I don't think this qualifies me as an NFL draft geek, but I did spend more than an hour this morning watching NFL Network coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Why? Wanted to see my guy, Aurora's Larry English of Northern Illinois, of course. And, Alex Magee of Purdue (and Oswego).
For what it's worth, I saw Magee, a defensive tackle/defensive end who is 6-foot-3, 298 pounds, run a 5.05-second 40-yard dash and saw that he did 30 reps (of 225 pounds) in the bench press drill.
English, according to the analysts, is one of the "conversion guys" who played as a down, rush defensive end in college who is being considered as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 pro alignment. They compared the guys in this group to former Michigan and current Pittsburgh Steeler standout Lamar Woodley, who always had a hand on the ground at DE in college but has made the conversion to OLB.
The main difference? The rush lineman is always going forward. The linebacker, of course, can rush the quarterback but often is dropping back and/or turning to cover tight ends/receivers/backs in pass coverage.
What else I learned? To make that conversion, Larry is gonna have to have good hips. Wonder if he can dance?
Oh yeah, English is listed at 6-foot-2 and 274 pounds. That means he has put on 19 pounds and lost an inch since preseason camp last fall at NIU, when he was listed at 6-3, 255 in the media guide for his senior year. And that, of course, means someone on staff at Northern has failed to master ruler reading 101.
Did see English run a 4.77-second 40 and do 24 reps in the bench press.
And, I heard NFL Network's draft guru Mike Mayock gush: "I pulled out the tape and saw him dominate against Minnesota. He's a great edge rusher."
And cutting in in the background (it was either Charles Davis or host Rich Eisen) said, "Check the Tennessee tape, too."
So, do I have a better handle on where our local guys will go in the draft?
Not a clue, but I am beginning to learn the language.