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Pi Network

Lou: is providing Draft King with a series of articles direct from Indianapolis, the site of the 2008 NFL Combine. Enjoy!

February 21, 2008

NFL Scouting Combine: Day 1 Tidbits

* University of Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is unsure if he will run at the Combine. McFadden could wait and run at his school's Pro Day, March 25.

* Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long admitted to holding opponents. "I'll admit that I hold. I'll get my hands inside and hide it that I'm holding. I try to hide it so that the refs can't see it," Long said. Long, by the way, plans to take part in all of the drills at the Combine.

* Boise State offensive tackle Ryan Clady noted he believes he is the best tackle in this year's NFL Draft. In regards to what system fits him best, Clady noted he primarily worked in a zone-blocking scheme previously. "We cut a lot and position block," said Clady. He said he has worked with former NFL star linemen Will Shields and Jackie Slater.

* Oregon State offensive guard Roy Schuening noted the whole NFL Scouting Combine process is a little strange. "Who knows how much of it goes into what kind of football player you are?" noted Schuening.

* Purdue tight end Dustin Keller will take part in all of the drills at the NFL Combine.

* Toledo offensive tackle John Greco said teams are looking at him as both an offensive tackle and offensive guard. Greco, who feels he can play anywhere on the line, has been taking snaps at center, too.

* Auburn offensive tackle King Dunlap said he feels a little more comfortable on the left side of the offensive line because he is left handed. However, he noted he is able to play on either side.

* University of Southern California tight end Fred Davis plans to only do the bench press drills at the Combine.

* University of Tennessee tight end Brad Cottam feels questions about his health were somewhat erased after medical tests at the Combine. He said everything went fine. "All this is maybe a little more important for me, missing nine games of my senior season. There might be a little more emphasis. They might be watching me a little more closely," Cottam said. Cottam, by the way, has been working out with Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

* University of Missouri tight end Martin Rucker has a minor hamstring injury and will not take part in any of the work outs at the Combine because of it.

Around the NFL Scouting Combine
By: Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer

Virginia guard Branden Albert, one of the top-rated guards in the draft, said Thursday that his strength is as a pass blocker but that he needs to improve his pad level. He said he has played guard for the past three years at Virginia and the position "is what I know." But, he added, he is capable of playing left tackle. He is 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds.

Albert said the greatest talent of his former Virginia teammate, defensive end Chris Long, is Long's work ethic. "He is one of the hardest workers," Albert said of Long.

Former Notre Dame star player tight end John Carlson, rated by some as the top tight end available, had to work hard just to get ready for the combine.

He said he caught a parasite after the season and lost 17 pounds in eight days. He said he has regained most of the weight (he is at 251 of his normal 255 pounds) and much of his strength. He was taken ill two weeks before the Senior Bowl, which he had to bypass.

Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh Steelers personnel director, said the crop of offensive tackles in this year's draft is the best he has seen in 24 years in the league. He agreed that up to six might go in the first round. "The majority of them can play on the left side or play both sides. It's unusual to have that many guys that big and that athletic and that productive. I think for the ones that are on the right (side) some of them have actually played on the left before and they probably have that flexibility. Just to be able to play the left (side) is such a premium. I think you can get a tackle in (first) three rounds."

Offensive left tackle Jake Long said he committed two penalties and gave up two sacks in his entire college career.

"I actually got one this season, I had a false start against Northwestern, but those were my only two penalties," Long said. "My red-shirt freshman year I had a holding penalty."

"I gave up one sack this year. I've given up two in my career," Long noted. "This year it was Vernon Gholston at Ohio State," Long said. "I take it personally. I wanted to make sure that I was perfect and not let up a sack but Vernon is a great player and he had a good move on me and I let it up. I think it was against Michigan State my red-shirt freshmen year that I allowed one."

Long also said he does not regret having come back for his senior season.

"It has helped me a lot. Last year I didn't feel I was good enough to come out; I wanted to improve on things, and those things I improved on," he said. "I feel I'm a smarter and better player than I was last year. I'm smarter in identifying the defenses."


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