Highlights and impressions from Thursday at the Combine
|02.21.13 at 8:10 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — The first day of media availability at the combine is in the books. Here are some impressions and highlights from chatting with some of this draft class’ offensive linemen, as well as coaches and executives.
– Wisconsin offensive linemen have a pretty good track record, and former walk-on Ricky Wagner would be a good fit for the Patriots at right tackle, either for depth’s sake or if Sebastian Vollmer leaves and creates an opening.
– Speaking of schools that produce a lot of good offensive linemen, right tackle John Wetzel and left tackle Emmett Cleary are both at the combine and hope to carry on the tradition of Boston College O-linemen in the NFL.
– You can’t talk about linemen in this year’s draft class without bringing up Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, who is the best of the bunch. Joeckel figures to be in the mix to go first overall, and he told a funny story.
– Hoping to see Percy Harvin in a Patriots uniform? Not so fast.
“Could there be a trade? Yeah, anybody could be traded,” Ryan said. “But do I expect there to be a trade for Darrelle Revis? No. But that doesn’t mean something couldn’t come up.”
– The people who announce the players at the podiums have a tough job, as they have to pronounce a ton of different names. There were no pronunciation issues Thursday, but Hawaii long snapper Luke Ingram (brother of former Patriots long snapper Jake Ingram) was announced as “Hawaii long slapper Luke Ingram” — get this — twice. It was the best.
– Colts general manager Ryan Grigson couldn’t be more polished, especially when you consider how uncomfortable and overwhelmed he looked in the same situation a year ago. He’d just been recently been hired to replace Bill Polian and he had to juggle the whole Peyton Manning situation, as the QB was still under contract with the Colts despite the expectation that the Colts would draft Andrew Luck first overall.
On Thursday, Grigson was cool as a cucumber. In all honesty, he was probably the most interesting guys to speak, as he still sounds like a scout (which he was for years between St. Louis and Philadelphia). Grigson even had a good sense of humor when talking about last year’s train wreck with the media.
“It’s funny now, after a year’s passed how everyone tells me now how miserable I was up here. The words ‘fidgety,’ ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘sweating bullets’ — and those things were all true — but it’s definitely easier for me to be up here and to talk about football and not be too guarded,” he said. “Last year, I had a lot of things going on that I couldn’t stand up here and talk freely about, and that’s just the plain truth. This year, it’s a little bit better.”
– Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano weighed in (very little) on former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, saying that he did everything that Schiano and the Bucs asked of him this season prior to his trade to the Pats.
– It wasn’t long ago that Chip Kelly was the offensive line coach at UNH, and now he’s the head coach of the Eagles and saying all sorts of nice things about Bill Belichick.
– UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria is in town for the combine and said he’s received a lot of guidance from his uncle, former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Joseph’s a big boy, as he’s listed at 6-foot-7 2/8 and 257 pounds.