March 09, 02013
The rundown from College Station:
Damontre Moore, DE/OLB: Moore came in ten pounds heavier (260 vs. 250) than he was at the Combine. Some might wonder how he gained ten pounds over two weeks, but there is a better than average chance that he lost some weight pre-combine in an attempt to record a faster 40-yard dash time. It didn't work. While Moore improved his bench press total from the 12 he posted at the Combine to 19, he passed on running the 40-yard dash due to concerns over a lingering hamstring issue.
Moore struggled at Friday's Pro Day.
What is strange to me is that that Moore decided to run the short shuttle, which is essentially a mini version of "gassers" or "horses" and that kind of quick-twitch stopping and starting can't be good for your hamstring, either. Moore slipped on his first attempt and looked genuinely upset about how his pro day was going before clocking a 4.30 short shuttle on his second attempt. Unfortunately, Moore never clocked in with an official 3-cone time since he knocked a cone down on all three attempts, but his unofficial time was 7.01.
Moore was stretching and grimacing after his final 3-cone attempt, which seemed to indicate that his hamstring was an issue. Defensive line drills were run by Kris Kocurek (Lions), Jay Hayes (Bengals) and Terrell Williams (Raiders) and Moore was just average in drills. Nothing special. After Moore was finished with the defensive linemen, he went to work out with the linebackers because teams who run a 3-4 system wanted to see how he moved in space. Moore did not look fluid at all in linebacker drills, but he was also coming off of a pretty intense workout with the defensive linemen.
The Takeaway: Moore needed to improve his bench press and he did just that, but he didn't run the 40 and he didn't stand out in position drills, so I don't think you'll see Damontre Moore in the first round unless a team is absolutely in love with the tape.
Ryan Swope, WR: Swope stood on all of his combine numbers, as he should have. During the workout phase, Swope was very crisp in and out of his breaks and showed a terrific ability to burst off the line of scrimmage and breakdown very quickly. I don't recall seeing Swope drop a single catchable ball the entire workout. In fact, on one deep pass, the scout next to me said, "No way he gets to that one," but Swope closed the distance and made a fingertip catch with his outstretched hands.
The Takeaway: Swope opened everyone's eyes to his terrific athleticism at the Combine and his solid performance today did nothing other than solidify his draft position.
Luke Joeckel, LT: Joeckel stood nearby and offered teammates encouragement as they attempted the bench press, but he did not participate in the bench or any other drills other than his individual offensive line drills. Joeckel and A&M center Patrick Lewis worked out with Raiders offensive line coach Tony Sparano and Joeckel displayed the outstanding balance and technique that he's always had. What I was happy to see (hear) was heavy hands when he shot his punch on the pads during drills. One concern that may have arisen about Joeckel at the pro day was his arm length. At the combine, Joeckel's arm length was measured at a solid 34 1/8, but today it was measured at 33 1/8.
The Takeaway: Joeckel said that his technique is so good because his dad (a former college offensive lineman) started working with him on hand placement all the way back in pee-wee football. Joeckel has the frame to add another ten pounds of muscle and I didn't see any reason why he would have hurt his stock today.
You also need to know....
*According to scouting sources, OLB Sean Porter ran a 4.63. Porter was good, but not great in position drills, but likely cemented his draft stock.
*DT Spencer Nealy was the star of the show. While his workout was okay, his comedic timing was amazing. Nealy had guys like "Mean" Joe Green, Dennis Allen and Rex Ryan chuckling at some of his commentary during workouts, including when he tripped and fell over a blocking dummy and screamed out "f@ck*ing chop block!"
*CB Dustin Harris was very smooth in drills and did a great job of high-pointing interceptions during the workout. Dubbed "Skinny Badger" due to his slight build and blond mohawk, Harris also had a vertical leap of 35.5 inches.
*RB Christine Michael and WR Uzoma Nwachukwu were built like Greek Gods and Nwachukwu had a vertical of 39.5, a broad jump of 10.10 and ran a 4.51. The problem for Michael (who killed it at the Combine) is that his character concerns may cause him to fall to the fourth round, while Nwachukwu is more athlete than football player right now.
*The "workout warrior" award goes to CB C.J. Jones who had a vertical leap of 40.5, an explosive broad jump of 11.5 and ran a 4.41. Unfortunately, scouts in attendance said he will not be drafted.
*Former Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson was throwing to wideouts and running backs during the pro day and the zip on his passes was noticeable. Johnson suffered a shoulder injury while in college that took awhile for him to recover from, but Johnson's arm strength and accuracy looked pretty solid to my eyes.
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Lance comes from a football family and his father, Larry, has coached college and pro football for over 30 years. Lance has hosted sports talk radio in Houston for 15 years and has won seven "Houston Press Best Of" awards during that time. Lance has been writing about pro football, fantasy football and the NFL draft for over a decade and currently blogs about football for the Houston Chronicle and his own football website, TheSidelineView.com.