What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- NFL Combine performance all but assures Luck to the Colts
- Rams looking for their King’s ransom for the #2 pick thanks to RG3
- Hines debuts his future career on the red carpet for the Oscars
- Steelers look close at linebackers at the Combine
Who wants to watch hours and hours of twenty-something guys basically running and jumping around in their underwear? I know I sure do. The NFL Combine started last week to showcase the talents that will make up the 2012 NFL Draft. Every position from O-line to kickers run, jump, and jumped some more for coaches and front office guys as well as the cameras. I never understood what the purpose of knowing what an offensive lineman’s 40 time is, but I suppose it’s helpful to know how fast they can run in the event their quarterback throws and interception. The bigger names such as Luck and RG3 took part in some drills but are saving their main showcases for their individual pro-days.
Andrew Luck ran a 4.67 40 yard dash and impressed plenty with his athleticism. He’s yet to throw a ball yet but he’ll most likely be taking over Peyton’s team in Indy which begs the question of who will throw the most money at Manning? Manning and Colt’s owner have continued their public back and forth about the fate of Manning’s future with the Colts but no decision has been made yet. Most likely the Colts will be releasing Manning instead of paying him the roster bonus he is due March 8th. The leading candidate to throw all their money at Manning right now is the Dolphins, with the Redskins not far behind.
Also looking to do some wheeling and dealing for a quarterback will be the Rams, who after seeing Robert Griffin III run the fastest 40 time for a quarterback since Michael Vick will be sending their feelers out all over the league to see who is going to give up the most for their #2 pick to snatch him up. It’s looking like the Rams could get the kind of package the Chargers got in ’04 when they traded away their #1 pick Eli Manning, to the Giants for 2 first rounders and a 3rd round pick. Hopefully RG3 has the best attributes of Vick without the downside of having a quarterback that can’t play a full 16 game season due to constant injuries resulting from the athletic style of play. Griffin has quite a cannon for an arm so it looks like he could very well be the complete package.
Hines Ward apparently showed off his interviewing talents last night on the red carpet for the Oscars for the NFL Network. Seems as though he’s forgiven the network for their inaccurate “insider” reporting that the Steelers had released him a few weeks ago. No doubt Hines is headed for a job in front of a camera when his blocking and pass catching days are over. Good to know that Hines is keeping himself busy and not stressing like the rest of us on whether or not he’s played his last game for the Black & Gold. That’s not meant to be a knock at all on Hines; we all should be having some fun this spring and not stressing about things which are out of our control.
The Steelers set their sights on inside linebackers at the Combine, specifically interviewing Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State and Dont’a Hightower of Alabama. Unfortunately that means that the Steelers will most likely be parting ways with either James Farrior, Larry Foote, or both. The speed and talent of these two will most likely compliment the current linebacker crew consisting of Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison, and LaMarr Woodley. Burfict was voted the meanest player in college football. Seems like he should fit right in.
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