9:47 a.m. EST: Day four is kicking off quickly – just as we are getting settled in, LSU’s Ricky Jean-Francois hit the podium.
Yesterday in this space we talked about the warm front that had blown through the greater Indianapolis area. Well that ended quickly, our walk this morning may have been the coldest of the week. The cream cheese we put on our Einstein’s Bagels quickly froze and became like ice cream. Making matters worse, the Lucas Oil security staff informed us that we were no longer allowed to bring in outside food. We quickly scarfed it down and are now ready for the final day of the combine — well for us anyway.
Today the defensive backs make their way through the media room and the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers go through their on-the-field workouts. Follow the links below for the NFL Network schedule and the participants results.
10:34 a.m. EST: One of the top cornerbacks in the draft, Illinois’ Vontae Davis, has taken his turn under the lights. First thing you notice, his smile. I don’t think the guy has stopped smiling since he walked into the room. When the younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was asked what NFL cornerbacks he looks up to, the listed started with Champ Bailey … I have a feeling we may hear that several times today.
10:50 a.m. EST: Outside of the on-the-field tests, the most widely talked about activity during the combine is the Wonderlic Personnel Test. The 50-question exam is given to the combine participants to gauge intelligence and problem solving aptitude. I know many of us wonder how we would score, so thanks to our friends at the AtlantaFalcons.com, we have a sample for you to try. Click here to give it a go.
11:09 a.m. EST: Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has taken the podium with a large crowd gathered. He hasn’t taken any questions, but he has touched on a variety of subjects including Josh McDaniels. He continues to heap praise on his former offensive coordinator calling it a huge gain for the Broncos and a huge loss for the Patriots. To read more from Belichick on McDaniels, check out this interview we did with him just after McDaniels was named head coach.
11:22 a.m. EST: Some of the 40 times for the wide receivers are coming in. A couple that caught my eye were; Darrius Heyward-Bey from Maryland turning in a 4.32 and Percy Harvin from Flordia with a 4.37. These times are unofficial and just NFL Network times.
Speaking of wide receivers, Michael Crabtree is coming to the podium to discuss his injury. He says that the stress fracture is an old injury that has never given him any problems. He is going to run the 40 at his Texas Tech pro day and then will have surgery to repair it. Short and sweet.
11:32 a.m. EST: Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins is under the lights. Says that he prefers to play cornerback in the NFL, but will play safety – he just wants to play anywhere to help the team. When asked who he compares himself to, he said a mixture of Ty Law and – no surprise – Champ.
11:55 a.m. EST: A couple of Wake Forest defensive backs are at the podium; safety Chip Vaughn and corner Alphonso Smith. Smith has been heaping high praise on teammate Aaron Curry. When asked if he was the best linebacker in the draft, Smith said, “No question.” He was then asked if he was the best defensive player in the draft, he answered, “No question and it is not even close.”
Towards the end of his time, Smith was asked what teams he has talked to and he mentioned the Broncos – but also added that he has talked with almost every team during the weekend.
Also at the podium is Utah’s Sean Smith, who we talked about in the comments yesterday. He was the first guy who I saw today where upon seeing him all I could say is “wow.” Smith is very tall, and because he is a bit lanky looks even taller. I didn’t catch his official height, but I did my walk-by-test and it is safe to say he is every bit of 6’2″ – 6’3″.
12:55 p.m. EST: Yesterday there were times when nothing was going on. Today, that has not been the case. Since we first walked in the room, it has been wall-to-wall players. Currently in the room are Alabama safety Rashad Johnson, Oregon safety Patrick Chung, Missouri safety William Moore and Florida State defensive end Everette Brown.
Before that we had Vanderbilt’s D.J. Moore and Virginia Tech’s Macho Harris. Because of the flurry I didn’t have too much time to spend with any one guy, but I enjoyed Chung’s sense of humor. He had the media around the table entertained.
1:27 p.m. EST: Oklahoma’s Nic Harris is the most recent media room visitor. Harris said he has heard a lot of people say that he will play linebacker in the NFL, but he wants to show scouts that he can play defensive back. Harris is also very active in the community, when asked what NFL teams would be getting with him, Harris talked about his work in the community rather than his work on the field.
2:27 p.m. EST: Well as you may have guessed it is has gotten quiet in the media room. We had a bunch of guys come all at once and now it has been quiet for about an hour. Most of us are waiting for Western Michigan’s Louis Delmas to show up. Hopefully it is soon.
3:18 p.m. EST: We have had a little flurry here in the last couple of minutes, LSU’s Tyson Jackson and Mississippi’s Peria Jerry have taken their turns. Both of them received a lot of attention, especially with the number of teams that are converting to the 3-4 defense. Both Jackson and Jerry have skill sets that scouts believe will translate to the 3-4 in the NFL, despite both of them playing the 4-3 in college.
Another guy who stepped in the room was Rulon Davis from Cal. Davis is a former Marine who served time in Iraq, before heading to Cal. He said that it wasn’t hard to get back to football after spending time in the Marines. When they announced his name over the loudspeaker as he entered the room, I found my self reverting back to the days of former Bronco Rulon Jones … RUUUUU…
3:21 p.m. EST: Well I was curious and I am glad that I was. I went over to talk to Rulon Davis and he said he was actually named after Rulon Jones. He said that his dad liked the name, and decided to give it to him. So naturally I asked him if his dad was a Broncos fan. Nope, Chargers fan.
3:44 p.m. EST: Things are starting to shut down here at Lucas Oil Stadium. The workouts will continue through Tuesday, but the media availability ends today. We were hoping to see Louis Delmas pop in for a few minutes, but it doesn’t look like he is going to make it.
Be back in a sec, some defensive linemen are making their way in the room.
4:00 p.m. EST: Well looks like we are going to wrap it up. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your comments. Keep checking the main site throughout the weeks leading up to the draft for prospect videos and the latest news out of Dove Valley.