Observations from a collection of NFL scouts at the combine:
"Right now, the majority of our scouts feel like Kevin Jones (of Virginia Tech) is the best back in the draft. But there's my hangup with him: You see him break a lot of long runs on tape, but you don't see him break a lot of tackles, you know? He's got some 'long strider' to him, and I'd like to see him running in some tight spots, where he's got to chop his steps more and maybe make a hole for himself once in a while."
"Another running back I haven't been impressed with, as far as his inside strength, is (Michigan's) Chris Perry. Now he's a guy who is supposed to run hard, right? But I looked at maybe three tapes of him last week and I don't see the explosiveness and the power I thought I would. On the plus side, he has a little more wiggle than people told me he did. He won't run away from safeties or anything, but he does know what to do when he gets into the secondary. I'd just like to see him knocking the linebackers back a little more because, let's face it, he isn't a speed guy. I'm thinking he's about a 4.55 guy (in the 40) and so he'd better get his pads down when he's running. Oh, yeah, another plus is that he's a very, very positive kid and, from what we gather, a real leader."
"There's a lot to like about (Arkansas) offensive tackle Shane Andrews. He is so girthy and looks naturally strong. But there's some softness to him, too, and I don't like the fact he basically abandoned his team in its bowl game. Some people are talking about maybe an attitude problem. In talking with him, I didn't see that, but there is definitely a streak of immaturity that needs to be addressed. And he just seems like a kid who will have to be pointed in the direction of the weight room."
"OK, we all know that fullbacks don't get taken until the second day (of the draft), so don't make too big a thing of this. But the (Lousaka) Polite kid from Pitt might be the best fullback in this draft. He has size, can run the one-back (formation), is an excellent pass protector and has very good hands. Don't brag on him too much because we like him and are hoping he's around for us in the fifth or sixth round."
"I am incredibly anxious to see if (Wisconsin wide receiver) Lee Evans works out and, if he does, how he runs. Here was a kid, two years ago, that people felt was the best overall prospect in the country. Not just the best wide receiver, maybe the best player, period. And then he blew out his knee in spring ball, had two surgeries, and he's sort of buried in the pack now, because there are so many great receivers in this draft. But he looked like he got his explosiveness back in the second half of the year. He makes the big play when you need it, sticks the ball in the end zone, goes aggressively after the ball. Someone is going to get him in about the second half of the second round and might get a steal."
"(Georgia Tech) offensive tackle Nat Dorsey is just big all over, isn't he? But he looks like a player for whom things came too easily. I mean, he was an all-conference player as a freshman and then it looked in some games like he was playing on reputation. Maybe he should have stayed in school for his senior year, I don't know, but he has to do something to get hungry again about the game. The tools, though, are definitely there."
-- Len Pasquarelli