The NFL Combine gets underway in just a couple days. I reached out to Jesse Bartolis, co-editor of NFL Mocks, to give us a quick primer on what we should pay attention to from a Detroit Lions perspective. As you will soon read, Jesse was quite thorough and packed in a lot of information for us (thank you, Jesse!). That’s why I decided to split the Q&A into two parts. Part two has also been posted.
Zac Snyder: Who are a few offensive lineman Lions fans should pay attention to during the Combine and what would constitute a good showing for each?
Jess Bartolis: First, the things you want to pay attention to with offensive linemen are different than other prospects. The “40 yard dash” of offensive linemen is the weigh-in. As boring as that sounds. Arm Length and hand size are a NFL linemen’s speed. You just want to make sure in the drills that players don’t look stiff. Measuring long is important though.
The first to pay attention to is Mike Adams out of Ohio State. Adams looks the part, he’s big, long, and has pretty quick feet. Teams will makes sure that Adams is in shape. They’ll be watching closely to see if he is truly athletic enough to play LT, many consider him more of a RT. And he’ll also have to impress in the interviews. He was apart of the Ohio State Scandal. I like Adams’ talent and think he ultimately ends up a top 20 pick, but he could fall to the Lions.
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Konz is not getting enough publicity, but I think he is much better than Mike Pouncey was last year. Interior OL have been going higher and higher in the draft so he might not be available when the Lions pick 23rd overall, but he could be. A good showing for him is again to show better than anticipated athleticism. He’s a big center, more in the mold of a Nick Mangold.
Kelechi Osmele and Cordy Glenn, OL
Each team has to decide if these players are guard or tackles.
Glenn has to be in shape. He’s a very big man a guy many think can only play guard. He has to show that he has the lateral ability and explosiveness to play tackle. He played LT at Georgia I think he fits best as a RT in a power scheme (like the Jets want to be).
Osemele is from Iowa State. He’s a long athletic guy, how strong is he? How well does he bend? I’d expect him to run pretty well. It’s the strength and technique you’re looking a
Amini Silatalou and Matt Mcants
Hailing from Midwestern State and UAB respectively but few have seen them play. This is their chance to showcase their stuff. Silatlou especially.
Matt Reynolds, T, BYU
Is an experienced strong player who at one point had 1st round label, but now is seen more as an early day three pick. If he has long arms and looks athletic he can get back into the day two conversation. He is really functionally strong. A right tackle prospect.
Zac Snyder: Same question but in regards to cornerbacks.
Jesse Bartolis: Everyone knows about the top guys Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins and Stephon Gilmore so I’ll avoid them. Alfronzo Dennard too. He needs to measure in at least 5’10 (which he is now) and run pretty well. Watch his arm length and bench press too. Dennard is a shorter guy but he’s tough and excels in press coverage. If his arms are shorter than ideal, or he’s not as strong as people think his stock is going to take a bit hit. He was injured at the Senior Bowl (after struggling) and got torched by Alshon Jefferey (who had bad season overall) in their bowl game. He’s had a rough pre-draft process.
Chase Minnifield, Virginia
A guy who does everything well and is a bit underappreciated. If he runs in the 4.4 range or something like that he could see his stock go up. He has impressive tape.
Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
The opposite of Dennard. A guy who had a terrific bowl game and looks the part, some have said “cornerback in a safety’s body”. He could impress at the combine.
Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
A shorter cornerback who probably will not test that well. But a guy who put scouts on notice when he controlled Justin Blackmon in their upset of Oklahoma State in the season. Mayock likes him a lot as a “top 50 player”. Will he test well enough to convince teams he is in fact a top 50 player?
Jayron Hosley, VA, Tech
Hosley is another undersized guys. These undersized guys have to show that they are very athletic otherwise what are you banking on them for? They are not going to win in press matchups. Hosley is an off coverage cornerback who is reminiscent of a bit of Asante Samuel. He has terrific hands and has made a lot of plays on the football in his career. 9 INT in the 2010 season, not nearly that productive in 2011. Watching the film it looks like his vertical is off the charts. He needs a big combine.
Robert Blanton, CB, Norte Dame
Going deeper here. Blanton is huge and has to show he has good enough hips to cover effectively. He’s a pretty good athlete too. He could be a hot name after the combine.