INDIANAPOLIS– Here are some thoughts I've been putting in my scout's notebook here in the first couple of days at the combine:
- Quarterback hand size does matter to Jason Garrett and the best quarterbacks are instinctive. He also believes that the evaluation of every player starts with the guy himself - who is that guy, how important is football to him, does he have a passion for the game, can he function in a team environment, what's his personal character, what's his football character - all these things.
- I asked New York Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan if he would be willing to get out of his spot at 20 to go back in the draft if a team called about a trade. Maccagnan thinks he's sitting in a pretty good spot and would be willing to move if the picks made sense. He added "Tell Jerry, Stephen and Will to give me a shout if interested."
- Zack Martin's advice to his brother Nick in preparation for this upcoming Combine "Just be yourself, honestly. And then play your game. You don't have to do anything you didn't do in college."
- Michigan State OT Jack Conklin, a likely 1st round selection in this draft, was asked the best pass rusher he has ever faced? "Randy Gregory, his first three steps off the ball are insanely quick." That's high praise from a tackle that has faced the likes of Joey Bosa, Ohio State and Frank Clark, Michigan.
- I have heard the whispers already that scouts were questioning whether Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley really loved football. After listening to him talk, I could see why those questions are being asked. Stanley didn't come off as a confident guy and I think he knows that. When asked what he is trying to sell teams on? "My passion for football. I don't think many people know how important football is to me and how big of a role it's played throughout my life."
- I have Alex Collins (RB Arkansas) currently in the 3rd round of my Draft Board. I love his running style but there were not many opportunities to see him catch the ball while in college and he offered this reason why "The way our system worked in college, we were more check-downs and what-not, so I feel like I can definitely be used more in the passing game on the next level."
- Signs that you've been in this game a long time. Florida RB Kelvin Taylor is the son of former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Before the 1998 Draft, I timed Fred while he was a student in Gainesville. That day he ran a 4.40 on the stadium field which was impressive. Kelvin was asked when was the first time he beat his father in a foot race? " I was about 17". When asked how he took it? "Man, he just started shaking his head. He knew he was starting to get a little old then. That was it." Wishing you the best Kelvin, your dad was one of my favorites and always will be.