Greetings from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the weeklong madness known as the annual NFL Combine is still underway. I’ll have plenty of dispatches from the proceedings today, so be sure to check this space regularly for updates.
4:47 p.m. — The Chiefs held a formal interview with Texas Christian inside linebacker Paul Dawson, he told me. Dawson isn’t very big (6-0, 235), but he’s one of the most instinctive linebackers in the draft. I currently have him as my No. 2 guy behind Eric Kendricks, and yes, it’s close. Turn on Dawson’s bowl tape against Ole Miss and that will tell you all you need to know about him.
2:32 p.m. — Utah cornerback Eric Rowe told a group of media that he has a formal interview set up with the Chiefs set up for Sunday night. He played press man, predominantly, at Utah and has experience at safety, as well.
1:23 p.m. — TCU safety Chris Hackett told me he has a formal interview set up with the Chiefs. I need to do more film work on him, but he has very good ball skills —seven picks in 2014 — and was a very good interview. He also says he got most of his interceptions playing deep in coverage and has experience in a one-high role. CBSSports.com projects him to be a second- or third-round pick.
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12:28 p.m. — The Chiefs have a formal interview scheduled with Washington cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters has character concerns — he was kicked off the team during the season for what he repeatedly dubbed “miscommunication” during his media interview here — but he’s a press-man corner with aggressiveness and ball skills. I can’t see the Chiefs taking a first-round pick on him, just because of the background, but if he makes it to the second, they could perhaps afford to take the gamble.
11 a.m. — Former Mizzou receiver Dorial Green-Beckham showed off his athleticism Saturday by posting unofficial times of 4.49 and 4.50 in the 40-yard dash. At 6 feet 5, 237 pounds, those are strong times. Let’s chill on the Calvin Johnson comparisons, though; Johnson was more polished as a player coming out and he also ran a ridiculous 4.35 40-yard dash. But Green-Beckham is a talented guy, nonetheless. He looked smooth in position drills and caught the ball well. A good day for Green-Beckham.
10:55 a.m. — Amari Cooper of Alabama pretty much locked up a spot in the top 12 of the draft by running unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.42 and 4.43. He also looked very fluid in position drills and showed far more polish than most of his competitors. He’s as good as advertised and remains my No. 1 receiver in the draft.
9:26 a.m. — A stray note from my interview with Chiefs general manager John Dorsey on Thursday: I asked him when — or if — the Chiefs will pick up their fifth-year option on defensive tackle Dontari Poe’s contract.
“It will probably be more towards training camp,” Dorsey said.
Poe has one year left on his original rookie deal, and will have a 2015 cap number of $3.6 million. The new collective bargaining agreement, however, allows teams to tack on another year to the contracts of first-round picks. For a player like Poe, who was taken 11th overall, his cap number in 2016 would be the average salary of players ranked 3rd-25th in salary for that position.
The period to exercise those options began on Dec. 29, 2014. The Chiefs have until May 3 to exercise the option on Poe. I addressed his contract situation, with cap analyst Joel Corry’s thoughts, in The Star’s mega offseason preview a month ago.
8:33 a.m. — This is the final day of the media portion of the event, but there are a number of local players who have still not made an appearance in the media room, including Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett, Kansas’ JaCorey Shepherd and Missouri’s Marcus Murphy and Shane Ray. I’ll try to have updates on all those players, plus the ones who have done formal interviews with the Chiefs, today.