Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:2011 NFL Combine
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm
 

Dolphins OK with 'short-term' fix at QB right now

The Fins are open to a long- or short-term fix at quarterback. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've heard already: the Miami Dolphins are in the market for a quarterback. There are myriad rumors about who they want; Matt Flynn works because Joe Philbin's his old coach. Peyton Manning works because, well, he's Peyton Manning. What about Robert Griffin III? And don't sleep on Ryan Tannehill, who Mike Sherman coached at Texas A&M.

According to Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland, the team is in fact open to a short-term solution at the position, despite having never successfully filled the role since the departure of my esteemed colleague Mr. Marino many moons ago.

2012 scouting combine coverage
Draft prospect rankings
Latest mock drafts
2012 NFL scouting combine More combine coverage
Combine blog | On iTunes | Newsletter

"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution," Ireland said. "I think you can get a short-term solution. Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both. You can certainly try and get both in that regard. But it's my job to try and grow the team for today and for the future. And Joe's responsibility is to try and win today with a mind to the future as well."

Philbin echoed Ireland's sentiments, saying that there's "not necessarily" a preference when it comes to acquiring a quarterback for the future or a quarterback who can step in right now and win.

"Not necessarily," Philbin said. "The quarterback is an important position in the offense and an important position on the football team. We've got to have a player perform with success at that position. But we don't have a mandate that the player has to be 24-years-old or 33-years-old or 29-years old.

"We're looking for a manager, a leader, an accurate passer, a decision maker and a guy who can make a play when we need it. And however that shakes out, it's fine by us."

Since Marino departed, the Dolphins have rolled out the following quarterbacks as starters: Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Moore.

That's sixteen quarterbacks since Marino last played in 1999. The Dolphins, more than almost any team in the NFL (with the possible exception of the Redskins) need a long-term answer at quarterback.

But that long-term answer might not come this year, especially whatever short-term solution they're eying gives the Dolphins a chance to win now.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:38 pm
 

Report: Fairley missed meeting with Fins, more

Posted by Will Brinson

Nick Fairley has fallen all the way to No. 8 in our latest CBSSports.com mock drafts, and, based on the reports that emerged Wednesday about his inability to be on time, there's a good chance he could fall further as the draft approaches.

According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Fairley "skipped a scheduled dinner with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland in Alabama."

And Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Fairley missed his flight to Indianapolis for the NFL combine, missed a meeting with a team in Indy and was also late to a team meeting at Auburn's Pro Day.

Yes, it's a red flag party, and yes, Fairley's now been tagged for every possible bad stereotype of NFL Draft busts -- he's been called out for taking plays off on the field, he's been called a "dirty" player, he's been hit with the one-year wonder label, off-field issues seem to be coming out of the woodwork, and he even got compared to Albert Haynesworth.
NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage

We talked with Fairley way back at the Super Bowl and noted how much work he had to do in terms of "stuffing stereotypes."

It seemed, for quite some time anyway, that Fairley was doing a pretty good job of just that. He'd kind of gotten himself locked into the top of the draft there for a while, but now it's pretty difficult to find a mock draft that has him in the top five, and his stock's been dropping for over a month.

It's entirely possible that all of this is a complete pile of garbage, and Fairley could turn into an elite defensive tackle in the NFL. But his status as an elite prospect has taken on fire-smoke status, and seeing him get taken before the Titans draft would be pretty shocking.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 6, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Fairley's draft status is dropping

N. Fairley's draft status has begun to drop (Getty). Posted by Rob Rang

Much of the attention following the Combine has been centered on the team interviews with quarterbacks Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and others, but according to three sources from different clubs, it is another high profile player who set off the most alarms at the Combine.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was described as a "JUCO kid to the core" by one longtime personnel man, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

By "JUCO" the source is, of course, referring to the fact that Fairley played junior college football (Copiah-Lincoln Community College) prior to starring at Auburn. Asked to elaborate why being a "JUCO kid" is a bad thing, the source explained.

"Just because a player went to a junior college doesn't mean, he's a bad guy or won't be successful at this level, obviously. There are lots of junior college players who have gone on to great NFL careers."

The stereotype is that JUCO players aren't as smart, hard-working, and well coached. They are also viewed by many clubs as players most likely to have had off-field troubles in the past and potentially more in the future. The source refused to go into specifics, but said, "Everyone is coming down hard on the quarterback, but [Fairley] is the one to worry about."

Despite measuring in at a shade under 6-4 and lighter than expected (291 pounds), Fairley "looked soft," according to the source. This first impression of Fairley's conditioning was only reinforced by his "limited" understanding of defensive schemes during team interviews. The source also referred to the fact that Fairley doesn't use his hands well and has been able to be successful largely due to his natural talent.

"Oh, I'm not saying he's not talented. Hell, he might be the most talented player in the whole damn thing. But, he's no slam dunk at this level. Not the slam dunk people who watched him tear up the SEC or in the big game [BCS National Championship] might think."

The other sources weren't as forthcoming with details, but didn't sound surprised when I told them I heard that Fairley was slipping down boards and that, as such, I had pushed him from No. 2 in the mock draft I'd written prior to the Combine to No. 8 in my current one.

This post was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 3, 2011 7:10 pm
 

Source: Newton 'perfect' in Indy team interview

Posted by Rob Rang

A high-ranking NFL source countered what NFLDraftScout.com and others had reported earlier in the week that Auburn QB Cam Newton, the 11th ranked prospect by CBSSports.com, "struggled" in team interviews conducted at the Combine.

"I think that is an example of a team trying to knock the kid down," the source said. "I can tell you right now, he was very likable with us. He answered every question we had about his off-field stuff and did a great job on the white board."

I pointed out that Newton could do well in his team's interview and then struggle in another (or several), but the source referred to specific questions asked and that the offensive coaches in the meeting later characterized Newton's answers as "perfect."

"He knew where to go with the football against different schemes, where his hot read was..." the source explained. "[Newton] did it quickly and with confidence. I wasn't in the other teams' meetings, so I don't know what they asked or how he answered, obviously. I can't imagine that kid 'struggling,' though, in that kind of setting."

The conflicting stories provide a perfect example of the smokescreens that take place in the months leading up to the draft.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 12:13 am
 

2011 NFL combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

This isn't every single winner and loser from the 2011 NFL combine, but it's five of each (and mostly bigger names) that really stood out to me. Take it with a small grain of salt, if only because the inclusion of someone like Cam Newton doesn't mean he won't be a top-five pick. It just means that his appearance at the combine didn't exactly solidify him as someone that's a can't-miss prospect. The combine almost never provides full-on proof of someone's status, but it can either answer some questions or really highlight some issues with various draft prospects.

Winners 

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska -- People were knocking Amukamara for his speed before the combine. Uh, whoops: he ripped off a 4.43 (4.37 was his first unofficial time, by the by) and proved everyone wrong. Suddenly there's a decent chance both he and Peterson are gone by the end of the top-10 picks.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama -- So it turns out that Jones did all the combine drills with a fractured foot. That's pretty impressive. It's way more impressive when you see that he somehow managed to close the gap between he and the consensus top wideout A.J. Green.

Marvin Austin, DT, UNC -- He and Robert Quinn were two UNC guys who helped themselves (most of the other ones didn't) at the combine. Austin, the guy who helped take the Tar Heels down via Twitter, has a pile of red flags, but the athletic upside in Indy is going to make someone take a chance on him much earlier than they would have a year ago.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State -- To paraphrase Neil Diamond, "I'm only gonna do one thing, but I'm gonna do it good." Paea could only lift at the combine but MAN did he lift, setting the record for 225-pound bench presses with 49.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State -- Ponder all of a sudden finds himself generating "first-round buzz" after a strong combine (on top of a very strong Senior Bowl). Two months ago, that would have been laughable.

Losers

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn -- Newton won't fall out of the top 10 in any mock draft between now and the time the NFL Draft happens because he's an absolute mutant of an athlete. But there are clearly red flags going up everywhere from his "entertainer" comment to the possibility that he underwhelmed teams in interviews to the poor showing he had when throwing the ball.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas -- Even if he did perform well on the field, his press conference performance and unwillingness to address drug rumors sunk his stock to the point that there are plenty of Ryan Leaf comps floating around.

Kendric Burney, CB, UNC -- Burney ripped up the Senior Bowl but that in-game action (some folks have said ) didn't translate to measurables, and a 4.75 40 isn't exactly the speed a tiny corner wants to show people looking to invest.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson -- If you're going to claim that you're "100 percent" at the combine -- even after surgery -- it's probably a good idea to participate in some of the drills, you know?

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn -- Fairley's still got a very good chance of being the top overall pick in the draft, and the dude had some pretty darn good measurables at the draft. But the gap between he and Marcell Dareus is MUCH shorter than it was a week ago.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 11:16 pm
 

DB draft class more than just Peterson, Prince

Robert Sands impressed scouts at the NFL combine (Getty). Posted by Rob Rang

Count me among those that is not at all surprised by the fact that LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara silenced a few critics today with their blazing times in the 40-yard dash and strong performances in other defensive back drills.

I certainly wasn't alone in believing these players would perform well. I spoke to various members of NFL scouting departments, agents, prospects and media in the weeks preceding the Combine that expected these two players to do well.

By only confirming the athleticism many of us recognized on tape, Peterson and Amukamara won't be boosting their stock much. Each was already viewed by many as potential top ten prospects.

Here are a few other defensive backs who boosted their stock even more with strong Combine workouts Tuesday.

  • Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State: A severely dislocated wrist suffered in the Buckeyes' Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas kept Chekwa from performing all of the drills in Indianapolis, but he starred in most important one -- recording a 4.40 second showing in the 40-yard dash and reinforcing the belief that he's one of the nation's most underrated cornerbacks and a potential second round pick.
  • Robert Sands, S, West Virginia (pictured at right): Most are pegging UCLA's Rahim Moore as this year's top safety, but it was the size/speed freak Sands who enjoyed the more impressive Combine showing, Tuesday. The 6-4, 217 pound Sands surprised some with a solid time in the 40-yard dash (4.57) and standout performances, as well, in the leaps and shuttles. Don't be surprised if this Mountaineer winds up a top 75 pick.
  • Mark Legree, S, Appalachian State: Despite the fact that he was a three-time consensus All-American at Appalachian State with an eye-popping 22 career interceptions, Legree was only a late addition to the Combine. I've long been a fan of his instincts and ball-skills and love that he proved his athleticism against the so-called elite competition. I'm not going to say I expected him to turn in the second fastest time in the 40-yard dash of any safety at the Combine, but I have been very much of a fan of his for a while now...

And can prove it. 

Surprised I didn't list Demarcus Van Dyke as a Riser following his Combine-best 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash? Don't be. Scouts certainly weren't, as "DVD" was a well-known speedster who demonstrated his speed recently when asked to play at the Senior Bowl.

Besides, aren't DVDs meant to burn?


This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 1, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.1.11: Rich Eisen's 40 time

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • The highlight of the NFL combine is usually Rich Eisen running the 40-yard-dash. This year was no different, and Eisen posted the best time of his "career." Check the video here.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Patrick Peterson impresses at combine's final day

Posted by Will Brinson

Patrick Peterson is the consensus top cornerback in the 2011 NFL Draft class, and the top-rated player on Rob Rang's big board.

He's such elite prospect that he aimed for a 4.2 40 and no one really questioned whether or not he would do it. He didn't, but that's okay -- he still ripped off two really fast runs of 4.32 and 4.37 on the final day of the combine.

Peterson also impressed with a 10'6" showing on the broad jump and a 38" vertical -- there wasn't a ton of upside to what he could do in terms of showing at the combine because of his already-high ranking, but he certainly solidified his standing as the top cornerback in this year's draft.

Peterson's position in the draft is particularly interesting, because the Panthers need help in lots of areas and the Denver just locked up stud veteran cornerback Champ Bailey for four more years, but both teams could conceivably pull trigger on a cornerback at the top of this draft.

If they don't, a cornerback-needy team with an early-round pick (San Francisco?) is going to be very pleased with their first-round haul.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com