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NFL Combine: Friday, February 23rd, Day Two

By: Greg Davis

The second day of the NFL Combine saw more action, and thus, more items of interest.

The day opened with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers losing a coin toss, while the Cleveland Browns earned the third overall draft selection.

The rest of the news from Day Two:

Quarterback Brady Quinn—who will not be participating in physical drills during the week of the Combine—measured in at 6'3”1/2 with a weight of 233 pounds. No real surprises there, but standing next to Jamarcus Russell made Quinn look almost small. Russell’s height was measured at 6'5"1/2 and he weighed in at 265, the heaviest quarterback at the Combine.

Another quarterback, Chris Leak, stood 5'11”7/8 for measurements. His stature will force some teams to hesitate on taking the Florida standout, but Leak has enough talent to be picked on day one of the draft.

Michael Bush, the Louisville running back coming off injury, measured 6'1 3/4 and weighed 243 pounds. His size hasn’t been in question, but his foot-speed will be when it comes time to run the 40. Bush won’t run at the combine and scouts will have to wait till his pro day to measure his speed.

Another power back type is former Penn State running back Tony Hunt, who measured 6'1”1/2 and hit the scales at 233 pounds. Like Bush, his speed will be important to where he is selected in the draft, but is also likely to opt out of the 40, and could save his entire efforts for his Pro Day.

Adrian Peterson measured 6'1-1/2" and 217 pounds, which is about what one would expect. Peterson is prepared to take part in all drills and tests during the week, which could be enough to guarantee him a spot in the top five.

More running back measurements (yielding no surprises):
Marshawn Lynch, 5'11", 215
Darius Walker, 5'10", 206
Kenny Irons, 5'11", 203

At wide receiver, speed seemed to be the issue of the day. Johnnie Lee Higgins (UTEP) suggested that he wanted to run his 40 in the 4.1 range, a total that would certainly drop some jaws. He’s apparently run a 4.18 in the past.

Paul Williams (Fresno State), who measured 6’1” and weighed 205 pounds, recently ran in the 4.3 range during a workout, and a repeat performance in Indianapolis would do a lot of good for his position.

As for top receiving prospect Calvin Johnson, he weighed in at 239 pounds, making him the heaviest wide receiver. Teams may be worried that Johnson’s work ethic isn’t quite what you want from a top pick, but Johnson is naturally big and his size is one of his strengths on the field, so it may have little effect in the minds of those watching.

One thing to note on defense is that that Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis will dodge no event during Combine week. Teams have to be happy with his “nothing to hide” attitude, and Willis’ play on the field makes him a sure-fire first rounder. The combine should do little to drop his stock and his desire to participate in every drill could even improve his draft position.

On special teams, Maryland punter Adam Podlesh may have impressed most by having the best hang time among punters and a long punt of 53 yards.

Also, Manuel Ramirez—guard from Texas Tech—and Justin Blalock—guard from Texas—shared the honors of completing 40 reps of 225 pounds.

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