I'm posted up among hundreds of media here in Lucas Oil Stadium as we get the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine underway today.
Right now, Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is on the podium to open the schedule of head coaches and general mangers speaking to the media today, so it should be a good day to stay tuned in.
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher will be speaking at 12:45pm ET today while Rams GM Les Snead will speak exactly 24 hours later.
For the prospects, today's perhaps the most important day as it involves the medical check, measurements and some time to speak with the individual teams.
OL and RB are having medicals evaluations performed early today. About as extensive a check-up as you can have #NFLCombine— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 24, 2016
MRI's, bloodwork, stress tests, EKG, cardio, kidney, liver function, knees, Cybex joint movement, lumbar spine and other requests.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 24, 2016
And then independent medical evaluations by NFL teams. Plus drug testing. Exhausting day. #NFLCombine— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 24, 2016
I've said for years the medical check is the most important part of the process as it can unearth some previously undivulged information that indicates a player might be more susceptible to re-injury than previously thought. It might also assuage any concerns by showing that a previous injury has completely healed.
So while the special teamers, offensive linemen and running backs are getting going today, we've got the quarterbacks and wide receivers arriving throughout the morning.
In any case here are a couple names in the first three groups to keep in mind for the medical check today:
Tyler Johnstone (OL, Oregon - OL24)
Tore his ACL in the Alamo Bowl in 2013 and re-injured it in the build up to the 2014 season. His medical check is everything. At the end of the 2013 season, he was on course for a potential first-round selection in the NFL Draft. With the doubly-injured right knee, the question is if he can return to form even with a 2015 season that saw him back on the field for all 13 games.
Nick Martin (C, Notre Dame - OL29)
Another first round prospect with knee injury questions. His brother, Zack, also played on the O-line at Notre Dame and was the 16th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft to the Dallas Cowboys.
Max Tuerk (OL, USC - OL47)
Potential first-round talent at center after becoming the first freshman in USC history to start at left tackle back in 2012. An ACL injury in October, though, looms large on the resume now. Teams won't lean on him to return to action the way the Rams did with RB Todd Gurley.
Devontae Booker (RB, Utah - RB02)
Booker was an absolute numbers freak at Utah in 2014 and 2015 before a meniscus tear late in the season ended his college career. He could factor into round 2 discussions, so his medical check is key. Still, it's not an overwhelming injury to rehab from.
Tre Madden (RB, USC - RB18)
Hamstring and turf toe injuries kept Madden off the field for much of his career with the Trojans. The emergence of freshman RB Ronald Jones kept him off the field for much of his final year. He's got NFL size and traits, though. The question is all about health.
Keith Marshall (RB, Georgia - RB19)
Sandwiched between Just Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb, Marshall just wasn't in a great spot for his individual talents to shine. An injury-plagued career in Athens certainly didn't help his case.
And here's the full list of the three groups getting underway today:
|Last Name||First Name||College||Group #||Jersey #||Position|
|EDWARDS||LOC||SAM HOUSTON ST||1||PK04||PT|
|GREENE||DARRELL||SAN DIEGO ST||1||OL19||OG|
|HAEG||JOE||NORTH DAKOTA ST||1||OL20||OT|
|SLATER||PEARCE||SAN DIEGO ST||2||OL40||OT|
|THUNEY||JOE||NORTH CAROLINA ST||2||OL44||OT|
|ERVIN||TYLER||SAN JOSE ST||3||RB09||OH|
|PROSISE||C J||NOTRE DAME||3||RB21||OH|
|THORNTON||SHAD||NORTH CAROLINA ST||3||RB24||OH|