The NFL Buzz: Draft Visits, Delhomme, Rice

Aaron Hernandez (K.C. Cox/Getty Images)

Scout.com's Ed Thompson shares what he's been hearing from his NFL sources regarding draft prospect visits and workouts, some interesting Twitter talk, and a few of his observations on Browns QB Jake Delhomme, Ravens RB Ray Rice and the NFL's overtime rule. Check it out...

My Sources Are Saying...

  • Rick Spielman, Vice President of Player Personnel of the Vikings, and A.J. Smith, General Manager of the Chargers, attended the Georgia Tech Pro Day. Both teams are showing considerable interest in running back Jonathan Dwyer, a projected first-round pick. Following the Pro Day workout, the Chargers extended an invitation for the running back to make an official visit.

  • USC's Damian Williams
    Jeff Golden/Getty Images

  • New England will meet with USC wide receiver Damian Williams at USC on March 24--not to work him out, just to meet with him. But they will put Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez through a rigorous private workout on Thursday, March 18 as they continue to look for ways to bolster their talent at the position for the 2010 season. Williams was an All-Pac-10 first team pick last year at both wide receiver and punt returner. During that season he made 70 catches for 1,010 yards, scoring six touchdowns.  He also averaged 14.2 yards per punt return, finishing sixth in the nation in that category. Hernandez was a 29-game starter for the Gators and made 111 catches for 1,382 yards (12.5 average) and scored 12 touchdowns during his college career.

  • While University of Cincinnati wide receiver Mardy Gilyard and quarterback Tony Pike were at the Senior Bowl, both were asked by some clubs about the Bearcats' left tackle, Jeff Linkenbach.  While he's not a widely-recognized name outside of the Big East,  the 6-foot-6, 311-pound lineman has certainly caught the eye of the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, who have scheduled him for official visits in April. He also has a private workout with the Miami Dolphins scheduled for Monday, March 22. "The combination of my technique, footwork and hand placement along with my experience in both a power-running offense as well as in a spread offense can only be good for my NFL career," the soft-spoken lineman told me during a recent phone conversation. "To have the honor and responsibility for protecting Tony [Pike], who's a prototypical NFL quarterback who likes to sit in the pocket was great experience that should help me at the next level."

  • University of Arizona linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka ran a 40-time in the 4.61-4.65 range at his school's pro day and caught the eye of some teams during his position drills workout. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker is already scheduled to make four team visits, including one with the Indianapolis Colts. Tuihalamaka started all 13 games for the Wildcats last year, made 72 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, broke up three passes and picked-off one pass. 

Twitter Talk

"Philly its been real like my BBQ Grill.. The good the bad, & the ugly... Lil/BIG country boy like myself have really enjoyed myself.."  -- Former Eagles Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews after the team released him on Wednesday.

"NFL revenues are as high now as they have ever been, yet the owners are asking us to take a pay cut. Does that make any sense?" -- Saints quarterback Drew Brees

I'm Just Saying...

  • Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme signed a two-year deal with the Browns shortly after the team completed a trade to bring former Seahawks backup Seneca Wallace to Cleveland as well. "I was not guaranteed anything. I want to make that perfectly clear," Delhomme told reporters in regards to whether or not he's be named the club's starter. In fairness to the Browns front office and coaching staff, I hope Delhomme made it clear that he couldn't guarantee them that he'd do much of anything as a quarterback. He threw 18 interceptions and just eight touchdowns in 11 game appearances last year.

  • During his first two years in the league, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been incredibly consistent whether he's playing at home or away. Check this out. At home he averages 5.0 yards per carry, has scored three rushing touchdowns, rushed for 37 first downs and has broken 22 runs for 10-plus yards. Away? He gains 4.9 yards per carry, has scored four times on the ground, moved the chains 35 times and has 20 runs for 10-plus yards. No wonder he's been able to get off to such a successful start.

  • Fans who think that the league needs to adopt an overtime period that assures that both teams get a chance to have the ball at least once will undoubtedly be surprised by some of the statistics the the NFL released this week. Since 1974, the year the overtime rule was implemented, only 30 percent of the 445 overtime contests were decided on the first offensive possession by the team that won the coin toss, so both teams got at least one offensive possession in 70 percent of the games. Overall, the team that won the toss eventually won the game 53.9 percent of the time, teams that loss the toss won 42.2 percent of the time, and 3.8 percent ended in a tie. So thinking that winning the coin toss is a huge advantage is more myth than fact.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.

Statistics referenced in this article are provided by STATS, LLC. Copyright 2009 by STATS, LLC. Any use or distribution of such Licensed Materials without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

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