General Manager Rich McKay will have to choose between workouts at Florida State and USC on March 20
The lights are off in Jerry Angelo's office this Wednesday afternoon. Tim Ruskell, whose workplace is right next to Angelo's at One Buccaneer Place, is nowhere to be found, either. Tampa Bay Buccaneer coaches are hard at work in the back offices, no longer worried about sharing their video machines with area scouts.
There's simply no sign of anyone involved in college scouting at One Buc Place in recent days; even General Manager Rich McKay is AWOL.
None of that crew is on vacation, however. In fact, this is crunch time for NFL college scouts, not to mention their travel coordinators. Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is history, all of the top prospects who chose not to show their stuff at that February event in Indianapolis are holding their own workouts. For the scouts, that means several weeks worth of hopping from school to school in order to get one last look at the players who may form the bulk of the first few rounds of the draft.
Every conceivable piece of data on these players – such as Miami WR Santana Moss and TCU RB LaDainian Tomlinson – is being dutifully recorded, but not one shred of that information will show up here. Every NFL team is understandably secretive about its draft information and strategy in an effort not to tip its hand too soon.
However, the NFL has its own experienced personnel man, Gil Brandt, on hand for the workouts, and he is more than willing to share his views. Here's Brandt's look at some of the big names on parade over recent days, as well as a schedule of some of the upcoming workouts.
by Gil Brandt, NFL.com
As potential NFL draft picks are showing off for scouts around the country at special workouts, here are more updates from top prospects who didn't run at last month's combine:
Todd Heap, TE, Arizona State — At 6-foot-4, 247-pounds, Heap ran a 4.65 40-yard dash. He did 19 bench-press reps at 225 pounds, recorded a 10-foot long jump and a 36-inch vertical jump. Those numbers could be enough to propel Heap into first-round status.
Adam Archuletta, LB, Arizona State — Like former ASU standout Pat Tillman, who now plays for the Arizona Cardinals, Archuletta looks like he'll make the switch from linebacker to safety in the pros. The 6-foot, 211-pound Archuletta ran a 4.46 40, had a 10-foot-9 long jump and a 39-inch vertical jump. Scouts say he looked good in defensive back drills. For perspective, Tillman was a seventh-round pick of the Cards in 1998.
Travis Henry, RB, Tennessee — Ran a 4.44 at 221 pounds.
David Martin, WR, Tennessee — The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder could become an H-back in the NFL. He ran a 4.54, 38-inch vertical jump and 11-foot-3 long jump.
Eric Westmoreland, LB, Tennessee — At 5-foot-11, 236-pounds, he ran a 4.55 and did 24 bench-press reps.
Rudi Johnson, RB, Auburn — At 5-foot-9, 225-pounds, ran a 4.63. (Note: While Johnson carried the load at tailback last season, scouts are intrigued with Auburn fullback Heath Evans as a guy who might convert to tailback in the NFL. Former Tennessee fullback Shawn Bryson made a similar switch and was drafted by the Bills in the third round in 1999.)
Quincy Morgan, WR, Kansas State — The 6-foot, 209-pounder ran a 4.43, with a 34-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-1 long jump. Terry Robiskie, who recently joined the Browns' coaching staff, has had a keen eye on Morgan, who shows great acceleration. Don't be surprised if Robiskie's interest affects where Morgan is drafted (perhaps with Cleveland's pick at the top of round 2).
Jerametrius Butler, CB, Kansas State — Butler ran a 4.48 on the fast track at the combine. He ran again last week and clocked a 4.45.
Koren Robinson, WR, N.C. State — Robinson did not run at N.C. State's scheduled pro day last week, but he plans to run for scouts on March 23.
Aaron Schobel, DE, TCU — At 262-pounds, ran a 4.68 and did 22 bench-press reps.
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU — Tomlinson did not run at TCU's pro day, but he went through the drills and looked smooth catching the football. About 35 club representatives were on hand to see Tomlinson — no head coaches, but many offensive coordinators and running back coaches.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI WORKOUT: MARCH 1
The first major workout of the post-combine period took place on March 1 at the University of Miami-FL. It drew a magnificent crowd of more than 100 NFL personnel people, including head coaches Dave Wannstedt of Miami, Bill Cowher of Pittsburgh and Jim Haslett of New Orleans (and a Buccaneer contingent that included McKay).
The scouts were not disappointed, as the Hurricanes' major pro prospects did not disappoint.
Santana Moss joined the list of wide receiver prospects who have run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash. Moss ran 4.39 on a grass surface — that's the equivalent of a 4.35 time on the RCA Dome turf featured at the combine last weekend.
Receiver Reggie Wayne checked in at 4.53, also a good number for the grass track.
Dan Morgan, one of the top linebacker prospects in the draft, ran a 4.62.
Running back James Jackson was clocked at 4.64.
There are still several key workouts scheduled at schools that annually produce top NFL prospects. Here are some of those dates:
March 15: Penn State March 16: Michigan March 19: California March 20: Florida State, USC March 21: Texas March 22: Virginia Tech