Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 4

ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive will be covering the 10 former Florida Gators players who have been officially invited to participate in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, IN, at Lucas Oil Stadium each day.

Day four of the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine featured the arrival of Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham. Each was measured, completed exams, met with the media, underwent psychological tests and continued their team interviews. All three players arrived Friday for registration, pre-exams, x-rays, orientation and the first round of interviews.

Spikes, Dunlap and Cunningham, who will remain on the same schedule throughout the week, have a meeting with the NFLPA on Sunday along with more psychological tests and interviews. Monday, they will complete the workout (timing, stations, skill drills).

Sunday, quarterback Tim Tebow (Group 05, QB19) and wide receivers Riley Cooper (Group 04, WO12) and Brandon James (Group 04, WO19) will complete the combine workout. However, Tebow (and many other quarterbacks) will not throw.

Linebacker Brandon Spikes (Group 09, LB30)
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 249 lbs.
Arm Length: 33 3/8 in.
Hand Size: 10 in.

Pre-Combine Overview: The leader of the Gators’ defense the last two seasons, Spikes is bring, strong and physical. He was hampered by a variety of injuries including an Achilles in 2009 and was suspended for one game because of an eye gouge. Spikes is great against the run inside and is quick enough to make open field tackles with his arms, though he is not fast. He is strong enough to get by blockers, uses his instincts to track down the ball but has some difficulties in coverage.
Strengths: Size, strength, tough, competitive, productive, athletic, instinctive
Weaknesses: Character, emotions, speed, coverage, blitzing

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (Group 07, DL13)
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 277 lbs.
Arm Length: 34 5/8 in.
Hand Size: 10 in.

Pre-Combine Overview: Large and quick enough to play defensive end in a 4-3 or 3-4, Dunlap excels against the run but is also capable of rushing the quarterback. Many point inconsistencies in regards to his motor, footwork and technique, but he is naturally athletic and powerful with long arms and solid awareness of his position on the field.
Strengths: Size, strength, speed, power, hands, penetration
Weaknesses: Character, work ethic, other inconsistencies

Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (Group 07, DL09)
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 266 lbs.
Arm Length: 33 3/4 in.
Hand Size: 10 3/8 in.

Pre-Combine Overview: Though he did not receive the accolades, Cunningham was one of Florida’s best defenders in 2009. He is quick, agile and athletic but not overtly fast. Cunningham has been projected as both a defensive end and outside linebacker but must develop as a pass-rusher. His motor and work ethic make up for a lack of bulk.
Strengths: Athletic, agile, productive, quick, durable, tough
Weaknesses: Instincts, size, strength, power

Center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Aaron Hernandez (Group 03, TE13) were scheduled to compete in the workout Saturday; however, each encountered difficulties with injuries. Pouncey skipped the bench press while Hernandez decided to skip the entire combine workout, which he will make up at Florida’s Pro Day on March 17.

Center Maurkice Pouncey (Group 07, DL09)
40-yard dash: 5.23
Broad jump: 7 ft. 11 in.
Vertical jump, 3-cone drill, shuttle run, kick-slide, bench press: N/A
Measurements Day 3

Touching down in Indianapolis, IN, and checking into Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday were cornerback Joe Haden (Group 10, DB20) and safety Major Wright. They will take their measurements Sunday.

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
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Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 2

ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive will be covering the 10 former Florida Gators players who have been officially invited to participate in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, IN, at Lucas Oil Stadium each day.

Day two of the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine was lackluster overall, as it featured only two Florida Gators – center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Aaron Hernandez – getting measured, completing exams, meeting with the media, undergoing psychological tests and continuing their team interviews. Both players had arrived Wednesday for registration, pre-exams, x-rays, orientation and the first round of interviews.

Pouncey and Hernandez, who will remain on the same schedule throughout the week, have a meeting with the NFLPA on Friday along with additional psychological tests and interviews. Saturday, they will complete the combine workout (timing, stations, skill drills).

Center Maurkice Pouncey (Group 02, OL33)
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 304 lbs.
Arm Length: 32 1/2 in.
Hand Size: 10 in.

Pre-Combine Overview: Able to play both center and guard, Pouncey is one of the most versatile players at the combine. Expected to be the top center picked in the 2010 NFL Draft, he is big enough to take on nose tackles yet quick enough to face 4-3 defensive tackles, too.
Strengths: Size, quickness, versatility, awareness, balance, leverage
Weaknesses: Durability due to torn labrum surgery, finishing blocks

Tight end Aaron Hernandez (Group 03, TE13)
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 245 lbs.
Arm Length: 32 1/4 in.
Hand Size: 9 3/4 in.

Pre-Combine Overview: Considered undersized for his position, Hernandez is projected as a combo TE/H-back. He is athletic enough to catch passes and turn them into big gains but may experience problems against more physical defenders or while run-blocking.
Strengths: Athleticism, speed, hands, leaping ability
Weaknesses: Size, strength

Touching down in Indianapolis, IN, Thursday were quarterback Tim Tebow (Group 05, QB19) and wide receivers Riley Cooper (Group 04, WO12) and Brandon James (Group 04, WO19). Linebacker Brandon Spikes (Group 09, LB30), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (Group 07, DL13) and DE Jermaine Cunningham (Group 07, DL09) will check in at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, while cornerback Joe Haden (Group 10, DB20) and safety Major Wright (Group 11, DB58) will begin the process Sunday.

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
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NFL.com video profiles: Tebow, Haden and Cooper

While the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine is currently taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, NFL.com has decided to post video profiles of three former Florida Gators looking to earn high selections in the 2010 NFL Draft. Full Event Schedule

Links to said videos are provided below:

Quarterback Tim Tebow: Combine Bio | Dream Job

Cornerback Joe Haden: Training at Haden’s House

Wide receiver Riley Cooper: Combine Bio

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Ten Gators invited to 2010 NFL Scouting Combine

ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive has learned that 10 former Florida Gators players have been officially invited to participate in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, IN, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 24 to March 2, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staff look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2010 NFL Draft commences on April 22.

The 10 former Gators student-athletes participating in the combine include:

Seniors
Quarterback Tim Tebow – Group: 05; Camp: QB19
Wide receiver Riley Cooper – Group: 04; Camp: WO12
Wide receiver Brandon James – Group: 04; Camp: WO19
Linebacker Brandon Spikes = Group: 09; Camp: LB30
Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham – Group: 07; Camp: DL09

Juniors
Cornerback Joe Haden – Group: 10; Camp: DB20
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap – Group: 07; Camp: DL13
Safety Major Wright – Group 11; Camp DB58
Tight end Aaron Hernandez – Group: 03; Camp: TE13
Center Maurkice Pouncey – Group: 02; Camp: OL33

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
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2010 Senior Bowl uneventful for Tebow, Cooper

Coverage of practices for the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl this week focused squarely on former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. However, as expected, the game itself was lackluster for both Tebow and wide receiver Riley Cooper.

The Miami Dolphins coaching staff including head coach Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach David Lee coached Tebow up all week but only left him in the game for two series in the first half before benching him. They would allow him to re-enter for a few series with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter.

Tebow went three-for-six for 23 yards passing along with one rush for three yards in his first appearance. His second time in the huddle, Tebow completed five-of-six for 27 yards with a seven-yard rush; however, he did fumble the ball on a nice strip by the North. Three of his four incompletions resulted from dropped receptions.

Cooper, on the other hand, saw action the entire first half but only registered two catches for 36 yards. His most impressive was on a 25-yard crossing route before halftime.

For all of the criticism surrounding Tebow this week, he was flawless from under center and made some “NFL throws” including a touch pass and cross-body screen passes.

“During the week I feel I got a lot better and worked on a lot of things,” Tebow said. “The stuff that people know I can do, I didn’t have to come out there and do that. I just came out here and worked on the things I needed to, and I enjoyed it. I feel like I improved every day. I came out here with a purpose, to get better, and I feel like I did that.”

The North team defeated the South 31-13. North QB Dan LeFevour led the way with 97 yards and two touchdowns (one rush) while WR Mardy Gilyard complied 102 yards and a TD on five receptions.

Next up for the duo (along and other former Gators) are preparation workouts and tests for the 2010 NFL Combine which will be held for six days from Feb. 27 to March 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Players are put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance including head coaches, general managers and scouts look on and evaluate each of them. OGGOA will feature full coverage throughout the event.

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