Friday Highlights at the Combine

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s some of the buzz going on so far at the Combine.

No Shame in Their Claims — Even though this QB class is being hailed as The Hangover class, they are not lacking in confidence.  EJ Manuel thinks he’s the best QB in the class, and Tyler Wilson is drawing comparisons to Matt Ryan from Wilson’s QB coach.  And while the Pistol might be gaining popularity in the NFL, this draft class might not be the best group to run the Pistol.  Landry Jones said on the competition that “it’s definitely a wide-open year,” said Jones. “There’s a lot of guys with a lot of talent. The further we get into this process, I think there’s going to be a guy that’s going to be coming up, and there’s going to be somebody that puts himself ahead, and I think it’s the guy that’s going to work the hardest and the guy who wants it more.”

Tavon Austin

Mountaineering Receivers — The diminutive receiver Tavon Austin from WVU models his game after Wes Welker.  While he’s quick and elusive and could be quite an NFL playmaker, it’s worth asking whether or not Stedman Bailey would be a better fit for the the Jets later in the draft.

Tightening Up — The Tight End spot is one that the Jets are likely going to pay attention to this year in the draft.  While Gavin Escobar is starting to draw comparisons to Tony Gonzalez, Jordan Reed’s 16 reps showed why he’ll be best as a “joker” style Tight End and Jason Kelce disappointed by not being able to participate.  Although, Rice’s Vance McDonald might have impressed with his freakish size and strength.  McDonald played in a spread offense so could be a very productive receiver along with his plus blocking skills.  McDonald has drawn comparisons to Jason Witten.

Not Many Fans of Monty — Sam Montgomery had some impressive moments on the field, but Tony Pauline said that LSU coaches were not very fond of the DE.  Montgomery’s name was of course on the viral picture posted in the trainers office that circulated late last year.

Holding On — While it’s hard to know whether or true or not, the Niners have shot down the notion that they will be releasing Alex Smith any time soon … even though they’ll owe him a lot of money as a backup.  

The Large and the Small — Eddie Lacy’s weigh-in size is showing why he could be a promising battering ram back in the NFL.  He’s up to 231 right now and while I’m sure teams will want him to lose some weight, he could be a punisher in the NFL.  On the other side, Gio Bernard looks a little smaller than his college listing.  Bernard would work well in a pass-heavy offense like that Marty Morhinweg will likely try to run though …

Soldiering On — Marcus Lattimore’s attitude is impressive, but he might not be able to play in the NFL in 2013.  While he’s suffered two gruesome injuries, he’s confident he’s heading in the right direction.  Friday his knee and legs were poked and prodded by doctors for hours on Friday and when he talked with the press, he brought up the name of Frank Gore as a player with a similar style.  It’s a good choice and one that also has significance, since Gore returned from a widely publicized knee injury in college as well.

Up and Down — Da’Rick Rogers has the size and speed and production that has compared him to a player like Julio Jones, but his draft stock has suffered for getting thrown off his team last summer for failing multiple drug tests.  Still to his credit, it’s not something that he’s hiding from and so he could be a interesting option in the third round.

Throw it Up — While Jonathan Cooper was a marginal first rounder, his work on the bench at the Combine might have ensured that he be a late first rounder at the Guard spot.  Cooper does have short arms, but he did put the bar up 35 times … a great number for a linemen who weighed in at 312 ad the Combine.

Ziggy — Teams are starting to not be able to contain their desire to draft Ezekiel Ansah.  Ansah might be the closest thing to this class’s JPP and teams see the potential he could bring to a defense as a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB.