Combine Interview Studs and Duds

Harrison Smith - BPA meets Need

I just came across a new article over at NFP that talks about how some of the combine's intriguing prospects came across in the all-important interviews with teams. Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune) claims that he spoke to multiple team representatives about their impressions. Several of the players noted in the article are on the Panther nation's watch list, so let's take a look at the reports on some of the results. Here's one to whet your appetite. Look for the rest... after the jump.

Vontaze Burflict, Arizona State LB: Multiple front office men were not impressed. One said he was rough around the edges. Another said he was not convincing explaining his lack of on-field discipline.

I'd say Buflict did not meet expectations on or off the field. Scheme discipline is critical for us, not to mention avoiding those drive-preserving personal foul flags. I say no.

Scouts wanted to see more from Floyd during the interview process at the NFL Combine.

Michael Floyd, Notre Dame WR: He didn’t interview terribly, but NFL teams would have liked to have seen him be more accountable for his alcohol issues. Floyd didn’t help himself in interviews as much as he could have.

I guess that's like a C-grade interview... probably didn't hurt himself, but didn't help himself either. He's probably still a late 1st rounder that could slip to early 2nd.

Fletcher Cox is getting a lot of looks as the Panthers' #9 pick

Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State DT: He helped himself in the drills, but he also helped himself in the interview room. Cox projected himself as a player who teams would feel comfortable making a big investment in.

What's not to like about Fletcher ... he's even an SEC guy.

DeCastro's a player I'd love to have on the Panthers. Top-10 pick at OG is a rare thing but not unheard of, and DeCastro is widely considered the best OG prospect in many years.

David DeCastro, Stanford G: He rates high on the intangible chart based on his interview. DeCastro showed football was important to him, and he has a no-nonsense approach. One personnel man said he liked the fact that DeCastro came across as somewhat ornery.

Honestly, I think Kalil makes our OGs better than maybe their talent level would project. Adding DeCastro would be a boost in the running game, pass protection, and screens. It's hard for me to let him pass by.

I don't think we need a TE this year, but for those that do, here's the scoop on Fleener...

Coby Fleener, Stanford TE: He didn’t participate in drills but still helped his stock by showing he is smart and well spoken.

Smart and well-spoken? He went to Stanford! What else would you expect?

Why does it seem that CBs and WRs get in the most trouble? Same for Cliff Harris...

Cliff Harris, Oregon CB: He had a chance to present a mea culpa for being kicked off the team and having run-ins with the law. Instead he told NFL teams it wasn’t his fault.

Hell to the no on Harris. We don't like excuses around these parts.

If LaMichael slips to the 4th, the BAMF Squad has to take a look, right?

LaMichael James, Oregon RB: He was able to talk through his arrest for domestic violence, and he sounded remorseful. One NFL man came away saying he thought James was a good kid.

DreK apparently didn't help his cause.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama CB: Representatives from three NFL teams indicated Kirkpatrick did not interview well. One said he did not explain his story well about being arrested on marijuana charges. Another said he came across as difficult to trust.

Is that like saying, "Liar, liar, pants on fire?" Do not want.

Could Kuechly play effectively at either OLB as a run stopper and blitzer?

Luke Kuechly, Boston College LB: His interviews confirmed he is the complete package, impressing numerous teams. One praised him for his leadership. Another said he was smart, well spoken and had an all-American type personality.

Kuechly would likely have to have help initially in coverage schemes, but I have to give him credit for his season and combine.

Quick, anyone? Tater, you out there?

Brian Quick, Appalachian State WR: One front office man said he thought he was a refreshing young man who is full of energy and life.

I like that. Sounds like a good team mate, but later round pick.

Harrison Smith just hit my big board...

Harrison Smith, Notre Dame S: He impressed by knowing the Notre Dame scheme, coverages like the back of his hand. What’s more, he came across as bright and confident.

We might not get Barron, but Smith would be an exceptional consolation prize. Safety, to me, is the biggest hole on the team, and there aren't a lot out there.

If I were mocking today, I'd have Cox at #9 and Smith at #40 and be feeling damn'd good about it. If a trade would net us Cox, DeCastro, Kuechly, Barron and/or Smith (pick 3), then "we are stardust, we are golden."

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