The NFL Combine is more than just on field drills and prospect meetings, it's a place for the NFL executives and player agents to network and hash out some potential moves. It's illegal of course to start any talks before free agency begins (that silly tampering rule), but it happens none the less. A lot of news, rumors, and speculations begin to trickle out of the combine and I have some thoughts...
1) Say what you will about the 40 yard dash and the other athletic feats at the combine, but it's so important for the wide outs to do well, and Micheal Floyd answered a lot of questions about his athleticism. I'd be willing to bet he shot up a few teams draft boards after his performance, and possibly out of the reach of Chicago at #19.
2) Robert Griffin III is going to bring the St. Louis Rams a lot in return when they trade the rights to the 2nd pick in the draft. He wowed at the combine not only with his athleticism but in the team meetings a well.
3) A lot has been made of the 4.61 40 ran by supposed speedster Kendall Wright of Baylor, but it was his sloppy route running during the WR drills that has scouts dropping him down their lists.
4) Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill (6'4" 215) may have ran himself into the 1st round with his 4.36 40. Playing in an option offense his numbers don't jump out at you, but his numbers from the combine did some jumping. Someone with his speed would look great playing with a cannon-armed QB like Jay Cutler.
6) If Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus is sitting there at 19 I think he may be the Bears pick. That is as long as the Bears addressed WR in free agency. It's not a very deep DE class, so if the Bears have a shot at one of the good ones, I think they take it. Check out Steven's Video of the Day from yesterday for more about Mercilus.
7) Releasing Anthony Adams will save the Bears $1.2 million in cap space and allow the popular DT a better chance to sign on elsewhere, and he will sign to play in 2012. He may be a one trick DT that specializes in stopping the run, but that's a good trick to have. WCG readers should have seen the move coming as this was speculated in the fine Roster Turnover series. Toot.
8) Some recent free agent wide receiver buzz has Mario Manningham linked to the Buccaneers. The Patriots will franchise tag Wes Welker. Dwayne Bowe looks to be getting the tag from the Chiefs if they can't work out a long term deal. And Reggie Wayne to the Patriots.
9) Randy Moss, who said he'll sign for no guaranteed money, will begin working out for teams very soon... And I'm starting to come around to the idea of the Bears signing Moss, not as the top of the depth chart WR, but if they can sign a #1 type, I think Moss would be a good compliment to the receiving corps.
10) T.O. scored 3 TDs in his Arena League debut! And I doubt any NFL execs really noticed...