New York Jets: NFL scouting combine

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 2

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
On the schedule for Thursday in Indianapolis:

New York Jets/Giants media availability: New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (2:45 p.m.) and general manager John Idzik (3 p.m.) are scheduled for news conferences. The hot topics will be the futures of Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie; the draft and free agency; and the organization's first public comment on former Missouri DE Michael Sam. The New York Giants' media availability begins Friday.

Combine schedule: Placekickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends will undergo medical exams, measurements and team interviews. They also will be available to the media. ... Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs arrive in town. They will have a medical pre-exam, X-rays, orientation and team interviews.

Players of interest: The Jets (18th overall pick) and Giants (12th) both have a need at tight end, so North Carolina's Eric Ebron -- the consensus top player at the position -- will be a focal point among the New York reporters. Ebron has the ability to light up the combine -- on and off the field. He's confident and entertaining, once bragging that his speed should be "illegal." He will be asked about his weight in light of a recent report that he put on extra pounds in an effort to become a better blocker. ... The Giants need help at offensive tackle, so Thursday's media session will offer a chance to meet first-round possibilities, namely Michigan's Taylor Lewan. We know how the Giants love those Big 10 linemen.

Combine primer: We're off to Indianapolis

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
In 1996, I sat down with Keyshawn Johnson for a one-on-one interview at the players' hotel. The following year, I was invited up to Bill Belichick's hotel room to interview him during his brief run as the coach of the New York Jets -- a few days before they received permission to hire Bill Parcells. Unless he was acting, Belichick looked and sounded like he was ready to dive in as HC of the NYJ.

Those were the days when the NFL scouting combine wasn't a major media event, when one-on-one interviews were possible and everything wasn't orchestrated by the league. Now the combine is a mini-Super Bowl, with live television, a "radio row" and wall-to-wall news conferences. You might say it's less intimate than the old days, but to use one of Belichick's pet expressions, it is what it is.

The fun starts Wednesday in Indianapolis. For the record, is scheduled to be on the ground late Wednesday, providing updates through the weekend.

Wednesday's combine schedule:

Placekickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends arrive. There's a medical pre-exam, X-rays, orientation and team interviews. No formal media sessions are scheduled.

One of the most laughable aspects of the combine is how teams fall in love with prospects based on how well they run and jump and lift weights, forgetting the most important part of the evaluation process is ... you know, how they play football. You will hear coaches and team officials insist they don't place added emphasis on the combine, but they're all guilty of it, including the Jets, who unwittingly provided the rest of the league with the cautionary tale.

Vernon Gholston.

Gholston blew up the combine in 2008, running the 40 in 4.67 seconds after weighing in at 266 pounds -- freakishly fast for a man that size. He also did 37 reps on the bench press and, just like that, the Jets were smitten. They picked him sixth overall and you know the rest. Right now, I can say I have as many sacks as Gholston, whose career flamed out after three years.

The Jets learned a hard lesson, but they did it again in 2012 with Stephen Hill. His measurables were off the charts -- a 6-4 wide receiver and a 4.36 time in the 40, the 40th-fastest 40 in combine history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Seduced by those numbers, the Jets' scouts bet on Hill's potential, overlooking his limited production in college. He was given a mid-first-round grade and selected high in the second round. You know the rest.

So here we go: In Indianapolis, a city famous for speed, the mantra for the week will be, "Gentlemen, start your stop watches."

Full list of scouting-combine invitees

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
From Feb. 19-25, NFL teams will be camped in Indianapolis for the annual scouting combine. There will be 335 prospects performing for scouts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here's a full list of the participants. Players from local schools are:

Jay Bromley, DL, Syracuse

Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers

Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell

Caraun Reid, DL, Princeton

Yawin Smallwood, LB, UConn

Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse

Shamar Stephen, DL, UConn

Speed day at the combine

February, 24, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- This is always one of the most anticipated days of the scouting combine -- the on-field workouts for the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. The marquee test, of course, is the 40-yard dash. A few players blew it up, challening Chris Johnson's combine record, 4.24 seconds, set in 2008.

Here are the top times in the 40, according to


1. Geno Smith, West Virginia -- 4.59

2. EJ Manuel, Florida State -- 4.65

3. Matt Scott, Arizona -- 4.69

4. Marqueis Gray, Minnesota -- 4.73

5. Colby Cameron, La. Tech -- 4.78

Notables: Ryan Nassib, Syracuse -- 5.06


1. Onterio McCalebb, Auburn -- 4.34

2. Knile Davis, Arkansas -- 4.37

3. Kerwynn Williams, Utah State -- 4.48

4. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA -- 4.49

5. Michael Ford, LSU -- 4.50

Notables: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina -- 4.53; Montee Ball, Wisconsin -- 4.66; Jawan Jamison, Rutgers -- 4.68.


1. Marquise Goodwin, Texas -- 4.27

2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia -- 4.34

2. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M -- 4.34

4. Josh Boyce, TCU -- 4.38

4. Kenny Stills, Okla. -- 4.38

Notables: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee -- 4.42; Denard Robinson, Michigan -- 4.43; Mark Harrison, Rutgers -- 4.46