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It occurred to me that BB has one other pretty solid draft tendency. Almost every year he grabs some little-known prospect with great workout numbers -- usually a corner who blazes the 40. The guys who most immediately come to mind are Slater, Ellis Hobbs, Antwan Harris, Terrence Wheatley and Bethel Johnson, all of whom ran sub 4.4 times. Willie Andrews just missed the list. He clearly cares about other measurables -- Deion Branch ran the second-fastest 20-yard shuttle time ever back in 2002, and he drafted other workout warriors like Watson and Chad Jackson -- but you could probably narrow the field a lot in the process of trying to guess this weekend's picks if you just look at the list of fastest 40 times this pre-draft season, and highlighted the lesser-known names.
Who are those guys this year? The list I came up with includes the following:
Michael Ray Garvin, Florida State -- The fastest guy in the draft probably. Runs in the mid-4.2s allegedly. He's also a tiny corner. Returns kicks. A candidate for the Willie Andrews role?
Robert Haynes, Michigan Tech -- That's right, Michigan Tech, not Michigan or Michigan State. This guy supposedly ran under 4.3 at the Grand Valley State pro day. He later went to Michigan State's pro day and ran a 4.36. Another 100-meter champion type, plays corner, and is even over 5'10". Did 26 reps at the MSU pro day, too.
Tiquan Underwood (WR) and Jason McCourty(CB), Rutgers -- Two guys who run under 4.4 and played for BB's buddy Greg Schiano. Can't stand Underwood, though, he falls down when guys breathe on him.
Chris Clemons, Clemson -- Apparently ran a 4.33 at his pro day. Since he's a safety, and we need one, who knows?
Brice McCain, Utah, Vincent Butler, New Mexico St, and Terail Lambert, Notre Dame -- all three are tiny, feisty corners in the Ellis Hobbs mode. Two played for BB buddies: Lambert for Weis, while McCain was recruited by Urban Meyer. All ran sub 4.4s at their pro days.
Eron Riley, Duke, Kevin Ogletree, Virginia, and Lucas Taylor, Tennessee -- All these guys run under 4.4 and are candidates for that "Y" receiver role. Ogletree played for Groh. Another BB tendency is to look at players who might have shown up on tape while the team was scouting someone else on the team. Bethel Johnson was a classic example; you wonder in they would have drafted him if BB wasn't spending so much time watching Ty Warren's A & M games. So in this sense you have to look hard at Ogletree (played with Sintim and Appleby) and Taylor (who played with Ayers).
The rest of the speed guys are better known -- Andre Brown, Cedric Peerman, Mike Wallace, Mike Thomas, Johnny Knox, etc. The one guy I really like is Kenny McKinley. He ran a 4.37 at his pro day. He's South Carolina's all-time receiver. I think he'd do great with the Pats, but then again he's skinnyish and may have trouble getting off the line. Another one is Antone Smith; not only would it add to our collection of weirdly-spelled Antoines (we've already had an Antowain, an Antwan, and an Atwoine), but I really like the guy and think he's underrated.
Anyone else with some speed-demon unknowns?
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Another guy who smells like a BB draft pick to me is Kevin Barnes, the Maryland corner. He had the best shuttle time in the pre-draft season (3.96) and his cone time was one of the best. And I think we worked him out.
Then there's Sherrod Martin from Troy. He ran in the low 4.4s and was right with Barnes in the shuttle; he had the best cone time I think.
And the final guy to think of is David Bruton, the Notre Dame safety. We all know that BB likes guys who have famous-athlete relatives; Bruton I think is a cousin of Tyson Gay. PLUS he played for Charlie Weis and PLUS he turned in one of the fastest 40 times of any safety -- a 4.40. Bruton smells to me like a Gary Guyton-type acquisition, a stiffish athlete with great measurables who might go undrafted. I can see him as a gunner for sure. He's 6'2" and 210 and apparently outplayed William Moore at the Senior Bowl.
Nice. I think Clemons is a bit more well known then the others (I know about him!). I think BB will go for a 3rd S in the rotation. If he can't get a beast like Chip Vaughn at #89 or #97, then he may look for Clemons, Martin, Bruton types at #124, or a bit higher if he has made a deal for a pick.
Wallace, Gibson, Thomas, Ogletree, Massaquoi, Underwood also figure to be WR's that BB might tab at #124, or even take a stab at at #170.
First 3 picks I want (any order): DL, OT, OLB
Next 4 picks (any order): G, S, ILB, WR
I want trade outs to next year, and trade "into's". #23 down for a 2nd and stuff, lower stuff up towards 2nd round. It is possible to have 5 picks in the 2nd actually, and I'd like that.
I read an article (forget where) that talked about a RB from Indiana Marcus Thigpen having blazing speed. NFL Draft Scout says he measured 4.47 at a Pro Day. He is a converted WR to RB and a return man.
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