INDIANAPOLIS — A look at some of the key points to come out of the NFL Combine’s first day:
• Utah offensive lineman Zane Beadles gave up only one sack in 2009, to BYU defensive end Jan Jorgensen, but says he’s drawing interest at offensive guard as well. To be honest, I think Beadles is a much better guard prospect than potential tackle and should fit nicely in a zone-blocking scheme. Expect him to run and work out a little better than expected this weekend and interview extremely well with NFL teams.
• The one word that kept popping up during Baylor offensive lineman J.D. Walton’s interview was “leader.” He talked about being comfortable as the leader off the offensive line, calling out the different fronts and protection schemes and being the guy up front who can help be an extension of the quarterback. Physically, Walton has the ability to be an ideal fit in a zone-blocking scheme and grades out as a potential starter in the NFL. But after listening to him, he seems like someone who will bring more to a team than just his physical skill set.
• You don’t want to read too much into a player’s personality, but after talking with Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis today, it quickly becomes obvious that he doesn’t seem to have that “killer instinct.” He was so passive during his media interview that it doesn’t surprise me how inconsistent he is on the edge. The kid is dripping with upside on the field, but there are a lot of questions about his demeanor.
• At the other end of the spectrum, the maturity level of USC offensive tackle Charles Brown was very impressive. Not only has this guy battled his share of adversity (family illnesses and making the move from tight end to tackle), he has really come out a better person because of it. Brown might lack some bulk, but he’s a gifted athlete who projects nicely as a starting left tackle in a zone-blocking scheme.
• It was interesting to hear Texas Tech offensive guard Brandon Carter talk about the advice he’s received from former Red Raiders offensive linemen in the NFL. “They tell me that, from a scheme standpoint, it’s actually easier in the NFL than it was at Texas Tech,” he said. “It’s only the level of competition that goes up.” There’s no doubt in my mind that Carter will struggle in space in the NFL, but if you give him a chance to play in a phone booth and get his hands on defenders, I think he could end up fighting for a starting role down the line.
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