Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 NFL Combine day 2: RBs

* NFL Network’s running back coverage wasn’t very focused and was interrupted a lot, but RamView stayed a Roy Helu Jr. fan all the same. 4.43, good change of direction, recovers from loss of balance quickly. He ran every pass route well, caught every ball, and we know from Senior Bowl week that he can pick up a blitz. This is the change-of-pace RB the Rams need in their backfield.

- Of course, they could take one of many other RBs and probably not go too wrong. DeMarco Murray looked good as a receiver, showed terrific feet and good change of direction. He did drop a deep pass. Jordan Todman of Connecticut showed very good athleticism and change of direction. So did Derrick Locke. So did Ryan Williams, and he’s a big back. Dion Lewis showed he can change directions in a blink, and may have run the most perfect weave drill ever. His size and straight-line speed may be issues, though. Delone Carter looked like a smooth receiver, and Mikel Leshoure showed good hands. There are a ton of good change-of-pace type RBs available in this year’s draft; the Rams have NO excuse not to come away with one. Heck, just make Steven Jackson happy and draft another Oregon State guy, Jacquizz Rodgers, every bit as good Sunday as Murray, Helu, or anybody else, if every bit as tall as Bob Costas.

- Less impressive: Damien Berry butchered the weave drill and was not smooth at all as a receiver. Stevan Ridley looked clumsy at everything. Daniel Thomas, one of the highest-rated RBs, sat everything out because of a lingering hamstring problem from Kansas State’s bowl game. Also, Mayock can shut up about Kendall Hunter any day now. He runs too out-of-control and didn’t show very good hands receiving. Yes, Mayock, it’s nice he stuck his nose in there in the blitz pickup drills Senior Bowl week. He’s still going to get run over.

- Finally, I’ll admit my idiocy here and say I don’t get the fuss about Mark Ingram. Sure, he grunted a lot, but his 40 times and jumps were pedestrian, and I didn’t see him do anything Sunday that Mikel Leshoure can’t. His 1.53 10-yard split is certainly worth noting, but since NFL Net didn’t provide us with another 10-yard split all day, it’s kind of hard for an amateur like me to know where it fits in. I’m against the Rams drafting Ingram at #14 until I get a better idea what’s supposed to make him so special as a pro.

So the Rams should have plenty of second- to fourth- round prospects to sift through now at the RB and WR positions. As for that first-round pick, it’s likely going now to someone performing in the next two days, with defensive linemen and linebackers auditioning for the spot on Monday.

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