By Kevin Turner | @ktfuntweets
Thursday at the combine featured more press conferences from head coaches and front office types from around the league, as well as interviews from position players.
*Kansas State’s Glenn Gronkowski created quite the gathering during his media time. He was asked about the party boat, and responded that he wasn’t there but did see some videos and that it looked like a lot of fun. He said he’d been asked about it around 50 times. He said he’s not as crazy as his brother, but teams are definitely looking into his personality. To be 100% transparent, I’ve yet to watch tape on Lil’ Gronk, but we’ll get to it. At the Senior Bowl, he was used as a TE/H-Back on the roster, which is probably his best role in the NFL.
*Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg aced his media interview. He’s my 4th favorite QB and I have a late 3rd/early 4th round grade on him. He looks a little bit like Tony Romo, and he sounds like him a little bit too. He answered a lot of tough questions, and even some personal questions about his relationship with Head Coach James Franklin. He’s been through adversity, and looked like a natural up there on the podium. When asked questions, he’d look the reporter in the eye and answer the question in a very polite manner. These are all tiny things that matter on a large scale, but I thought he came out of that press conference looking really good. The highlight of the interview is when he dunked on Connor Cook, by saying that he really took pride in being elected team captain two years in a row. If you don’t know the backstory, Connor Cook is taking a lot of criticism for not being named team captain.
*As for Michigan State QB Connor Cook…well…that didn’t go so well. Cook was bombarded by questions surrounding all the rumors about his leadership and personality. He explained that he was on a leadership council and that the team had a ton of captains because they were full of seniors. All of that is fair, but the body language didn’t check out. While claiming that he’s not arrogant and cocky, he actually seemed extremely arrogant and cocky. Some of this might be superficial. I don’t know the guy, but the rumors that are out there about him are out there for a reason, and that’s concerning. I walked away from the interview feeling even more down on Cook. Yikes. In the end, he’s not that good of a player, so no need to worry about it!
*Sticking with the QB theme, California QB Jared Goff appeared extremely confident in his media time. He said the hand size narrative that got out to the public was comical, and that it’s never been a problem and won’t be a problem going forward. When asked about his career fumble total of 23, he shot back, “How many did I have last year?”, that’s when Jeff Cavanaugh answered 4. Goff explained that he was on a 1-11 team when he was a freshman and that the fumble numbers have improved every year. Even as a senior, Goff was hit a lot playing behind a bad offensive line. I don’t think the fumbling is a serious issue. Something to keep in mind, sure, but not a significant issue.
*Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell is such a promising prospect. There are questions about his speed, but to me that’s unwarranted considering that’s not really his game. Treadwell said that he doesn’t model his game after anyone, but really likes the way Dez Bryant plays in how physical he is and how he attacks the football. He was also asked who the toughest DB he faced in college was and he said, “the one from Florida, not Hargreaves.” Whoa! Shots fired at likely first rounder Vernon Hargreaves.
*Baylor WR Corey Coleman measured in just above 5’11” which actually good for him. There was fear that he might be shorter. He appeared nervous at the podium, but overall handled himself well. When asked about the stereotype that Baylor WRs struggle to adapt to the league due to their system, he quickly mentioned that he ran a full route tree and an NFL playbook in high school at JJ Pearce. Either way, he was well aware of the notion that Baylor WRs have more questions than answers. He doesn’t want to be seen as a project, but rather someone who can contribute immediately.
*Ohio State WR Braxton Miller was extremely confident. When asked if he’ll go in the first round, he replied “oh yeah, for sure.”
*Colorado State WR Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins is a really good player that has kind of flown under the radar. Higgins’ mother lives in the Dallas area and he grew up a Cowboys fan. He’s always reminded me of Chad Johnson on the field. After talking to him, he seems like a really good kid, and he’d be thrilled to be a Cowboy. The Cowboys 3rd round pick is #67 and it would be really awesome if Hollywood Higgins was still on the board.
*Bowling Green WR Roger Lewis has a controversial backstory in that he was accused of rape back in high school. He was acquitted of one charge, and plead out of the second charge, avoiding up to 22 years in jail. He served his probation, and instead of going to Ohio State, caught on at Bowling Green. Lewis said teams did ask about the incident(s), and knew the ins and outs of the story. He wanted to make it clear that he was falsely accused. I’ve got a 4th round grade on Roger Lewis, but don’t look for him to be in a Cowboys uniform.
*Utah RB Devontae Booker is my 2nd favorite RB in the draft. He’s not participating in running drills this week due to his knee injury that he suffered in November. He revealed that he will be medically cleared around the time of his pro-day, which is in late March. That’s enough assurance for me to keep Booker as my RB2.
*Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott told reporters that he had an informal interview with the Dallas Cowboys last night. That’s not terribly significant, considering he mentioned that he met with a boat load of other teams as well. That being said, Prescott in the 4th round is something that would make a lot of sense for the Cowboys. Year in and year out, the Cowboys have had the ability to kind of ignore the QB position, but after last year’s reality check, it would make sense to take a guy later in the draft should they not get a Goff, Lynch, or Wentz.
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