[caption id="attachment_16970" align="aligncenter" width="480"] West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)[/caption]I had a chance to go inside Lucas Oil Stadium this morning and watch the first group of receivers and quarterbacks work through the route tree from a box suite.
I saw Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell watching from the field, and head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider sitting together watching from the stands.
You also see interesting pairings of people sitting together watching the action. For instance, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson sat with San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke and Seahawks senior executive Scot McCloughan watching the action.
Obviously, all three know each other from their years working together -- Thompson and McCloughan in Green Bay, and Baalke an McLoughlin in San Francisco.
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Here’s some thumbnail notes that I took on players that could make sense for Seattle.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia – I thought Austin was the most impressive receiver in this group. Not only did he run a blistering time of 4.25 in the 40-yard dash, he also showed polished route running skills and consistently caught the ball well. He’s very coordinated and has a great sense of where he is on the field. I also like the fact that although he’s fast, he’s not a one-speed player. He has the ability to change gears and shift speeds, which is one of the things that makes him so elusive. The only question I have is his ability to get off press coverage as an outside receiver at 5-8, 175 pounds. However, Austin did push out 14 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds, which is impressive for a guy his size.
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee – I was real impressed with Hunter’s route-running ability as a big receiver. He transitions in and out of breaks well, and at 6-4, 198 pounds I think he could create separation at the next level. Hunter ran a 4.46 40-yard time, so he certainly can stretch the defense as an X receiver. He also caught the ball well for the most part, although he did have a couple drops.
Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State – At 6-1 and 229 pounds, Harper showed a nice ability to get in and out of breaks for a big receiver. An also caught the ball pretty well, and with a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, he has plenty of speed to get down field. With the NFL moving to bigger corners on the outside, I like Harper as a possession-type receiver who can help you move the chains on third down.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Interesting prospect. Very productive in college. From watching him on the field, he looks like a crafty, explosive athlete. He caught and attacked the ball well and had good overall awareness of where he was at on the field But he also ran choppy routes.
Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington – The Division I-AA prospect did not look out of place with the big boys. He ran a 4.67 40-yard time, which is not bad for a guy his size (6-5, 216 pounds), although he wanted to run in the 4.5s. He caught the ball well and ran pretty polished routes. The only negative I saw is I would have liked to see him look a little more explosive on the deep routes.
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall – He made several nice catches during the route-running drills, including a one-handed catch on an out route and a diving grab on an in route. That’s not surprising, because Dobson was known for having sticky hands if you’ve watched any of his highlights on YouTube.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas – Also ran a blistering 4.25 in the 40-yard-dash. Decent route runner and quick getting in and out of his breaks, but was inconsistent catching the ball.
Quarterbacks – The players in the group that I wanted to watch didn’t throw (Matt Barkley, Zac Dysert). The ones that did throw were not impressive. Collin Klein has a funky throwint motion and was not accurate. Landry Jones showed average arm strength and had trouble throwing the deep ball. Mike Glennon has a live arm, but at his size you wonder about his ability to make good, quick decisions and avoid the rush at the next level.