Sunday, February 24, 2013
Critical day for top NFL prospects
By Bill Williamson
INDIANAPOLIS -- I’m not sure if Geno Smith put himself in the conversation to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, but the West Virginia quarterback had a good day Sunday at the NFL combine.
Smith, widely considered the best quarterback prospect in the draft, had the fastest 40-yard dash time of all quarterbacks Sunday. He ran a 4.56. Smith is considered more of a pocket passer than a running quarterback, making the time that much more impressive. He has said he only runs to enhance his game, not to fuel it. But the fact that he can move well means it will open up playbooks.
The Kansas City Chiefs have the No. 1 pick and badly need a quarterback. Smith’s speed will certainly be part of the discussion in Kansas City.
However, another candidate to be the No.1 pick has a medical issue. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei will not work out at the combine because a medical exam at the combine discovered that he has a heart issue. Mortensen reported Lotulelei’s left ventricle is pumping at 44 percent efficiency, below the normal range of 55 percent to 70 percent. He will undergo more tests in Utah and he plans to work out next month.
This issue clearly could affect Lotulelei’s draft stats. He is a legitimate option for both Kansas City at No.1 and Oakland at No. 3. Oakland could instead look at Florida defensive tackle Sharriff Floyd at No. 3.
Meanwhile, Smith’s strong day will also interest Oakland. If Smith gets past Kansas City and is highly rated, there could be a chance to trade down from the No. 3 pick. Oakland would love to acquire more picks.
In other combine developments Sunday that affect the AFC West:
Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore did just 12 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press. That is a weak total for a defensive end. He has been often connected to Oakland.
Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had a great day overall Sunday. He is considered the top receiver prospect. He is a dark horse possibility for San Diego at No. 11.