published Monday, February 28th, 2011

5 at 10: Tiger, Vols, and the NFL Combine

The response was great to Friday’s mailbag that offered punishments (non-violent, of course) for lifelong Alabama fan Harvey Updyke — AKA Al from Dadeville — who was arrested for allegedly poisoning the 130-year-old oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn. The votes are in, and ElJefe’s idea about forcing Al from Dadeville to burn all his Tide gear and following several steps that included wearing a sandwich board won. PDavi’s idea about having him grade Nick Fairley’s Wonderlic test finished a surprising second. Thanks again for the all the feedback, and remember we do the mailbag every Friday.

Here we go... 

NFL Combine

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    Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The 5-at-10 loves the NFL Draft. You know this.

Naturally, the 5-at-10 loves the NFL draft combine. You know this as well.

Let’s just say, Sunday’s combine results may not have been described as theater to everyone — but it was close.

A lot of the scouting process is done behind closed doors in the interview process and by judging scores on the NFL’s Wonderlic test (some sources had former Alabama quarterback and Rhodes scholar candidate Greg McElroy scoring a 48 out of a possible 50; you can take a sample test here http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/existence/wonderlic.html). 

That said, the running backs, receivers and quarterbacks went through the physical drills Sunday, and the results were interesting.

The good

— Julio Jones, Alabama: Jones measured at 220 pounds and close to 6-foot-3 (yes, Johnny SEC Fan, every time his picture appeared on Saturdays in the fall, the graphic said he was 6-4; he was far from the only player who somehow shrunk from his school’s program). He jumped through the roof — 38 inches up and 11-foot-3 broad — and ran a blistering 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. A.J. Green may still be the first receiver off the board come April, but Jones turned a lot of heads Sunday.

— Stephen Paea, Oregon State: Welcome to the party, Stephen. The massive defensive tackle shot up draft boards with a record-setting bench press showing with 49 reps at 225 pounds. Paea made himself arguably more than $1 million Sunday. Well, depending if the lock-out gets settled and, nevermind.

The bad

— Mark Ingram, Alabama and A.J. Green, Georgia: This is a picking of nits since both of these guys almost certainly are going to be first-round picks, but the 40 times of each were surprisingly slow. Ingram was clocked in the 4.6s and Green was at 4.48.

— Torrey Smith, Maryland: Smith has been mentioned as a late first-round pick, and physically he looked the part. But Smith struggled catching the ball Sunday, and the 5-at-10 doesn’t care if you’re faster than a bullet, a receiver that can’t catch it can’t help.

The surprising

— Roy Helu, Nebraska and Mario Fannin, Auburn and a slew of other running backs who you may or may not have heard of before: The two-back in the NFL craze almost will certainly. Helu, who is a touch undersized, was awesome in the shuttle and cone drills that are designed to show superior quickness and agility. Fannin, who had trouble with fumbles at Auburn and ranked as the team’s fourth leading rusher, measured bigger than Mark Ingram and ran a faster 40 (4.38) than Julio Jones. Another name on this list is Anthony Allen, the former Georgia Tech fullback, who measured in the 230-pound range and ran a 40 in the mid-4.5s.

— Randall Cobb, Kentucky: The former Mr. Do-It-All for the Wildcats was moving up draft boards as a playmaker, in the Hines Ward-mold. He was not expected to test particularly well, but that was of little concern. Cobb ran a 4.46 in the 40 Sunday and secured his spot in Day 2 and may have moved into Round 1. 

Cam’s iconoclast

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    Auburn quarterback Cam Newton laughs as he drops back to throw as he runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Despite the overwhelming star power on display Sunday at the combine, Cam Newton was again the center of attention this weekend. It was a mixed bag for the Heisman Trophy winner

He discussed his “entertainer, icon” comment — he said the question was about his endorsement deal and how he certainly could have phrased it better.

He referred to himself in the third person on numerous occasions — the-5-at-10 gives the 5-at-10’s seal of approval on that trait, however.

He showed out on the physical tests Sunday — running a 4.59 and posting the best quarterback broad jump.

His throws were dubbed inconsistent, and that seems to be generous, especially on the mid-range throws that are hallmarks of NFL offenses.

Plus, with the impressive outings of Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallett and even Colin Kaepernick, will make the quarterback shuffle leading up to the draft even more dramatic.

College hoops update, Volume 6, Chapter 1

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    Tennessee's Melvin Goins (2) is helped to his feet by teammate Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon (34) after being fouled on a three point shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 104-84. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

— Wow, how about that postgame rant of Bruce Pearl after Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State? No leadership? Wow. Let’s just say that the Vols have a huge window of possibility with a week left in the regular season. They could miss the dance; they could be a darkhorse for the Final Four; and anything in between is possible. TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer nailed Pearl’s postgame rant HERE.

— The 5-at-10 dubbed Louisville as the prototype for the team that will wreck your bracket. The Cardinals’ mixed bag was present Sunday. Louisville beat No. 6 Pitt in overtime on Sunday; the Cardinals also lost Rakeem Buckles to a knee injury. Good and bad, up and down, Hello and goodbye... Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re Louisville Cardinals.

— BYU may land a No. 1 seed. Read that again. And truth be told, go against Jimmer Fredette at your own risk. The kid can flat-out score, and if you think a super-scorer and a bunch of solid role players can’t make a run, ask the Butler Bulldogs. Or Carmelo’s Syracuse team. You’ve been warned.

— What happened to Georgia Tech hoops? Growing up in the South, there was a time that the ThrillaDome was a tough ticket. Now, the Jackets are silent. They’re 0-10 away from home and there are plenty of good seats available when they are at home. Sad. 

— Congats to the UTC men’s basketball team for winning the North Division. Has there been a more up-and-down team in recent memory? There are schizophrenics that watch the Mocs play and say, “Man, that’s an unpredictable bunch.”

Hey, didn’t you used to be Jeff Gordon

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    Jeff Gordon celebrates his win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Not much more to add other than a congrats to Gordon, who ended his 66-race winless streak by taking the checkered flag at Phoenix.

The 5-at-10 is not entirely sure, but there’s a bootleg copy of his off-camera post-race news conference. It may or may not have gone like this:

Gordon: We just beat Kyle Busch.

Question: What was the secret, Jeff?

Gordon: Well, it’s one of those racin’ deals. The Fight to end Hunger, No. 24 Chevy team was special today. We were hungry, but we’re fighting to end hunger, but still hungry to win, you know what I mean. It’s racin’. Where’s the beer?

Question: Is there something special about this win?

Gordon: They’re all special, but really, this winless stretch has been hard. I knew once we got Dr. B off the bandwagon, we’d be able to get moving.

This and That

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    Tiger Woods walks off the course after losing to Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, in 19 holes during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

— The final round of the WGC Match Play was Sunday. Luke Donald beat Martin Kaymer. In other news, crickets make sweet, soothing noises. Pork chops taste good. I love lamp. Why does... FOR THE LOVE OF GOODNESS, GET BETTER TIGER. Golf is desperate for you.

— Did you watch the Academy Awards? Interesting stuff. It was the night of TKS — Loved that The Kids Signing was such an overwhelming hit; Loved that “The King’s Speech” ruled the night; Loved that The Kirk’s Soliloquy was so well-received. (Must admit, the 5-at-10 had a joke here about how great Kirk Douglas’ impression of Dick Clark was, but Mrs. 5-at-10 made us take it out.)

— We’ll cover this a lot more later this week, but the NFL labor talks are starting to get to a critical point. The deadline is Thursday. There is talk about the players’ association decertifying so they can challenge the NFL’s ability to lock them out. The 5-at-10 is just your everyday Interweb-based, family-oriented rambling, and those are big world thoughts and phrases. It sure sounds bad for NFL fans, though.

Until tomorrow.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
BIspy4 said...

C'mon, 5 at 10, you know what wins a race.

February 28, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy, Well, it's one of those deals where on this hand you favoritism, and over here it's who knows who. Either it's that — or it's all about the tires. BIspy4, who's your pick at the Masters now that Eldrick's awful? — 5-at-10

February 28, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.
patrickd said...

To win a race you have to finish the race.

February 28, 2011 at 5:33 p.m.
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