Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday notes from NFL Combine

As seems to be the case frequently, every time a Spartan works in front of scouts, they're impressing. And no Spartan is impressing more than Kirk Cousins. 

Russ Lande of The Sporting News had the highest praise for the former MSU quarterback, saying Cousins is putting himself in the discussion for the first round. ESPN's Todd McShay wasn't quite as high on Cousins, but said on Sportscenter that he quietly is moving toward the second round.

(Go to 2:20 to see McShay talk Cousins)

Cousins didn't shine in the athleticism drills (you can see the numbers here), but in the passing drills, he impressed a lot of people. Dion Caputi of National Football Post tweeted that Cousins "threw with nice timing in the early group. Lead receivers well, passed with accuracy. Solid overall."

Caputi later wrote that Cousins is moving up the board because of "simple consistency," adding, "He displayed good timing and anticipation on throws to unfamiliar receivers on Sunday and looked pretty comfortable in doing so. Again, he doesn’t have a rocket arm, but has good zip and made a handful of NFL throws. I still project a 3rd round selection for Cousins, perhaps late 2nd going into the pro day schedule."

Doug Farrer of Yahoo! Sports tweeted: "Kirk Cousins just made some dough in morning drills. Better mechanics, zipped the ball, looked the "safety" off even when he didn't have to."

Joe Buscaglia, a Buffalo Bills radio reporter, tweeted: "Just got back from watching the QBs and WRs go through some drills. Impressions: Kirk Cousins UP, Nick Foles DOWN."

(Here is an interview with Cousins from Bleacher Report)

NFL Network talked with Cousins today. Cousins said he was happy with his drill times, so he may only throw at MSU's Pro Day on March 14. You can see the interview here.

After finishing drills, Cousins tweeted that he was headed to Tampa to work with Jon Gruden. Cousins will again be part of Gruden's QB Camp leading up to the draft. 

As for other Spartans, B.J. Cunningham ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, which is solid for a guy who scouts think is more of a possession receiver. You can see the rest of his numbers here. Something notable about Cunningham is that he was measured to have really small hands. As expected, he was well-liked by the media. Walter Football ranks Cunningham as the 21st-best receiver. said both Cunningham and Keshawn Martin were among receivers who boosted their stock.

Speaking of Martin, he shined in the speed drills, as expected. Martin ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, which tied for 18th among all Combine participants and a 11.16 in the 60-yard shuttle drill, which was good for eighth. He also finished fifth with a 39.5-inch vertical jump. You can see the rest of Martin's numbers here. He's showing he can be a poor man's Percy Harvin (without the migraines).

Caputi tweeted that Martin "helped himself with a mid-4.3 time. A later round type, but has upside and put some athleticism on display."

Edwin Baker's physical tools are his biggest selling point to scouts, compared with his production last season. Baker ran a solid 4.53 40-yard dash, and Caputi tweeted that he "saw a quality second gear from him on tape." Baker's Combine numbers are here.

MSU has an interview with Baker here.

I still think Baker only has an outside shot of getting drafted, but he'll still get opportunities from teams. 

Jerel Worthy and the defensive linemen and linebackers perform in drills tomorrow. On Tuesday, it's Trenton Robinson and defensive backs. (Full schedule here) MSU has an interview with Robinson here.

Trenton Robinson talks with media. (via @MSU_Football)

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