After evaluating the offensive linemen during their various drills, I saw five in particular that I was really impressed with.
Ben Grubbs from Auburn may be the best offensive guard in the country. He solidified that status with his workouts today. I think he did a great job displaying his foot quickness and showed good ability to bend his knees. His striking power was impressive, and just showed that he's a really fine athlete. At 311 pounds, he carried the weight well and ran well.
Gabe Hall, a Texas Tech guy that I didn't know a whole lot about, also turned in a strong performance. He ran twice at 4.88, which I thought was extraordinary. He's another guy who can bend his knees and showed good ankle flexibility, very important traits for success on the offensive line. He was not a waist-bender, and I was really impressed with him.
Ryan Harris from Notre Dame is a guy who has the ability to play both guard and tackle. His ability to turn and put a foot in the ground and change direction was a real asset. However, I think that he'll have to work on his strength as that could be a shortcoming at the next level. I think he's extremely bright and follows directions well. He appeared to have a real natural ability in how he was executing out there.
One guy who did not run as well as I expected was Leroy Harris from NC State, but I don't think it will hurt him. He's really a seasoned pro, a that does so many things well. And honestly, he's more of a football player than a pure athlete. He's one of these guys that I think is going to be a ten-year pro even though he's not the prettiest looking guy out there. I really liked his short-area quickness and balance.
The offensive center from USC, Ryan Kalil, was simply outstanding today. He ran real well, he's got quick hands, shows good ability to balance. His power, kick and slide were excellent. I thought he moved very well and adjusted very well.
Boston College's James Marten is a 6-foot-7, first-year tackle and I really liked the way he looked in the games in the latter part of the season that I saw. He was a low-rated guard coming into his senior year and I think he really helped himself. And I believe he has the potential to play left tackle.
Two tight ends in particular stood out today, one that everyone knew about. Greg Olsen from the University of Miami did some unbelievable things. Obviously, he's an up-the-seam threat. He runs extremely well -- he's a 4.5 guy. I had him at a 4.45 and a 4.48 on my watch.
Then there was Kevin Boss from Western Oregon who really put on a show. He didn't run quite as well as Olson, but he did some things that were really extraordinary. He's a natural catcher who extends well to the ball. And he's one of those guys who can pluck the ball out of the air, using a good ability to adjust to the ball. He runs well and controls his big body very well. Boss appeared to be very flexible for a player his size.
Check back daily for more scouting reports from NFL expert Tom Marino as the rest of the players continue their workouts at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
By Miller Safrit
Posted Feb 24, 2007