Lou: KFFL.com is providing Draft King with a series of articles direct from Indianapolis, the site of the 2008 NFL Combine. Enjoy!
February 23, 2008
NFL Scouting Combine: Day 3 Tidbits
By: Cory J. Bonini, KFFL.com
University of Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey weighed in at a hearty 271 pounds, a weight at which he's comfortable. Harvey said that he played at about 258-260 this past season; he tacked on the extra weight simply because he's still growing - he turned 21 in November. He likes playing with his hand down, and teams may consider him more of a 4-3 end, like he does. However, Harvey noted that he dropped back in coverage every game with the Gators because they played a lot of zone. Regarding his future role on an NFL defense, Harvey said he felt he could do anything.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards stated that his team probably needs eight new starters, some of which will come through the draft, some through free agency. Before that, Edwards was asked about the quarterback position, and he mentioned that the Chiefs, three years ago, nabbed a guy they like in Brodie Croyle. However, in the next breath, Edwards noted, "At all positions on the team, you always want to create competition, especially where we're headed." Does that open the possibility that KC drafts a passer, at least on Day 2? Edwards also relayed his impression of University of Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long: "He's got all the tools. He's big, he's pretty athletic, pretty good feet. He's a guy if you draft, you know he's going to be a great tackle for 10 years." The Chiefs select fifth overall.
Arizona Cardinals vice president of football operations Rod Graves said that he considers linebacker Calvin Pace, scheduled to become a free agent, one of the team's core players and hopes to bring him back. "He has made it clear he'd like to remain with us, and we'd like to keep him, so we're still working to make that happen." Graves also indicated that he didn't consider wideout Larry Fitzgerald's rookie contract, which contained many escalators, a mistake. However, Graves said the club "also determined that if we should be at this point, we'd be back at the bargaining table to work out a long-term deal that was a little more palatable for the organization." He said that if they couldn't work out a deal, the team would eat the contract and keep Fitz.
University of North Carolina defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer said that playing end in a 3-4 would be nothing new for him because the Tar Heels had a package in which he played the 4 technique. He furthered that thought when he said if he could compare himself to anyone, it would be New England Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour. "He's a very versatile player. He plays hard. He plays with passion."
University of Michigan linebacker/defensive end Shawn Crable expected to be working at linebacker at the combine. Instead, as he pointed out, he'll begin work with the linemen. Crable stated that he didn't have a preference because he's good at either. Occasionally, he also played defensive tackle for the Wolverines. The knock on him concerns his ability to change direction and play in coverage, but he believes he'll dispel any doubts about it. Crable said he's preparing for everything. "I've talked to a lot of teams and sometimes I've walked into the room and they'll say 'You make a better defensive end' and then I'll walk out of that room and into another room and they'll be like 'No, you're not a defensive end, you're a linebacker.'" He said that he had interest in playing for the Cleveland Browns. "My mother would love it."
Southern California defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis wanted to make it clear that he can play either spot on the interior of the line in a 4-3. He said, however, that he would be comfortable playing in a 3-4, too, noting that his head coach, Pete Carroll, added some 3-4 wrinkles to the Trojans defense in the past couple of seasons. He believes that his height (6-foot) is actually an advantage. "You get these big 6-5 linemen and I can get up underneath them and uproot them out of what they're trying to do." Ellis (309 pounds) also feels that he doesn't need to add weight because he can move fast yet still shed double teams. He joked that he found a coach's question on what he would change about himself rather odd. "I looked at him and said I kind of like myself so I really wouldn't change much."
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team would be interested in offensive guard Alan Faneca, should he not be able to work out a deal to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers within the next week.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall said that he felt "stabbed in the back" by the Falcons and wants to play elsewhere. Two Falcons officials reportedly said it would take at least a first-round pick and perhaps more.
Washington Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato doesn't expect the Redskins to be big players in the free-agent market this offseason, especially during the early stages of the process.
Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said the team will try sign defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a long-term deal. Haynesworth was recently tagged as the team's franchise player.
Louisiana State running back Jacob Hester said he was actually a distant cousin of Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Hester noted how his great aunt was married to his uncle.
Georgia Tech inside linebacker Philip Wheeler found himself measuring a quarter-inch shorter at the combine than he did at the Senior Bowl. "6-1 3/4, 248 pounds. Was 6-2 at Senior Bowl, guess I shrunk a bit."
University of Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo said his knees are in good shape. "My knees are great. I just got finished doing all the physicals and things like that. The doctors are telling me good things and hopefully it could stay that way." Mayo's right lateral collateral ligament was surgically repaired in 2005, and he had a knee scope in 2006.
Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston said he doesn't have a preference playing down or as a standing linebacker. Gholston measured 6-foot-3 and weighed 266 pounds.