Combine kicks off draft season this week

Draft-eligible players begin arriving Wednesday in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL draft is two months away.

 

I’ll be heading to the combine tomorrow, and will have full coverage from there for four days, beginning Thursday.

 

I go there with an open mind, but with some thoughts on certain players . . . such as:

 

–QB Sam Bradford: Seems like a risky pick to select a QB high in the first round from a spread offense who is stil recovering from surgery on a separated throwing shoulder.

 

–QB Jimmy Clausen: My first experience watching him was as the highest-rated prep QB. He came out for the 2006 small-schools California high school championship game and began taunting the Cardinal Newman sideline. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t a player of his caliber handle himself little better?” He threw three interceptions and his heavily favored Oaks Christian squad eked out an overtime victory. In the lead-up to the combine, I’ve heard draftniks compare his temperament to J.P. Losman. (That’s not a compliment.) The interview process will be important for him.

 

QB Tim Tebow: I just don’t understand. He knew a year ago he had major mechanical flaws that would keep him from being a QB at the next level. He had all last offseason before his senior year at Florida to work on those issues. So what does he do? He waits until two months before the draft – and after a less-than impressive showing in the Senior Bowl – to begin retooling his throwing motion. That just seems odd. (By the way, here’s what I wrote on Twitter about Tebow on Jan. 1.)

 

RB Jahvid Best: Hopefully his days of leaping at the goal line are over. I still can’t get that image out of my mind. And you know teams are concerned, too.

 

–RB C.J. Spiller: I’m hearing he’s a more NFL-ready version of Reggie Bush. I’d hope so. Bush is just a role player.

 

RB Dexter McCluster: Anyone who wants a specialty back/return man will be interested in this waterbug. The question is, at his size, is he worth a second-round pick?

 

RB Toby Gerhart: After the Heisman season, he has fallen off the face of the earth. Nobody is talking about him. Why is that? I’ll ask around about him in Indianapolis.

 

WR Dez Bryant: Obviously, he’s very talented. But might teams be wary of his choice of representation? He hired Michael Crabtree’s agent, Eugene Parker.

 

OT Trent Williams: He was strong at right tackle a year ago, but struggled on the left side this past season. Who is the real Trent Williams?

 

OT Bruce Campbell: I’m hearing he will turn heads at the combine with his physique and athleticism.

 

OG Mike Iupati: When the top tackles fly off the board, he how will it take for a team to grab him? Many believe he has the feet to step in and be a darn good right tackle.

 

–OLB Koa Misi: I’ll be doing a daily notebook with him, beginning Friday when he reports to Indianapolis with the defensive linemen. He’s a former Montgomery High and Santa Rosa JC standout who helped himself with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. He’s an intriguing prospect, cut a little from the Clay Matthews mold. He has tremendous versatility.

 

CB Javier Arenas: His man coverage skills aren’t the best in this class, but he has strong attributes as a return man. That warrants consideration for some teams.

 

–S Taylor Mays: He seems to be very popular among a percentage of 49ers fan for a guy who made so few plays throughout his USC career. He’ll post fantastic combine numbers. At this point, my best comparison that 49ers fans might remember is Dana Hall.

 

Those are just some of my thoughts. I’ll have four days to share many of other observations.

 

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Please pass along the players you wish to read more about while I’m in Indianapolis. I’ll try my best to accommodate.

 

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Here is a list of the players invited to the scouting combine (*-denotes players who were granted early entry into the draft):

 

QUARTERBACKS

*Bradford, Sam (Oklahoma)

Brown, Levi (Troy)

Brown, Jarrett (West Virginia)

Canfield, Sean (Oregon St)

Clark, Daryll (Penn St)

*Clausen, Jimmy (Notre Dame)

Edwards, Armanti (Appalachian St)

Hall, Max (BYU)

Hiller, Tim (Western Michigan)

Kafka, Miike (Northwestern)

LeFevour, Dan (Central Michigan)

Lewis, Thaddeus (Duke)

McCoy, Colt (Texas)

Pike, Tony (Cincinnati)

Robinson, Zac (Oklahoma St)

Skelton, John (Fordham)

Skinner, Riley (Wake forest)

*Snead, Jevan (Mississippi)

Tebow, Tim (Florida)

 

RUNNING BACKS

Asiata, Matthew (Utah)

Bell, Joique (Wayne St)

*Best, Jahvid (Cal)

Blount, Legarrette (Oregon)

Brown, Chris (Oklahoma)

Dixon, Andre (Connecticut)

Dixon, Anthony (Mississippi St)

*Dwyer, Jonathan (Georgia Tech)

Gerhart, Toby (Stanford)

Hardesty, Montario (Tennessee)

James, Javarris (Miami-Fl)

Johnson, Stafon (USC)

*Marshall, Darius (Marshall)

*Mathews, Ryan (Fresno St)

McCluster, Dexter (Mississippi)

*Mcknight, Joe (USC)

*McNeal, Shawnbrey (SMU)

Miller, Lonyae (Fresno St)

Minor, Brandon (Michigan)

Paschall, Pat (North Dakota St)

Scott, Charles (Louisiana St)

Spiller, C.J. (Clemson)

Starks, James (Buffalo)

Tate, Ben (Auburn)

Toston, Keith (Oklahoma St)

Williams, Keiland (Louisiana St)

 

FULLBACKS

Conner, John (Kentucky)

Jackson, Rashawn (Virginia)

Tonga, Manase  (BYU)

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Ajirotutu, Seyi (Fresno St)

Alexander, Danario (Missouri)

Arnett, Alric (West Virginia)

Banks, Brandon (Kansas St)

*Bell, Chris (Norfolk St)

*Benn, Arrelious (Illinois)

Boateng, Nyan (Cal)

*Briscoe, Dezmon (Kansas)

*Brown, Antonio (Central Michigan)

*Bryant, Dez (Oklahoma St)

Carter, Chris (UC Davis)

Cooper, Riley (Florida)

Decker, Eric (Minnesota)

Easley, Marcus (Connecticut)

Ford, Jacoby (Clemson)

Gettis, David (Baylor)

Gilyard, Mardy (Cincinnati)

Hodge, Shay (Mississippi)

James, Brandon (Florida)

Jones, Donald (Youngstown)

Jurovich, Kevin (San Jose St)

LaFell, Brandon (Louisiana St)

Long, Scott (Louisville)

McGaha, Chris (Arizona St)

Meier, Kerry (Kansas)

*Mitchell, Carlton (South Florida)

Parker, Preston (North Alabama)

Perry, Jared (Missouri)

Price, Taylor (Ohio)

Reed, David (Utah)

Roberts, Andre (Citadel)

Sanders, Emmanuel (SMU)

Shipley, Jordan (Texas)

*Tate, Golden (Notre Dame)

*Thomas, Demaryius (Georgia Tech)

Tucker, Verran (Cal)

West, Chastin (Fresno St)

White, Blair (Michigan St)

*Williams, Damian (USC)

Williams, Jeremy (Tulane)

Williams, Kyle (Arizona St)

*Williams, Mike (Syracuse)

Williams, Stephen (Toledo)

Wolfe, Ryan (UNLV)

 

TIGHT ENDS

Byham, Nate (Pittsburgh)

Dickerson, Dorin (Pittsburgh)

Dickson, Ed (Oregon)

Dray, Jim (Stanford)

Eldridge, Brody (Oklahoma)

Epps, Dedrick (Miami-Fl)

Geer, Riar (Colorado)

Graham, Garrett (Wisconsin)

Graham, Jimmy (Miami-Fl)

*Gresham, Jermaine (Oklahoma)

*Gronkowski, Rob (Arizona)

Harbor, Clay (Missouri St)

*Hernandez, Aaron (Florida)

Hoomanawanui, Michael (Illinois)

Mastrud, Jeron (Kansas St)

McCoy, Anthony (USC)

Moeaki, Tony (Iowa)

Peek, Colin (Alabama)

Pitta, Dennis (BYU)

Quarless, Andrew (Penn St)

 

TACKLES

Beadles, Zane (Utah)

Black, Ciron (Louisiana St)

Brown, Charles (USC)

*Bulaga, Bryan (Iowa)

Calloway, Kyle (Iowa)

*Campbell, Bruce (Maryland)

Capers, Selvish (West Virginia)

*Davis, Anthony (Rutgers)

Degeare, Chris (Wake Forest)

Ducasse, Vlad (Massachusetts-Amherst)

Fox, Jason (Miami-Fl)

Jerry, John (Mississippi)

Jolly, Kyle (North Carolina)

Kopa, Matt (Stanford)

Lauvao, Shawn (Arizona St)

Newhouse, Marshall (Texas Christian)

Okung, Russell (Oklahoma St)

Pemberton, Cole (Colorado St)

Saffold, Rodger (Indiana)

Scott, Chris (Tennessee)

Tepper, Mike (Cal)

Ulatoski, Adam (Texas)

Veldheer, Jared (Hillsdale)

Wang, Ed (Virginia Tech)

Washington, Tony (Abilene Christian)

Welch, Thomas (Vanderbilt)

Williams, Trent (Oklahoma)

Young, Sam (Notre Dame)

 

GUARDS

Asamoah, Jon (illinois)

Brooks, Dorian (James Madison)

Carter, Brandon (Texas Tech)

Gregory, Kurtis (Missouri)

Hawley, Joe (UNLV)

Iupati, Mike (Idaho)

Johnson, Mike (Alabama)

Parsons, Alex (USC)

Petrus, Mitch (Arkansas)

Richardson, Dace (Iowa)

Smith, Shelley (Colorado St)

 

CENTERS

Byers, Jeff (USC)

Cook, Erik (New Mexico)

Hickman, Jake (Nebraska)

Larsen, Ted (North Carolina St)

Olsen, Eric (Notre Dame)

*Pouncey, Maurkice (Florida)

Tennant, Matt (Boston Col)

Walton, J D (Baylor)

 

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Alem, Rahim (Louisiana St.)

Alualu, Tyson (Cal)

*Basped, Kevin (Nevada)

Carrington, Alex (Arkansas St)

Coleman, Antonio (Auburn)

Cunningham, Jermaine (Florida)

Davis, Dexter (Arizona St)

Davis, Hall (Louisiana-Lafayette)

Deaderick, Brandon (Alabama)

*Dunlap, Carlos (Florida)

Galette, Junior (Stillman)

*Geathers, Clifton (South Carolina)

*Gibson, Thaddeus (Ohio St)

Graham, Brandon (Michigan)

*Griffen, Everson (USC)

Hardy, Greg (Mississippi)

Hughes, Jerry (Texas Christian)

Ihenacho, Carl (San Jose St)

Kindle, Sergio (Texas)

Kirlew, Jammie (Indiana)

Lane, Austen (Murray St)

Lang, Brandon (Troy)

Lorig, Erik (Stanford)

McClellan, Albert (Marshall)

Middleton, Greg (Indiana)

Misi, Koa (Utah)

Moats, Arthur (James Madison)

*Morgan, Derrick (Georgia Tech)

*Pierre-Paul, Jason (South Florida)

Sapp, Ricky (Clemson)

Schofield, O’Brien (Wisconsin)

Selvie, George (South Florida)

Sheffield, Cameron (Troy)

Te’o-Nesheim, Daniel (Washington)

Tracy, Adrian (William & Mary)

Washington, Lorenzo (Alabama)

Wilson, C.J. (East Carolina)

Wilson, E.J. (North Carolina)

Witten, Lindsey (Connecticut)

Wootton, Corey (Northwestern)

*Worilds, Jason (Virginia Tech)

Young, Willie (North Carolina St)

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

Alexander, Charles (Louisiana St)

Atkins, Geno (Georgia)

Cody, Terrence (Alabama)

Houston, Lamarr (Texas)

Jones, Art (Syracuse)

*Joseph, Linval (East Carolina)

*McCoy, Gerald (Oklahoma)

Mitchell, Earl (Arizona)

Mullins, Aleric (North Carolina)

Neal, Mike (Purdue)

Odrick, Jared (Penn St)

Oghobaase, Vince (Duke)

Owens, Jeff (Georgia)

Peters, Corey (Kentucky)

*Price, Brian (UCLA)

Ross, Jay (East Carolina)

Sheppard, Malcolm (Arkansas)

Smith, D’Anthony (Louisiana Tech)

Suh, Ndamukong (Nebraska)

Thomas, Cam (North Carolina)

Troup, Torell (Central Florida)

Williams, Dan (Tennessee)

Woods, Al (Louisiana St)

Worthington, Doug (Ohio St)

 

 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Beauchamp, Jason (UNLV)

Bosworth, Kyle (UCLA)

*Bowman, Navorro (Penn St)

Clayton, Keenan (Oklahoma)

Cole, Justin (San Jose St)

Coleman, Harry (Louisiana St)

Conner, Kavell (Clemson)

*Curran, Rennie (Georgia)

Edds, A.J. (Iowa)

Grimm, Cody (Virginia Tech)

Kristick, Keaton (Oregon St)

Lawrence, Simoni (Minnesota)

Lee, Sean (Penn St)

Maxwell, Samuel (Kentucky)

Norwood, Eric (South Carolina)

Riley, Perry (Louisiana St)

Sylvester, Steven (Utah)

Watson, Dekoda (Florida St)

Weatherspoon, Sean (Missouri)

 

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

Angerer, Pat (Iowa)

Butler, Donald (Washington)

Campbell, Lee (Minnesota)

Chaney, Jamar (Mississippi St)

Dillard, Phillip (Nebraska)

Goethel, Travis (Arizona St)

Hull, Josh (Penn St)

Johnson, Micah (Kentucky)

Lee, Boris (Troy)

*McClain, Rolando (Alabama)

McLaughlin, Mike (Boston Col)

Muckelroy, Roddrick (Texas)

Sharpton, Darryl (Miami-Fl)

Spikes, Brandon (Florida)

Triplett, Nathan (Minnesota)

Washington, Daryl (Texas Christian)

Wilson, Kion (South Florida)

 

CORNERBACKS

Arenas, Javier (Alabama)

Brown, Cornelius (UTEP)

Butler, Crezdon (Clemson)

Carroll, Nolan (Maryland)

Chancellor, Chris (Clemson)

Cook, Chris (Virginia)

Cox, Perrish (Oklahoma St)

*Franks, Dominique (Oklahoma)

Ghee, Brandon (Wake Forest)

Green, Marshay (Mississippi)

*Haden, Joe (Florida)

Hawkins, Chris (Louisiana St)

Jackson, Brian (Oklahoma)

*Jackson, Kareem (Alabama)

Jefferson, A.J. (Fresno St)

Lewis, Myron (Vanderbilt)

Lindley, Trevard (Kentucky)

McCourty, Devin (Rutgers)

McManis, Sherrick (Northwestern)

*Moore, Joshua (Kansas St)

Murphy, Jerome (South Florida)

Owusu-Ansah, Akwasi (Indiana-Pa)

Pender, David (Purdue)

Pinkard, Josh (USC)

Robinson, Patrick (Florida St)

Ross, Devin (Arizona)

*Spievey, Amari (Iowa)

Thomas, Kevin (USC)

Thompson, Syd’Quan (Cal)

Thurmond, Walter (Oregon)

Verner, Alterraun (UCLA)

Virgil, Stephan (Virginia Tech)

Wall, Jamar (Texas Tech)

*Warren, Donovan (Michigan)

Wilson, Kyle (Boise St)

 

SAFETIES

Allen, Nate (South Florida)

Amaya, Jonathon (Nevada)

Antoine, Lucien (Oklahoma St)

Asante, Larry (Nebraska)

*Berry, Eric (Tennessee)

*Burnett, Morgan (Georgia Tech)

Chancellor, Kam (Virginia Tech)

Church, Barry (Toledo)

Coleman, Kurt (Ohio St)

*Jones, Chad (Louisiana St)

*Jones, Reshad (Georgia)

Lewis, Kendrick (Mississippi)

Mays, Taylor (USC)

McCarthy, Kyle (Notre Dame)

Polk, Nick (Indiana)

*Rogan, Dennis (Tennessee)

Rolle, Myron (Florida St)

Stewart, Darian (South Carolina)

Stuckey, Darrell (Kansas)

*Thomas, Earl (Texas)

Ward, T.J. (Oregon)

Woodall, Justin (Alabama)

*Wright, Major (Florida)

 

SPECIALISTS

Pettrey, Aaron (Ohio St) kicker

Swenson, Brett (Michigan St) kicker

Tiffin, Leigh (Alabama) kicker

Bowden, Brent (Virginia Tech) punter

Dodge, Matt (East Carolina) punter

Malone, Robert (Fresno St) punter

Mesko, Zoltan (Michigan) punter

Ravanesi, Scott (Southern Illinois) punter

Gresham, Clint (Texas Christian) long snapper

Holliday, Trindon (Louisiana St) returner

 

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