It’s a tradition like any other.
Welcome to… Sports Illustrated’s Peter King’s NFL Scouting Combine Tweetup, 2013 Edition.
I made my annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis to soak up some NFL knowledge and bask in NFL beat writer goodness.
This year’s illustrious panel included:
Hosts Peter King of Sports Illustrated (PK – @SI_PeterKing) and
Will Carroll of Bleacher Report (WC – @injuryexpert),
Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner (DF – @SC_DougFarrar),
Albert Breer of NFL Network (AB – @AlbertBreer),
Adam Schefter of ESPN (AS – @AdamSchefter),
Mike Tanier from Sports on Earth (MT – @MikeTanier),
Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star (BK – @bkravitz),
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times (SJ – @seankjensen),
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe (GB – @gregabedard),
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (MM – @nfldraftscout),
Mike Chappell of the Indy Star (MC – @mchappell51).
NFL fans in attendance as well as several fans and via Google+ hangout asked questions and the panel did their best to answer them.
PK: The Ravens would love to see Manti Te’o teamed up with Bengals free agent Rey Maualuga to solidify their defense.
(AS and AB join the panel.)
(Mike Tanier was Joe Flacco’s calculus teacher in high school.) He says Flacco is pretty much the same guy.
MM: The big surprise riser in this combine is FSU’s DE Tank Carradine.
AS: Doesn’t think SJ will get the $7 million he’s looking for.
AS: AFC breakout player – Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders, NFC – Rams RB Isaiah Pead. Siting that with SJ’s departure Pead will get a bigger role in the offense.
AS: 49ers have 14 picks in the draft. If there was a team to take a chance on Marcus Lattimore, it’d be the 49ers.
BK: I think the Colts overachieved with last year’s roster. Don’t underestimate the Chuck Pagano factor in their success in 2012.
PK: “If the NFL could make 10 cents more moving the NFL draft to Savannah, GA they would do it.”
PK: The big question is how well the Jacksonville Jaguars be accepted in Europe the 3-4 years.
AB: American football will have to rise to break the top 5 in popularity in the UK to make it realistic.
GB thinks Welker will not be tagged but resign with the Patriots and finish out his career with Brady.
(Now entering the panel are SJ and CB.)
AB: Free agent supply outweighs the free agent demand.
GB: Greg Jennings will not get $14 million.
SJ thinks the new Bears regime will be boom or bust. Emery holds most of the cards in the deck.
PK’s favorite interview – Brett Favre. Favre talked like Billy Bob Thorton from Slingblade.
SJ: The Vikings had no intention of giving Adrian Peterson that many carries. It was out of necessity – Ponder.
MM: The Chiefs starting QB in week one will be… Alex Smith.
MT: The most overrated player is… Matt Ryan.
MM and DF: The Honey Badger will go in the fourth round.
GB: Chip Kelly will either be a sonic boom or an epic bust.
AB: The next/best college coach to make the jump to the NFL… David Shaw. (Most of the panel agrees.)
My question for the panel: Who is the one free agent the Rams need to go after? PK: I don’t know.
AB: Mike Wallace, MT: Jake Long. (Wild boos ring out from Rams fans in attendance: i.e. @wynnde13 and @a_quality_guy)
The highlight of evening had to be when Adam Schefter came back to retrieve the most important item he probably carries on his person – his cell phone. It took him a couple of minutes to realize he had left it behind. Can you imagine the NFL rumors that could have been started with his phone?
JoeBucsFan was also at the tweetup and did a great job of jotting down more stuff. So here is @JoeBucsFan’s version of the evening with more tweets. Many thanks to JBF!
King: Te’o biggest circus at combine he has seen. Per Gil Brandt, Te’o 30% bigger than Tebow.
Ravens begging for Te’o to drop says King.
Breer believes Jake Long and Paul Kruger will hit free agency.
Bedard: Pats will go after Dwight Freeney.
Mike Tanier Joe Flacco’s former math teacher.
Tanier: Flacoo still the came guy as in high school.
Schefter thinks Mike Wallace will have teams driving up price for his services. “Crush it.” Also thinks ton more players will be cut.
One of the panelists believes Tank Carradine will make biggest splash in
Schefter: Emmanuel Sanders to break out in 2013.
Panthers to go after DT in draft.
Breer: Lattimore injury worse than McGahee. Questionable if he can play this season.
King: People come ack from ACLs in 10 minutes.
King cites Frank Gore injuries as not to worry about Lattimore. Schefter says 49ers draft Lattimore late.
Bob Kravitz: Colts made playoffs because of Chuck Pagano’s cancer.
King: Ahmad Bradshaw cut for several reasons including the rise of crying David Wilson.
Tanier: No reason to feel good about Houston so long as Matt Schaub calling signals.
King: If the NFL thinks it can make money holding combine in Savannah, it would do so.
Breer: Medical exams would be problematic for different combine sites.
Schefter: No player or coach in the NFL likes Thursday nights. King said Mike McCarthy and the Packers do. Unless injuries are up, Thursday games to stay.
Shad Khan wants to play two Jags games a year in Europe.
Breer: NFL to Brits is maybe No. 8 sport behind cricket.
Bedard: Yes, there will be an NFL team in Europe. NFL wants a European division/conference.
Mike Chappell: Luck has crazy expectations, higher than when Manning was drafted.
Many on panel don’t believe Greg Jennings will get $14 million a year.
Bedard: Greg Jennings is an inside receiver + injury prone = low offers.
Breer: NFL perception of SoCal QBs is that they are “manufactured” and overcoached. Matt Barkley = Kellen Moore.
Jensen on why Bears picked Marc Trestman: Phil Emery wants to run the Bears without a fight from coach. Wanted a puppet.
Tanier: Teams don’t care if they burn out RBs because RBs want the ball so much. It is an ego thing.
King: Shaun Alexander’s contract ruined it for running backs.
Chappell: Colts used up Edgerrin James but he didn’t care. He wanted the ball more.
King: Fave athlete to interview was Brett Favre.
Tanier: Most overrated is Matt Ryan.
King: Chucky not critical enough.
King: NFL’s sentence to Sean Payton “unjust.” This begins an argument among panelists.
Breer: Reggie Bush to Lions.
King: NFL doesn’t want a second bye week.
Hot chick on Google+ wants to know what her chances are with Tebow.
King: Amendola + Jackson will leave Rams.
King: NFL has power to force 18-game schedule no matter how much NFLPA kicks and screams. Won’t happen for couple of years.
Tanier: Denard Robinson to Eagles.
Bedard: Belicheat cannot develop a WR.
Panel: 100% Indy gets another Super Bowl.
Panel (sans one): Super Bowl in NY sucks.
King: Many want Indy and New Orleans rotate Super Bowl and no one else gets it.
Thanks for reading!