Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Combine Approaching

Really!? No. Of course not.

This. I bet he got Gisele with this picture too.

The NFL Draft is coming up in a couple months. This means a few things. One, executives of their respective teams get to over-analyze 21-24 year old kids. Vince Young scored incredible low on the famed Wonderlic test. Officials over-analyzed this to death, which probably is the reason they failed to investigate if he was mentally stable. Two, the world gets to over-analyze Mel Kiper's hair for the next few month. Three, Keyshawn Johnson will talk about players in the Draft and what qualities of 'Key' they have in them. And finally four, a few Hawkeyes may get invited to the NFL Combine to be poked, tested, skewered and tested.

The Hawks turned their season around after a mediocre 3-3 start, finishing 9-4 with an Outback Bowl pounding of South Carolina for good measure. This also means a few things. Because of the drastic turnaround, the young Hawkeyes had good senior leadership in the locker room. Also, a 9-4 season is not too shabby, meaning the Hawks had some darn good players, some of whom may even be drafted.

Five Hawkeyes were invited to the week long festival of running and jumping. Seniors Mitch King, Rob Bruggeman, Bradley Fletcher and Seth Olsen. Junior RB Shonn Greene also got invited (duh) after declaring for the Draft immediately following the Outback Bowl.

Graduating seniors absent-minded-ly left off the save the date list were DT Matt Kroul and TE Brandon Myers. Myers is a bit of surprise here as was a 1st Team All Big Ten selection and possesses both good speed and above average hands.

Interesting topics to look at going into the NFL Combine:

  • Shonn Greene's 40 time? I know he's so called "football fast." But how fast is he in a straight line for 40 yards. A good time at the combine and he could shoot way up the draft boards. Recent examples: Chris Johnson and Matt Forte. However, all teams are going with two feature running backs, as the position is so vital in the NFL. So even if he doesn't run a great time, he could definitely be some teams 'power' back.
  • Mitch King. Is he big enough? Is he strong enough? I know that he's mean and crazy enough. He won't fit in well with a 3-4 scheme as defensive tackle. So he needs to be drafted in the right situation.
  • Bradley Fletcher. He's a big corner, weighing in at 6'2 and 200 lbs. He was scary good this season for the Hawkeyes. He's easily the second best cover corner in the Ferentz era, right behind Charles Godfrey. One possible option is a switch to safety, like the Carolina Panthers did with Godfrey.
  • Rob Bruggeman and Seth Olsen. Both these guys are better than you think. Olsen was a All-American. Bruggeman replaced Raf Eubanks and completely transformed a dismal line from the year before. I'm not sure if they get drafted, but Bruggeman is strong as an ox; hopefully that shows at the Combine. I'm betting Bruggeman gets drafted in a late round and will be a pleasant surprise.

Here's the link to all the invitees:

1 comment:

  1. I was really surprised not to see Myers get an invite. I still think a team will take a shot on him and will be pleasantly surprised with what they are getting.
    Like you said it comes down to the 40 for Shonn. If he can go out there and rip something off that now one expects I think you see him leapfrogging guys like LeSean McCoy and Donald Brown (who surprisingly enough to me) are projected ahead of him by some 'experts'. Another thing I can't wait to see is how many reps he puts up on the bench, compared to the other RBs.
    With that said, I think a good enough combine gives Greene the opportunity to be at least the 3rd running back off the board. Even accounting for his two year age disadvantage.



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