College area scout Todd Brunner checks in for his latest Brunner's Blog, updating you on how the final day of the Combine went in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Enjoy this Combine wrap-up!**
TUESDAY FROM THE COMBINE
The defensive backs went through workouts today and they did well. Some of the guys ran very fast including Justin King, a junior from Penn State, who ran in the 4.3 range. Dominique Rogers-Cromartie also did very well, as well as Antwaun Molden, a corner from Eastern Kentucky.
All those guys ran very well, especially the junior, King. I thought he had some good speed to him, but I didn't expect him to run a 4.3. His workout was just okay. I wish he would have caught the ball better, but that's one thing he told us in our interview that he needed to work on. He's got good speed and size. With the way he worked out today I think he really opened some eyes and he will go in the upper half of the draft as will Rogers-Cromartie. He had a good week at the Senior Bowl after coming from a smaller school, Tennessee State. He performed well down there and proved he belonged with the big boys. After working out very well here as well, he just made himself a very wealthy man.
One of the guys I was looking forward to seeing was Brandon Flowers, the junior from Virginia Tech. We sat down and we interviewed him, and he was very forthright. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he didn't have a great workout. His 40 time wasn't what I thought it would be and I think he plays much faster than what he ran. I think he will improve himself at his pro day on March 20, and will likely run again in order to improve his time. He was a guy that was really high on many draft boards because when you watch him on tape, he's a very good football player. We like to say that what you do at the Combine can only help, not hurt you, and hopefully that's the case for Flowers.
All the defensive backs go through the same drills regardless of whether they are a corner or a safety, and what you look for in either position is foot quickness, athletic ability and how they transition from backpedaling to turning and running. You want to see them break at good angles, if they have loose hips, if their movement is fluid as opposed to stiff, if they play with good knee bend or if they play upright. So, those were some of the things we were looking for during today's drills.
Overall, this year's Combine went well. We got a lot of information and we feel good about things. We have a better understanding of many of the players, especially the juniors. Going into the Combine, you really don't know what the juniors are going to run or what kind of speed they have because it's all really just estimated. It's nice to see them run here because we can get a verified time on them, and that helps us solidify our evaluations of them and where they fit on our draft board.
Once they declared in January, we were rushing to get our tape work done and get our first report in on those guys. We'll submit our final reports on the juniors towards the end of March after the Combine and all the workouts.
Coming away from this, we feel like we have a pretty good handle on everyone who was out here. There are still some guys out there who weren't invited to the Combine and we'll still need to have grades and final rankings for those guys as well, either as draftable guys or free agents. You don't want anybody to fall through the cracks. You want to get some more information and you want to verify information, especially 40 times for some of the fringe guys. The time that they run can make or break a guy as a free agent. If he runs well, he can definitely make it. If he doesn't, we may have to look elsewhere.
We're all departing Indianapolis either today or tomorrow and now we'll be turning our attention to the various Pro Days. Matt Malaspina and David McCloughan will be heading down to Miami for their Pro Day at the end of this week. We each have our own schools that we're responsible for throughout March, and then we'll be heading back to team headquarters two weeks prior to the draft. At that point we'll go over a draft board and hash through all the information and observations we have from the various Pro Days, and then we'll get together with the coaching staff for their input.
Now that the Combine is over, I can't wait to get home. After being at team headquarters for 18 days, I went home for only three days before coming to Indy. I feel like I haven't seen my family in forever and I'm anxious to make my way home to them!