Fortunately for league scouts and talent evaluators, the best was saved for
last as the final group of defensive backs offered several superlative
The morning started off with the linebackers continuing this years' combine
theme as E.J. Henderson, Terry Pierce and Boss Bailey chose not to take part in
the physical tests.
But as was the case with yesterday's receiver workout, the highlight of the
session was a small school prospect; Chaun Thompson of West Texas A&M. Timed
faster then any linebacker who ran, Thompson showed scouts tremendous
athleticism and was very effective afterwards during the drill segment. High on
their list of "sleepers," scouts were already impressed with Thompson
after he totaled 29 repetitions of 225-pounds on the bench press the day before.
At one point someone asked aloud, "where is West Texas A&M," only
to have an associate pull a pocket map from his briefcase in the middle of the
proceedings and inform everyone the school is located in Canyon, Texas, just
south of Amarillo. Humor aside, Thompson moved into the draft's first day with
his results Monday morning.
Oregon State's Nick Barnett also had a quality session, as did another Pac Ten
player, Lance Briggs of Arizona. For the most part the linebackers displayed a
good amount of speed and those that took to the turf today served themselves
The defensive backs began their session around noon and the last group of
cornerbacks, one highlighted by the big names from the position, left people
Kansas State star Terence Newman stayed true to his word and worked out, even
after facing down questions about a previous shoulder injury, which required an
MRI over the weekend. Newman was fast, clocking a pair of 40-times that averaged
4.40 on stopwatches, but the champion sprinter failed to live up to the
legendary times many expected from him.
Washington State's Marcus Trufant continued his tear in the off-season posting
two hand-held times under 4.50 seconds and again displayed great cover
techniques during the drill segment. Andre Woolfolk seems to be righting the
ship as the former Oklahoma star put together a solid session, something needed
after a poor performance at the Senior Bowl.
Even with all that, the star of the day was Oregon State's Dennis Weathersby.
Not known to be "fleet of foot", the All American torched the track,
twice running under 4.39 on most watches. A large cover corner who some project
to safety, today's workout was best summed up by one prominent general manager
who called it "huge." The end result could see Weathersby moving into
the first round.
Conversely Monday saw TCU linebacker LaMarcus McDonald struggle to run faster
than 5.00 in the forty and Michigan State safety Thomas Wright have difficulty
getting under the 4.80 barrier.
All things considered this was another successful combine as scouts went away
feeling many of their questions had been answered. This year's extended format
stretched testing sessions to a four-day period, rather then the cramped
72-hours teams previously were allotted to measure and time future
professionals. Only 68% of the invitees took to the RCA Dome and ran starting
Friday, meaning almost one-third passed up the opportunity, holding out for
personnel workouts to display their talents.
What will be the final outcome from this years' combine? We'll find out in eight
weeks when the cards are brought to the podium and the names announced during
the NFL Draft!
Note to Premium Subscribers: After a one day rest tomorrow in which we
will update our Pro-Date schedule, we will start posting large reports on all
the practice sessions from the past four days at the combine.