There were actually a few in some NFL circles who claimed on Monday that Mike Zimmer’s assessment of a meeting with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last Friday – a private session the Minnesota Vikings’ rookie coach said produced "some flags” – might have been posturing.
Certainly a few years ago, the news that suddenly-free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson will visit with the Washington Redskins on Monday, presumably the first of what might be several sit-downs with potential new employers, wouldn’t have been greeted with much surprise.
Back then, right after “Sir, Al Davis is calling,” the words that guys representing free agents most wanted to hear were: “Dan Snyder is holding on Line 1.”
It is likely viewed in the offices of the Philadelphia Eagles as the classic case of addition by subtraction, basically the football equivalent of treating a migraine with an industrial-sized bottle of Excedrin. Around the rest of the NFL world, however, the Friday afternoon release of problematic wide receiver DeSean Jackson wasn’t seen so much as the latest example of one team ridding itself of a poison . . .
. . . as it was the chance for some other franchise to land a dynamic playmaker.
Coming off his solid appearances in the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl all-star contest, Louisiana Tech star Justin Ellis (pictured) enthusiastically declared to one media guy: “I love being a nose tackle.”
It was a sentiment that Ellis reiterated, both to reporters and apparently to teams as well, at the February combine.
It seems universally accepted that South Carolina end Jadeveon Clowney will be the first defensive lineman, and top defensive player overall, selected on May 8.
But when it comes to the defensive line, then what? Or, more accurately, then who?
The headlines suggest that Mark Sanchez is getting “a fresh start” in Philadelphia.
Talk about inappropriate terms.
The Monday “Featured Article” on PTD centered on nose tackles, but also touched on the importance of nickel or “slot” cornerbacks in defensive schemes that try to counter the pass so much anymore. And in that regard, Utah State senior Nevin Lawson, who will participate in the school’s Tuesday “pro day” workout session, will figure prominently.
There are a few more Aggies’ prospects, most notably center Tyler Larsen, who merit watching. But Lawson, who made 39 straight starts, is the main attraction for the scouts who attend.
There aren’t many men I trust in general more than SMU coach June Jones, one of the finest people I’ve ever met in 3 ½ decades of covering the league. If my son was a quarterback, instead of a graphics art designer, there certainly aren’t any men I would trust more than Jones to develop his talents.
There may be some hybrid “edge” prospects about whom NFL scouts still remain undecided as the draft nears, players about whom there are still questions regarding the best scheme and positional fit, but Georgia Tech’s Jeremiah Attaochu probably is not one of them.
Not after Friday’s “pro day” workout on the school’s campus.