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Movers and shakers

Draft prospects who improved their stock at combine

Posted: Wednesday March 1, 2006 12:15PM; Updated: Wednesday March 1, 2006 1:54PM
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LSU running back Joseph Addai's stock has risen since he ran a scorching 40 at the combine in Indianapolis.
LSU running back Joseph Addai's stock has risen since he ran a scorching 40 at the combine in Indianapolis.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

By Tony Pauline, Special to SI.com

NFL scouts walked away satisfied on Tuesday afternoon after a week of interviewing potential future employees at the combine in Indianapolis. Players were poked, prodded as well as timed and measured. Records were set and many left leaving a positive impression.

• The top performing running back was Joseph Addai from LSU. After a scorching time of 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, Addai looked comfortable catching the ball and displayed a variety of ball carrying skills.

Washington State's Jerome Harrison was impressive on the stopwatch and during the practice session.

And while they probably wished they ran a little faster, Brian Calhoun of Wisconsin, Maurice Drew from UCLA and Arizona's Mike Bell all elevated their draft stock.

• Prior to the combine the thinking was that only a single receiver would break into the first round. That changed after Florida's Chad Jackson turned in a splendid workout.

He had a blazing time of 4.37 and thee muscular 210-pounder put on a pass-catching clinic in the workouts. He's now considered a sure-fire first-rounder.

• If you had to pick one workout that will keep scouts buzzing for some time, it was the display put on by Maryland's Vernon Davis.

The day after benching 225 pounds 33 times, the 263-point Davis ran the 40 in 4.39. How fast was Davis? During the pass-catching workout he was outrunning many of the passes tossed in his direction.

Tight ends Joe Klopfenstein of Colorado, Leonard Pope of Georgia and Tony Scheffler of Western Michigan also improved their draft stock.

With all the controversy surrounding Vince Young and his Wonderlic test, several solid performances by the quarterbacks were lost in the shuffle.

Jay Cutler continued the momentum he built in January's Senior Bowl. He was accurate during his workout, displaying a live arm and the ability to throw all the passes. Cutler's interviews were another matter as teams were not as impressed during one-on-one sit downs with the Vanderbilt product.

Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo also threw the ball well. His passes were crisp and well-timed. And though there're questions about Gradkowski's arm strength, he showed good flow and rhythm.

A pair of I-AA quarterback prospects also put themselves in position to get selected in the late rounds -- Eastern Washington's Erik Meyer and Furman's Ingle Martin.