The first four days at the Scouting Combine have probably been the most successful ever -- never have a higher percentage of players worked out, including running 40s and participating in field drills. All the players that participated were pleased with what they did, and coaches and scouts were pleased with the performances so it's been a win-win situation. The biggest thing dispelled today is this is not a slow track. The times were extremely fast.
Tight ends as a group was probably the best group and the fastest that we've ever had. Vernon Davis of Maryland produced the fastest time ever by a tight end, clocking 4.37. Other tight ends who turned in fast times were Leonard Pope of Georgia (4.53), Tony Scheffler of Western Michigan (4.56) and Garrett Mills of Tulsa (4.57). Of the 21 tight ends who were on the list to work out, 17 ran and three were medically excused. Another, Southern Cal's Dominique Byrd, chose not to run.
We had a tremendous time from N.C. State defensive lineman Manny Lawson, who ran a 4.44 and 4.45. We had a linebacker -- Tarna Nande from Miami, Ohio -- lift 41 times and we had a record-tying bench press (45 times) by Mike Kudla from Ohio State. Defensive lineman Brodrick Bunkley from Florida State had 44 lifts to really help himself. N.C. State defensive lineman Mario Williams was already high, but his stock went higher after his workouts. And yesterday, I thought Florida WR Chad Jackson helped himself a great deal.
Along with the tight ends, two groups of defensive linemen also worked out today. The first group featured 24 invitees, but only 21 ran -- Tamba Hali of Penn State and Orien Harris of Miami (Fla.) opted not to run, while Eric Henderson of Georgia Tech was held out for medical reasons. The fastest times among the group were Mark Anderson of Alabama (4.65), Chris Gocong of Cal-Poly (4.75), Ray Edwards of Purdue (4.83) and Parys Haralson of Tennessee (4.84). They along with six other defensive linemen, will also work out as linebackers.
The second unit had 27 on the list to work out, but only 23 ran -- Claude Wroten of Louisiana State and Matt Rice of Penn State chose not to run and two others were out for medical reasons. Of this group, 13 prospects will also work out as linebackers, most notably Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College, Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech and Kamerion Wimbley of Florida State. The fastest times turned in from this unit came from N.C. State's Lawson (4.45), James Wyche of Syracuse (4.60), Stanley McClover of Auburn (4.65), Mario Williams of N.C. State (4.66) and Wimbley (4.66).
Drew Rosenhaus represents three players in this year's draft and all three -- Michigan defensive lineman Gabe Watson and Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman Eric Winston and receiver Sinorice Moss. All three ran and worked out and really enhanced their position in the draft. Vikings owners, brothers Zygi and Mark Wilf, were also in attendance at the Combine this weekend.
The crowd is dwindling in Indianapolis as the offensive position coaches have left. We're now down to linebacker, defensive line and defensive back coaches as well as head coaches. Head coach Tom Coughlin is always the first to arrive and the last to leave.