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NFL Combine Snap Judgments

Assessing Ginn's speed, Carr's value, Quinn's future

Posted: Thursday February 22, 2007 8:47PM; Updated: Sunday February 25, 2007 11:57PM
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from the NFL Scouting Combine, an event that seems to grow bigger every year, even as league personnel officials downplay its importance in the player evaluation process:

• He's probably the fastest player who will enter the NFL later this year, but Ted Ginn Jr. is one guy who won't have to face the ever-familiar "to run or not to run'' question this week at the Combine.

The explosive Ohio State receiver/return specialist can't run. Not here, not now at least. Not until the mid-foot sprain he suffered early in the Buckeyes' BCS Championship Game loss against Florida heals considerably more than it has to this point.

Ginn just started jogging recently, and he seemed to be still walking with a slight limp almost a month a half after his freakish injury -- he was hurt by a teammate's over-excessive celebration after Ginn returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in Ohio State's 41-14 loss on Jan. 9.

"It wasn't me celebrating,'' said Ginn, who's considered a near-certain top 10 pick in April's draft. "I usually hand the ball to the official.''

When he's healthy, Ginn has speed to burn, the type of speed that had reporters asking him Thursday if Chicago return specialist Devin Hester's spectacular rookie success is helping raise his draft stock.

"No doubt,'' Ginn said. "I'm a big fan of him. I think he helps me out a lot, the things he can do. If he can do it (in the NFL), I believe I can do it. He and I do have the same type of ability, the same type of talent.''

Ginn is scheduled to take part in Ohio State's pro day workout on March 10, but at this rate, it's clear no one is expecting him to be able run a 40-yard dash a mere 16 days from now. So when will he run? "I guess it has to be before the draft,'' Ginn said, stating the obvious.

Ginn said he hasn't run a 40 in a couple of years, but his times were consistently in the range of 4.34 when he did. At least one NFL club executive, Texans general manager Rick Smith, said Thursday he didn't think Ginn would harpoon his top-10 chances if he didn't run a blistering pre-draft 40.

"I think clubs know what he can do,'' Smith said. "He's got a body of work to refer to.''


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