What We Learned: Four Days in Indy

WR Julio Jones (Michael Conroy/AP)

After getting home from the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, our Scout.com NFL experts highlight some of specific things that caught their attention from inside the ropes at Lucas Oil Stadium.

John Crist, Scout.com NFL Analyst
I learned that Georgia's A.J. Green may not be the consensus No. 1 receiver on the board anymore, or at least it's not as much of a no-brainer as it was before Sunday. Alabama's Julio Jones was a one-man show during the morning workout at Lucas Oil Stadium, first running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. Green's time, 4.50, is good but certainly not great.

And then came the passing drills, with Jones running crisp routes from start to finish and catching everything thrown his way. Green wasn't nearly as precise and let one or two catchable balls hit the ground.

Tim Yotter, VikingUpdate.com
There is only one safe quarterback in the top half of the first round, and that's Blaine Gabbert. Every draft pick is a risk, but with the other three quarterbacks considered to have first-round talent – Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett – it will be a pick-your-poison (or flavor-of-the-month) scenario.

Newton has the character questions and had a bad throwing session, showing he still needs work to become NFL-ready. Mallett has the allegations of drug use that teams will investigate hard, and he came across as having an ego the size of Texas in his media interview. On the field, Mallett is deadly in the pocket but can't move much, in or out of the pocket. Locker, meanwhile, showed his inconsistencies – he can be good outside the pocket and erratic inside.

Bill Huber, PackerReport.com
Two things stand out to me. For teams that like big cornerbacks, this is their year. Unlike last year, when a lot of the top guys were 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-11, most of the top guys on the draft board are at least 6-foot.

Another is the rise of the small-school guys. Yes, the first round will be a parade of players from the power conferences, but there are superb players from smaller conferences or schools that aren't usually considered football factories. Baylor hasn't been especially relevant in football in forever, but guard Danny Watkins and defensive lineman Phil Taylor look like early second-round guys. Temple has a big-time prospect in defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, and Villanova guard Ben Ijalana looks like a solid second rounder.

Jeremy Stoltz, BearReport.com
The deepest position in this draft is along the defensive line. Nine defensive ends could go in the first round of this year's draft. The top of that class is Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, who some have compared to Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

The defensive tackles are just as impressive, led by Auburn's Nick Fairley and Alabama's Marcell Dareus. Additionally, don't sleep on the two UNC linemen that were suspended for their senior seasons, end Robert Quinn and tackle Marvin Austin, both of whom have first-round talent. Other good-looking defensive linemen include Illinois' Corey Liuget, USC's Jurrell Casey and Oregon State's Stephen Paea, who shattered the combine's bench-press record.

On another note, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is the best athlete in the draft in my opinion and was the most composed of any player at the podium. It would be amazing to me if he fell past Buffalo with the third-overall pick.


CLICK HERE to check out everything our Scout.com NFL experts put together throughout their stay at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

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