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NFL Combine Coverage Day 1: Open Thread

NFL Network coverage of the NFL Combine starts this morning at 11:00 AM with OL, TE and K.  For those who are fortune enough to have the NFLN (like yours truly), it should be a fun time watching and evaluating potential new Buffalo Bills.  For those who are not so lucky, check right here for updates throughout the day.

Personally, this is one of my favorite times during the off-season.  I love watching, evaluating and comparing the players' skills as they go through all the drills.  From the workout wonders to the high profile athletes, the scouting combine always delivers some surprises. 

On today's menu (after all, it's not known as a "meat market" for no reason) are kickers, O-Linemen and tight ends.  Arguably, two of Buffalo's biggest needs (TE and C) could be filled in April by guys who are working out today.  We'll keep a close eye on all players at those positions.  Here are some specific names of guys we'll be watching closely:

  • Max Unger (C - Oregon)
  • Eric Wood (C - Louisville)
  • Jonathan Luigs (C - Arkansas)
  • Antoine Caldwell (C - Alabama)
  • A.Q. Shipley (C - Penn State)
  • Brandon Pettigrew (TE - Oklahoma St)
  • Jared Cook (TE - South Carolina)
  • Shawn Nelson (TE - Southern Miss)
  • Travis Beckum (TE - Wisconsin)
  • James Casey (TE - Rice)

Finally, everyone should take a look at Gil Brandt's article over at NFL.com about what NFL teams look for in combine drills. He provides some great insight about what to look for and what not to look for.  He also provides this super-helpful chart:

Target test results
Drill Significance QB RB FB WR TE OT G/C DT DE ILB OLB CB S
40-yard dssh Speed over distance 4.90 4.55 4.85 4.55 4.85 5.30 5.30 5.15 4.85 4.80 4.70 4.55 4.60
10-yard split (40 Initial quickness 1.70 1.60 .170 .160 1.70 1.80 1.85 1.80 1.70 1.70 1.65 1.60 1.65
20-yard split (40 Maintain burst 2.85 2.60 2.80 2.65 2.80 3.00 3.05 3.00 2.80 2.75 2.70 2.65 2.60
225-pound bench reps Upper body strength N/A 20 22 12 22 24 26 26 24 24 23 15 18
Broad jump Explosiveness, leg strength 9-0 9-9 9-3 10' 9-6 8-6 8-6 8-9 9-9 9-6 9-9 10' 10'
Vertical jump Explosiveness, leg strength 30" 36 30 36 32 30 30 30 33 33 36 36 36
20-yard shuttle Flexibility, burst, balance 4.30 4.20 4.25 4.15 4.20 4.65 4.55 4.55 4.30 4.20 4.10 4.00 4.05
60-yard shuttle Flexibility, balance, endurance N/A 11.7 11.8 11.4 11.8 N/A N/A N/A 11.8 11.7 11.4 11.2 11.2
3-cone drill Agility, change of direction 7.25 7.25 7.40 7.00 7.30 7.85 7.85 7.75 7.35 7.20 7.10 7.00 7.10

UPDATE:  Pat Kirwin has a great "Viewer's Guide" to the NFL Combine