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ESPN's Todd McShay's First Impressions of OL, TE and Specialists

  • LilAzn9er
  • Info N/A
Below is Todd McShay's Observations/Breakdown of yesterday's weigh-in session for OL, TE and Specialists.


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INDIANAPOLIS -- Tape measures and scales will not be traded in for stopwatches and footballs at the NFL combine until Saturday, but that doesn't mean there isn't buzz being generated. Here are our observations after Thursday's weigh-in sessions for tight ends, offensive linemen and specialists. Here are some of our observations:

Campbell, Iupati already impressive
Maryland OT Bruce Campbell is inconsistent on film but figures to wow scouts with his upside, and he started doing so Thursday. Campbell is one of the few 316-pound human beings in this world who can be described as "shredded." He's expected to be among the leaders in the standard 225-pound bench press Friday and to clock a sub-5.00 in the 40-yard dash Saturday.

Idaho OG/OT Mike Iupati came in a close second in the offensive line's best-in-show contest. Iupati is not as defined at Campbell but carried his 331 pounds well on a 6-foot-5 frame.

Bulaga measures up
One of the big questions as the premier offensive linemen were sized up was just how long the arms of Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga would be. Arm length is one of the most scrutinized physical attributes for offensive tackles because short arms make it easier for pass-rushers to get into their frame and get around them.

Concerns were eased a bit for Bulaga, who exceeded expectations with 33¼-inch arms. For comparison purposes, first-round pick Eugene Monroe measured in at 33⅞ inches a year ago and fared just fine as a rookie for the Jaguars.

Bad start for Davis
Rutgers OT Anthony Davis is currently the highest-rated tackle on our board, but he looked sloppy and soft in the middle during weigh-ins. It's a disappointing start for a player looking to solidify his status in a very competitive class, and coming in out of shape will only add to off-the-field concerns Davis is sure to be grilled about in interviews.

Seniors back on the radar
We got our first look since bowl season at the top two senior offensive tackles in the 2010 class, and Oklahoma State's Russell Okung passed the eyeball test a little better than Oklahoma's Trent Williams. Okung looked athletic at 6-5 and 307 pounds. Although Williams certainly didn't embarrass himself, he looked a little fleshier at 6-5 and 315.

Saffold moving up
Indiana OT Rodger Saffold isn't in the first-round discussion, but his stock is on the rise. After a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game, Saffold weighed in here at 316 pounds and measured 6-4⅝. He carried the weight well and is looking to move up in the second round with a strong showing at the combine.

Tight ends show well
We thought Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham would win the weigh-in among tight ends, but Arizona's Rob Gronkowski stole Gresham's thunder. Gronkowski checked in taller than we expected at 6-¼, has long arms at 34¼ inches and has 10¼-inch hands. Size isn't an issue, either, after he weighed in at 264 pounds. In fairness to Gresham, he looked good, too, at 6-5¼ and 261 pounds.

USC TE Anthony McCoy might not have elite measurables, but he looked athletic at 259 and 6-4½. Although McCoy didn't catch the ball as well as expected at the Senior Bowl, there's a lot to like about his 10⅜-inch hand span.

Penn State's Andrew Quarless and Pittsburgh's Nate Byham also caught our attention Thursday. Quarless is a talented underachiever, and the combine is a perfect venue for him to showcase his athleticism, and his 6-4⅝, 254-pound frame is impressive. It could be the start of a big week for him. Meanwhile, Byham looked trim at 6-4 and 262.

What's next?
The pace picks up a bit Friday when the skill position players (quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers) get into the mix with their measurements and some of the big fellas (offensive linemen and tight ends) hit the bench press.

Be sure to check in frequently between now and Tuesday because we will keep the results flowing in our daily NFL draft blog and put a bow on each day with our combine buzz, which will feature more in-depth analysis after we've collected and compared the day's information.

Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998.
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  • LilAzn9er
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Should we consider taking Campbell at 17 if we don't take a OL at 13?
  • mayo49
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Originally posted by LilAzn9er:
Should we consider taking Campbell at 17 if we don't take a OL at 13?

I think it comes down to Williams or Campbell at 17, unless we take Bulaga or Davis at 13.
  • LilAzn9er
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With all the buzz Iupati is getting...I'm wondering if we should take him at 13? After reading what McCloughan had to say about taking big players, I think he'll pass on Spiller. Also, my gut tells me Iupati will be better than Bulaga and Campbell.
  • mayo49
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  • Posts: 20,510
Originally posted by LilAzn9er:
With all the buzz Iupati is getting...I'm wondering if we should take him at 13? After reading what McCloughan had to say about taking big players, I think he'll pass on Spiller. Also, my gut tells me Iupati will be better than Bulaga and Campbell.

Good point, Iupati could still be a factor in all of this.
I'm on the Iupati bandwagon. I hope they get him.
  • TX9R
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Originally posted by RedWaltz24:
I'm on the Iupati bandwagon. I hope they get him.

Yup, go for the closest thing to a potential HOFer every time, esp at a position who could play 15 years.
I still think the Iupati will be available at 17.
  • mayo49
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  • Posts: 20,510
Originally posted by SF69ers:
I still think the Iupati will be available at 17.

Me, too. He's ours if we want him.
Originally posted by LilAzn9er:
With all the buzz Iupati is getting...I'm wondering if we should take him at 13? After reading what McCloughan had to say about taking big players, I think he'll pass on Spiller. Also, my gut tells me Iupati will be better than Bulaga and Campbell.

McCloughan could be setting up a smoke screen, we know he will take the BPA at 13 which will most likley be Spiller. Besides 196 lbs is pretty big for a back that's 5'11.

Bulaga > Iupati > Williams > Campbell.. I don't like Davis at all.
Although it may be overkill for some, I will continue to advocate the Niners use their two first round draft picks on OL until this line is fixed. Clearly, it is the weakest unit on the squad, and until it is overhauled, then Alex Smith has little chance to move his game to the next level, our running game will limp along, and our defense will be parked on the field way too much.

Iupati is going to be one of the best players in this draft, regardless of position. The scouts at the Senior Bowl made the observation that he was the player most likely to Pro-Bowl from all the attendees. So, you pull the trigger at 13, and you don't have to worry about someone leapfrogging you, or punking you by grabbing him earlier than expected. At 17, you get the best available OT, or target the best OT in the second round.

Either way, this team needs to replace two positions, at LG and RT, so I say get it done at once. If you HAVE to bite on a player other than an OL with one of the first rounders, then at least cover your tracks in the mid-second.
Originally posted by LilAzn9er:
With all the buzz Iupati is getting...I'm wondering if we should take him at 13? After reading what McCloughan had to say about taking big players, I think he'll pass on Spiller. Also, my gut tells me Iupati will be better than Bulaga and Campbell.

YES.. We should take him at #13, if he is still on the board.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Although it may be overkill for some, I will continue to advocate the Niners use their two first round draft picks on OL until this line is fixed. Clearly, it is the weakest unit on the squad, and until it is overhauled, then Alex Smith has little chance to move his game to the next level, our running game will limp along, and our defense will be parked on the field way too much.

Iupati is going to be one of the best players in this draft, regardless of position. The scouts at the Senior Bowl made the observation that he was the player most likely to Pro-Bowl from all the attendees. So, you pull the trigger at 13, and you don't have to worry about someone leapfrogging you, or punking you by grabbing him earlier than expected. At 17, you get the best available OT, or target the best OT in the second round.

Either way, this team needs to replace two positions, at LG and RT, so I say get it done at once. If you HAVE to bite on a player other than an OL with one of the first rounders, then at least cover your tracks in the mid-second.

Absolutely and totally agree!!
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Although it may be overkill for some, I will continue to advocate the Niners use their two first round draft picks on OL until this line is fixed. Clearly, it is the weakest unit on the squad, and until it is overhauled, then Alex Smith has little chance to move his game to the next level, our running game will limp along, and our defense will be parked on the field way too much.

Iupati is going to be one of the best players in this draft, regardless of position. The scouts at the Senior Bowl made the observation that he was the player most likely to Pro-Bowl from all the attendees. So, you pull the trigger at 13, and you don't have to worry about someone leapfrogging you, or punking you by grabbing him earlier than expected. At 17, you get the best available OT, or target the best OT in the second round.

Either way, this team needs to replace two positions, at LG and RT, so I say get it done at once. If you HAVE to bite on a player other than an OL with one of the first rounders, then at least cover your tracks in the mid-second.

You're speaking my language man. I still want Davis and Iupati in the first.

Those guys will give us a disgusting wall to run/pass behind. Wouldn't mind a trade down in the 2nd to grab McCluster who I still like a lot more in the 2nd/3rd round than I do Spiller in the top 20.

Davis/Iupati + McCluster >>>>>>> Spiller + leftovers
Originally posted by LilAzn9er:
Should we consider taking Campbell at 17 if we don't take a OL at 13?

If all the top o-line go early then we may just take Campbell. I like all his measurables, but can he be coached up to start from day 1?