Alright, whoever said the combine was boring was probably right.
Or were they? The River City Rage, SBN's Jaguars blogger, made the trip to Indy and blogged the whole affair this week. (All I did was nurse a cold and stare at the dreary winter sky thinking fondly of something I think they called "the sun.") It's a pretty good read.
We'll see how the NFL Combine results effect the overall draft rankings. Right now, I'm basing my prognostications on media coverage, which makes about as much sense to me as anything else. Judging by that unscientific rubric I'd say that the top five or six players will do some shifting in terms of where they'll be picked.
Let's run down the conventional wisdom, using my favorite, the up and down arrow for four likely top five picks the Rams have their eyes on.
Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
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Gholston topped his peers on the bench press test, hammering out 37 reps. Forty times for DEs aren't available yet (they work out today). ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha wrote this glowing review of Gholston's prospects for the future. Read the third to last paragraph, about how Gholston got handled by the highly touted Jake Long in the 2006 Michigan game, only to "scour tape" ahead of the 2007 game in order to find holes in Long's game. It worked. Gholston tallied one of the two sacks Long allowed this last season. Finally, note the impression Gholston gave in his media session, quiet, humble, hard-working, desire to be the best he can. It sounds silly, but that's the kind of stuff scouts and coaches eat up for a kid with that much talent. Rightfully so, because it means that a player's talent isn't going to be squandered. Gholston's star is rising; is a top three pick out of the question?
Jake Long, OT, Michigan
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All that talk earlier this winter about how he wasn't as talent as Joe Thomas and might not be suited to play left tackle in the NFL seems to have been forgotten. Long put on a show this weekend, running a 5.15 40-yard-dash and showcasing some impressive footwork indicative of a LT who can block well on the move. Still a sure fire top five pick. One talking head even thinks he should be the first overall pick.
Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
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He showed up, went through the physical and got sent to a local hospital for more tests. There are now "serious concerns" about Dorsey's fractured tibia from 2006. More information from those tests should be forthcoming. If there was any wavering between Dorsey or USC's Sedrick Ellis being the first DT taken in the draft, the argument can be put to rest now. I'd venture a guess that Dorsey is now a late first round pick. It likely changes the report that appeared in the PD's Chris Long story today that Dorsey is the Rams highest rated player in the draft, at least you'd think it would.
Chris Long, DE, Virginia
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Has the arrow pointed any other way for this guy? Talent and pedigree will do wonders, huh? Devaney called him a "force" against the run, and indicated that his pass rushing skills will need work. Some scouts and NFL personnel people also see Long able to play linebacker and a natural fit for a 3-4 scheme. Given the embarrassment of riches available on the defensive line in this year's top draft picks - all guys who could contribute right away - the choice comes down to what the Rams plans are for next year's defense, i.e. switching to a base 3-4, and what they do in free agency.