Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Suh won't skip combine workouts
By Len Pasquarelli
Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, expected by many to be the first overall player selected in this year's NFL draft, will participate in all of the workouts at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, which begins next week.
Players regarded as the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft often bypass some of the on-field workouts at the combine.
"He's in the best shape of his life and he wants to (demonstrate) that to people," said agent Roosevelt Barnes, who along with Eugene Parker, his partner at Maximum Sports, will represent Suh in contract negotiations. "There's no reason [not to work out]."
Some talent evaluators think Suh, 23, is the NFL's best defensive tackle prospect to enter the draft in several years.
During his career at Nebraska, Suh appeared in 54 games and totaled 214 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, 24 sacks, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 15 pass deflections and six blocked kicks. A career-best 12 sacks came in 2009.
The 6-feet-4, 302-pound Suh won the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Award in his final college season. He was also named as the Associated Press player of the year and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.
"[He's] the best [tackle] I've ever seen," Barnes said.
Another tackle, Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma, is the consensus No. 2 prospect in the draft. At this relatively early juncture of the evaluation process, McCoy is actually regarded by some teams as the top prospect. The St. Louis Rams own the draft's top choice.
Since the NFL and AFL went to a combined draft in 1967, defensive tackles have never been chosen first and second in the lottery. A defensive tackle has not been the top pick since 1994, when the Cincinnati Bengals selected Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson.
There have been just five tackles chosen No. 1 overall since 1967.
The on-field portion of the combine, which begins next Wednesday, consists of position-specific workouts, weight-lifting, various change-of-direction drills and the 40-yard dash. Many top-rated players opt to skip the 40-yard sprint. Prospects will also have individual interviews with teams and undergo a rigorous physical examination.
"He's ready for it all," Barnes said.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.