Friday, April 18, 2008

One more into the fray for the top pick

Now there’s another competitor for the Colts’ top pick and he’s no offensive lineman — not by at least 100 pounds. Donnie Avery WR Houston (5110, 192, 4.43c/4.33pd) is considered by many the most explosive and perhaps the fastest player in the entire draft. Seriously, pay no attention to his combine 40 — although 4.43 isn’t bad, he ran it with a pulled hamstring. Take a look at his other workout numbers. I like his 37.5-inch vertical and his 1.45 ten-yard split, but I am totally wowed by his 6.30 three-cone (the next best was Harry Douglas’ 6.57) and his 16 reps in the bench. But he is no workout warrior. In four years as a Cougar, he recorded 210-3,289-19 receiving (91-1,456-7 as a senior), 40-896-1 kick returns and 3-28-0 punt returns. (1) I’ve seen the guy play plenty of times and he’s pretty much everything you want in a wide receiver — great routes, hands, vision courage etc — except those things that require size — getting of the line and blocking. I think he’ll be a great pro, especially if the team that gets him knows to keep him moving and away from big, bad corners. The Colts are that kind of team, and they are looking for a return specialist …

Oh, and remember Mike Czerwien, the super-productive defensive end whose college claimed he was just 5-foot-8 and 225 pounds? Well, I called the school to find out how big he really is. The AD was away on business, and the woman who answered his phone didn’t know exactly how big Czerwien was. She paused; I pressed on. (2) So she asked around and everyone in the athletic department agreed — yup, Czerwien is 5’8, 225 but a hell of a player. Hmmm, I would expect that would limit his professional prospects just a little. While I have no doubt that he could earn a paycheck on an NFL special-teams crew, I have some trepidations about lining him up across from Joe Thomas. Maybe he could play outside linebacker or safety. Maybe, It’ll be interesting to see.

1. He even recorded a TFL
2. I’ve been writing for a very, very long time and was an editor in New York, I won’t be stalled, baby

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