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Scout’s Notebook: An Early Look At Draft’s Best O-Linemen
Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:36 PM CST
INDIANAPOLIS – We’ve arrived at the scouting combine here in Indy at Lucas Oil Stadium. Straight from the plane to the dome, it’s time to get to work.
Here are a few things I added to my Scout’s Notebook from Day 1:
- First interview of the day that I was able to sit in on with North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper (OL13). Have to say that physically he looks taller on tape than he did in person. Measured 6-2, 311 this morning which is the same height as Chance Warmack (OL52) of Alabama but six pounds lighter. It will be interesting to see how well Cooper moves with the extra weight because he played in the 290 range in college. You get the sense listening to him talk that he wants to prove to scouts that he can play stronger than what he might have shown on film. His bench press goal at 225 for the combine is 35 reps and if he is able to hit that number it should put any of those questions from scouts to bed.
- In a nice twist of fate and last names, Kentucky’s Larry Warford (OL51) and Alabama’s Chance Warmack (OL52) are working out back to back during the drills. This will be a great opportunity for scouts to get a comparison of how each of these guards measure up. Warford is a pound down from the Senior Bowl weighing in at 332 pounds which is a good thing. I have seen this work before when you have a player like Warmack who many think is the top guard on the board bring the best out of Warford who wants to prove to scouts that he needs to be in the discussion with him and Cooper. I promise that the Lucas Oil Stadium will be buzzing when Group 2 hits the field as these two battle it out.
- Keep an eye on Oregon guard Kyle Long (OL35) the son of Howie and brother of Chris of the Rams. I had the chance to study him some before I left for the Combine and I came away very impressed. Should do very well in all the drills which is something that you see on tape. Long measure 6-6, 313, and his arm length was 33 3/8’’ but on tape you do see him extend on rushers to keep him off his body. Played as a left guard for the Ducks but with his movement skills believe he could also see some time at tackle. Swing players are going to be valuable in this draft and I believe that he has that type of skill.
- Want to follow a player that you might not know much about but very well could on the second day of the draft? Tackle Terron Armstead (OL03) from Arkansas Pine-Bluff is your guy. Measuring at 6-5, 306 doesn’t play like a small-school player. Was the starter at left tackle and plays the majority of his plays out of a two-point stance. Moves easy and with his 34” arms can hold off rushers easily. When he is on the move he does a really nice job of seeking his target and making contact and sticking with his man. Will be interesting to see if the bright lights of the Combine are too much for him to handle, I am betting, it won’t be.
- The Combine brings in three quarterbacks that I like to call “Bullpen Guys” to throw for all the drills. Not only will these guys throw with their groups when the quarterbacks go, but get the extra work in front of the scouts with the other position drills. Make a note that Tyler Bray (QB2) is one of these bullpen guys and the reason I bring this up is because when Tony Romo was part of the Combine in 2003, he was a bullpen guy and we were able to see him make throw after throw to evaluate. Bray is a guy that scouts are looking at potentially in the middle rounds of the draft.