Snap Judgments (cont.)
Posted: Saturday February 24, 2007 6:18PM; Updated: Saturday February 24, 2007 6:18PM
Scouts I talk to don't worry a bit about whether Johnson's outlook or output will change once he has millions in his bank account. Which won't take long, given that at worst he won't linger on the board past Tampa Bay's No. 4 slot. If that scenario unfolds, Bucs quarterback Chris Simms is going to be very happy he re-signed in Tampa Bay.
But if the 2007 NFL Draft went strictly according to talent, production and potential, Johnson would be first and foremost, a dream he still hasn't given up on.
"I'd love to be the No. 1, definitely,'' he said, smiling broadly. "I feel I'm the best athlete.''
He's not alone on that one. Far from it.
The no-name who makes a name for himself at the Combine is always an irresistible story angle. One of this year's examples is Whitworth College tight end Michael Allan, who opened some eyes by posting a 4.65 40-yard dash on Saturday, in addition to catching the ball well and jumping well.
Haven't heard of that football powerhouse called Whitworth College, a liberal arts school of 2,200 students? Neither had I. It's a Division III school in Spokane, Wash., and the 6-foot-6, 252-pound Allan was the only Division III player invited to this year's Combine.
"I've gotten used to the fact that nobody knows where Whitworth is," Allan said. "In addition to representing myself I feel like I am representing kind of the whole division because there are a lot of phenomenal athletes out there that didn't get their shot at D-I, so now they're trying to make it.''
I know I'm rooting for the kid. He's a journalism major who wants to pursue a career as a sportswriter if this football gig doesn't work out.
Other Day 3 workout notes of interest ... USC center Ryan Kalil, who has added 10-12 pounds since the season ended and is now at 299, ran well despite the extra weight. He was in the low 4.9 range.... Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas, the top-rated offensive lineman and the likely No. 2 pick, ran a very respectable 4.92. There were rumors however that Thomas did just 21 reps on the bench press, which would be a disappointing number for him from a strength perspective.... Miami tight end Greg Olsen ran a 4.51, solidifying his standing as the draft's top-rated player at his position.... Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis continues to gain momentum and may be climbing into the middle third of the first round.... If there's a consensus top seven in the first round, it would seem to include the two quarterbacks -- Russell and Quinn -- Johnson, Thomas, defensive tackle Alan Branch, running back Adrian Peterson, and defensive end Gaines Adams.
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