Wednesday was a busy day for draft news.was again in the news. Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with the media to discuss various draft topics. But we start with the top running back available in next month's NFL Draft, who participated in his Pro Day yesterday.
Ingram has strong workout, easing concerns about speed
Mark Ingram is the consensus number one running back in the 2011 draft class and is a virtual lock to be a first round pick next month. But coming out of the Combine in Indianapolis last month were concerns about Ingram's top-end speed. These concerns stemmed from his disappointing "official" 40 yard dash time of 4.62 seconds. Despite his outstanding 10 yard split time (1.53) that accentuates his elite burst, that "slow" 40 time was worrying many.
Fear not, Mark Ingram fans. On film, Ingram plays faster than a 4.62 guy. And in Tuscaloosa yesterday, Ingram timed faster. There are no official times at Pro Day workouts. But the NFL Network's Mike Mayock hand-timed Ingram at 4.54 and 4.56 in his two attempts. He admitted that he also cross-checked his time with other scouts in attendance who were all in the same area. Gil Brandt, for example, had Mark at 4.53 and 4.56.
So let's call Ingram a mid 4.5s back and put those speed concerns to bed. Mid 4.5s with truly elite burst and outstanding power is enough to cement his status as a top 20 talent.
Ingram himself, though, makes a point that I think most would agree with regarding timed speed at the running back position.
"I think it's important. But sometimes you have to turn on the tape. The difference between 4.4 and 4.6 is like that," Ingram said, holding his thumb and index finger a couple of inches apart. "On the football field, that kind of evens out a bit."
Dolphins one of many teams to schedule private workout with Newton
As I just mentioned, the Dolphins have the 15th pick in the draft, which seems like it would be too low to even have to consider Auburn QB Cam Newton. But the Dolphins are nonetheless doing their homework. NFL.com is reporting that the Dolphins are one of at least eight teams to have scheduled a date to host Cam Newton and hold a private workout with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.
All of the seven other teams named in the report select before the Dolphins will be on the clock in round one.
One could speculate that the Dolphins' interest in hosting Newton might mean the team is considering moving up in the draft to land the quarterback. Or one could simply say that the team is preparing for all scenarios in next month's draft - including the unlikely scenario that Newton remains on the board after the first 14 picks.
Regardless, this little nugget is sure to stir up some debate amongst fans.
Other draft notes from Wednesday:
- Mel Kiper believes that GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano do not have the time to develop a rookie quarterback. He's also clearly not high on Chad Henne. Kiper says that he was never a fan of Henne's when he came out of school and admits to seeing the same issues pop up in the pros as they did in college at Michigan.
- Kiper also believes that teams will be able to find interior line help in the mid rounds of this draft - good news for a Dolphins team that needs some help inside.
- Speaking of interior linemen, Wisconsin's John Moffitt was reportedly "strong" in positional drills during his Pro Day yesterday.
- Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter - one of my favorite backs in the draft - proved his Combine 40 time of 4.46 was no fluke. He ran a 4.43 at his Pro Day. Hunter is a day two prospect who could be on Miami's radar. He's surly on mine.