I might as well go ahead and get the obligatory Manti Te’o portion of this scouting report out of the way early, since I’d be remiss if I didn’t address it. The much-hyped linebacker wasn’t expected to run a fast 40-yard dash and he ended up clocking one of the worst times in his position group with a 4.82. Still, I liked what I saw from Te’o in the actual football drills. He moved well and showed excellent hands, which was expected as he had seven interceptions this past season for Notre Dame. The Heisman Trophy runner-up is still a first-round talent, but it will be interesting to see where he ends up.
I was personally impressed with Georgia’s Alec Ogletree, who is another highly rated linebacker with baggage. I thought he tested very well and flashed tremendous speed, and based on his football skills alone, I’d expect him to go in the first round as well. Talking to a couple former Bulldog players about Olgetree, he really isn’t a bad guy and just tends to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now is the young star’s chance to make some money and Ogletree has to straighten up and fly right. On tape he is just as much of an animal as he is during testing. It’s like sticking a safety in the middle of that 3-4 defense and letting him lose. He looked the part and performed every bit of it.
One under the radar guy who caught my eye was Connecticut’s Sio Moore. He tested very well, ranking second in the bench press (29 reps) and fifth in the 40-yard dash (4.65). Moore also looked strong in the linebacker drills, showing good feet and strong instincts. I’d expect him to pick up the pace a little as he gained a lot of momentum going into his pro day.
The guy that impressed me more than anything was Georgia’s Cornelius Washington. There’s no way around it; his athleticism is through the roof. He had the most reps on the bench press (36), seven more than the nearest linebacker, posted the second best 40-yard dash time (4.55), the second highest vertical jump (39.0) and third longest broad jump (128.0). Looking back at his college stats, the young man who spent years in the shadow of Bulldogs stars Ogletree and Jarvis Jones didn’t have the production that many of his peers had. Still, based on his performance in Indy, he seemed to be the forgotten one on that loaded Dawgs defense. I’ll be taking another look at the tape of Washington after getting to see him live at the Senior Bowl as well as seeing his dominant performance today.
Finally, the most impressive metric of the day, and probably the entire combine, was Southern Mississippi’s Jamie Collins’139-inch broad jump, which fell just short of the actual 12-foot marker. It was one of the most athletic feats I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. Collins is an athletic freak but the fact of the matter is he needs to shore up some things. A little stiff in turning his hips and staying low. Overall he is a mid-round type guy who looks to impress and move up during his pro day.
Florida’s Jon Bostic is another linebacker who caught my eye. He ran a 4.61 40-yard dash and looked very fluid in the shuffling drill, showing good explosion when changing direction.