I got a chance to go inside the stadium and watch some of the combine workouts this afternoon. Each reporter that volunteered to attend a workout session was assigned a player to write a few paragraphs evaluating that player's performance for the pool report. A report is compiled on each player, and then put together by the Pro Football Writers Association and circulated among its members.
I was assigned Central Washington quarterback Mike Reilly.
Remember, I was a receiver, not a quarterback in college. But here's what I wrote.
QB Mike Reilly, Central Washington
A small-school product, Reilly didn't look out of place. His 40-yard time (4.92) and vertical jump (30.5) were among the top 10 quarterbacks.
He struggled with accuracy early in passing drills. He appeared to be overthrowing the ball at the onset. Accuracy improved as the workout wore on, and seemed to be his strength at the end.
He showed athletic ability and good footwork in his drops, and threw the ball particularly well moving to his left. He seemed to lack velocity throwing sideline routes, but threw the deep ball and post-corner routes better than expected -- showed nice touch on both throws.
It was perhaps the weirdest environment I experienced being in a football stadium. Scouts sat huddled in small groups spread out around the sidelines in the stands, talking in hushed tones. If someone began to raise their voice, a scout would raise up and give you that look your mom gave you as a child when she was a half-second away from slapping you upside the head, and you would then know to be quiet. It was like being in a library, and you could here some of the conversations on the field, even from where we were sitting.
It seemed like every scout had a stop watch.
Reporters sat in suites at about the 30-yard line
I saw Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp working with the quarterbacks. He particularly seemed to be spending a lot of time with Reilly, giving him advice throughout the workout.
I was most impressed with Ohio State receiver Brian Robiske. In my opinion he was by far the most polished receiver I saw in his group. He isn't lightening fast (4.49 40), but he gets in and out of breaks real well for a big guy, does not slow down to catch the ball and was also conscious about moving up field, even when he fell down after making a great catch.
I would not be surprised if Seattle takes a look at Robiske with their second round pick, as he could come in and have an impact right away.
The other receiver I liked was Arizona's Mike Thomas. He's not big (5-8, 195) but he's fast (4.40 40) and has good hands. He also looks like he has some RAC ability.
I thought USC's Mark Sanchez looked just OK. Sanchez, shown here, doesn't have a great arm, but he proved very accurate and showed great anticipation for guys coming out of their breaks. I thought he would run faster (4.97 I believe), but he did look like he had pretty good feet in passing drills. And he seems to have a presence about him like he knows he's in control.
It was good to get out of the media center and actually see the drills live.