Thread: Combine notes
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #232
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Some other decent stuff in the article besides the combine nuggets I'm posting from the article.

Five combine takeaways, inside and outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

1. Repeat after me: Two months to go before real decisions happen. It may be a big deal that top-10 pick Star Lotulelei, the defensive tackle from Utah, has a heart defect that needs further testing, as reported by ESPN, but we won't know for sure until further tests happen. Same with the spinal stenosis for Georgia's Jarvis Jones and the rehabbing shoulder of USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Patience. Patience. When you hear that players are "sliding down draft boards,'' or "rocketing up draft boards,'' understand that it's a lie. Those draft boards now are mental. Most teams have their first version of player ranking set before coming to the combine. Then they return home and continue the scouting process, then reset the board in the week or sometimes day or two before the draft. If they're sliding or rising now, it's in the minds of GMs, not in any official sense.

2. Alex Smith to Kansas City? Jason LaCanfora reported Sunday night that a trade of Smith from the 49ers was "effectively complete,'' but the destination is unknown. It's not Jacksonville. It's likely Kansas City, and if it's for a third-round pick or less, it's a great move for the Chiefs. Smith would be the smart and accurate field general Andy Reid wants out of the position.

3. The Ravens and Joe Flacco are making progress. The club negotiator, Pat Moriarty, and agent Joe Linta spent four hours together Friday night, then were spotted at the Capital Grille having dinner. This isn't degenerating into what happened last summer -- yet, and I don't think it will -- when Linta and Flacco walked away with a deal agonizingly close. The Ravens know they can find a way to do a cap-friendly deal in years one and two, Flacco knows he doesn't want to leave Baltimore, and the extended conversation is a good sign that the two sides can reach a five- or six-year deal to keep the unsigned Flacco in Baltimore through the middle of his prime years before free agency opens in two weeks.

4. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o made a very good first impression on the NFL. No way the second- or third-rated inside linebacker gets to the bottom of the round now, in the wake of the fake girlfriend story. I can't see him lasting past Cincinnati at 21. "Unbelievable kid,'' is how one interviewer for a team described him Sunday night. "Everybody in our room fell in love with him." More about him in a few moments.

5. Making sense of the speed. "We were talking about that tonight,'' said one club scout. "The times just seem to be faster than we expected, by a lot of guys." There were six sub-4.4-second 40-yard dashes by wide receivers -- including 4.27 by Texas' Marquise Goodwin and 4.34 by Texas A&M's Ryan Swope, both faster than predicted -- and a ridiculous 4.65-second run by 306-pound offensive line prospect Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Maybe it's just a fluky year. But if the defensive backs run faster than normal Tuesday in the final day of combine work, I think teams will pay more attention than usual to retests on some of the sprinters' Pro Days in March.
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