January 30, 2002
Livin’ La Vida Mobile
Last week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama gave the Texans their first opportunity to get up close and personal with Fresno State QB David Carr. And by all accounts, Houston took full advantage of the opportunity.
Though Carr looked rather pedestrian during the actual game, he was anything but during the week leading up to it, impressing even the nonbelievers. Independent scout Matt Gambill of All-Pro Scouting Services, LLC was in Mobile and recently answered some questions about what he saw.
HPF: Of all the players in Mobile this past week for the Senior Bowl, David Carr is the one generating the most interest in Houston. First, please let us know what you saw in David Carr this week.
MG: I can tell you that the Texans’ staff was following Carr around all week long. This kid is the total package. He came in at 6’3″, 229-pounds and was built like a LB. He has a very quick set up in all of his drops (3, 5, 7-step), has no wasted motion in his delivery, and throws the ball with good velocity. He can make all the NFL-type throws, i.e. the deep outs, etc. Should the Texans take a LT in the expansion draft, Carr will likely be the # 1 pick.
HPF: Houston GM Charley Casserly has discounted concerns with Carr’s throwing motion, in particular his three-quarters delivery and low release point, but how much of a concern do you think it will be in the NFL?
MG: I don’t think that is a big deal at all. Look at how some of the starting NFL QB’s throw who have been in the league for years and they still can’t get the exact rhythm down. To me, that is just a waste of time to even bother with. Carr has been successful doing what he has been doing. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
HPF: Houston officials, even the team’s owner, Bob McNair, were hanging around Carr all week. Can you give us a glimpse of what you saw? What other teams had a significant interest in Carr?
MG: The team that showed the most interest was your Texans. They weren’t trying to hide their interest in him at all. Carolina also showed some moderate interest, but Houston was the most obvious, and they were the team everyone paid attention to in regards to Carr.
HPF: Aside from Carr, what other players did you find Houston officials having a keen interest in? Have you made any contact with anyone on the Texans’ staff?
MG: Because Houston is an expansion team, they had a representative at every position drill. I did see them looking a lot at the DB’s and both offensive and defensive lines quite a bit. The smart thing for Houston to do would be build the team from the O-line and D-line and go from there.
The first pick will be McKinnie or Carr. A scout on the Texans staff told me earlier in the month that McKinnie would be the pick if they didn’t take a LT in the expansion draft. I think that still holds true.
HPF: Outside of the underclassmen who (by rule) are not able to attend, some pretty big names were absent at the Senior Bowl this week, including John Henderson, Wendell Bryant, Bryant McKinnie, and Quentin Jammer to name just a few. How much of an impact will this have on their draft status?
MG: John Henderson was not eligible to play because he was a partial qualifier in 1998, and he had to declare for early entry for this draft. McKinnie, Bryant and Jammer had no intentions of playing because they are considered the top prospects at their positions. Very rarely will you see a top 5-10 prospect participate in any post season all-star games. I don’t think it hurt any of them, but it surely didn’t help either.
HPF: You’ve spoken with Bryant McKinnie in the past, and I know you have a lot of respect for him. What separates McKinnie from other tackles in the draft, and how fair is it to mention him with names like Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace?
MG: Bryant and I have spoken a few times over the past year or so, and he is a great kid. The thing that separates him from the other OT prospects is his tremendous amount of upside.
People need to remember that this is only his 6th year of playing organized football. Before that, he played the bass drum in his high school marching band. Pretty amazing! He’s never, and I mean never, given up a sack. Not in JUCO and not at Miami. He’s a legit 6’8″ and close to 340-pounds and has excellent feet and movement skills for a man his size. I don’t think you can mention him with Pace or Ogden just yet, but he certainly has that type of potential.
HPF: What’s the latest on Kalimba Edwards? His absence from the Senior Bowl doesn’t seem to be a good sign regarding his health…
MG: I spoke to Kalimba and his agent and both assured me that he is nearly 100%. He had a severely sprained MCL, but apparently he will be fine. Just the other day, Kalimba came in at 6’5″, 261-pounds and ran a 4.52/40. That’s sounds like he is/will be okay to me.
HPF: Early word has Alex Brown heading a list of top prospects that are slipping as a result of what’s happened in the workouts. What have you seen from him, and are there any other players whose draft value is falling?
MG: Brown is so overrated. I had him as my #7 DE going into Senior Bowl week and after the way he looked, he is lucky to be mentioned in the top 10. He showed some good athleticism and good pass rush skills, but everyone knew that. At weigh-in, he was 254-pounds and looked like he hasn’t lifted a weight in weeks. From there it was downhill. I just see him as a third down rush specialist at best because he cannot hold up against the run. Teams will exploit him and make him look silly. He wasn’t the only disappointment though. Rocky Calmus looked bad, too. Both are overrated.
HPF: Who’s moving up draft boards the fastest after the Senior Bowl week?
MG: Antwaan Randle-El’s stock is soaring after his Senior Bowl showing. Others who are on the rise are Josh McCown (QB, Sam Houston State), Patrick Ramsey (QB, Tulane), Lamar Gordon (RB, North Dakota State), Adrian Peterson (RB, Georgia Southern), Tim Carter (WR, Auburn), Charles Stackhouse (FB, Ole Miss), Chris Baker (TE, Michigan State), Victor Rogers (OT, Colorado), Levi Jones (OT, Arizona State), Bryan Thomas (DE, UAB), Eddie Freeman (DT, UAB), Kenyon Coleman (DE, UCLA), Andra Davis (LB, Florida), Roosevelt Williams (Tuskegee), Rashad Bauman, (CB, Oregon), Joseph Jefferson (CB, Western Kentucky) and Michael Lewis… I think that’s all, LOL.
HPF: Please comment on what you’ve seen from the following players this week, as they seem to have generated some local interest: Rocky Calmus, Larry Tripplett, Dwight Freeney, Seth McKinney and Rohan Davey.
MG: As I stated earlier, Calmus is way overrated and should be a second day pick. The one thing saving him is his football intelligence. Tripplett was hot and cold all week in Mobile, but did show great quickness off the ball. His problem is that he isn’t strong enough to play an entire game at DT. Freeney was impressive, but was only there for 2 days. He sprained his ankle and left early. He did come in at just under 6’1″ and weighed 268-pounds, which shocked everyone there. He looked good with the added weight though.
McKinney was used at both RG and C, but struggled at RG. When at C, he looked very solid. Rohan looked pretty bad during practices, but was crisp in the game. Not sure what his deal was. He throws the ball with some zip, but he has a God-awful delivery.
HPF: Finally, can you give us a brief timeline of key dates for future scouting opportunities leading up to the draft in April?
MG: OK, most players are in their pre-combine training in preparation for the national combine held in Indianapolis from February 28th – March 3rd or 4th.
After the combine, there is about a month of pro days all over the country where players will get tested again. Most of your “top” prospects will only workout at the pro day which is held at their school. After that it’s just a bunch of PR stuff like interviews, etc. and then the draft. It will be here before we know it!
Matt Gambill interned two years with an NFL scouting department before setting out on his own. He created All-Pro Scouting Services, LLC and now works as an independent scout. He talks with players, coaches, scouts, etc. on a daily basis and reviews game film all year. He’s also made numerous contacts throughout the NFL, which has helped him build one of the best, most respected draft sites on the Internet. We thank him for taking time to speak with us.
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