9:43 a.m. EST – Workout results will start pouring into the media room today, which will also give us the first interviews with defensive players. The media is busy prepping for the day’s work and angling for bagels and juice before they disappear.
11:18 a.m. EST — Texas DE Sam Acho likes the idea of becoming a 3-4 linebacker. Measuring 6-1.5, 262 pounds, he’s been working on drops since the Longhorns’ season ended and compared himself to Redskins DE Brian Orakpo.
11:51 a.m. EST – Ohio State DE Cam Heyward is the son of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, a former NFL RB famous for his large head (he wore a size 8 3/4 hat).
“I’m not asking anybody to give me a second look just because my dad was Ironhead,” Heyward said. “But everybody knows I’ve got a big head just like him.”
12:06 p.m. EST – Defensive linemen are pouring into the media center including Alabama’s Marcell Dareus, Cal’s Cam Jordan and Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, creating a bit of a feeding frenzy among those with tape recorders and notebooks.
Kerrigan said he didn’t drop much as a 4-3 DE at Purdue. “I don’t have too much experience with it, but in my training for the Combine I’ve been working a lot on my drops from a 3-4 linebacker standpoint and I feel like I’ve made a lot of strides with that.”
12:24 p.m. EST — Many the offensive linemen’s bench press results are official. Syracuse C Ryan Bartholomew led all performers with 34 reps at 225 pounds.
1:02 p.m. EST – Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn faced questions about going from 11 sacks as a junior to four as a senior. He credited an increase in double and triple teams.
Asked what he hoped to prove to scouts, Clayborn said his agility. “Playing at Iowa, a lot of people don’t think us country boys can move,” he said.
1:42 p.m. EST – Clemson DL De’Quan Bowers gave a diplomatic answer concerning his 16 sacks this season.
“Some very good defenseive tackles did all the dirty work and I got all the cleanups,” he said.
2:21 p.m. EST – The offensive line 40-yard dash times are official. Here are the top five:
1. Jason Kelce, Cincinnati: 4.93 seconds
2. Ryan Bartholomew, Syracuse: 4.97
3. Derek Newton, Arkansas State: 5.01
4. Nate Solder, Colorado: 5.05
5. Jarriel King, South Carolina: 5.09
3:53 p.m. EST — Not surprisingly, Auburn QB Cam Newton has drawn the largest media crowd, with what I estimate to be a throng of more than 100 journalists quizzing him.
Newton talked about his well-documented relationship with his dad, the source of an NCAA investigation: “My father is just like any other father. He wants what’s best for his son. He wants to see his son succeed in every way possible.”
3:58 p.m. EST – Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt may be at the Combine now, but he had to walk on to the Badgers team. He started as a tight end at Central Michigan but felt Wisconsin gave him a better chance at making the NFL. Named the Badgers’ scout team defensive player of the year in 2008, he started all 13 games at defensive end in ’09.
Watt said he could add some weight without losing speed and is most comfortable in the 4-3 defense because that’s what he’s used to but feels he can convert to a 3-4 if needed.
“I feel very versatile and I feel like that really helps me out in the draft process,” Watt said.
4:03 p.m. EST — Alabama WR Julio Jones said one of his favorite players is Ravens LB Ray Lewis. Jones was known as a good downfield blocker in college.
“I have a defensive mentality. I’m not afraid to hit. I’m a physical guy,” Jones said. “I like to hit defensive players because they’re not used to getting hit.”
4:15 p.m. EST – Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith: “The most important thing we get out of this is the medical. It’s a top priority.”
4:53 p.m. EST — I asked Head Coach Norv Turner about evaluating the NFL’s No. 1 offense during this offseason and ahead of the draft. He’s focused on three things: Making another progression in the running game, improving the red zone offense and continuing to develop young players.
He mentioned WR Seyi Ajirotutu specifically as a player already on the roster that could help the offense improve simply by maturing as a player.
5:10 p.m. EST – West Virginia RB Noel Devine, asked if he compares himself to Maurice Jones-Drew, says he’s more similar to Chargers RB Darren Sproles.
“But that would be a great comparison. I have power like Jones-Drew but speed and ability like Darren Sproles,” Devine said. “I have explosive ability, I have the ability to make people miss and I’m a smaller target to hide behind pulling guards.”
5:47 p.m. EST — That’s it from Lucas Oil for the day. I’ll be posting a story on the Chargers’ perspective from A.J. Smith and Norv Turner later. Check back tomorrow for the final day of my coverage from Indianapolis.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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