Coaches also saw much to like about Georgia's Eric Zeier and Alabama's Jay Barker, one of whom—or maybe both—should be drafted by the middle of the second round.
On the rise: Scouts fell in love with Boston College pass rusher Mike Mamula, who surprised them when he came out early and then had a four-sack performance against Kansas State in the Aloha Bowl. The 6'5", 242-pound Mamula ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds, cleared 38 inches in the vertical leap and bench-pressed 225 pounds 30 times. How impressive are those figures? Well, most wide receivers can't jump that high, and most offensive linemen aren't able to bench-press so much weight that many times. Mamula vaulted from being perhaps a third-round draft pick to possibly going in the middle of the first round.
On the decline: Ohio State tackle Korey Stringer might have eaten himself out of the first round. He showed up weighing 345 pounds, about 30 over his playing weight, and refused to take the weightlifting test.
The free-agent signing period begins on Friday, and with wideout Sterling Sharpe sidelined for at least all of next season following neck surgery, the Packers will go hot after Falcon free-agent receiver Andre Rison. Also, the Packers will probably take one team out of the market for a young quarterback by trading Mark Brunch, 24, a well-regarded lefthanded passer, for a low first-or second-round pick.
The End Zone
The Giants traditionally give the most arduous mental-aptitude test at the combine, and one question on their exam this year—which had 462 questions—left Florida defensive end Kevin Carter shaking his head. "I couldn't believe it," said Carter. "They asked, 'True or false: I would like to do the work of a dressmaker.' " For the record, Carter's answer was: false.