College area scout Todd Brunner checks in for his latest Brunner's Blog, updating you on how things went in Indianapolis on Monday with the defensive line and linebackers working out at the Combine. Check it out...**
MONDAY FROM THE COMBINE
Today we had defensive linemen and linebackers and as I've continued to do, my job has been timing the 20s. I think those and the times for the 10 are probably a little more important for some of these bigger guys because you want to see their explosion. I mean, when do they ever really run 40 yards?
In the first group of defensive linemen, Quentin Groves, Vernon Gholston and Clifford Avril ran some of the faster times. I also liked what I saw from Sedrick Ellis. For as big as he is, he was impressive. The guy got down in his stance and you didn't think there was any chance he was going to get out of his stance, but he exploded out of it and did very well for himself. Some guys really struggle coming out and look in pain, so you just never know from these big guys.
Another thing I've noticed this year is that some kids are holding their breath the entire way. The first guy I really noticed it was with Matt Ryan. In talking to other scouts, that's apparently some method that these trainers are teaching. Either it's a great thing, and it'll help the guy get there faster or somebody is going to pass out before they get to the 40.
I was wishing to see Glenn Dorsey run, the big guy from LSU. In hearing all of the talk about him possibly being a #1 pick I was interested to see what he could do, but he did not run or work out so I guess I won't be seeing it.
In the second group, I thought Chris Long worked out well and ran well. He didn't work out as a linebacker which I'm sure some people thought he was going to, but for whatever reason he didn't. I think everyone knows who he is as a player. He's just a football player. He might not be the best football player in the country, but he's the most polished and ready to play, and he could play any position. He can play standing up, or he can play with his hand on the ground, whatever you need him to do.
Marcus Howard out of Georgia ran one 40 and he ran it really fast. He was my fastest 20 on the day, but that was all we saw of him because he strained a quad. I think he finished with a 4.45 or a 4.50 which is really impressive for a defensive linemen.
Dre Moore from Maryland had a good workout. According to his strength coach back at Maryland, Moore was a guy who would come in here and "blow" things up and have great numbers. He did that and he showed some things on the field too. He's a guy you'd like to see a little more consistency though out there. He flashes and you see his ability but it's something that you need to see consistently.
Carlton Powell had a good workout and ran well. He's a kid from my area and I was glad to see him do well. Lawrence Jackson out of USC also ran well.
The final group today was the linebackers.
GA Tech's Gary Guyton ran well and did pretty well in the drills, showing he's got hips and can drop. I think he had one of the faster times of the linebackers, along with Wesley Woodyard and Jerod Mayo.
Xavier Adibi moved around well and did everything I expected him to do. He's a good, solid football player at Virginia Tech. I would say that he ran just okay, but I thought he had a sold workout.
Erin Henderson, a junior linebacker out of Maryland, was another kid from my area I was anxious to see. For 244 pounds, he's well built and put together nicely. He's EJ Henderson's brother, who plays for the Vikings. He ran an okay 40, around a 4.8 and moved around well in the drills. I had some like for the guy and so hopefully he'll have another great workout at his Pro Day and help himself.
One guy I was disappointed with from my area was Dan Connor because he didn't work out. He probably wants to work out back at Penn State, but I think this was a chance for him to work on an even playing ground. I'm sure he'll have a good work out on his own campus, but this was a great chance for him to compete against the top guys in the nation on the same surface and under the same conditions, and be on television!
That's the great thing about the Combine being on the NFL Network because I think that does motivate some of these kids to go ahead and work out here. They want to show their friends and family what they can do.
Today wasn't as long as Sunday, and we got to see the big guys run and now I'm looking forward to Tuesday and finishing off the Combine with the defensive fast guys with the corners and safeties. I'll check in again when this thing wraps up!