Penn St.'s Butler shines at combine
Penn State receiver Deon Butler had one of the fastest 40 times of the day
Pat White was accurate in his passing drills and did not work out as a WR
Florida WR Percy Harvin was slower than expected and did not participate in drills
INDIANAPOLIS -- The big names took center stage to perform for scouts Sunday and it was a fast day on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium. There were a variety of results, both good and bad, during the seven hours of combine workouts.
Deon Butler/WR/Penn State: Butler scorched the turf, running his 40's under 4.3 seconds on several stopwatches. He practiced at that speed during drills, displaying outstanding quickness and route-running skills. Butler also caught the ball very well. He improved his draft stock almost two rounds.
Johnny Knox/WR/Abilene Christian: Knox did everything a small school prospect is suppose to do at the combine. He started the morning scorching the field running times of 4.30 seconds in both his 40's, with some watches timing Knox in the high 4.2-area. Knox then put in a terrific pass-catching workout and the few times he did drop a pass, he took extra reps to make up for his miscue. He's another who improved his draft stock some 60 slots.
Pat White/QB/West Virginia: White picked up where he left off after the Senior Bowl game, where he was the MVP. He was accurate on most of his passes, showing solid arm strength and accuracy throughout the practice session. White was impressive making a number of NFL-type throws. He's determined to be a signal-caller in the NFL and looked like one today, even though he was wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. Entering the combine White was asked by scouts to take a few repetitions at receiver. He did not do so after his terrific quarterback workout.
Knowshon Moreno/RB/Georgia: Moreno separated himself from the field and now clearly ranks as the top back heading towards April's draft. He weighed a stout 217 pounds, completed 25 reps on the bench and ran solid 40 times in the mid-to-upper 4.5 second area. Moreno really stood out during the running back drill session where he displayed outstanding quickness, footwork and pass-catching hands.
Mike Thomas/WR/Arizona: Thomas sizzled in the 40, running in the low 4.3's then had a terrific pass-catching workout. He ran good routes and caught just about everything thrown to him. He measured just a fraction under 5-foot-8-inches, which will knock him off some boards around the league.
Brian Hoyer/QB/Michigan State: Hoyer displayed terrific accuracy and a solid intermediate range arm this afternoon. He was dead on with most of his throws and has established himself as a terrific passer for a timing offense. With the state of the senior quarterback class in disarray Hoyer has likely moved into the middle rounds.
Kory Sheets/RB/Purdue: Sheets was another fast skill player and ran right around 4.40 seconds on both tries of the 40. During drills, Sheets displayed great quickness and the ability to turn on his second gear with a single step. He also looked very natural catching the ball.
Cedric Peerman/RB/Virginia: Peerman ran much faster than expected, stopping watches under 4.4-seconds in the 40. He showed the same speed during the drill session and worked hard. Peerman does have a tendency to lose a lot of momentum when he must quickly change direction and looked a bit straight-line-ish carrying the ball.
Kenny Mckinley/WR/South Carolina: McKinley also exceeded expectations, running in the mid 4-3's in the 40. McKinley also caught the ball very well and practiced at the same speed he timed, dispelling any belief that he's just a possession receiver who cannot stretch the field.
Josh Freeman/QB/Kansas State: Freeman's day can be best described as erratic. He started off slow, then picked up his passing in the middle of the practice session. Late in the practice session, Freeman's deep outs were inaccurate and all over the place. His combine performance was not terrible, but it did not cement Freeman as a first-round choice, which many are predicting.
Shonn Greene/RB/Iowa: Greene was slow on Sunday, clocking both his 40 times in the mid 4.7-second area after weighing in at 227 pounds. He displayed limited quickness in drills and dropped several passes.
Mark Sanchez/QB/USC: Sanchez struggled most of the day and may have pushed himself out of the draft's first 10 selections. He was accurate throwing between the numbers, but Sanchez sprayed the outs and was very inaccurate with his deep outs. Most worrisome is Sanchez showed marginal arm strength and on a number of occasions receivers were slowing up in their deep patterns as his passes were underthrown.
Derrick Williams/WR/Penn State: Williams displayed a lot of natural receiving skill and caught the ball well while also running good routes. His 40 times, which were in the 4.6-second range, is going to cause Williams' draft stock to drop.
Jason Boltus/QB/Hartwick: Boltus struggled on the big stage and did not show the skills to make scouts believe he has a real big future at the next level. His accuracy was poor most of the day. In once instance, Jeremy Maclin contorted backwards then fell to the ground trying to catch one of his errant passes. Maclin momentarily left the field with a left leg injury.
The Andre Smith story isn't going to die any time soon. Since his surprising disappearance on Saturday, Smith and his agent are in full damage control. The mood at Lucas Oil Stadium amongst scouts was the feeling Smith could drop out of the draft's first 10 picks, yet the team that grabs him could get a steal if the light goes on in his head.
Percy Harvin ran some disappointing times in the 40, struggling to get under 4.4-seconds, not as fast as most predicted. He then did not partake in the pass-catching drills.
NFL Truth & Rumors