Good morning from the first day of the NFL’s annual job fair – the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. During the next couple of days we will be blogging live from the media center in effort to bring you the latest happenings as collegiate stars showcase their talents in front of over 600 NFL personnel including head coaches, general managers and scouts.
Feel free to shoot questions and I will do my best to answer them. Today in the media room we are expecting to see offensive lineman, kickers, punters and tight ends.
Workouts will be televised on NFL Network and to get more information on the event, visit NFL.com/combine.
10:25 a.m. EST We have been in the media room for the better part of two hours and all has been quiet on the player front. 49ers head coach Mike Singletary and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz have been holding court on both ends of the media room, but no prospects thus far.
11:11 a.m. EST And we have our first player – a punter from Southern Illinois’ Scott Revanesi. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
11:22 a.m. EST One of the shortest players at the combine, LSU’s Trindon Holliday has taken to the podium. At 5-foot-5, Holliday is one of the premier returner’s in this year’s draft. You think Darren Sproles is hard to find, this guy can disappear around blockers and would-be tacklers only to reappear in the endzone.
11:35 a.m. EST Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko has entered the press center. Mesko, who immigrated with his family to the United States from Romania at the age of 12, said he got into football after a kickball game in gym class. It seems his powerful left-foot rocketed a ball off a light, breaking it into several pieces. The gym teacher ran up to him and gave him two options, either pay for the light or come out for football. He chose the latter and as they say, the rest is history.
12:40 p.m. EST Baylor center J.D. Walton just spent some time with the gathered press. Most of the questions for Walton concerned his decision to transfer from Arizona St. to Baylor. Walton said that he got a little homesick and said part of it was being an 18 and away from home for the first time. Most draft pundits see Walton as a top-five center in the draft.
1:17 p.m. EST Two of the top tackle prospects have made their way to the media room. Rutgers’ Anthony Davis and Trent Williams from Oklahoma have reporters running back and forth trying to get a sound bite from each player. Williams took a large number of questions about Sam Bradford. Williams said that Bradford’s strongest asset is his leadership and said that when Bradford speaks, you listen.
2:27 p.m. EST The press center is starting to heat up with activity and the first local player has entered the room. CSU’s Cole Pemberton has taken to the tables just to my right. The former Ram is one of the biggest men we have seen thus far standing 6-foot-7. But the player who has the majority of the media attention is Idaho guard Mike Iupati. Iupati has rocketed up the draft charts after his standout performance at the Senior Bowl.
Also in the media room is former Loveland High School standout Jeff Byers. Byers said that he considers himself a center, but has the flexibility to play guard and like most is willing to play any position NFL coaches want him to play.
2:30 p.m. EST Iupati has been at the podium for at least 10 minutes with questions still rolling in. He has been very engaging and you can tell how excited he is of this opportunity. We will post a segment of his media session on the site tonight.
Iupati also had the line of the day thus far when he said, “I like to destroy people.” The comment true a laugh from the gathered media but only a sly smile from Iupati.
2:53 p.m. EST The first tight end has appeared and a good one at that, Rob Gronkowski from Arizona, who many consider the top tight end prospect. Gronkowski calls himself a “true tight end” with the ability to block and catch passes. He said that he will only do the bench press and go through the interview process while he is here.
3:33 p.m. EST Two of the top tackle prospects, Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga and Russell Okung from Oklahoma State just spent a few minutes in the press room. Bulaga said that last night he did some “speed dating” interviews meeting the about 10 teams and about 12 more tonight. He says that he is enjoying the process and the opportunity to show off his athleticism.
After those two walked out of the room, the press center has become pretty quiet. I think that rush of players has sent everyone back to their keyboards to began transcribing and writing. It is always an interesting grouping of media at the combine. Some NFL media, some college football writers and some who cover the draft exclusively.
5:00 p.m. EST Well looks like we are wrapping up day one. We will be back tomorrow as the quarterbacks, running back and wide receivers make their way to the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Later tonight, Broncos TV will show the full press conference of Idaho offensive lineman Mike Iupati and some of the best sounds from today’s session.
Tags: NFL Scouting Combine