Saturday, February 25, 2012
Quick hits: More big WR talk
By Mike Reiss
INDIANAPOLIS -- Quick hits from the third day of the NFL combine:
1. Randle makes his presence felt. LSU receiver Rueben Randle, who is one of the highly-rated big targets in the draft, arrived at the media center late this afternoon and was in command as he answered questions from reporters. Impressive poise. He said he measured 6-foot-2 7/8 and weighed 210 pounds at the combine. When asked why he decided to enter the draft after his junior season, Randle said he felt he accomplished a lot -- "33 wins in three years" and that was the reason he attended school there, to win. When asked what style of receiver he'd like to model himself after, he chose Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who makes plays down the field as well as after the catch. The general sense from this perspective is that Randle, who is a first-round projection, will interview well with teams.
2. Sanu checks in. Couldn't get over to listen to Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu, another highly touted bigger receiver in this draft, but Erik Scalavino of Patriots.com was nice enough to hand over his recorder so I could listen to the audio of it. Sanu touched on how he prides himself as an all-around receiver, and answered questions about his speed, ability to separate, and former Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano, among others. Sanu said he keeps in touch with Patriots players and Rutgers alums Devin McCourty and Tiquan Underwood -- both of whom play for the Patriots -- and that he sometimes crossed paths with Bill Belichick when Belichick would visit campus. Tremendous production in 2011 from Sanu, who had 115 receptions.
3. Jeffrey touts his hands. South Carolina's Alshon Jeffrey, who said he weighed in at 216 pounds after playing at 230 last season, talked about his strong hands being the asset that sets him apart from other big receivers. He hopes to play around 215 pounds in the NFL as he feels lighter and faster at that number, and pointed to better route-running as one area he could improve. Jeffrey's statistics dipped considerably last season, in part because of quarterback changes, and that is part of what makes him a challenging projection for scouts. He is viewed by analysts as a late first-round or second-round pick. "Every kid in America when they grow playing football wants to go in the first round," he said.