Bon giorno from the Indiana Convention Center, where the National Scouting Combine, a gymnastics competition and a road race on a juxtaposed city street have collectively awakened what would have otherwise been a snoozer of a Saturday in this chilly city.
Today, the focus in the media room turns to the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, while tight ends and offensive linemen go through their workouts at the RCA Dome.
Throughout the day, we’ll provide notes on some of the players who enter the room.
GAINES ADAMS, CLEMSON
The touted, athletic defensive lineman plans to do the full range of on-field drills when he hits the RCA Dome turf Monday. But he will bypass the bench-pressing at 225 pounds, saying he just wants to take some more time and work on his strength.
Adams intends to do the bench press at Clemson’s Pro Day on March 13.
TANK TYLER, N.C. STATE:
The defensive tackle measured at 305 pounds and says that he may not be able to run on Monday because of a slight hamstring injury.
Tyler also said that “a couple of teams” are looking at him as a nose tackle, although he lined up as a three-technique defensive tackle at State.
BRANDON SILER, FLORIDA
Measuring at 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds, the former Gators linebacker plans to run the 40-yard dash and take part in the on-field drills, but will bypass the bench press.
“I just felt it would be better when I do it at Pro Day,” Siler said.
Of the University of Florida players that opted to bypass their senior seasons, Siler surmises that he was “the closest” to deciding to opt out of his senior campaign.
“We talked about it every now and then. Even a couple of guys that stayed in school talked about it,” Siler said. “You talk about it because the media brings it up all the time. We didn’t pay a lot of attention, but we talked about it on a couple occasions and saw where the guys were going. I think I was the closest one to going back into school.”
Defensive end Jarvis Moss, safety Reggie Nelson and cornerback Ryan Smith joined Siler in the early exodus from Gainesville.
JON ABBATE, WAKE FOREST
To me, at least, this linebacker’s decision to turn pro seemed a little curious; his rise and that of the Demon Deacons last year seemed so inexorably intertwined that going back to Winston-Salem for a final season would be a given.
But when it came time to make the decision, Abbate turned away from his fiery, emotional on-field persona and instead became a pragmatist.
“Unless someone could promise me if I went back I could grow three inches, the decision was pretty easy.” said Abbate, who measured at 5-foot-9-and-six-tenths and 231 pounds. “I could have gone back and been productive again and had 100-plus tackles. But I would have been in the same situation with the knock on my height.
“I felt as a team and an individual we and I accomplished all the goals on the collegiate level that I wanted to.”