by Chris Warner
I Owe Iowa: After a solid East-West Shrine game performance, Bradley Fletcher of Iowa continued to impress with an unofficial combine 40 in the 4.4’s. Fletcher remains desirable for the Pats due to his low-risk Day Two draft status and his familiarity with Coach Kirk Ferentz, who is Coach Belichick’s blood brother (not true, but that would be more entertaining than another “they coached together before” story).
Ellison, The Invisible Man: Disappointing day for USC safety Kevin Ellison, timed in the 4.8s in his 40, nearly glacial by NFL standards.
Hodge Podge: At six feet and 234 pounds, Stephen Hodge’s 4.49 (unofficial) 40 turned some heads in Indy. Couple that with his solid performance in the bench press, and New England could consider him. Important to remember that, in terms of big safeties, last July the Pats had Tank Williams in a hybrid run-stopper position, though they ended that experiment once Williams got injured.
Webb Of Intrigue: Lardarius Webb of Nicholls State turned heads with his top 40 time of 4.46. The 5-10, 179-pounder transferred from Mississippi State after getting dismissed from the team two years ago. Also returns kicks. Intrigue, indeed.
Washington Monumental: The best vertical jump came from Donald Washington of Ohio State, who hurled his six-foot, 197-pound frame 45 inches off the ground.
Just thinking: While Vontae Davis and Alphonso Smith maintained their status as top DB picks, others stepped up their game to ensure that, should New England refrain from selecting a corner or safety in the first two rounds, they could still find help on Day Two.
Nice work, Chris!