Future NFL offensive linemen hit the stages (and tables, for the lesser known prospects) to talk to the press at the 2012 NFL Combine on Thursday. Several of the players speaking to the media today could be/should be of interest to the St. Louis Rams, who need to rebuild a line wracked by injury, poor drafting and bad free agent signings.
So what did these monsters of the gridiron have to say of interest to the protection needy Rams?
Matt Kalil was the first of the marquee prospects to take the stage. He revealed that he weighed-in at 306 lbs, up from his listed weight at USC, thanks to recent efforts to bulk up and work on his run blocking. Kalil did offer up a brief analysis of himself: "I am the best tackle in the draft." Few would argue that ...
Except for Riley Reiff. The Iowa product measured in at 6'5" 313 lbs. Reiff talked about his background as a wrestler, something he says helped him as a blocker on the gridiron because it helped him develop his hands, footwork and the tenacity required of an offensive lineman.
One prospect that I am very interested in is Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler. During his turn at the podium he revealed that he has been working out as a center as well, and he plans to showcase his pivot skills at Wisconsin's pro day on March 7. Right now, Zeitler is projected as a second- or third-round pick; he should solidify his second-round status pretty quickly.
Stanford OT Jonathan Martin proclaimed himself to be the best tackle in the draft. Measuring 6'5" 312 lbs, he compared himself to Kalil, his workout partner since the end of the college season. He will not be lifting at the Combine because of a case of food poisoning.
Ohio State's Mike Adams weighed in at 6'7" 323 lbs. He revealed that a couple teams have talked to him about playing on the right side. Adams talked about his NCAA violations, aka the tattoo stuff, calling the matter a learning experience and something that he has used to make his character stronger. Mocking the Draft has more from Adams' interview. Adams also said that he grew up a fan of Rams future HOF Orlando Pace, and even got to meet him once.
More updates from the Combine to come ... stay tuned.