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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

10 to watch at the combine


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3. Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina: The knock on Nicks is that he doesn't have straight-line speed, but he has been in Naples, Fla., working hard to disprove that. Nicks is a fine athlete with excellent college production. His 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl performance, when he had eight catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns, should be all the information a coach needs, but, of course, it's never enough.


8. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland: Some people look at Heyward-Bey as a track guy, meaning they believe he's a straight-line speed player who might not love football. The fear is that he's another Troy Williamson who can go deep but isn't a complete receiver



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Something else to look out for while being awed by the numbers...


One year later, Vernon Gholston still is creating a buzz at the NFL scouting combine - but not all positive. Gholston, coming off a washout rookie season with the Jets, is the new cautionary tale for pro scouts: The workout wonder who raised his draft stock with a monster combine, then flopped on the field. After leaving Ohio State as a junior, the 6-3, 265-pound Gholston sprinted like a running back (4.65 seconds in the 40) and pumped iron like an offensive lineman (37 reps on the 225-pound bench press) in Indianapolis, numbers that still awe scouts. Then-coach Eric Mangini was smitten with the sculpted defensive end-turned-linebacker, and the Jets chose him with the No.6 pick. You know the rest - no starts, no sacks and only five tackles as a rookie. "He had good sack numbers (in college), but he didn't do anything else," said an NFC scout, whose team rated Gholston as only a third-round prospect. "The thing is, when someone has a workout like that, I can promise you, the coach says, 'I can make this kid a player.'"



As Billick said..."That's the last time they'll run a 40."

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