Greetings from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the weeklong madness known as the annual NFL Combine has begun. I’ll have plenty of dispatches from the proceedings today, so be sure to check this space regularly for updates.
4:29 p.m. — The Chiefs had a formal interview Wednesday night with one of my favorite linemen in the draft, Iowa offensive tackle/guard Brandon Scherff (who told me this). Scherff is a tough guy who played hurt this season through a torn meniscus but is a nasty, tough run blocker who I believe is a plug-and-play NFL left guard (I suspect he’ll be my top-rated guard in this draft, by the way). I’ve done two mock drafts thus far and am having a hard time believing he’ll fall to the Chiefs, though you never know. Regardless, if you’re a Chiefs fan you should be happy your team is planning for a best-case scenario.
3:03 p.m. — I’m hearing the Chiefs had an interview with Southern California outside linebacker J.R. Tavai on Wednesday. Tavai, who is listed at 6-2 and 250 pounds, finished the 2014 season with 53 tackles (13 1/2 for loss) and seven sacks and projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end in the NFL. He sounds like a guy who plays his tail off too, according to his NFL.com draft profile. Sounds like a guy the Chiefs would like. I’ll dive into some film of him going forward.
12:15 p.m. — Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said the club would soon meet with potential first-round wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was dismissed from Missouri last spring and transferred to Oklahoma, where he did not play this fall before entering the draft. Dorsey said DGB has all the physical tools.
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On contract negotiations with Justin Houston, Dorsey said: “His representative is in town, we’ve had ongoing discussions with him.”
I asked Dorsey if he plans on using a franchise tag on Houston if they can’t work out a deal. Dorsey said he plans on having Houston here in 2015, which means yes.
Dorsey also said the Chiefs can afford to keep backup Chase Daniel and that as of now, they will keep Tyler Bray, who tore his ACL in the offseason, in their plans.
10:41 a.m. — Former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has attracted a huge crowd for his media session. He says: “All the decisions I made, I wish I could take them back … I know what’s at stake,” adding that he regrets the way his time came to and end at Missouri.
He will conducting his pro day at Oklahoma on March 11.
Green-Beckham was dismissed from the MU football team last spring after he allegedly forced his way into an apartment and allegedly pushed one of the female residents down a flight of stairs while looking for his girlfriend. He was not arrested by Columbia Police because the alleged victims declined prosecution.
10:20 a.m. — A couple of stray Chiefs-related notes from Andy Reid’s press conference Wednesday:
▪ Like Bucs coach Lovie Smith, Chiefs coach Andy Reid took a moment to rave about special teams coach Dave Toub and ponder why he hasn’t been given an opportunity to be a head coach yet.
Reid, in particular, was asked if Toub needs to become a position coach to be considered for a head job.
“I’d hope not,” Reid said. “And I think he would be a great (head coach). I think (special teams is) an underappreciated position. I’m glad (Baltimore general manager) Ozzie (Newsome) didn’t look at it that way (with John Harbaugh). I don’t think Ozzie would have cared if John had been a position coach or not.”
Harbaugh, a longtime member of Reid’s staff in Philadelphia, spent nine years as the Eagles special teams coach before becoming a secondary coach in 2007. The next year, he was hired as the Ravens’ general manager.
“Well, he was right at that crossroads,” Reid said. “There’s a little crossroads right there, if you’re going to switch to a position coach and you’re way up on the pay scale as a special teams coach and you don’t want to step back. There’s a decision if you’re going to go that route. That’s the route we went with John. I would hope that’s not the case with Dave. I think Dave’s ready to go and would do a great job.”
▪ Reid said offensive guard Jeff Allen, who missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery on his elbow, is doing well.
“He’ll be fine as we go,” Reid said. “He’s working hard.”
▪ Reid was asked about the benefits of being a coach with personnel power vs. just a coach, and used the opportunity to reiterate that he appreciates Chiefs general manager John Dorsey.
“Well first of all, I’ve got full trust in John (Dorsey),” Reid said. “Not that I didn’t in the other guys, I was just put in that position, but with this, I have full trust in John and I’ve been with him a long time. I’ve known him for a long time and I’ve been there, done that with the other part of it and I enjoyed it for that period of time. It’s great to have a change, great to get back into the coaching part of it which I desired with this move, to actually get back in and coach offensive football.”
9:55 a.m. — The official measurements of several offensive linemen and tight ends are starting to trickle in. Height and weight is important, obviously, but so is arm length and hand size. Here are a few guys who stand out for one reason or another:
▪ Pittsburgh right tackle T.J. Clemmings is raw because he’s only been playing the position for two years. But his size (6-5, 309) and impressive arm length (35 1/8 inches) will intrigue teams. Arms like that will help Clemmings keep defensive linemen from getting into his body in pass-rush situations.
▪ Florida left tackle D.J. Humphries weighed in at 307 pounds, which was important for the 6-foot-5 tackle to do. He said he played all of the 2014 season at under 300 pounds, which certainly won’t cut it in the NFL.
7:54 a.m. — The media portion of the Combine kicked off yesterday with the offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers and tight ends. Today, we’ll see the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, starting at roughly 10 a.m. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey will speak today at 12:15 p.m.