College area scout Todd Brunner checks in for his latest Brunner's Blog, updating you on how things are going in Indianapolis at the Combine. **
FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE COMBINE
It had been pretty much dead as far as activity goes really until today. I came in on Tuesday night and it's been more administrative stuff the first few days with meetings and height and weights. We normally have interviews scheduled from Wednesday night on, but we didn't have our first interviews scheduled until this evening, so it's even bit quiet on that front.
The wide receivers had their heights and weights first thing this morning. Eddie Royal and Josh Morgan are two kids from my area as they played at Virginia Polytech Institute. Josh looked good. He's a big looking kid and a guy we'll interview this week. Royal was at the Senior Bowl and isn't as big as Josh, but he's a guy who has some play making ability as a slot receiver and a returner. I know some of our scouts thought the Hawaii receiver Davone Bess was extremely ripped. He's a shorter guy but he's got some strength. Some scouts were also talking about the thickness of LSU wide receiver Early Doucet, another kid we had down at the Senior Bowl, and then also Michigan State Devin Thomas, who is another big, good looking wide receiver.
Finally on Friday, we also had something in the Dome with the punters and kickers working out in the afternoon. We attended that as a scouting staff and split up different assignments. Ethan Waugh did the get off, which is for the punters the time from when they catch the ball until they kick the ball, so touch to toe. I recorded the distance on each punt and Roylin Bradley was doing the hang time. We'll input those numbers into the computer for each guy.
The kid from Georgia Tech, Durant Brooks, did the best in terms of directional punting. He was phenomenal. I had one kid from my area at the workout in Army kicker Owen Tolson. I thought he did well for himself.
However, field goal wise it was probably the kicker Arthur Carmody from Louisville who had the best workout, as he was 100% on his kicks. That lived up to his nickname Automatica.
I didn't make it over to the bench press because it occurred during the specialist workout, but offensive line coach George Warhop told me that my kid from Rutgers, Jeremy Zuttah, finished second in the bench press with 35 reps. That's a pretty impressive number and great to see.
Friday night we had our first round of interviews and it's a chance to sit with some kids who we haven't seen at some of the all-Star games, for example, Jeffrey Otah from Pittsburgh. He had to pull out of the Senior Bowl because of an ankle injury and so this is the first chance for our coaches and some of our other scouts to get to sit with him. He's a little inexperienced after transferring from a junior college and playing only two years at Pitt but they got to see how he comes across and that he has some leadership qualities. He came across very confident in his interview and so I was satisfied with it, and hopefully everyone else in that room is as well.
He was one of the first ones, but we'll keep at this until 11 tonight and then Saturday will pick up even more so with activities all day long.
I'll be on the field timing the guys and for their workouts, and it's always exciting to see your own kids and how they perform. You want to see them do the things well that you know they are capable of doing and that are in line with what you saw out of them during the fall. You always want to come away knowing the grade you gave a guy is what it should be, or if anything, better than what you thought event.
So, probably around 8 in the morning I'll make sure I'm over there as they said they'd probably start running around 9. I prefer to make sure I'm there early just in case they decide to move something up.
The first two groups will be the two offensive line groups and then the last group to run will be the tight ends. I'll be timing at the 20-yardline, and then during the tight end workout, I'll throw in the gauntlet. As I said last year, I enjoy reliving my college playing days and so it's always something I look forward to and hopefully my arm doesn't fail me.
This week is just another piece of the puzzle heading into the Draft and so far, it's going well.