NFL Combine approaches with first prospects set to hit field Friday

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Kyler Murray
No matter what he does, all eyes at the NFL Combine will be on Kyler Murray.

The NFL Scouting Combine starts Tuesday when players start to arrive in Indianapolis. The draft hopefuls won’t hit the field until Friday.

At 9 a.m. Friday, March 1, it will be running backs, offensive lineman punters and kickers on display.

March 2 at 10 a.m. will be the time for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends.

March 3 at 9 a.m. features defensive linemen and linebackers

March 4 at 9 a.m. is when defensive backs take the field.

NOTES

Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, the top-rated quarterback in the draft, said he will throw at the combine, but quarterback Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, rated right behind Haskins, said he has not decided if he will throw.

Defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons out of Mississippi State was to be barred from performing in Indy due to an off the field issue. He tore an ACL working out for the draft anyway. Simmons can only attend the medical evaluation and interview part of the process.

Defensive end Jaylon Ferguson, the NCAA’s all-time sack leader from Louisiana Tech, and wide receiver Preston Williams of Colorado State were also barred from the combine due to off the field issues but the NFL tweaked its decision like with Simmons. Both can now attend to only undergo medical evaluation and interviews, not on the field drills.

Alabama safety Deionte Thompson will not undergo on the field testing due to a torn wrist ligament.

Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, the top- rated quarterback in the draft, said he will throw at the combine, but quarterback Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, rated right behind Haskins, said he has not decided if he will throw.

LSU players to watch at the combine are linebacker Devin White and cornerback Greedy Williams, both first round picks. Other Tigers include running back Nick Brossette, tight end Foster Moreau, safety John Battle and kicker Cole Tracy.

What do the Saints need? The list includes a tight end with Ben Watson’s retirement, a defensive tackle with the Achilles injury of Sheldon Rankins, a safety with the release of Kurt Coleman and maybe a running back if Mark Ingram is not resigned. More depth on the offensive line, particularly a backup swing tackle, would help. A wide receiver to pair with Michael Thomas is a must, either in the draft or free agency.

The Saints draft picks (a total of 6 selections) are No. 62 overall late in round 2, No. 168 in round 5, no. 177 in round 6, No. 202 in round 6 and both No. 231 and No. 244 in round 7.

Even though the Patriots won the Super Bowl, they have the most selections with 12 including four compensatory picks. The Saints, of course, have no compensatory selections
as usual. In fact, New Orleans has received the fewest comp picks of any team in the NFL over the years. Something seems not right with that picture. The best gets better.

I will have notes on the combine and test results next week on CCS.

E-Mail Al for info on his annual Draft Day Report, now in its 40th year of publication ([email protected]).

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