Skill players light up workouts in RCA DomePosted: Sunday March 03, 2002 7:48 PM
By Tony Pauline, TFY Draft Preview
INDIANAPOLIS -- The action at the Combine really picked up on Sunday when the quarterbacks, receivers and defensive linemen worked out. The pace was fast and so were many of the 40-yard-dash times run at the RCA Dome.
If you thought prior to this weekend that the race for the top spot at the quarterback position was close, then it just turned razor thin as Joey Harrington looked superb today throwing.
David Carr did not run in the 40 and Harrington clocked a pair of subpar timings in the 4.9-area but after that the fireworks started.
Carr’s throwing workout was solid, rather than the spectacular practices he had during the Senior Bowl. His passes were crisp and accurate in the short field and he easily showed the best arm in his group of signal-callers. Carr did have difficulty with the deep outs and was not placing his throws all that accurately. His sidearm, through-the-ear delivery, was also quite apparent to many of the scouts in attendance.
Then it was Harrington’s turn and he threw lights out. Harrington, who is sick with the flu but decided to tough it out, displayed a strong and accurate arm throwing all the passes in every direction of the field. His spirals were tight and most importantly, he threw a very catchable ball. Most impressively, he brilliantly placed the deep outs for his receivers, something the scouts here really wanted to see.
One could only imagine what Houston general manager Charley Casserly was thinking as he walked away from his front-row seat on the 50-yard line at the RCA Dome.
Strong showing for wide receivers
The wideouts also stood out. Tim Carter of Auburn sizzled turning in two 40-yard times in the low 4.3 area, almost breaking that mythical barrier. Andre Davis of Virginia Tech also ran fast as did Aaron Lockett of Kansas State. Possibly the most impressive receiver was Jevon Walker of Florida State. After running much fast then expected, (both 40 times in the low 4.4 area), Walker led his receiver group with a vertical jump of 39.5 inches and did the same on at the broad jump, bounding 10 feet, 6 inches. Walker also caught everything in sight that was thrown to him during drills.
Good and not-so-good defensive line efforts
Several defensive linemen stood up and took notice today. Georgia underclassmen Charles Grant did not run but looked impressive in drills, even when used at linebacker. Alabama-Birmingham’s Bryan Thomas continued the tear he was on from the Senior Bowl.
After scorching to a 4.48 clocking on his first attempt at the 40, Thomas then turned in a 4.55, though he hurt his groin midway through the run. With a heavily wrapped thigh, Thomas tried to continue with the drills but could not. Still, he turned in an admirable vertical jump of 34.5 inches, even with a bad leg.
That was seven inches better then John Henderson who had a tough day. The Tennessee defender did not run in the 40 then looked only average during the drills before turning in his poor performance on the vertical jump. Another SEC defensive lineman that does not look good is Kentucky junior Dennis Johnson who ran slow and performed poorly on all the athletic tests.