Risers and Sliders
Pro days for 2007 are just about in the book as several major schools hosted NFL decision-makers last week. A number of first-round prospects worked out and the results were varied.
Amobi Okoye/DT/Louisville: The explosive defender was still recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered at the combine, but turned in times in the mid-4.8 second range after weighing in at 301 pounds. Okoye also looked terrific in drills and has cemented himself as a top-10 selection.
Kevin Kolb/QB/Houston: Kolb threw for scouts last Friday and gave them plenty to think about. Hitting on 57 of the 61 passes, Kolb was on the money downfield. Scouts were impressed with his ability to make all the throws and use a variety of pass catchers. Kolb will now battle to be the third quarterback selected April 28.
Dallas Sartz/LB/USC: Weighing 232 pounds, the Trojan defender ran his 40 times in the high 4.5 area and also touched 33 inches in the vertical jump. Sartz looked solid during linebacker drills. With a thin crop of outside linebacker talent available in the draft, Sartz could sneak into the late part of the draft's first day.
Justise Hairston/RB/Central Connecticut State: The former Rutgers running back, who rushed for 1,847 yards at CCSU last season, ran times in the high 4.5-second range after weighing in at 232 pounds. He also completed 22 reps on the bench and turned in a 39-inch vertical jump.
Nate Harris/LB/Louisville: The 231-pound linebacker ran times of 4.46 and 4.51 seconds in the 40. He also posted a vertical jump of 36 inches and looked good in drills. Harris is now being considered in the mid-to-late rounds by teams like the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.
Jackie Battle/RB-FB/Houston: Battle turned in one of the best performances of any back this offseason. At 235 pounds, Battle ran his 40s in the low 4.4-second area and turned in impressive times of 4.11 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.51 seconds in the three-cone. Battle also registered 41 inches in the vertical jump. Will these numbers help Battle? They should, but most experts feel he is more athlete than football player at this point.
Quintin Echols/DL/Kansas State: A stout defender who many project to nose tackle, Echols demolished all his combine numbers last week. His 40 time of 5.05 seconds was almost .4 better than his recorded time in the RCA Dome. Echols also had a 32-inch vertical jump and ran an impressive 4.75 seconds in the short shuttle.
Allan Barbre/OL/Missouri Southern: After a tremendous workout at the combine, Barbre looked great in position drills. He is the top small-school blocker and will likely be selected in the draft's initial 75 selections.
Vincent Marshall/WR/Houston: A slight receiver who measured 5-7 1/2 inches and 165 pounds, Marshall ran 4.36 seconds in the 40 and turned in a terrific time of 4.15 during the short shuttle. Speed plus his abilities as a kick returner should ensure him a spot in the late rounds.
Brandon Archer/LB/Kansas State: The feisty linebacker ran faster than expected, turning in times of 4.72 seconds. Most thought Archer would not run faster than 4.9.
Dwayne Jarrett/WR/USC: In less than favorable conditions, Jarrett ran 4.65 40 during his workout Wednesday. While most still view him as an outstanding receiver, the slow 40 time will push him into the bottom third of round one.
Syvelle Newton/WR/South Carolina: The multi-purpose collegian was once again unable to break the 4.7-second barrier in the 40. Newton's time of 4.75 seconds was slower than his combine time of 4.71 seconds.
Chase Johnson/OT/Wyoming: Measuring 6-8, 328, Johnson completed a measly 14 reps on the bench press. To compare, his 222-pound teammate, safety John Wendling, punched out 22 reps at the combine.
Robert Herbert/CB/Colorado State: The once highly rated cornerback, who sat on the sidelines last season after being suspended, ran 40 times in the mid-4.8 second range.
Quinton Smith/RB/Rice: Considered a straight-line runner with a terrific burst of speed, Smith was only able to clock 4.61 seconds in the 40. He looked about 10 pounds overweight.
Several players trying to return from injury will have individual workouts over the next few weeks. Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn Jr. is scheduled to run for scouts April 12. Offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez, who played for two seasons with a tear in his patella tendon and had surgery in January to remove bone spurs from his knee, will work out April 18. Ramirez completed 40 reps on the bench at the combine and hopes to run and take part in position drills before the draft. Robert Turner of New Mexico, another highly rated blocker who has undergone three separate surgeries on his wrist since 2005, will work out on April 25.
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