By Matt Fontana
The NFL combine starts in a big way, literally. The first groups to hit the workouts will be offensive line and tight ends. Each group not only features some big boys, but also includes some big names. They will work out on Saturday
Biggest name: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Kalil has cemented himself as the #1 OL in this year’s draft and is projected to fall no further than #4 overall. At 6-7, 295 Kalil is lean, but powerful. Expect him to be one of the faster linemen at the combine.
Browns fans know: Mike Adams and Mike Brewster
Both OSU alums are looking to make a splash at the combine. Adams has quickly risen on many draft boards as a RT and could possibly be taken in the first round. Brewster, on the other hand, was hurt by a disastrous season year. He is currently a Top 5 center looking at rounds 4-7.
Unknown name: Nate Potter- OT, Boise St.
Nate started 34 career games at left tackle for pass heavy Boise State. He has good footwork and speed but Potter’s issue lies with his size -- 6-6, 300 LBS. He is very lean for an offensive tackle in the NFL. This combine is huge for Potter to show he has added strength.
OL Drills: Kick/Slide Drill
The kick/slide drill is where offensive linemen show their footwork by pass protecting vs. a defensive end. Linemen kick their outside foot and slide their other to give themselves a strong base to deal with pass rushers. The kick/slide is the most basic pass protection in the NFL.
Biggest Name: Coby Fleener, Stanford
Fleener excelled at Stanford in its pass friendly offense. Fleener finished 2011 with a team leading 10 TD’s and 667 yards. His most impressive stat? He averaged 19.6 yards per catch. He provides a downfield threat with good route-running. Look for Fleener to be the first or second TE taken, possibly in the second round.
Unknown: Kevin Koger, Michigan
Koger is the model of a traditional tight end. He was a solid blocker for Denard Robinson all season. His biggest hurdle will be his size. At 6-3, Koger is on the smaller side of NFL tight ends. Look for him in rounds 5-7.
TE Drills: The Gauntlet
This drill is used both by WR and TE. A player will start on one sideline, catch one pass, turn around, catch another and sprint across the field. From there he will catch five passes while sprinting across the field. This give NFL scouts an idea of hands and vision while receiving. Additionally some TE will take place some blocking drills, most of the time just blocking form.
The big boys get us started with workouts at the 2012 NFL Combine. Up next, the other parts of the offense- QB, WR and RB’s.
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