Thursday, February 21, 2013
ACC and the NFL combine
By Heather Dinich
The 2013 NFL combine began on Wednesday in Indianapolis and runs through next Tuesday as players get one final audition for the next level. A total of 333 prospects will go through drills at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of NFL scouts, and they will also take part in medical examinations, psychological testing and interviews with NFL teams.
You can find the full schedule of events here.
The ACC will be well-represented with 42 players at the event.
Among the ACC players who could be a surprise there is Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson, according to Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. Here's a snippet of his evaluation:
A former Marist College basketball player, Watson (6-4¾, 317) has natural feet, and his ability to open up and run in space stands out on tape. He gets deep in his pass sets, and he can redirect and mirror pass-rushers. Watson also appears to have long arms, so I'm interested to see how he measures up.
Weidl also has Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas as a potential surprise:
With his compact build (5-8^, 217) and low center of gravity, Thomas should do well in the short shuttle and three-cone drills. He shows good change-of-direction skills on tape and is likely to back that up in those agility tests, and his vertical jump should be good.
One ACC player who shouldn't have too much more to prove is former FSU defensive end Bjoern Werner, who is listed at No. 5 on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board.
Some of the ACC's most interesting storylines are with the quarterbacks, who could boost their stock with a strong combine:
- Mike Glennon, NC State: There have been some mixed reviews about Glennon's pro potential, but Kiper still has him as the No. 3 quarterback in this class, despite 17 interceptions last year.
- Sean Renfree, Duke: Coach David Cutcliffe has insisted all along that Renfree is an NFL-caliber quarterback. This is his chance to prove his biggest fan right.
- EJ Manuel, Florida State: Manuel took some heat from FSU fans last year, and he wasn't the best QB in the ACC, but he finished with a strong performance in the Senior Bowl. It will be interesting to see how he fares on his own instead of under coach Jimbo Fisher.
Best of luck to all of the former ACC players at the combine.