INDIANAPOLIS – All good things come to an end. This is the last day of media coverage at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine and we’ll be talking with linebackers and defensive backs before heading back to California.
But having said that, we’ve had a great time here in Indy, capped by a great meal last night at Mo’s Steakhouse. Bone-in ribeye, highly recommended. There’s more to chew on today so to speak, defensive backs and linebackers will be making the rounds. I’ll add some notes throughout the day before we take off, so stay tuned for updates and catch up on all our content from Indy at our combine central page.
11:00 AM Update
Admittedly it’s been tough to focus on the defensive backs when each television in the work room is showing the combine field drills. Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones is really doing well out there. He ran an unofficial 4.39 in the 40-yard dash and just broad jumped 11’3”. That’s insane. The entire media room gasped when he did it, truly a remarkable moment here in Indy.
There’s been several impressive defensive backs so far, but Miami’s Brandon Harris might be the most from what I’ve seen and heard. The Hurricane talked about the family atmosphere of “The U,” and how much appreciates when alumni come back to visit. Frank Gore is one of those ‘Canes who always reaches out to the younger generation of Miami. It’s cool to hear how much players like Harris appreciate it.
11:45 AM Update
While Cam Newton is impressing the world on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium (4.58, 40-yard dash unofficially) his college teammate Nick Fairley just spoke with reporters. The Auburn defensive lineman is considered to be one of the best prospects in the draft, but he didn’t make much of potentially being picked first.
“I’m ready to be any pick,” he said. “Any team that picks me I’ll be happy with. I can’t wait to get there and hopefully bring success to the team right away.”
Asked how he compares to other top defensive linemen in the draft like Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers and Alabama’s Marcell Dareus, Fairley said what they do in the combine would create some separation. He added, “I wish those guys the best.”
Fairley said he admired Detroit Lions Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh’s rookie season. He also sees parallels in their games.
“I feel like I’m a great pass rusher and a great run stopper,” Fairley said. “I try to dominate inside and I think that’s what teams are looking for. I hope I can be that guy.”
Fairley hasn’t met with any teams yet, but that’ll change tonight. He’ll be a busy man for sure.
1:30 PM Update
“I go 100-percent each and every play,” Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael said. “That’s the way I was raised.” Clearly an impressive statement from an impressive player.
Carmichael looked great at the Senior Bowl, but re-injured his ankle and missed most of the practices and the game itself in Mobile. He battled through the injury towards the end of the year just to help the Hokies win. That’s just how unselfish he is, even if it meant potentially hurting his draft stock.
“I’m not one of those guys to worry about stuff like that,” he said. “I got out there and give it my all. My team definitely had my back, win or lose, good or bad plays. I wasn’t worried about messing up my draft status.”
Carmichael didn’t want to promise a time in the 40, but told reporters, “You got cable, check it out.”
2:45 PM Update
Patrick Peterson is pretty personable in person. (See what I did there?) Watching his game tape is remarkable in its own right, but he gives a great interview too. Peterson said he’s met with the 49ers. He also said ball skills and toughness make him the best cornerback prospect in this year’s draft. Peterson plans on running his 40 in the 4.2 range and while some players oversell their speed, Peterson could very well post the best 40 time at the combine.
He said he ran a 4.29 last week. Wow.
3:00 PM Update
All hail the Prince. Prince Amukamara that is. The Nebraska cornerback widely regarded as the second-best prospect at his position said tackling skills distinguish him. But Amukamara doesn’t pattern his game after other players. “I think every player who considers himself great should have his own identity,” he said.
Amukamara has been given advice from former teammate Ndamukong Suh on how to handle the combine: Treat it like a business trip. Amukamara was more serious in his demeanor than Peterson, but both are certainly talented prospects.
That’ll be my last post from Indy. We have a flight to catch, but I’ll wrap things up tomorrow with some combine closing thoughts when I get back to the office. Maybe I’ll roll out the “All-Personality” team too.
Thanks for reading my updates and checking out our combine coverage.
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