Now the sprint turns into a marathon as teams jockey for good deals among the so-called bargain unrestricted players. We should also start to see some movement in the restricted market if there is going to be any. (Personally, with a fully stocked draft class, I don't see a lot of team giving up draft picks for restricted players.)
And having said all that, it seems like a good time to get back to the college players.
If you haven't figured it out by now, that is where the Dolphins must look to reap the most improvement from 2009 to 2010. If the Dolphins are going to rise from third place in the AFC East, the drafted players are the ones that must help them do that.
(If anything happens in free agency -- such as interest in ILB Andra Davis or OT Adam Terry -- we'll swing back to that, but work with me here.)
As Pro Days are already underway throughout our land let me catch you up on some of those with the help of aspiring scout Chris Cordero.
Sixty-one schools were scheduled to have their Pro Days by now.
The most impressive Pro Day so far, in my humble, was at Alabama where every NFL team was represented and the freakin' New York Jets came with coach Rex Ryan, GM Mike Tannenbaum, and former Dolphin and current defensive line coach Bryan Cox among others.
A source tells me the Jets were there to take a close look at Terrence Cody. And he didn't disappoint, weighing in at 349 pounds, which is lower than he weighed at the Combine. Interestingly, Cody lifted only 22 bench-press reps of 225 pounds. That's amazing for you and me.
For an NFL nose tackle? Merely OK.
I nonetheless get the feeling the Jets are sizing up the Mount for a possible late first-round selection.
Rolando McClain also worked and his speed ranged from 4.69-4.74 depending on which scout's spotwatch you believed.
At the Baylor Pro Day, the report I get is that wide receiver David Gettis opened some eyes. He ran a 4.39 inthe 40 on some watches and that's pretty impressive considering the guy is 6-3 and 218 pounds.
At the Kansas Pro Day, WR Dezmon Briscoe ran a 4.51 in the 40 at 6-2 and 208. I'm told he look good, but not great in position drills, whatever that means.
I'm told perhaps the most impressive Pro Day so far has been turned in by Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon. The 6-1, 239 pounder ran a 4.53 and 4.52 in the 40 which is blistering for an LB. And then he ripped off 35 reps on the bench press. Remember Cody had 22?
Weatherspoon, considered too small for a Bill Parcells prototype 3-4, is going to make someone a very good player as he's not just a workout warrior. He makes plays. I like this player. Noisey leader, to boot.
Quarterback Zac Robinson, another overachiever I like, was among 17 players to work at the Oklahoma State Pro Day. Robinson looked impressive in drills, I'm told. Russell Okung was obviously the star while WR Dez Bryant did not work, as I reported here two days ago.
Here is what Cordero says about Bryant: "No question he is the top WR talent in the draft - I think he is better than Michael Crabtree was last year. But being the best at your position shouldn't put you above working out and displaying your wares in front of decision-makers who will ultimately decide your fate and how much you will be paid. All I can say is, he'd better have an outstanding workout (and he'd better have a workout period) at the end of the month, or he could suffer a Randy Moss-like fall into the 20's despite having Top 5 talent."
The UAB Pro Day offered an interesting look at Joe Webb, a QB that is converting to WR for the pros.
"He appeared to be a very good athlete when I saw him at the Senior Bowl, but wow," Cordero said of the workout. "He is about 6-4 and 223 pounds and ran in the 4.5 range. He did 21 reps on the bench and
posted a 42.5 inch vert, 11'6 broad jump, 6.55 3 cone, and 3.91 shuttle run - amazing numbers any way you slice them.
"He is very raw and for whatever reason reminds me of Matt Jones. He has great physical tools but will have to learn the nuances of the receiver position. He last played the position extensively in 2007. The Dolphins should have a good idea about him after coaching him in the Senior Bowl. I give him a 5th round grade."
From the Cincinnati Pro Day, Cordero reports:
"WR Mardy Gilyard improved his 40 time from the combine to the mid 4.4s. He also apparently looked more explosive in the other drills running in the 6.7s in the 3-cone and showing a 38.5 vertical leap. He has had great production throughout his career not just as a receiver but also as a return man. I give him a solid 3rd round grade.
"Potential 3-4 rush LB convert Alex Daniels showed off amazing athleticism with a 39-inch vertical and a 10'9 broad jump at 6-2 and 269 pounds. He is a late round sleeper who I give a 7th round grade. He had 8 sacks as a senior but will need to be coached up in his technique.
"Aaron Webster, a S, has also showed very well - running a 4.48, putting up 21 reps, and turning in a 10'3 broad jump at 6'1 1/2 and 207 pounds. He has played some CB but is mostly looked at as a SS right now. He had 6 ints throughout his career. I give him a 7th round grade and should be a ready-made special team standout."
Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Penn State are among the schools that conduct Pro Days next week. Michigan will conduct its Pro Day today. You think I'll have a midday update on what Brandon Graham did if he participates?