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From the Combine


Over on our social networking site,, we have a few official team bloggers including some staff members and two of our players in Manny Lawson and Marcus Hudson. All this week, writer Chrissy Mauck will check in from Indy, site of the Combine.

Tuesday, 1:30PM EST

The defensive backs closed out the Combine on Tuesday in Indy. CLICK HERE FOR THE RESULTS ON NFL.COM. They will get updated in the next few hours I would imagine.

In the first group, UNOFFICIALLY Tyvon Branch out of Connecticut, Wilrey Fontenot out of Arizona and Arizona State's Joshua Barrett had some of the faster times, all in the sub 4.4s.

The second group to run also had a trio of players who ran in the sub 4.4s in Eastern Kentucky Antwaun Molden, Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Colorado's Terrence Wheatley.

By this point, not too many scouts or coaches remained in the stands. From our end, all of our scouts were there watching, but only Coach Nolan, Greg Manusky, Johnnie Lynn and Vance Joseph remained.

Coach Lynn and coach Joseph both attended the bench press yesterday. They said that Arkansas State safety Tyrell Johnson had the most reps among safeties with 27, and that Molden had the most out of the corners with 23.

As fast as this position ran, some of the coaches gave them a run for their money as everyone was ready to hit the road at this point. I had to grab some of my equipment from the hotel and bring over to the RCA Dome as Ethan Waugh said he'd mail it back with some of their stuff, and on my way I saw Giants head coach Tom Coughlin burning a hole in the carpet to get out of the Dome!

After a quick lunch with Coach Nolan, Manusky and our psychologist from Baltimore who prefers to remain nameless, it was time for a cab to the airport.

I'll try to connect with Todd Brunner for his final Combine blog but that might not happen until tomorrow as he's in a meeting now with all of the scouts and I might be on my flight by the time he's done. We'll see.

Monday, 2:20PM EST

I retired as a timer so that I could check the 500 emails that I've received thru the contact us on the website. Of the linebackers who ran, Kentucky's Wesley Woodyard looked to have been the fastest with a time I was told in the 4.50 range. Georgia Tech's Gary Guyton and Tennessee Jerod Mayo also finished with some of the faster times.

I think the defensive backs are bench pressing right now, so I'll try and track down some of those results.

Monday, 1:00PM EST

I decided to try my hand at timing in the 40 for the second group of defensive linemen to run. In comparison to what some of our scouts had, I wasn't too shabby. It didn't take a stopwatch to know that Georgia's Marcus Howard was fast! I did get him right around a 4.5 though which was confirmed by others as accurate. Maryland's Dre Moore is a 300 pound man who can run. Rubber from the synthetic turf was flying and I clocked him in the high 4.9s. Chris Long out of Virginia, a potential top five pick, ran in the 4.8 - 4.9 range depending on who you asked. I timed him at a 4.78.

Numbers are up on for the defensive linemen but since I don't see Howard, I'm assuming that they are the top times from the first set of linemen only. Click here to look at those...

Monday, 10:35AM EST

The interviews are done in terms of the NFL bringing over players, so I'm spending the day at the RCA Dome watching the workouts.

The first group of defensive linemen ran this morning. I don't have a timer but I was told Auburn's Quentin Groves ran the fastest 40, in the 4.5 range. Todd Brunner was timing the 20s and said Groves, Vernon Gholston and Clifford Avril had some of the faster 20 times, which is key for defensive linemen because it translates to explosion off the line of scrimmage.

Five guys did not run in this group including Tommy Blake, Barry Booker, Titus Brown, Glenn Dorsey and Andre Fluellen. I don't know if those are due to injuries or own choice.

Right now, our assistant linebackers coach Jason Tarver is working a lot of these defensive linemen out as linebackers to see their ability to drop in coverage. Gholston is a guy many people are projecting as a linebacker and from what I just saw, the kid can drop in coverage.

Sunday, 4:45PM EST

The second group of defensive linemen featured several players with solid reps in the bench press. Notre Dame's Trevor Laws and Iowa State's Ahtyba Rubin tied with 35 reps. Right behind them was Wisconsin's Nick Hayden with 34.

Controversy! The NFL Network initially reported that Darren McFadden clocked in at a 4.27, but have since updated that to an official 4.3. Most of the scouts I spoke with had him in the 4.33-4.37 range with Chris Johnson actually showing the fastest time in the 4.29 - 4.33 range.

The linebackers also hit the bench press with Purdue's Stanford Keglar boasting the most reps at 29. Vanderbilt's Jonathan Goff also put up an impressive rep count at 28, followed by 27 for Arizona's Spencer Larsen and North Carolina's Durell Mapp.

*Side note: My counterpart from the Chargers was very excited when he got to scoop the rest of the media on his site by announcing that his team had agreed to terms with our former LB Derek Smith. Normally us team web folks can't reveal that kind of stuff until the player actually signs, in which time most agents tell the rest of the media world. I told him he'd very much enjoy Derek, who I sent a text message last week to wish him luck once we released him. Derek was quick to tell me he has gas left in the tank so I was pretty sure he would be signing elsewhere, and I'm glad to see he did.

Sunday, 3PM EST

Some of the official times are now posted on for the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Click here to take a look at those.

The running backs are currently still running. Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, and Chad Simpson so far had some of the unofficial best times, anywhere in the 4.27-4.38 range.

The first group of defensive linemen hit the bench press with Ohio State's Vernon Gholston racking up the most reps at 37. USC's Sedrick Ellis was second with 34, while Auburn's Quentin Groves put up 30 reps.

Sunday, 2PM EST

Group 5 is finishing up their workout right now.

In the 40, receivers Eddie Royal, Arman Shields and Devin Thomas were among the faster players.

Quarterback Matt Ryan was in this group and although he did not throw, he did run the 40, finishing around the 4.95 range.

More on group 4 - Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan wanted to show that he critics saying he doesn't have a strong enough arm were incorrect. Apparently he did so during the workout, demonstrating a stronger arm than he did a few weeks ago at the Senior Bowl.

I just saw Coach Greg Manusky and Jim Tomsula heading over to the bench press where I plan to join them to see some of the defensive lineman lift. The running backs should also begin there 40-yard dash shortly.

Sunday, 10:30AM EST

Group 4 just completed the 40-yard dash. Colt Brennan and Dennis Dixon were the two quarterbacks who did not run. I know Brennan said the other day he's had a bit of a bruised hip that would prevent him from running. I'm not sure about Dixon.

Among the QBs, San Diego's Joshua Johnson had the "fastest 40 by far," I was told, running in the 4.5 range.

I was able to see all of the wide receivers in this group run. Early Doucet out of LSU did not run as he recovers from an injury suffered at the Senior Bowl. Out of this group, Florida's Andre Caldwell and William Franklin out of Missouri looked to have had the fastest times in the range of a 4.38 – 4.41. Right around that mark were also the two Jackson kids, DeSean out of Cal and Dexter out of Appalachian State. UCLA's Brandon Breazell was also near the top of the pack.  Of course, those are completely unofficial times.

Saturday, 6:15PM EST

I attended the bench press for the running backs where James Felton of Furman and Carl Stewart of Auburn tied for the lead with 30 reps.

USC nose tackle Sedrick Ellis was up at the podium upon my return so I grabbed some sound from him that will make it's way onto TV49 sometime this evening!

Some of the official times are now posted on for the offensive lineman and tight ends. Click here to take a look at those.

Saturday, 3:30PM EST

UNOFFICIALLY, UCONN offensive lineman Donald Thomas apparently finished among all linemen with the fastest 40, and also had one of the better overall workouts. Arizona State Mike Pollack and Rutgers Jeremy Zuttah also finished with some of the faster times, although scouts were impressed with a 5.2 40-yard dash time from Nebraska's Carl Nicks who weighs 340 pounds.

TE Dustin Keller out of Purdue had the fastest 40 time in his group, while Kentucky's Jacob Tamme showed his receiving skills are at the top of the bunch.

It was an optional bench press session for the quarterbacks and wide receivers this afternoon, and only two of the QBs opted in. Marshall's Bernard Morris, invited to the Combine as an extra arm for the receiver's workout, knocked out 18 reps while Penn State's Anthony Morelli finished with 16.

In group one, Mt Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon benched the 225 20 times to lead his group with Eddie Royal out of Virginia Polytech shredding the competition in his group with 24 reps. Utep's Lorne Sam was right behind Royal with 23 reps.

Saturday, 12:30PM EST

They've now brought in a few defensive linemen and linebackers including Ohio State defensive lineman Vernon Gholston, Virginia defensive lineman Chris Long and USC linebacker Keith Rivers. All three drew large crowds.

Gholston falls into that tweener category and is one of those players who is a good fit for a 3-4 defense. Rivers said he won't work out at the Combine due to tweaking his ankle recently.

Group 2 (offensive lineman) are still working out although they've now completed the 40. I haven't gotten times yet, but I'll post them when I do. I'm sure if you are watching the workout live on NFL Network, you are already ahead of the game!

Saturday, 10:30AM EST

Virginia Polytech Institute offensive lineman Duane Brown unofficially had the fastest 40 time in this morning's group one workout. Some scouts clocked him at 5.00. For linemen, it's not really about speed as much as how they move and Brown apparently looked good on both fronts. 

No one has come through the media room yet, other than the Giants general manager.

Friday, 3PM ESTI am currently over at the bench press for the offensive line where so far Michigan's Jake Long has the lead in reps with 37. We are close to the bottom of group two with Ohio State's Kirk Barton finishing first in group one with 34. The lowest so far has been nine reps. I will leave him nameless and save him some embarassment because let's be real, I couldn't come close to lifting that bar once!

I am currently over at the bench press for the offensive line where so far Michigan's Jake Long has the lead in reps with 37. We are close to the bottom of group two with Ohio State's Kirk Barton finishing first in group one with 34. The lowest so far has been nine reps. I will leave him nameless and save him some embarassment because let's be real, I couldn't come close to lifting that bar once!

UPDATE: Rutgers lineman Jeremy Zuttah (who lifted last) finished second overall among all offensive linemen in the bench press with 35 reps.

Friday, 11:30AM EST

A few more receivers have trickled in including some more familiar Senior Bowl faces in LSU WR Early Doucet, Louisville WR Harry Douglas, Florida WR Andre Caldwell and Cal WR Lavelle Hawkins.

Doucet left the game early due to injury but impressed 49ers coaches at practice in his short time in Mobile. Douglas was another favorite throughout the week, while Caldwell made the winning play on an end around as time expired for Mike Nolan's South squad. Hawkins also played well in the game for the North, catching a touchdown bomb.

Quarterbacks Brian Brohm, Colt Brennan and Chad Henne have also paid their visits to the media room. Asked who was the best quarterback, Brohm said he'd have to go with himself but that every quarterback here should have that same confidence in themselves as they go through this process. Brennan answered several questions about his background at Colorado when he landed in hot water, and I appreciated his candidness in how he handled the numerous questions. Henne said he believes he probably has some questions to answer regarding his mobility and hopes to have a great workout on Sunday.

Friday, 10 AM EST

The receivers weighed in this morning at 7:30AM. Area scout Todd Brunner I believe was at that and will have some updates in his blog that we'll knock out this evening.

They've just began bringing in a few players over here to face the media. A couple more offensive linemen came through, as well as Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco and Appalachian State receiver Dexter Jackson. Jackson came into the Senior Bowl late and quickly caught the attention of just about everybody due to his speed.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon just came through the media room, and drew some attention as he's a rare Division III player to receive a Combine invite. Garcon played at Mt. Union this year, losing in the National Championship.He said he didn't have the grades to play in Division I.

"I'm very blessed to be here, whether I get drafted or not," said Garcon. "There are a lot of D-I guys who aren't here. I feel like I will get drafted but I need to show everyone what I can do because we don't get a lot of coverage."

The punters and kickers will workout at 1PM today. I attended that last year and found it pretty darn boring, so I may just wait until 2PM to slip out of the media interviews so that I can watch the first group of linemen handle the bench press.

Reports are that NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw is holding a meeting with hundreds of agents today to discuss the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Ownership could exercise an opt-out later this year which would cancel the agreement two years earlier.

Thursday, 2:20PM EST

Coach Nolan and Scot McCloughan were both asked about the depth in the draft at offensive line. McCloughan said he thought that 6-8 offensive linemen would likely go in the first round and that some will have a shot like Joe Thomas and Joe Staley to come in and start in their rookie years.

Nolan said that Staley would in fact work in some at the left tackle position in his second year and that they'd then look at the depth of the offensive line to determine where best to use him next season.

McCloughan said both Shaun Hill and Alex Smith are doing very well after having surgery and are both expected to be available at the team's mini camp.

Asked about free agency, McCloughan said, "We won't just spend to spend. We'll try to identify who we think of as 49ers like a Michael Lewis or a Nate Clements last year, and then go after them. We've got names for unrestricted and restricted and we've got them placed and then we have a limit for money. We won't just go after one guy no matter what and spend whatever. We have an idea and then we've got plan A, B and C. But, we'll be involved again."

Most of the tight ends have been paraded through the media room at this point, as well as a few other big name offensive lineman in Nebraska's Carl Nicks and Vanderbilt's Chris Williams. 

Thursday, 12:45PM EST

I'm camped out at the media room here in Indianapolis where head coach Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan are expected shortly.

Lovie Smith and Dick Jauran have already come through this morning and currently the competition committee is up at the main podium discussing some of the rules and Spygate.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz was surrounded by media out in the hallway earlier with tons of questions about his Rams walk-thru possibly being taped by the Patriots prior to the Super Bowl. Martz essentially said he is hoping that it's not the case and is sticking with that premise until informed otherwise. He was also asked about one of his former players being involved in a lawsuit against the Patriots, but he refused to discuss and said instead he'd rather talk about the 49ers. I was happy to oblige and peppered him with a few questions that I'll put into a story later on.

One thing he did say was that although it's been only a few weeks, he's had the most fun he's had in years coaching with the 49ers.

Several punters and kickers have already come through including possibly one of the shorter players in Combine history in Oregon State kicker Alexis Serna. David McCloughan told me he just cleared the 5'6 mark, which is as low as the NFL's measuring stick goes. If anyone is shorter than that point, they mark the wall and then measure up.

I've seen some familiar Senior Bowl faces in Oniel Cousins and Michael McGlynn, two offensive lineman who worked with Coach George Warhop down in Mobile. McGlynn in fact was just commenting on how much he learned in one week from Warhop.

Probably the biggest name to come through so far is Michigan tackle Jake Long who is expected to go in the top ten. Nancy Gay is here and was asking him about possibly playing with the Oakland Raiders.

Stay tuned…

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