NT in the first if Hood and McClendon fill the NT spot. We have Heyward and Keisel and both could start. That leaves McClendon and Hood rotating potentially between NT and DE. That's possible and its not a bad rotation by any means. We would need to add depth though. Chapman could be a very good value pick but obviously not in the 1st round.

FS - Clark is good and IMO is slightly undervalued to Steelers fans (see the Denver game). He's not a ballhawk though and I think we need someone better in coverage for the future. Clark led the team in tackles last year... that's a bit concerning since he's a FS. He shouldn't need to make all those tackles but that's a different story.

OG - Our weakest position on the line and it needs to be upgraded. Definitely a potential first round pick. Konz, Glenn, DeCastro...all could be our 1st rounder.

ILB - Age and depth is a major concern. We need to find a young Farrior. We don't need another Timmons though. We need a guy that will complement him. Hightower is that kind of that player. If the Steelers pick a linebacker in the first it needs to be a guy that has played in a 3-4 or needs very little time to develop... not years. Hightower is a true ILB that has played in a 3-4 for college football's best defense.

SteelStallion
02-24-2012, 01:06 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.

NW Steeler
02-24-2012, 01:26 PM
The Steelers almost always draft BPA almost regardless of position. But they have also drafted for need, and moved up to get the player they wanted (Polamalu, Holmes). I think OG is their biggest need right now. I can actually see them moving up to get DeCastro. Konz's injury issues seem a little scary to me.

Oviedo
02-24-2012, 01:28 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.


I totally agree, but they will not reach on a Guard at #24 if DeCastro and Glenn are gone. Not sure they would have Konz ranked in that area or later but we know he won't get past the Ravens.

As I have said before I'm not sure that NT makes sense at #24 given how the league is changing with more and more passing on first and second downs. That essentially relegates a run stuffing NT like Poe to a two down or less player (another reason to go to the 4-3).

That's why I think Hightower is a real possibility even though Guard is the bigger need simply because Ben is the most importnat player on the team and without significant OL improvement he won't stay healthy as he ages and loses some natural physical abilities.

My wildcards would be Safety Mark Barron or one of the two top TEs since Johnson is worthless and Saunders' status is a mystery.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-24-2012, 01:57 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.


I totally agree, but they will not reach on a Guard at #24 if DeCastro and Glenn are gone. Not sure they would have Konz ranked in that area or later but we know he won't get past the Ravens.

As I have said before I'm not sure that NT makes sense at #24 given how the league is changing with more and more passing on first and second downs. That essentially relegates a run stuffing NT like Poe to a two down or less player (another reason to go to the 4-3).

That's why I think Hightower is a real possibility even though Guard is the bigger need simply because Ben is the most importnat player on the team and without significant OL improvement he won't stay healthy as he ages and loses some natural physical abilities.

My wildcards would be Safety Mark Barron or one of the two top TEs since Johnson is worthless and Saunders' status is a mystery.
You know what O...Something you said is the one reason why I believe a guy like Poe or Still will be looked at very closely. If I was a coach on defense...I have seen something very noticeable about our D in this evolution of the NFL. The fact that a guy like Hampton has to come off on 3rd down and is a dud when they run the playaction, quick screens to the WRs, or stretch plays is something of concern. The offenses are taking advantage of 2 gap NTs. The one thing that has made the Ravens so good is the fact Ngata doesn't have to come off the field on 3rd downs and he even can slide out and play a 5 technique or stay inside on a 0 tech. Poe & Still are that type of players that closely need to be evaluated to see if they can play that 0 tech but still have the ability to become a one gap penetrator or run to the ball on the outside when the play is diagnosed. They both are extremely athletic for their size and in my opinion can be that Hybrid NT that Ngata has displayed. That is one thing I will give McClendon credit for. In games where they faced some of those offenses, McClendon would stand up the C and drift into the G to protect his ILB, but was athletic enough to come all the way down the line to pinch off the inside on stretch plays. He wasn't as stout up the middle against the run as Hampton was but I could see that he was better suited against certain offenses. Needless to say...I think we will start seeing more and more of those "certain offenses" especially come playoff time.

RuthlessBurgher
02-24-2012, 04:04 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.


I totally agree, but they will not reach on a Guard at #24 if DeCastro and Glenn are gone. Not sure they would have Konz ranked in that area or later but we know he won't get past the Ravens.

As I have said before I'm not sure that NT makes sense at #24 given how the league is changing with more and more passing on first and second downs. That essentially relegates a run stuffing NT like Poe to a two down or less player (another reason to go to the 4-3).

That's why I think Hightower is a real possibility even though Guard is the bigger need simply because Ben is the most importnat player on the team and without significant OL improvement he won't stay healthy as he ages and loses some natural physical abilities.

My wildcards would be Safety Mark Barron or one of the two top TEs since Johnson is worthless and Saunders' status is a mystery.

A run-stuffing NT like Poe may come off the field in nickel situations, but wouldn't a run-stuffing ILB like Hightower also come off the field in dime situations as well? If Poe's a 2 down player, wouldn't Hightower essentially be a 2.5 down player?

Oviedo
02-24-2012, 04:16 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.


I totally agree, but they will not reach on a Guard at #24 if DeCastro and Glenn are gone. Not sure they would have Konz ranked in that area or later but we know he won't get past the Ravens.

As I have said before I'm not sure that NT makes sense at #24 given how the league is changing with more and more passing on first and second downs. That essentially relegates a run stuffing NT like Poe to a two down or less player (another reason to go to the 4-3).

That's why I think Hightower is a real possibility even though Guard is the bigger need simply because Ben is the most importnat player on the team and without significant OL improvement he won't stay healthy as he ages and loses some natural physical abilities.

My wildcards would be Safety Mark Barron or one of the two top TEs since Johnson is worthless and Saunders' status is a mystery.

A run-stuffing NT like Poe may come off the field in nickel situations, but wouldn't a run-stuffing ILB like Hightower also come off the field in dime situations as well? If Poe's a 2 down player, wouldn't Hightower essentially be a 2.5 down player?


I think Hightower has the ability to stay on the field on 3rd down. He actually moves pretty well for a big guy.

RuthlessBurgher
02-24-2012, 04:39 PM
I'd say it's o-line or bust for Pittsburgh in round 1. Ben's limped into the playoffs every year except 2- the championships, and it's a ridiculous waste of the limited time they have a franchise qb. And they've sucked with the mid-low round OL selections so they've put themselves in this position.


I totally agree, but they will not reach on a Guard at #24 if DeCastro and Glenn are gone. Not sure they would have Konz ranked in that area or later but we know he won't get past the Ravens.

As I have said before I'm not sure that NT makes sense at #24 given how the league is changing with more and more passing on first and second downs. That essentially relegates a run stuffing NT like Poe to a two down or less player (another reason to go to the 4-3).

That's why I think Hightower is a real possibility even though Guard is the bigger need simply because Ben is the most importnat player on the team and without significant OL improvement he won't stay healthy as he ages and loses some natural physical abilities.

My wildcards would be Safety Mark Barron or one of the two top TEs since Johnson is worthless and Saunders' status is a mystery.

A run-stuffing NT like Poe may come off the field in nickel situations, but wouldn't a run-stuffing ILB like Hightower also come off the field in dime situations as well? If Poe's a 2 down player, wouldn't Hightower essentially be a 2.5 down player?


I think Hightower has the ability to stay on the field on 3rd down. He actually moves pretty well for a big guy.

In both the nickle and dime, you have a 4 man front line...your 3-4 DE's slide inside to the 2 DT spots, and your 3-4 OLB's put their hand on the ground as pass rushing DE's.

In the nickle, you have 2 ILB's behind that 4 man line, with 5 DB's.

In the dime, you have 1 ILB behind that 4 man line, with 6 DB's.

Regardless of how well Hightower moves for a big guy, he wouldn't force Timmons to the bench as middle backer in the dime. Hightower may be athletic, but he's not in Timmons' league athletically.

TallyStiller
02-24-2012, 07:46 PM
No way does Dontari Poe become a Steeler. Colbert has had far too much success drafting physically gifted players who have excelled against a high level of competition in the first round to stray from the formula. Going back... Ohio State, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia, USC, Auburn, Texas, Michigan State. Outside of Ben, nobody. Ben made his case for being the exception by being a real game changer at Miami O. Threw for 300 and 5 TD's against Louisville in the first HALF in the bowl game, team went 13 - 1. What was Memphis last year, 2 - 10? Winning players from winning programs = success. I don't care how physically gifted the kid is - no thanks.

RuthlessBurgher
02-25-2012, 05:33 PM
No way does Dontari Poe become a Steeler. Colbert has had far too much success drafting physically gifted players who have excelled against a high level of competition in the first round to stray from the formula. Going back... Ohio State, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia, USC, Auburn, Texas, Michigan State. Outside of Ben, nobody. Ben made his case for being the exception by being a real game changer at Miami O. Threw for 300 and 5 TD's against Louisville in the first HALF in the bowl game, team went 13 - 1. What was Memphis last year, 2 - 10? Winning players from winning programs = success. I don't care how physically gifted the kid is - no thanks.

Trade up for a junior from a successful Pac 10...still can't get used to that whole Pac 12 thing...school (11-2 Stanford without Harbaugh) who just turned 22 last month...best guard in the draft David DeCastro.

hawaiiansteel
02-29-2012, 01:09 AM
Poe likely moves out of Steelers range

posted by Dale Lolley

Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely moved out of the range of the Steelers in the first round of the draft when he clocked in at and official 4.98 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine Monday.

Original times had him at 4.87 seconds, but 4.98 is still pretty darn good when you consider Poe is 6-4, 346 pounds and also had the best bench at this combine, putting up 225 pounds 44 times.

He also blistered his 10-yard time in 1.70 seconds, showing plenty of explosiveness.

There is a question as to why that didn't necessarily translate into more big plays at Memphis, but if you're looking for a guy who has the power and burst to occupy two blockers at the nose - and possibly shift outside at times to end in a 3-4 - Poe is your guy.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
02-29-2012, 10:34 AM
Trade up for a junior from a successful Pac 10...still can't get used to that whole Pac 12 thing...school (11-2 Stanford without Harbaugh) who just turned 22 last month...best guard in the draft David DeCastro.

The more that I look at the possibilities in this draft, the more I can see a trade up scenario for either Decastro or Glenn.

hawaiiansteel
03-01-2012, 01:53 AM
2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Biggest risers and fallers

Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
By Sporting News

Now that all the players have been measured and interviewed, have taken their physicals and worked out, Sporting News NFL writer Russ Lande takes a look at the 10 players whose draft stock changed significantly at this year's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

Helped their stock

1. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State, 6-3 1/2 214; new likely draft position: High second round. Cousins has really helped himself since the end of the 2011 season. He had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl followed by an outstanding performance in Indianapolis. Cousins was the best of the quarterbacks who threw at the Combine; he displayed ideal footwork and passing mechanics to get rid of the ball quickly. Those mechanics helped him show off his NFL-caliber arm strength, and he was accurate on every pass. Cousins still needs to answer questions about his interceptions at Michigan State.

2. Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis, 6-3 1/2, 346; new likely draft position: Top 15. NFL people were excited to see this underclassman up close this week. There is enormous demand for nose tackles now that so many teams are using 3-4 defensive schemes. Poe wasn't a dominant player at Memphis, but his size and strength earned him first-round consideration prior to the Combine. Then he showed athleticism that one NFL scout called “freakish.” He displayed rare first-step quickness for a nose tackle on his 40 yard dash. He also showed the foot quickness, flexibility, agility, hips and explosiveness of a Pro Bowler at his position. NFL teams now will try to figure out why he was not a great player at Memphis.

3. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech, 6-4, 215; new likely draft position: Second round. NFL people at the Combine knew little about Hill because he played in Georgia Tech’s triple option rushing attack, caught few passes and was unable to show his skills. He grabbed everyone's attention by running a 4.36 40, then displayed better-than-expected route running skill and hands in the passing drills. He is still viewed as a raw prospect who needs lots of work, but his size, speed and talent will likely lead to a team gambling on him early.

4. Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia, 6-6, 345; new likely draft position: First round. Glenn has followed up an inconsistent senior season with a strong postseason in Indianapolis. He showed outstanding foot quickness, flexibility and agility in the positional workout. Scouts told us they believe he could play tackle in the NFL. Teams will need to figure out why his play at Georgia was that of a fourth- or fifth-rounder despite his physical tools. We believe someone will take the gamble on him after his stellar Combine and Senior Bowl.

5. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina, 6-1 1/2, 264; new likely draft position: Top 15. Ingram came to Indianapolis battling Courtney Upshaw for top outside linebacker and Quinton Coples for top end. His strong showing proved to us that he is the best at both. He displayed the smooth and fluid movement skills, natural explosiveness and balance that excite NFL teams. Combined with his excellent hand use and pass-rush ability, Ingram proved he can be a highly productive 4-3 end or 3-4 outside 'backer.

Hurt their stock

1. Case Keenum, QB, Houston, 6-0 1/2, 208; new likely draft position: Seventh round or free agent. Keenum struggled greatly during the passing drills and raised concerns about his ability to be a successful NFL quarterback. His displayed a sidearm delivery, which leads to him throwing like an even shorter QB. His arm strength was below average and his accuracy was bad. Short quarterbacks need a big arm, excellent mechanics and accuracy; the absence of those traits will keep Keenum from being drafted early.

2. Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State, 6-4, 312; new likely draft position: Seventh round or free agent. Brewster's postseason struggles continued in Indianapolis after a bad week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He looked stiff and mechanical throughout his workout and was constantly battling to stay over his feet and under control. He did not show the athletic ability NFL teams want in a center. That is why he will likely be a late-round pick if he is drafted at all.

http://media.oregonlive.com/nfl_impact/photo/10625646-large.jpg

Former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict is a "faller" after the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.

3. Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State, 6-1 1/2, 248; new likely draft position: Third or fourth round. Burfict did not go through his full workout after reportedly pulling a hamstring on his second 40. His first 40 time of 5.10 did not help him; that is slow for a linebacker. Of greater concern: We heard from different NFL scouts about Burfict’s disappointing interviews with teams. The scouts said he blamed his struggles in 2011 on everyone but himself. Do not be shocked if his draft stock continues to fall as teams remove him from their boards because of maturity concerns.

4. George Iloka, S, Boise State, 6-3 1/2, 225; new likely draft position: Fourth round. After Iloka's strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl, NFL teams were excited to see him work out at the Combine, given the lack of depth at safety in this draft. After his struggles on the field Tuesday, not many teams will still be excited about him. He was upright and stiff in his backpedal, could not change direction to make quick transitions, and lacked a burst to make up for that slow transition. Teams are likely debating whether Iloka can play safety in the pros or will need to switch to outside linebacker.

5. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama, 6-1 1/2, 272; new likely draft position: Late first round or high second round. We were disappointed with Upshaw. He struggled during the linebacker drills, where he was required to move his feet and show that he could handle playing off the ball in pass coverage. He was upright and stiff in drops, could not flip his hips to change direction quickly and lacked the explosiveness and burst that NFL teams wanted to see. In our view, his performance clearly showed that he is a power player who lacks the explosiveness and speed to be a threat as an edge pass rusher.

http://www.oregonlive.com/nfl/index.ssf ... aller.html (http://www.oregonlive.com/nfl/index.ssf/2012/02/sporting-news-combine-riser-faller.html)

Chadman
03-01-2012, 02:10 AM
Glenn has followed up an inconsistent senior season with a strong postseason in Indianapolis.

Does this concern anyone else?

SS Laser
03-01-2012, 03:13 AM
Glenn has followed up an inconsistent senior season with a strong postseason in Indianapolis.

Does this concern anyone else?

Yep. I think I read he has a inconsistent motor? Or took a few plays off? Could have been he was just killing the guy at first and dropped his guard some to look bad on tape. Or he was just struggling at LT? I figure he can be coached up. Look how well Gilbert did and there was some concern he did not have enough fight in him.

I think he is a little raw. Not as boom or bust as Poe. Not sure who has more upside at this point Glenn or Hightower. I think you have to have a HIT in the 1st rd to be a good team.
It can be a very good constant player or a game changer. Think Pouncey Vs. Polamalu or maybe Timmons Vs. Ben. Now that I say that about Pouncey I think if he can say healthy and add a high caliber guard next to him he will really impress.

I hope he is the steelers guy and can play guard for a year then move to RT/LT.

Oviedo
03-01-2012, 08:44 AM
2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Biggest risers and fallers

Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
By Sporting News

Now that all the players have been measured and interviewed, have taken their physicals and worked out, Sporting News NFL writer Russ Lande takes a look at the 10 players whose draft stock changed significantly at this year's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

Helped their stock

1. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State, 6-3 1/2 214; new likely draft position: High second round. Cousins has really helped himself since the end of the 2011 season. He had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl followed by an outstanding performance in Indianapolis. Cousins was the best of the quarterbacks who threw at the Combine; he displayed ideal footwork and passing mechanics to get rid of the ball quickly. Those mechanics helped him show off his NFL-caliber arm strength, and he was accurate on every pass. Cousins still needs to answer questions about his interceptions at Michigan State.

2. Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis, 6-3 1/2, 346; new likely draft position: Top 15. NFL people were excited to see this underclassman up close this week. There is enormous demand for nose tackles now that so many teams are using 3-4 defensive schemes. Poe wasn't a dominant player at Memphis, but his size and strength earned him first-round consideration prior to the Combine. Then he showed athleticism that one NFL scout called “freakish.” He displayed rare first-step quickness for a nose tackle on his 40 yard dash. He also showed the foot quickness, flexibility, agility, hips and explosiveness of a Pro Bowler at his position. NFL teams now will try to figure out why he was not a great player at Memphis.

3. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech, 6-4, 215; new likely draft position: Second round. NFL people at the Combine knew little about Hill because he played in Georgia Tech’s triple option rushing attack, caught few passes and was unable to show his skills. He grabbed everyone's attention by running a 4.36 40, then displayed better-than-expected route running skill and hands in the passing drills. He is still viewed as a raw prospect who needs lots of work, but his size, speed and talent will likely lead to a team gambling on him early.

4. Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia, 6-6, 345; new likely draft position: First round. Glenn has followed up an inconsistent senior season with a strong postseason in Indianapolis. He showed outstanding foot quickness, flexibility and agility in the positional workout. Scouts told us they believe he could play tackle in the NFL. Teams will need to figure out why his play at Georgia was that of a fourth- or fifth-rounder despite his physical tools. We believe someone will take the gamble on him after his stellar Combine and Senior Bowl.

5. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina, 6-1 1/2, 264; new likely draft position: Top 15. Ingram came to Indianapolis battling Courtney Upshaw for top outside linebacker and Quinton Coples for top end. His strong showing proved to us that he is the best at both. He displayed the smooth and fluid movement skills, natural explosiveness and balance that excite NFL teams. Combined with his excellent hand use and pass-rush ability, Ingram proved he can be a highly productive 4-3 end or 3-4 outside 'backer.

Hurt their stock

1. Case Keenum, QB, Houston, 6-0 1/2, 208; new likely draft position: Seventh round or free agent. Keenum struggled greatly during the passing drills and raised concerns about his ability to be a successful NFL quarterback. His displayed a sidearm delivery, which leads to him throwing like an even shorter QB. His arm strength was below average and his accuracy was bad. Short quarterbacks need a big arm, excellent mechanics and accuracy; the absence of those traits will keep Keenum from being drafted early.

2. Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State, 6-4, 312; new likely draft position: Seventh round or free agent. Brewster's postseason struggles continued in Indianapolis after a bad week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He looked stiff and mechanical throughout his workout and was constantly battling to stay over his feet and under control. He did not show the athletic ability NFL teams want in a center. That is why he will likely be a late-round pick if he is drafted at all.

http://media.oregonlive.com/nfl_impact/photo/10625646-large.jpg

Former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict is a "faller" after the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.

3. Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State, 6-1 1/2, 248; new likely draft position: Third or fourth round. Burfict did not go through his full workout after reportedly pulling a hamstring on his second 40. His first 40 time of 5.10 did not help him; that is slow for a linebacker. Of greater concern: We heard from different NFL scouts about Burfict’s disappointing interviews with teams. The scouts said he blamed his struggles in 2011 on everyone but himself. Do not be shocked if his draft stock continues to fall as teams remove him from their boards because of maturity concerns.

4. George Iloka, S, Boise State, 6-3 1/2, 225; new likely draft position: Fourth round. After Iloka's strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl, NFL teams were excited to see him work out at the Combine, given the lack of depth at safety in this draft. After his struggles on the field Tuesday, not many teams will still be excited about him. He was upright and stiff in his backpedal, could not change direction to make quick transitions, and lacked a burst to make up for that slow transition. Teams are likely debating whether Iloka can play safety in the pros or will need to switch to outside linebacker.

5. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama, 6-1 1/2, 272; new likely draft position: Late first round or high second round. We were disappointed with Upshaw. He struggled during the linebacker drills, where he was required to move his feet and show that he could handle playing off the ball in pass coverage. He was upright and stiff in drops, could not flip his hips to change direction quickly and lacked the explosiveness and burst that NFL teams wanted to see. In our view, his performance clearly showed that he is a power player who lacks the explosiveness and speed to be a threat as an edge pass rusher.

http://www.oregonlive.com/nfl/index.ssf ... aller.html (http://www.oregonlive.com/nfl/index.ssf/2012/02/sporting-news-combine-riser-faller.html)


Even though he was viewed as a "faller" coming out of the Combine I would not hesitate to take Courtney Upshaw and put him in the middle next to Timmons. I would actually take him over Hightower.

My first round preferences would be:

1. DeCastro
2. Glenn
3. Upshaw
4. Hightower
5. Anyone not named Poe

hawaiiansteel
03-03-2012, 01:53 AM
Who has the skill set to play the coveted five-technique?

by Wes Bunting
MARCH 02, 2012

Breaking down the top 10 potential five techniques in the 2012 NFL draft…

1. Michael Brockers: Louisiana State (6-6, 306)
He might be a little raw and could have used some more work at the college level. However, he's an NFL talent with "plus" upside and can come in and play vs. the run at a high level right away. Should get looks at both the three and five-technique spots, and in my mind has the ability to become one of the better defensive lineman in the NFL down the line.

2. Devon Still: Penn State (6-5, 310)
He really started putting it all together as a senior. If you can keep him motivated, Still has the talent to mature into a very good starting caliber lineman at a number of positions in the NFL. He can play off blocks; find the football and anchor consistently on contact.

3. Fletcher Cox: Mississippi State (6-4, 295)
I think his best spot might be as a 34 five technique who is able to penetrate and make plays off the ball. He's raw and needs to learn to play with his pad level lower. However, as a potential five technique he's a guy who has the skill set to earn a starting role and create negative plays in both the run and pass game.

4. Dontari Poe: Memphis (6-5, 350)
What couldn’t this guy do in a 34 front? He has a rare physical skill set due to his combination of flexibility, power and get off burst. However, he's still learning the nuances of the position. If he's willing to put in the time, Poe can mature into one of the leagues better interior presences at either DE or NT. Nevertheless, because he's still raw his floor isn't overly high either.

5. Brandon Thompson: Clemson (6-2, 310)
He’s not your typical five-technique from a height/length standpoint. However, he can anchor on contact and for 3-4 teams looking for more of an up field guy at that spot, (Cowboys, Packers) Thompson could be an attractive option at the end of round one.

6. Kendall Reyes: Connecticut (6-4, 295)
Displays some natural talent and did a better job at Senior Bowl playing with a lower pad level and keeping himself clean. If he can continue to keep his base down, he should be able to fight for a starting role in a 34 front as a five-technique, as he has the size, length and range to anchor and make plays off his frame.

7. Jared Crick: Nebraska (6-6, 285)
Isn't a guy who can hold up vs. the run inside in the NFL and isn't a dynamic pass rusher either. However, as a five-technique I can see him finding a home with some versatility on 3rd down and the length to play off blocks vs. the run.

8. Dominique Hamilton: Missouri (6-5, 305)
Plays the run much stronger than his frame would indicate. He's got a burst off the snap, plays with at times leverage and extends his long arms. Has the frame to add 15 to 20 pounds and looks like a 3-4 five-technique at the next level who eventually could start in the league.

9. Trevor Guyton: California (6-3, 280)
A guy who can fill a number of roles on a defense, but he's a naturally powerful kid who can anchor and overwhelm vs. the run game. Needs to improve hands and awareness, but has the upside to make a roster.

10. Billy Winn: Boise State (6-4, 295)
Winn is a bit of a tweener who will get looks as a 34 DE and a 43 one gapping DT. I think he's best suited to play the five-technique however in a 34 front because he has the natural power/length to anchor on the edge and offers some pass rush ability off the snap as well.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Ran ... tml&page=2 (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Ranking-the-top-34-DE-prospects.html&page=2)