Combine Info....

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Offensive line - Broad/Bench

Saturday, February 25, 2006 | 12:07 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Here are some of the offensive line broad jump and bench press results:

Broad Jump

Taitsu Lutui 7 ft 11 in
Nick Mangold 8 ft 4 in
Andrew Whitworth 9 ft 4 in
Eric Winston 9 ft 0 in
Terrence Pennington 8 ft 6 in
Jason spitz 8 ft 6 in
Guy Wimper 8 ft 6 in
Jonathan Scott 8 ft 5 in
Issac Sowells 8 ft 5 in
EJ Whitley 8 ft 5 in

Bench Press

Andrew Whitworth 28 reps
Joe Toledo 32 reps
Will Montgomery 35 reps
Joe Toledo 32 reps
Charles Spencer 30 reps
Robin Meadow 29 reps
Ryan Cook 28 reps
Terrence Pennington 28 reps
Fred Matua 28 reps
Greg Eslinger 28 reps
Paul McQuistan 28 reps
Running Back - 40 times

Saturday, February 25, 2006 | 11:55 AM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Note: These times are unofficial at the moment.

Joseph Addai 4.41, 4.37
Mike Bell 4.62
Matt Bernstein 4.90
Brian Calhoun 4.65
P.J. Daniels 4.64
Maurice Drew 4.45, 4.41
Quinton Ganther 4.61
Andre Hall 4.48
Gilbert Harris 4.79
Jerome Harrison 4.50
Taurean Henderson 4.58
Cedric Humes 4.71
David Kirtman 4.71, 4.77
Wali Lundy 4.54, 4.56

Offensive line - 40 times

Saturday, February 25, 2006 | 10:11 AM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Note: These are unofficial times at the moment

Charles Spencer 5.23
Jason Spitz 5.45
Marcus McNeil 5.08
Will Montgomery 5.08
Chris Chester 4.87
Nick Mangold 5.00
Joe Toledo 5.12
Terrance Pennington 5.49
Marvin Phillip 5.24
Greg Eslinger 5.08
Donovan Raiola 5.54
Dennis Roland 5.25
Pat Ross 4.99, 4.97
Jonathan Scott 5.28
Jeremy Trueblood 5.33, 5.34
Mark Setterstrom 5.38
Andrew Whitworth 5.16, 5.20
EJ Whitley 5.41, 5.37
Eric Winston 4.99, 4.98
Stefon Wheeler 5.75, 5.79
Guy Whimper 5.04, 4.99
Jahari Evans 5.24, 5.29
Zach Strief 5.49
Troy Reddick 5.72
Michael Toudouze 5.21, 5.12
Issac Sowells 5.12
Daryn Colledge 5.04
Jeremy Clary 4.88
Chris Kuper 5.10
Paul McQuistan 5.07
Max Jean-Gillis 5.48, 5.44
Davin Joseph 5.16, 5.12
B]Combine Notes - Running Backs[/B]

Friday, February 24, 2006 | 10:42 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis – 5-9 214

Lendale White, RB, USC – 6-0 238
-Will not run at the combine

Dontrell Moore, RB, New Mexico – 5-10 210
-Interviewed with Patriots

Jerrious Norwood, RB, Mississippi State – 5-11 210
-Believes he is an every down back but wants to improve his pass-protection

Leon Washington, RB, Florida State – 5-7 7/8 201
-Eager to prove he can stay healthy and be an every down back
-Interviewed with Broncos, Buccaneers, Falcons, Packers, Patriots

Combine Notes - Receivers

Friday, February 24, 2006 | 10:42 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State – 5-10 ½ 198
-Left school early to support his three children
-Will not run at the combine

Derek Hagan, WR, Arizona State – 6-2 208
-Has worked with Michael Johnson to improve his 40 time

Demetrius Williams, WR, Oregon – 6-1 197

Todd Watkins, WR, BYU – 6-2 ¾ 202

Mike Haas, WR, Oregon State – 6-0 ½ 208
-Believes he can play both in the slot and on the outside
-Believes he compares favorably to Ricky Proehl

Jonathan Orr, WR, Wisconsin – 6-2 198

Anthony Mix, WR, Auburn
-Interviewed with Steelers, Packers, Jets, Jaguars, Eagles, Dolphins, Redskins
-Doesn’t think he would be a successful tight end

Miles Austin, WR, Monmouth – 6-2 215
-21 strength reps
-Interviewed with Giants, Steelers, Rams

Hank Baskett, WR, New Mexico – 6-2 ¾ 224

Chris Denney, WR, Nebraska-Omaha
-Interviewed with Dolphins, Jets, 49ers, Lions, Bengals, Jaguars

Jeremy Bloom, WR, Colorado – 5-9 173
-Will catch passes from Ben Roethlisberger at his pro day

Travis Wilson, WR, Oklahoma – 6-2 214
-Interviewed with Patriots, Texans, Bears, Titans, Lions

Cory Rodgers, WR, Texas Christian – 5-11 190

Martin Nance, WR, Ohio State – 6-4 213

Skyler Green, WR, LSU – 5-9 192
-Believes he is a great receiver and return specialist
-Interviewed with Rams, Vikings, Bears, Dolphins, Patriots
Combine Notes - Quarterbacks

Friday, February 24, 2006 | 10:40 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Matt Leinart, QB, USC
-Would be honored to play in New Orleans and be a part of the rebuilding process
-Would love to be reunited with OC Norm Chow in Tennessee
-Believes having played in a pro-style offense is an advantage for him

Vince Young, QB, Texas – 6-5 229
-Interviewed with Raiders, Rams
-Coaches have said nothing is wrong with his throwing motion
-Thinks he can run a pro style offense
-Wouldn’t mind playing for the Saints
-Would be special to play for the Titans

Brodie Croyle, QB, Alabama – 6-2 ½ 205
-Interviewed with Dolphins, Colts, Broncos, Bills, Jets, Chiefs
Brad Smith, QB, Missouri – 6-2 213
-Wants to stay at quarterback

Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Clemson – 6-4.6 224
-Will not throw at the combine
-Interviewed with Cowboys, Chiefs

Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon
-Will throw on Sunday
-Interviewed with Dolphins, Ravens

Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt – 6-3 226
-Will participate in all combine workouts

Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Toledo – 6-1 1/3 217

Omar Jacobs, QB, Bowling Green
-Interviewed with Dolphins

Erik Meyer, QB, Eastern Washington – 6-1 210

Reggie McNeal, QB, Texas A&M
-Has been working on his drops since the season

Tavaris Jackson, QB, Alabama State – 6-2 226

Bruce Eugene, QB, Grambling – 6-0 260
-Believes he is a real good quarterback but doesn’t expect to be drafted

Michael Robinson, QB, Penn State – 6-1 226
-Would prefer to remain at quarterback
-Teams having mentioned the possibility of moving him to safety, receiver, or running back
-Will not throw at the combine but will catch passes
Combine Notes - Running Backs

Thursday, February 23, 2006 | 10:14 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Reggie Bush, RB, USC - 5-10 7/8 201
-hand 9 3/4
-arm 30 1/4

Brian Calhoun, RB, Wisconsin - 5-9 1/2 202
-18 strength reps
-Interviewed with Patriots

Maurice Drew - 5-6 1/2 207
-18 strength reps
-Interviewed with Bengals, Browns, Seahawks, Steelers, Raiders, Jaguars, Patriots, Colts
-Will participate in all workouts at the combine
-Being looked at as a running back and return specialist

Joseph Addai, RB, LSU - 5-11 215
-18 strength reps
-Said he would be open to the idea of playing fullback and special teams if asked to

Jerome Harrison, RB, Washington State - 5-9 201
-Stated he will participate in all workouts at the combine

Andre Hall, RB, South Florida - 5-8 208
-Interviewed with Vikings, Panthers, Falcons, Chiefs, Dolphins, Broncos

Mike Bell, RB, Arizona - 6-0 221

Taurean Henderson, RB, Texas Tech - 5-9 204
-Is being talked about as a thrid down back but feels he is an every down back

Gilbert Harris, RB, Arizona - 6-1 5/8 235

Combine Notes - Offensive Tackles

Thursday, February 23, 2006 | 10:08 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia - 6-6 312
-Will not workout at the combine

Daryn Colledge, OT, Boise State - 6-4.3 300
-21 strength reps
-Teams are looking at him a LT, G, and C
-Interviewed with Falcons, Bears, Vikings, Buccaneers, Panthers

Eric Winston, OT, 6-6 1/2 310
-Thinks he is a LT but feels he can play anywhere along the OL except for center.

Winston Justice, OT, USC
-Said he can play either tackle position
-Will not run the 40 due to a pulled hamstring but will participate in the rest of the workouts

Marcus McNeil, OT, Auburn - 6-7 1/2 336
-Interviewed with Jets, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Dolphins
-Will participate in all combine workouts
-Feels he can play both LT and RT
-Missed the Hula Bowl due to the death of his grandmother

Jonathan Scott, OT, Texas - 6-6 3/4 315
-Interviewed with Packers, Bears, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, Titans, Raiders, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Patriots, Browns

Dennis Roland, OT, Georgia - 6-9 5/8

Charles Spencer, OT, Pittsburgh - 352 lbs

Jeromey Clary, OT, Kansas State
-24 strength reps

Terrance Pennington, OT, New Mexico
-28 strength reps
Combine Notes - Guards

Thursday, February 23, 2006 | 10:07 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Will Montgomery, OG, Virginia Tech
-35 strength reps

Rob Sims, OG, Ohio State
-27 strength reps

Robin Meadow, OG, Washington
-29 strength reps

Taitusi Lutui, OG, USC - 6-3 334

Dan Stevenson, OG, Notre Dame - 6-5 1/8

Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Georgia - 355 lbs
-27 strength reps

Combine Notes - Centers

Thursday, February 23, 2006 | 10:06 PM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State - 6-3 1/2 300
-10 3/8in hands
-24 strength reps
-Scored 35 on the Wonderlic test
-Will participate in all combine workouts

Mike Degory, C, Florida - 6-5 1/2 305
-34in arms
-24 strength reps
-Being looked at to play both C and G
-Interviewed with Titans, Jets, Rams, Raiders, Buccaneers, Broncos

Ryan Cook, C, New Mexico - 6-6 5/8 328

Chris Chester, C, Oklahoma
-27 strength reps

Donovan Raiola, C, Wisconsin - 6-2 300
Take it for what it is worth regarding Vince Young...


A league source tells us that there's a rumor making the rounds at the combine that Texas quarterback Vince Young scored a miserably horrible six on the Wonderlic test.

A six! That's bad. It's beyond bad. In fact, it's the lowest score that we can ever remember hearing anyone getting.

All incoming NFL players take a 50-question version of the Wonderlic, with a 12-minute window within which to finish it.

We found 15 sample Wonderlic questions on's page 2, including such brain-benders as selecting the ninth month of the year from among five possible choices. We'd like to think that most people of average intelligence could get at least six of the 15 sample questions right.

Getting a total of only six out of a total of 50 questions of that same kind is pa-freakin'-thetic. For a guy who's going to be called upon to read defenses and call audibles and work through a progression of receivers against NFL-caliber opposition, it's downright scary.

The source tells us that he hasn't seen the result in writing yet, but that he's "99 percent" certain that Young's score was six.

Said the source, who knows a thing or two about evaluating college players:

"I predict he'll fall all the way out of the first round."

That's a bold statement, and we're not saying that we agree with it -- primarily because our guess is that there's someone almost dumb enough to get a six on the Wonderlic, who'll overlook Young's low score along with any other concerns that might come to light over the next two months.
Vince Young (6), meet Neil Smith (4). :eek:

I'm not sure what it really mean but really that is incredibily poor. I mean it tells me he has little or no common sense.

On the other hand it didn't seem to hurt Neil Smith. He knew how to get to the QB and that's all he had to know.

Vince Young, on the other hand, is a quarterback and it takes intelligence and common sense. A "6" on the Wonderlic test? Wow...that's not cool.
Here is a story on Ngata (we met with him)...

Ngata fights through tragedy
By Jeff Walcoff, Staff Writer
February 25, 2006

Open about their desire to address the team's 30th-ranked rush defense, it's a definite possibility the Browns may search for help early in the upcoming draft.

A good step in the positive direction could be Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (pronounced NAH-tah) - that is, if he's still available when the Browns pick at No. 12. Ngata, a 6-foot-4, 338-pound junior from Salt Lake City, Utah, is largely considered the top defensive tackle in the draft and could fill a need for many teams picking early in Round 1.

The self-proclaimed "run-stopper" models himself after Steelers Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton and has the ability to equal and perhaps even surpass Hampton's success if his full potential is reached.

While he said he prefers playing in a 4-3, as he did at Oregon, he said he's accustomed to being double-teamed and is being looked at heavily in the NFL as a nose tackle.

Ngata was born in Los Angeles and moved to Utah when he was young. He passed up the opportunity to go to a bigger-name program to stay near his family on the West Coast.

He entered the starting lineup just five games into his freshman season of 2002 and was a first-team Freshman All-American. The following season, he suffered a torn ACL and missed the entire year. He said he didn't regain full strength until about halfway through the '04 campaign, during which he played in all 11 games.

During his junior '05 season, he marked 61 tackles (9 for loss), 3 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovered fumble, 2 blocked kicks and a safety.

The big man isn't much of a sack artist but knows how to play his role as a plug in the middle.

"I'm not bad at pass rushing," Ngata said. "I have a lot of upside at rushing the passer. I'm quick, but I need to work on balancing the way rush the passer because I sometimes miss tackles."

The mild-mannered 22-year-old was gentle as can be when talking to the media Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, but said he takes on a different personality when he gets on the field.

"I change my personality a lot," he said. "I love contact. I envision the game a lot and just think about hitting the guy across from me."

Unfortunately, Ngata's story isn't limited to his potential on the football field.

His father, Solomone, was killed in a trucking accident in Dec. 2002. Then, just a few weeks ago, Ngata's mother, Olga, passed away after a long bout with diabetes.

"I'm happy that she's finally somewhere where she's happy and comfortable and has no body problems," Ngata said.

Ngata said part of his decision to leave college early was to help finance his mother's treatment. Now that she has passed, he said he has a family - four siblings - to help support.

Ngata, a devout Mormon, has relied on his faith to carry him through his difficult time.

"It comforts me when my parents passed away that I'd be able to see them again," he said. "It's been tough. I just use it as motivation. My dad and mom are finally getting to see me play together.

"Football is something my parents wanted me to do. Playing football is something I love and they love watching me play."

But despite the tragedy, Ngata seemed to be taking everything in stride, thanks largely to his faith. He seemed ready and excited to play in the NFL - a dream he has had since he began playing football when he was 8.

As of Saturday at the combine, Ngata had meetings with the Giants, Raiders, Bengals and Rams. He said he believes he will meet with the Browns before he leaves Indianapolis.
Raiders' Al Davis Missing From Scouting Combine
Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:17 pm by SteveRobWhatever | Comments (0)

Source: Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle [ This year, the Raiders' owner has been conspicuously absent from the proceedings. Workouts begin today, and anyone watching the nonstop coverage on the NFL Network won't get the obligatory candid shots of Davis on the lookout for the next Fabian Washington. For now, he is in Alameda, leaving the scouting to his scouting department. And watching the workouts on television like a regular guy. Davis, 76, has had a leg problem and has been using a walker to aid his mobility since last year. That has prompted NFL types to speculate on the state of his health and why he isn't here. "Al may still go back to Indy for a day or two,'' Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said. "Right now, he's working out and strengthening his leg."
This is from 09.30.2005 on the Wonderlic combined scores of each team...

How the Pro Teams Scored

Here is a look at average scores on the Wonderlic, a standardized intelligence test, for players on the National Football League’s 32 teams.Av erages are for players currently on each team’s roster and for which scores are available—generally, drafted players who entered the league in the past seven years:


1. St. Louis Rams (2-1) 24.6

Coach Mike Martz’s intricate offense takes brains: Average Wonderlic for offensive players is a 27, just below the average for chemists.Some wide receivers have to learn four positions.

2. Oakland Raiders (0-3) 23.3

Surprise: Not known for scholarship, the Super Bowl runners-up for the 2002 season have a rookie crop that averages 26.But the offense is tied for league lead in penalties—and the team has yet to win a game.

3. Tennessee Titans (1-2) 23.2

To play defensive end for the Tennessee Titans, you’d better be pushing Mensa levels—their average score is 33. Intelligence, says GM Floyd Reese, “is something we look at harder every year.”

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-0) 23.2

Team’s linebackers have a heady average of 30, and guards averaged 34. Overall offensive line score of 29.6 may explain why running back Carnell Williams leads the NFL in rushing.

5. San Diego Chargers (1-2) 23

Rookie defensive end Luis Castillo from Northwestern (32) has started three games.

6. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) 22.8

May have the smartest collection of QBs ever assembled—Drew Bledsoe (37), Drew Henson (42) and Tony Romo (37).Pla yers with numbers like those are “in the mental elite,” says Wonderlic executive Michael Callans.

7. Chicago Bears (1-2) 22.6

Forty players from the young Bears showed up in our Wonderlic dragnet, edging out the Cardinals and Colts (38 each).Brains are concentrated on defense, which hasn't given up a rushing touchdown this season.

8. Carolina Panthers (1-2) 22.1

Tackle Jordan Gross (40) may be the brainiest starter in the NFL.

9. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) 21.7

Quarterback Alex Smith, the team’s first-round pick, scored 40, but team says Wonderlic scores are used only in “rare cases” when all other factors are equal.

9. N.Y. Jets (1-2) 21.7

Heading the other way? The Jets’ first seven draft picks in 2005 were just below average, totaling a 20.8 Wonderlic.

11. Cleveland Browns (1-2) 21.6

Tied for league lead in Stanford graduates.T op draft pick, wide receiver Braylon Edwards from Michigan, scored a 27.

11. New England Patriots (2-1) 21.6

Despite his team’s intelligent reputation, coach Bill Belichick doesn’t always favor high scorers.Our sample was relatively small—29 players—but nine of 13 starters had below-average Wonderlics.

11. Buffalo Bills (1-2) 21.6

Football intelligence? Stingiest defense in the NFL this season has only a 21 average.For mer Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman (31) has thrown only one interception so far.

14. Baltimore Ravens (0-2) 21.5

Defense’s Roderick Green has the lowest score in our sample, a 3, which his agent attributes to a learning disability.“ P eople should respect his football talents,” says James Selser.

14. Minnesota Vikings (1-2) 21.5

According to Wonderlic scores, quarterback Daunte Culpepper tested out at an average 21.His agent would not confirm the mark, calling it “a confidential thing.”

16. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) 21.3

Smart is relative: Seattle was one of the least-penalized teams in the NFL in 2004.Defensiv e starters average 22—just above the national average across professions.

16. Detroit Lions (1-1) 21.3

The Lions had what could be the highest-scoring draft, test-wise, in NFL history.The first five players it picked had a 28.4 average.

18. Denver Broncos (2-1) 21.2

Denver’s secret revealed: Seven of the 10 top-scoring Broncos in our sample are offensive linemen.W ithout them, the Broncos would have ranked 25th.The team’s running backs average less than 17.

19. Miami Dolphins (2-1) 21.1

New coach Nick Saban’s comes from LSU, where the meanWonderlic for NFL hopefuls is below average (18.4). This year’s draft picks averaged 20.3, also below average. But Donnie Jones (29)may be the the NFL’s smartest punter.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) 21.1

Sensational quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scored a 25, nowhere near the top among QBs.Still, he has the NFL’s highest passer rating.“Ben has an unbelievable memory,” says his agent.

19. Atlanta Falcons (2-1) 21.1

General manager Rich McKay is a Princeton graduate, but this year’s draft class had a 19 average.F alcons’ overall score is close to that for police officers.

22. Indianapolis Colts (3-0) 20.8

High and low: While Colts offense is famously complicated, team’s surprisingly effective defense is not.Ov erall defense scored 19, and the first three defenders drafted this year averaged 16.

23. N.Y. Giants (2-1) 20.4

Eli Manning (39) leads our sample of starting NFL QBs.Giants also give prospects a two-hour psychological test.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) 20.1

QB Donovan McNabb had a below-average Wonderlic but runs the league’s most potent offense.T eam’s top testtakers? The backfield: Outside linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties average 27.

25. Houston Texans (0-2) 20

Quarterback David Carr (24) leads the league’s least productive offense. In our sample, no Houston offensive player scored higher than 26.

25. New Orleans Saints (1-2) 20

Mental mistakes? The Saints’ offense led the NFL in 2004 penalty yards.T his year, too, it’s leading the league in total penalties.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) 19.8

Go figure: Offensive line is the smartest unit on the team, but quarterback Byron Leftwich has been sacked 11 times.

27. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) 19.8

Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer (26) leads the NFL in passing touchdowns, but team’s defense is the wild card.Two middle linebackers both scored a 12 on test.

29.Washington Redskins (2-0) 19.6

Agent Todd France says the team wasn’t concerned that his client, top 2005 pick Carlos Rogers, scored 14.The agent says he helps his clients prep for Wonderlic by giving sample questions.“Y ou don't want any surprises.”

30. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) 19.3

Skewed sample? The Chiefs had the fewest players show up in our sample—23 in all—in part because it fields so many veterans.Rookie linebacker Boomer Grigsby has defense’s top Wonderlic (34) but doesn’t start.

31. Arizona Cardinals (0-3) 19.2

Birds of a feather: This 0-3 franchise hasn’t made it to the playoffs since 1998.T eam’s big crop of rookies averages just below a 19 Wonderlic.

32. Green Bay Packers (0-3) 19.1

Winless Packers have nine players with scores below 14. The team declined to comment.Interesting fact: According to E.F. Wonderlic Co., the lowest average score for any occupation is “packer,” with a 14.69.

Methodology: Wonderlic scores were drawn from published reports, Web sites and NFL insiders and spot-checked with agents, scouting experts and teams. Sample includes 1,021 NFL players, about 60% of the league. Most undrafted college players and veterans who took the test before 1999 are not included. Some players’ scores are an average ofmultiple tests. The Wonderlic has a margin of error of +/- 1.5 points and a standard deviation of 7.12 points.
More on Ngata...

Who is Haloti Ngata?

soon, the whole world will know

by Bitonti
last updated: 01/10/06

Pronounced NA-TA

Etuini Haloti Moala Ngata – 6’5, 338 pound Defensive Tackle - US born Tongan – Salt Lake City, Utah. 40-time: 4.85 (est), Power Clean: 385, Bench Press: 485, Squat: 585.

Ngata emerged as one of the top10 prep recruits in the nation as a senior at Highland High School. He is considered to be the biggest prospect in Oregon football’s recruiting history - Big not only in stature but in significance. As a Duck, Ngata has been touted by onlookers as the next to follow recent defensive tackle draft picks Junior Savaii and Igor Olshansky to the NFL.

Those freakish workout numbers no doubt have caused drools from league scouts. What’s even more interesting is that Ngata isn’t just a workout-warrior; in an interview with the Register-Guard this season Ngata’s defensive line coach Steve Greatwood calls him the most intelligent athlete he’s ever coached. Greatwood goes on to say that he has the potential to be the greatest player to ever come from the school. There are even some dreamers who believe Ngata could make waves as a Heisman-trophy candidate if marketed correctly and given novelty carries out of the backfield. (i.e. Orlando Pace, Charles Woodson).

Through all this fanfare the question remains: who is Haloti Ngata?

As one might expect from a young man brought up in community of transplanted Polynesians (where Tonga and Samoa's teams compete at a world-class level), Haloti played the game of rugby in high school (after football and wrestling seasons). Highly recruited for the USA Men's Under-19 squad, Ngata carried his HS team to the National Rugby Championship, where he was tossed out in the final game for unnecessary roughness. Ngata could have been a star on the national team and even internationally the potential was there, but he shunned these advances for the more lucrative opportunities that pro football could provide. Not a surprising choice but also not one without meaning in the framework of his choice this spring when NFL opportunity will beckon.

Looking at his high school recruitment process, Ngata was at first committed to attend Nebraska, however broke that recruitment after his family demanded release for a possible Mormon mission. Despite this turn of events, Ngata has no current plans for a 2-year mission, as he broke another commitment to BYU to finally join Oregon.

While at Oregon, Ngata missed the 2003 season with a torn ACL suffered on punt coverage. This occurred so far downfield that OC coaches have never found the injury on game film. While once scary, these ACL procedures have become commonplace, and is the only real blight on his profile as a draftable prospect. For what it is worth, after rehab Ngata stated that believes his injured knee to be stronger than his uninjured knee – a statement he proved on the field in 2004.

Last year Ngata was productive and an overall bright spot for the Ducks’ disappointing 2004 – their first year without a bowl appearance since 1996. He had 46 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 blocked kicks. Some significant stats are not recorded for public view, such as Ngata’s double-teams occupied and quarterbacks hurried.

This season Ngata was Oregon's first consensus All-American for 43 years, had 61 stops, 9 for loss and 3 sacks. His career blocked kicks total 7.

Although suffering a tough cut block against Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl which took him out of the game, Ngata's MRI only showed a bone bruise and a sprain, and declared for the NFL Draft shortly thereafter. He has been playing inspired football all year through various injuries and if he can retain that inspiration will be an asset at the next level. A draft advisory panel suggested that the latest Ngata would be drafted is the late second round.

As true fans of the NFL draft know, every year the “planet theory” comes into play – this theory, postulated by George Young and endorsed by Bill Parcells is as follows: there are only so many big, fat men _on the planet Earth_ who can move with agility, quickness and speed, and when a team gets a chance to take one in the draft, they will leap at that chance.

Similar to Dewayne Robertson out of Kentucky in 2003, Ngata is very young, blessed with rare physical attributes and somewhat limited productivity due playing on a relatively suspect defense and the double and even triple team matchups forced upon him weekly. Also similar to Dewayne Robertson, Ngata has the size/speed ratio that makes him a physical freak, able to take one offensive lineman in each hand and push them both back toward the QB.

Who is Haloti Ngata?

Haloti Ngata is a man that is under radar now, but has the real potential to find himself a top-10 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
I heard also that Kingdon said we will strengthen the offensive line and look for a fullback to complement Crockett. We will also use the power running game to set up the pass with Collins at QB. He said that we will be looking for a big strong fullback that can wear down defenses. This is what I was told and didn't actually hear it myself.

Indianapolis… You Are There!


The football world converged on Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine this weekend, and among the gaggle of reporters were both Aaron Schatz and Michael David Smith. Please allow us to empty our little spiral notebooks in true Peter King style. Or, perhaps, Larry King style. (”You won’t see a better-conditioned athlete than Missouri State punter Jonathan Scifres … I know movies, and Ultraviolet is a sure Oscar contender … Watch out for those Kansas City Royals this year…”)1

(Aaron’s note: Mike had to leave early, but I’m still here, so we’ll start with Mike’s notes and I’ll be filling mine in throughout the day.)

Michael David Smith’s notes

– The fans like to talk about 40 times, but the most important part of the combine is the opportunity to give every prospect a physical exam, and the second most important part is the one-on-one interview. The Houston Texans don’t know exactly how fast Reggie Bush can run 40 yards right now, but they do know if he has any health problems, and they know if he seems like the kind of guy they want to have in their locker room. That alone makes the combine worthwhile.

– I think the most surprising thing I heard anyone say in Indianapolis took place during a conversation with Peter King about Brett Favre. “I don’t have his number,” King said. I knew Favre had become an increasingly private person, but when King (who is perceived as closer to Favre than any other member of the media) can’t get in touch with him, Favre has really withdrawn.

– Tom Coughlin said running backs are in rapid decline by age 30. When I pointed out that his own Tiki Barber is about to turn 31, Coughlin said, “He doesn’t know that. He thinks he’s 25.”

– Jay Cutler was impressive in dealing with the media, and impressive by doing everything asked of him during the workouts. And his 23 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press must have opened some eyes – a quarterback doesn’t have to have the kind of upper-body strength, but it does indicate that he spends a lot of time in the weight room, and coaches will love that.

– Matt Leinart was adamant that he wouldn’t mind playing in New Orleans. “If I were to go to the Saints it would be an honor,” he said.

– Vince Young, asked what NFL coaches had said to him about his throwing motion, replied, “There’s nothing really wrong with it. It’s the media that’s been talking about it.”

– Nick Saban was obviously annoyed with all the questions about Ricky Williams and his fourth positive drug test. Saban called Williams one of the five best players he has ever coached in terms of his attitude at practice and his work ethic. What I want to know is, if a habitual marijuana smoker can have such a great attitude and work ethic, why does the NFL suspend players who test positive?

– The Green Bay Packers made it as clear as could be that they’ll take the best player available with the fifth overall pick. Both general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy used the phrase “best player available” multiple times in their press conferences. Even though the team used its first-round pick on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Thompson and McCarthy said they will consider taking a quarterback. I asked McCarthy why he preferred Alex Smith to Rodgers when he was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator last year and the 49ers took Smith first overall, and he said he thought Rodgers was more polished but Smith had great potential. Neither Thompson nor McCarthy would speculate about whether Favre will retire. Thompson added that the team is negotiating with Ahman Green, but he didn’t sound enthusiastic about it. I think he expects Green to be elsewhere next year.

– One player who clearly understands what NFL teams want of him: LSU’s Skyler Green. He said he was willing to play running back, third-down back, slot receiver, kickoff returner, punt returner, or whatever it took to make a team.

– Jeff Fisher said that if Matt Leinart becomes a Tennessee Titan, the offense he’ll run is the same as the one he ran in college under Norm Chow, now the Titans’ offensive coordinator. “We’ve installed coach Chow’s system. That’s our offense,” Fisher said.

– Mike Holmgren has long been an influential member of the league’s competition committee. He has just resigned from it. I have no idea if his anger over the officiating in the Super Bowl has anything to do with it, but that’s one logical inference.

– I knew Lendale White was big, but I didn’t know how big. White said he weighed 253 pounds on the day of the Rose Bowl, but he’s down to 238 now. When asked why he was so big in early January, he said, “Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

– Jeff Foster, executive director of National Football Scouting, which runs the combine for the league, said the combine’s contract with Indianapolis expires after next year, and he sounded like he’d love to find a warmer climate for the event. (It used to take place in Tempe, Ariz.)

– Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson doesn’t like the idea of moving to a new position. “I’ve had teams talk to me about safety,” he said. “I haven’t tackled anybody in six or seven years.”

– The NFL’s PR people did a good job of making the players available to the media. Big-name players like Leinart, Bush and Young were given spots at a podium for the crush of reporters, while the lesser-name players were seated at tables where a few home-town reporters could talk to them. But there was one exception: Marcus Vick, the Virginia Tech quarterback whose problems both on the field and off the field are a major story, was moved to a small table even though dozens of members of the media wanted to talk to him. The league obviously didn’t want Vick to be a big story coming out of Indianapolis.

– DeAngelo Hall was one of the handful of current players in town. Hall, who recently won the NFL’s Fastest Man competition, said that when he was coming out of Virginia Tech, he ran a 4.31-second 40 at the combine.

– When I asked Detroit coach Rod Marinelli why the Lions put the franchise tag on left tackle Jeff Backus, Marinelli said it was a no-brainer because Backus is “a tremendous football player.” Marinelli, who previously served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive line coach, said size wasn’t important to him when evaluating a defensive lineman, an interesting comment for a guy who just took over the team with the huge Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson plugging the middle of the defense. Marinelli said the most important trait for a defensive lineman is hand speed.

– Reggie Bush had the best line of the combine, answering the question of what he would like about playing in Texas with, “no state tax.”


Aaron Schatz’s notes

– I disagree. I thought the best line of the combine belonged to Jeremy Bloom, when a reporter asked him if he was going to be comfortable with contract clauses that restricted him from skiing or other off-season activities. Bloom’s response: “I think Kellen Winslow took care of that for me.”

– As for Nick Saban, I thought he was going to go Hulk around the fifth or sixth Ricky Williams question. “Don’t ask about Ricky … you won’t like me when you ask about Ricky…”

– It would be easy to ignore the fact that these prospects are even in the building because there is so much concern and talk about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Every coach or general manager who gets up to the podium should just save us all some time by starting their press conference with the following: “I don’t know if there’s been progress on the CBA, we all want it to get done, we’ve got two plans for free agency depending on what happens, and I don’t know if a college quarterback with an unorthodox throwing motion has to change his style in order to be a successful quarterback in the National Football League. Do you have any non-CBA, non-Vince Young questions?”

– One of the many ramifications if there is no CBA and we enter that “2006 by different rules, 2007 uncapped” scenario: it will be even harder than usual for teams at the top of the draft to negotiate contracts with the highest draft picks, since they can only pro-rate bonuses over four years.

– Part of my goal in coming here was to make connections with people I could use for quotes in future stories. The problem is, I have a terrible memory for names and faces. To give an example, when I walked into the Convention Center on the first day I wandered into was a large seminar for agents being held by Players Inc. On a bench in the hallway outside was a somewhat familiar-looking guy talking on his cell phone. I know this guy, I thought, who is he? Of course, he gave me a look like, “Why are you staring at me?” and so I walked away. Five minutes later it finally hit me why I thought I knew this guy. It was Drew Rosenhaus.

– My favorite event on the Players Inc. seminar schedule: a 15-minute presentation on the Arena Football salary rules.

– I would like to thank the folks who voted for Mike Sando as “local writer who deserves more attention.” I introduced myself to him yesterday and we ended up hanging out for a couple hours in between scribbling notes on random coach statements. He is definitely a reporter in the stats-friendly FO camp. He has game logs for Seattle games that even have some of the elements we’re tracking with the game charting project, and he’s very comfortable using this data in his articles. I gave him one of the extra copies of PFP 2005 that I brought with me. Just another reason to hit Seattle on the next book tour. He was also nice enough to introduce me to John Clayton — Sando actually was Clayton’s replacement when Clayton went to ESPN.

– Most interesting answer I’ve heard from a prospect, when a reporter asked wide receiver Mike Hass of Oregon State which NFL player’s career he wanted to emulate, he said “Ricky Proehl.” Not the answer you would expect from a 22-year-old kid.

– Nearly every question for new Vikings coach Brad Childress was about Daunte Culpepper, but near the end someone asked about running backs and Childress said, “well, we’ve got a depth problem there, we’ve only got two right now.” Michael Bennett and Moe Williams are both free agents but it sounds like they’re writing off Onterrio Smith at this point. Someone did ask specifically about Onterrio later and Childress mentioned that they are not allowed to talk to him until May 1.

– I did get up to Gary Kubiak after his press conference and told him that we had named our player projection system after him, at which point he looked at me like I had three heads.

– The city of Indianapolis wanted to charge the NFL an absurd amount of money for Internet connections so we’re all going off dial-up. It’s like living in the Stone Age.

– All of the prospects are walking around in these grey sweatshirts with their position and number on the front, name and number on the back. Will Carroll referred to this as fashion from the Bill Belichick Collection.

– Most of these guys majored in stuff like “sports management” or whatever, but defensive tackle Babatunde Oshinowo of Stanford stayed in school four years and has a degree in electrical engineering. Impressive
On Mario...

'Remarkable athlete'

If they stay put at No. 5, the Packers' most intriguing possibility would be North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, who is considered the top defensive prospect in the draft, just ahead of Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk.

The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Williams, who only turned 21 Jan. 31, was a three-year starter for the Wolfpack before forgoing his senior year to enter the draft. He had 56 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and five sacks in 13 starts as a freshman in 2003; 57 tackles, 15 TFLs and six sacks in earning first-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore in '04; and 62 tackles, 24 TFLs and 14 sacks in 12 games last year, again earning first-team all-ACC recognition.

Strong against the run and pass, Williams' technique lacks polish, but he has the large upside - impressive physical tools and natural athleticism to fit Thompson's "impact player" mold.

"He does. He does," Thompson said. "He had some up-and-down games this year, as most people do, but he's a tremendously talented kid. He looks like what you draw up. You want him to get off the bus first."

Added McCarthy: "He is a remarkable athlete. (With) his size, he looks to have everything. He looks to be a special player in this league."

Williams met with reporters Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center, and afterward said it would be "great" if he went to Green Bay. According to a league source, the Packers were set to use one of their 60 allotted 15-minute interviews on Williams on Saturday night.

"I've thought a lot about playing there. I would love that," said Williams, adding that his childhood hero was Packers defensive end Reggie White. "I really think it's where I'm going to end up."
Some on Lewis...

Tight end gem: Marcedes Lewis (6-6, 261) spurned basketball scholarship offers from Cincinnati, UConn, Arizona and Cal to play tight end at UCLA.

"If I had to compare myself to anyone. it would be a little mixture between Tony Gonzalez (Chiefs) and Antonio Gates (Chargers)," he said. "Just because of our background with basketball. I'm able to position myself in the air to catch balls that other tight ends maybe couldn't. I'm long and I can run. I'm pretty athletic."

Early bird: Oregon junior Haloti Ngata (6-4, 338) is the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle because of his size, strength and mobility.

"I'm quick and I have a lot of power up front," he said. "But I have to continue working on my balance."

Ngata's decision to leave school was partly financial. He wants to take care of his mother, who has diabetes and kidney problems.
Receivers - 40 Times

Sunday, February 26, 2006 | 9:56 AM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Note: These times are unofficial at the moment

Damarious Bilbo 4.74
Will Blackmon 4.58
Jeremy Bloom 4.49, 4.50
Jovon Bouknight 4.74
Jason Carter 4.62
Marques Colston 4.43
Chris Denney 4.70
Skyler Green 4.50
Derek Hagan 4.45
Marques Haggans 4.62, 4.63
Chris Hannon 4.49, 4.43
Mike Hass 4.61, 4.62
Ed Hinkel 4.50, 4.51
Chad Jackson 4.37, 4.29
Adam Jennings 4.49
Greg Jennings 4.41
Greg Lee 4.62
Brandon Marshall 4.50
Anthony Mix 4.45
Sinorice Moss 4.34
Martin Nance 4.58
Ben Obomanu 4.41
jonathan Orr 4.49
Willie Reed 4.41
Cory Rodgers 4.66
Clinton Solomon 4.62
Maurice Stovall 4.58
Delanie Walker 4.58
Todd Watkins 4.41
Jeff Webb 4.37
Brandon Williams 4.49
Travis Wilson 4.48

Quarterbacks/Running Backs

Sunday, February 26, 2006 | 9:18 AM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Note: These numbers are unofficial at the moment.

Ingle Martin 4.69
Jay Cutler 4.86, 4.75
Brett Basanez 4.76, 4.79
Brodie Croyle 4.87, 4.95
Bruce Eugene 5.08
Bruce Gradkowski 4.62, 4.63
Darrell Hackney 4.87
Tarvaris Jackson 4.70, 4.69
Omar Jacobs 4.83
Barrick Nealy 4.66, 4.62
Reggie Mcneal 4.41, 4.37
Drew Olsen 5.13, 5.06
Paul Pinegar 5.12, 5.13
Quinton Porter 4.70, 4.74
D.J. shockley 4.58, 4.54
Brad Smith 4.54, 4.49
Kent Smith 4.74, 4.58
Marcus Vick 4.54, 4.49
Charlie whitehurst 4.75, 4.73
Erik Meyer 4.66

RB Group 4

Jerrius Norwood 4.40
Leon Washington 4.42
Wendell Mathis 451
Derrick Ross 4.52
Cory Ross 4.53
Combine Notes - Defensive Line

Sunday, February 26, 2006 | 12:36 AM CST
Posted by Greg Benjamin

Elvis Dumervil, DE, Louisville – 5-11 257

Stanley McClover, DE, Auburn – 6-4 ½ 262
-Interviewed with Jaguars, Panthers, Dolphins

Mike Kudla, DE, Ohio State – 6-2 265
-Interviewed with Browns

Darryl Tapp, DE, Virginia Tech – 6-1 252

Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Florida State – 6-3 ¾ 248

Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State – 6-7 295
-Interviewed with Rams, Texans, Panthers

Parys Haralson, DE, Tennessee – 6-1 253
-Interviewed with Vikings, Texans, Colts
-Feels he can play DE or OLB

Javon Nanton, DE, Miami – 6-3 250

Barry Cofield, DE, Northwestern – 6-4 304
-Interviewed with Bengals

Chris Gocong, DE, Cal-Poly – 6-2 263
-Feels he can play DE or OLB

Ray Edwards, DE, Purdue – 6-5 ½ 273
-Interviewed with Bengals

Victor Adeyanju, DE, Indiana – 6-4 274
-Interviewed with Jets

Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon – 6-4 338
-Interviewed with Bills, Rams, Bengals, Raiders, Giants

Orien Harris, DT, Miami – 6-2 301

Babatunde Oshinowo, DT, Stanford – 6-0 304
Interviewed with Panthers, Jaguars, Steelers

Jesse Mahelona, DT, Tennessee – 6-0 ½ 310
-Interviewed with Broncos, Bengals, Browns, Falcons

Johnny Jolly, DT, Texas A&M
-Will not workout at the combine
-Interviewed with Panthers, Texans, Broncos, Eagles

Montavious Stanley, DT, Louisville – 6-0 313
-Will not workout at the combine due to a torn pectoral muscle
-Interviewed with Falcons, 49ers, Ravens

Jonathan Lewis, DT, Virginia – 6-1 309
-Interviewed with Eagles, Bengals, Panthers, Cardinals
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