Combine info, and Steelers info
Tulane running back Matt Forte has a knee that worries some, but the looseness is from an old PCL tear and is not felt to be an issue at all. He has gained a ton of interest here in Indy and seems quite popular with scouts. He is a classic edge and cut runner.
Defensive end Wallace Gilberry also has a loose knee, but he is fully recovered from a scope he had early in his career at Alabama....Kentucky wide receiver Keenan Burton might have set the record for plain X-rays at the combine due to all the broken bones he got in the SEC.
Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm got a good work over Thursday, which is no surprise considering his injury history. His right ACL repair checked out and his left Labrum looked fully healed and should not bother him at the next level.
Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon and Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu both suffered devastating knee injuries, with the later injuring his MCL and ACL while training in Florida. Ikegwuonu's long speed was a big concern pre-injury, so if he makes it in this league it will be as a strong safety, even though he has no experience there....all signs point to Dixon making a clean and full recovery.
Ole Miss tailback BenJarvus Green has caught the eye of New Orleans, Chicago and Philadelphia. The young man has one of the best bodies in Indy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who need help on the offensive line, really like several prospects. The Steelers were impressed with U.S.C. guard Chilo Rachal, who never wanted to leave U.S.C. but had to because his parents suffer from Diabetes and need medical coverage. Pitt loves his character and work ethic.
Also, Western Michigan guard/tackle James Blair is getting a lot of attention from Pittsburgh. He's a bowling ball right tackle that projects as a guard. The reason they like him is his brute strength, especially against the best monster defensive tackles.
In addition, potential small school gem Heath Benedict looks fit -- he's completely recovered from a 2005 knee injury. This is another player getting a ton of attention from the Steelers. Heath thinks Pittsburgh wants him to play Alan Faneca's spot and not tackle because he is the draft's best trap blocker and they believe he will make the ideal replacement for Faneca.
Meanwhile, U.S.C. lineman Drew Radovich has a hip injury that has healed but likely will cause him issues in his thirties....B.G.S.U. center Corey Lictensteiger's Labrum problem is no longer an issue, as most feel he is over it. Same thing with Pitt Panthers' guard/offensive tackle Mike McGlynn.
Boston College cornerback DeJuan Tribble's left knee meniscus is worrisome to some teams. He has a degenerative Meniscus and it could cause issues down the line. Most think he is best suited to a zone predominant scheme.
Indiana cornerback Tracey Porter had many thinking of Adrian Petersen last year with all the attention that was given to his left clavicle. He broke it in 2004 and after he broke it he got the knack of shying away from tackling. But the clavical looks solid and this should not be a huge problem in the immediate future.
N.F.L. teams really spent a lot time with U.S.C. cornerback Terrell Thomas, due to past knee and shoulder problems. The findings are sure to effect his board slot, but he remains a physical specimen with a chiseled body.
No one has worked harder to come back from injuries than Nebraska cornerback Zack Bowman and he's got a great attitude and work ethic, but many in Indy feel his injuries will rob him of short area quickness and lateral movement, meaning he is likely going to have to stick as a special teams player or make a shift to safety.
Linebacker Curtis Lofton of Oklahoma reminds many of Demeco Ryans because he is explosive, but his move to middle linebacker might worry some boards due to some neck issues...Virginia Tech linebacker Xavier Adibi is being looked at closely by nerve specialists for a history of left shoulder stingers, but most feel it is a non issue. Still, his M.R.I.s will be looked at closely.
U.S.C. running back Chauncey Washington's history of multiple leg injuries and a brief bout with a temporary paralysis at the age nine will make him a popular player for poking, prodding and examining as the draft process moves forward.
The Seattle Seahawks seem to be paying a lot attention to lightning-fast East Carolina tailback Chris Johnson. This has led some to believe that Shaun Alexander's days in the Pacific Northwest could be numbered.
Look for New Mexico Lobos' guard Devin Clark to lift many reps of 225 pounds. He has short arms and the pedigree of brute strength behind him as a former national weightlifting champ....Ultra-productive Boston College safety Jamie Silva was talking at lengths with the Patriots, Steelers and Seahawks.
Mamouth Texas A&M defensive tackle Red Bryant has been popular. Many teams have sought him out. The New York Jets, Jacksonville, Dallas, Washington, Tennessee and Cleveland were all quite interested in him. One venerable A.F.C. scout, who knows Texas college football better than anyone in football, says Red is the best run stuffing defensive tackle since Casey Hampton. He actually might be bigger, stronger and faster than Hampton, according to the respected scout. Pretty intense words for this draftee.
Finally, the New York Jets were ecstatic when they heard the Dallas Cowboys tagged safety Ken Hamlin and not Flozell Adams, as they are clearly interested in the veteran free agent lineman.
Steelers | Kemoeatu could start in 2008
Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:26:40 -0800
John Harris, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reports Pittsburgh Steelers OG Chris Kemoeatu could start at guard in 2008, according to team officials. Kemoeatu, a restricted free agent, is the probable candidate to replace OG Alan Faneca. The Steelers can offer Kemoeatu a one-year tender and continue negotiating a long-term deal or wait until after the 2008 season when he would become an unrestricted free agent. Kemoeatu would receive $927,000 in 2009 if the Steelers offer him a low tender. The Steelers are more likely to give a $1.47 million tender that would cost another team a second-round pick to sign Kemoeatu.
Steelers | Colbert comments on the team using the transition tag on Starks
Thu, 21 Feb 2008 13:09:22 -0800
Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert commented Thursday, Feb. 21, on the team's decision to place the transition tag on OT Max Starks. Colbert said the reason they placed the transition tag on him instead of the franchise tag is because Starks is unlikely to get an offer that would get the team two first-round picks so it was not realistic for the team. (Ya think?) The difference in salary cap is about $560,000 and Colbert said that money could be used for two minimum salary players.
Steelers | Colbert gives his thoughts on McFadden
Thu, 21 Feb 2008 14:23:47 -0800
Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Thursday, Feb. 21, that University of Arkansas RB Darren McFadden is going to be a great back in the NFL. "He's a great running back. He's big, he's fast, he's productive. He's going to be a great back in the league."
Steelers | Colbert thinks teams can get a good RB in first three rounds
Thu, 21 Feb 2008 14:18:23 -0800
Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Thursday, Feb. 21, that there are a handful of good running backs in the draft and thinks that teams will be able to get one in the first three rounds of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Steelers | Colbert says who starts is up to Tomlin
Thu, 21 Feb 2008 13:58:25 -0800
Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Thursday, Feb. 21, that any decisions on who will be the starters next season is completely up to head coach Mike Tomlin, when asked about whether OT Max Starks would start next season. Colbert said assuming that OG Alan Faneca is leaving Starks would see an increased amount of starting time.
Colbert on Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart: "He’s probably a little more well-rounded than McFadden at this point but he’s going to have the same challenges and we’ll see how fast all these guys are in the next couple of days."
Colbert on Central Florida running back Kevin Smith: "All of those juniors have just made this thing so much better from a running back standpoint. Kevin had a great career down at Central Florida. He had a lot of carries in those three years."
Branden Albert, guard from the University of Virginia was the first player to meet the media. He measured in at 6'5 1/2 and 309 pounds. He believes he can play guard or tackle at the next level, and although he would feel most comfortable at guard, he said he'll be glad to play either position at the next level. Albert believes that the pro-style offense he played in under Al Groh will help him make the transition to the pros much easier. Albert believes that his character sets him apart, as Groh emphasized the importance of good character with his players. The offensive lineman said that his pad level is the one thing he needs to work on. And his decision to come out early was based on his evaluation of the 2008 guard class, believing that he would be rated highly. As a teammate of DE Chris Long, he was asked what it's like to work against him and his overall opinion of him. Albert replied that anyone blocking him at the next level "is in for a long day." Albert believes he'll shine at the Combine with his agility drills and position work.
****Albert coming in at 6-5 1/2" is MUCH more comforting than if he had came in at 6'7". IMO, that helps his stock.
Another tidbit from Colbert: "Offensive linemen are probably the hardest to acclimate to the NFL, only because they have to become one of five. ... So to think an offensive lineman can come in and have an immediate impact is a bit of a stretch."