NFL Draft 2012: Stanford Pro Day Boosts DeCastro, Fleener Draft Stock

Andrew Luck, David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin have all declared for the 2012 NFL Draft. All three are considered potentially high first round picks and will look to improve or at least maintain their high draft status over the next four months. We'll follow the entire journey. For more on the NFL Draft, check out SB Nation NFL. For more on the Stanford Cardinal, check out Rule of Tree.

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NFL Draft 2012: Where Will Jonathan Martin Land?

Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is a projected first round draft pick, but mock drafts currently disagree on which NFL team will pick him.

First, the Buffalo Bills could take him at No. 10 overall. The Bills' assistant GM Doug Whaley praised Martin for his intelligence, competitiveness and versatility last week.

The second most talked about destination is the Arizona Cardinals at No. 13 overall. The Cardinals allowed 54 sacks in 2011, but might not be interested in Martin as made evident by their re-signing of Levi Brown this off season.

FOX Sports draft analyst Taylor Jones believes Martin will be the best available offensive tackle left when the Cardinals pick at No. 13:

With Kalil certainly gone and Iowa tackle Riley Reiff likely off the board by the time the Cardinals pick, the best case scenario might be 6-foot-5 Stanford product Jonathan Martin. Jones has the Cardinals taking Martin in his most recent mock draft but wonders if the pick makes sense considering that the team re-signed left tackle Levi Brown, who showed improvement at the end of last season. (Via: FOX Sports Arizona)

There are currently three other offensive tackle prospects who might be picked in the first round: USC's Matt Kalil, Ohio State's Mike Adams and Iowa's Riley Reiff.

In SB Nation's Ryan Van Bieber's latest mock draft, he has Martin being picked at No. 26 by the Houston Texans. The only other offensive tackle being picked in Bieber's draft is Kalil at No. 3 to the Vikings.

Houston lost Eric Winston, by their own hand oddly enough. Martin gives them a capable replacement with his best years still in front of him. They hit on a solid left tackle with Duane Brown in 2008. Martin could be a similar value here.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Martin going to the Detroit Lions at No. 23, while colleague Todd McShay has him going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22.

Other teams beside Buffalo and Arizona currently looking to upgrade at offensive tackle are Minnesota at No. 3, Saint Louis at No. 6 and No. 11 Kansas City.

Jonathan Martin 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

For more on Martin and the Stanford Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


NFL Draft 2012: Jonathan Martin To The Buffalo Bills?

Can Stanford's Jonathan Martin be picked in the top ten of this year's NFL draft?

Along with Martin, this year's draft class has several quality offensive tackles including USC's Matt Kalil, Ohio State's Mike Adams and Iowa's Riley Reiff.

Martin's technique and athleticism are his main assets, while his overall strength has been pegged as a weakness by NFL draft experts. Another plus for Martin has going for him is his experience in playing in Stanford's pro-style offense.

While Stanford's Andrew Luck is appearing in most of the headlines entering 2012's NFL draft, but Martin looks like he'll be an impact player in the NFL with the skill set he offers.

The Buffalo Bills may consider taking Martin at No. 10 overall:

After protecting Stanford QB Andrew Luck throughout his college career, LT Jonathan Martin is a possibility for the Bills at 10th overall. "Coming from Stanford, he's going to be a highly intelligent guy," assistant GM/director of player personnel Doug Whaley said of Martin. "He's a competitive guy. He's a guy that has a chance to play both left and right tackle, so the versatility makes him very intriguing." (Via: CBS Sports)

Another possible destination for Martin? The Arizona Cardinals at No. 13 is a possibility if the Bills pass him up. The Cardinals need some protection for quarterback Kevin Kolb — the Cardinals allowed 54 sacks in 2011.

For more on Martin and the Stanford Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree. For more information regarding the Buffalo Bills, check out Buffalo Rumblings.


NFL Mock Draft 2012: David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin Projected For First Round

There is little doubt that David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin will be selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. There is always a chance one of these talented offensive linemen somehow slip into the second day, but plenty of teams have shown interest in recent weeks and both improved their stock at the Stanford Pro Day.

According to this latest survey of mock drafts from USA Today, many experts are projecting DeCastro and Martin for the middle of round one.

Staff writer Jarrett Bell of USA Today has DeCastro going to the Chargers with the 18th pick and Martin going to the Giants with the final pick of the first round. Jim Corbett of USA Today has DeCastro going 11th to the Chiefs and Martin at No. 23 to the Lions. Nate Davis has DeCastro heading to the Cardinals in the first round, with Martin going to the Lions as well.

Rob Rang of has DeCastro at 17 to the Bengals and Martin heading to the Lions. Wes Bunting of National Football Post has DeCastro 20th to the Titans. He projects Martin to the Steelers at No. 24.

For more on the Cardinal and all of their players looking to get drafted next week, check out Rule Of Tree.


NFL Mock Draft 2012: Cowboys Select Stanford's David DeCastro

With the NFL Draft nearing closer by the second, mock draft aficionados around the globe are getting as much information as possible about scouting all the top talents. One such group of mock draft addicts are our friends over at National Football Post, who feel that Stanford's offensive guard David DeCastro will be the right fight with the Dallas Cowboys in their 7.0 edition mock draft. ere's National Football Post's Wes Bunting with the commentary:

The idea of drafting an athlete like DeCastro and potentially playing him next to 2011 first-round pick Tyron Smith at left tackle has to sound mighty intriguing.

It certainly must for most Boys fans, though Dallas could also go a number of different ways with the first round pick if they felt like it. More protection for Tony Romo never seems to be a bad thing down in Big D, so this pick is a great fit at No. 14 overall.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, ensure they you mosey on over to the best 'Boys blog on the interweb, SB Nation's very own Blogging The Boys. You a Stanford Cardinal fan instead? No worries mate, we got you covered over at Rule of Tree.


NFL Mock Draft 2012: David DeCastro's Potential Landing Spots

There is no question Stanford's David DeCastro will be picked within the draft's first 20 picks. The only question is where the offensive lineman prospect will be picked.

SB Nation's bloggers mock draft has DeCastro being picked at No. 14 by the Dallas Cowboys. Blogging the Boys, SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys blog thinks the Cowboys should pick DeCastro because of the team's lack of youth along with the overall need for stability within the offensive line:

Dallas did pick up a couple of veteran guards in free agency, but the future of the position is still in question. Enter David DeCastro, who many scouts have said is the best guard prospect to come along since Steve Hutchinson. He's got every skill you need and is a fierce run-blocker. Blessed with agile feet, he's extremely good on the move, and in the Cowboys run-blocking scheme the guards are often asked to pull.

Interestingly enough, the Cowboys did not extend a pre-draft visit invitation to DeCastro and could possibly not be considering the draft's top offensive lineman prospect at all.

Another intriguing possibility is the Seattle Seahawks drafting DeCastro with the No. 12 pick. DeCastro grew up in the Seattle-area and played at local football powerhouse Bellevue HS. In one of his mock draft updates, SB Nation's NFL writer, Ryan Van Bibber had the Seahawks taking DeCastro.

David DeCastro 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

To talk about DeCastro's time at Stanford head over to Rule of Tree. To talk about DeCastro's possible fit with the Cowboys, check out Blogging the Boys.


NFL Mock Draft 2012: Jonathan Martin To The Arizona Cardinals

The first round of SB Nation's NFL bloggers mock draft is complete. Revenge of the Birds, the Arizona Cardinals blog on SB Nation's network, chose Stanford's Jonathan Martin with the No 13 overall pick.

The offensive line is clearly the Cardinals' greatest need. With both David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin on the board, the decision is tough. DeCastro could be an elite guard. Martin has great film, but has one glaring weakness -- his weakness (lack of strength). In the end, Martin is the guy to go with because the Cardinals seek a tackle, especially someone who could play left tackle. Martin's technique is great, his athleticism is without question and if strength is the only thing lacking, he can acquire that with John Lott, one of the best in the business at strength and conditioning.

Martin's selection at No. 13 comes before David DeCastro's selection at No. 14. Some draft experts consider Martin's teammate to be the better offensive lineman of the two, but Revenge of the Birds, cites Martin's athleticism at the left tackle position a plus.

The offensive tackle position is ripe with talent in this year's draft. Martin was one of the four offensive tackles drafted in the mock draft's first 13 picks.

After only managing 20 reps on the bench at 225lbs at Stanford's pro day, some NFL teams might be concerned with Martin's natural strength. Despite this, it is difficult to ignore Martin's impressive accomplishments while protecting the blindside of the consensus No. 1 pick Andrew Luck. Martin was named first team All-Pac-12 in 2011, and first team All-Pac-10 in 2010.

For more on Martin and the Stanford Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree. For more information regarding the Arizona Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.


NFL Draft 2012: Chris Owusu Wants To Make An 'Immediate Impact' In the NFL

Former Stanford wide out Chris Owusu has been training hard in the East Bay since the college football season ended, hoping to hear his name called as early as possible in the upcoming NFL draft.

Doug Kyed of got the chance to catch up Owusu recently, talking to him a bit about his background and what to expect in the draft and into the NFL. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

DK: And playing in Harbaugh's offense, you got to have the experience of playing in a pro-style offense, and playing with a great quarterback like Andrew Luck, what do you think that's going to do for you in the NFL? How do you think that will help you?
CO: Yeah, it only helps you. I think that the West Coast Offense is one of the more complicated offenses; it's more concept-based than just numbers-based, so in terms of the transition from college to the NFL I think it's going to make it a lot easier. I'll be able to adopt the playbook a lot faster than people who didn't get the chance to play in a West Coast Offense. In terms of playing with Andrew, I was blessed to be playing with him in my college career. He's a humble guy but he makes you work a lot harder, so I'll be able to work very hard. By playing with the best quarterback in the nation, I was blessed.

DK: What do you think is the biggest thing that sets you apart from some of these other wide receivers?

CO: I feel like I am a dual threat. I feel like I can make an immediate impact for an organization because I'm able to return kicks as well and I can return pretty well. It's all about making an impact for your organization and I feel like I can make an immediate impact.

DK: I know that everyone probably asks you about this, and it's one of the questions you get more often, but the concussion history. What do you have to say to people who might doubt you or push you down draft boards because of that?

CO: I don't know, if they want to overlook me, they can overlook me. But I plan on making an immediate impact in the NFL; whoever drafts me, I'll work as hard as anyone on the field. I just can't wait for the opportunity to play this game I love. I just can't wait to play football.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


NFL Draft 2012: David DeCastro Pro Day Recap

David DeCastro put together a strong Pro Day on Thursday as the Stanford guard put together a strong day of performances. He was as big as advertised, but more importantly, he showed plenty of athleticism and explosiveness in his various position drills. However, his most impressive moment on Thursday might not have even come during his workout. Take it away Doug Farrar:

During his Pro Day, DeCastro's meeting with the Cincinnatti Bengals dominated the headlines.

Teams in need of offensive line prospects got a two-for-one special as they were able to see offensive tackle Jonathan Martin workout alongside DeCastro.

Currently, SB Nation's NFL Mock Draft has DeCastro being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals who have the No. 13 overall pick.

To learn more about DeCastro and Stanford football, check out Rule of Tree. To discuss DeCastro and the Bengals, hit up Cincy Jungle. To discuss the NFL draft, go to Mocking the Draft.


NFL Draft 2012: Cody Fleener's 40 Time Impresses At Stanford Pro Day

Coby Fleener's 4.45 second 40-yard dash time has NFL scouts and draft experts convinced that he is the No. 1 tight end prospect. Various teams are interested in Fleener's potential, including the New York Giants who hold the No. 32 overall pick:

Sayre Bedinger from SB Nation's Mile High Report believes the Denver Broncos might consider drafting Fleener in the first round with their No. 25 overall pick:

Currently, Fleener is considered a first round fringe prospect, but his speed and athleticism that were on display at Pro Day may vault him to the first round. If Fleener is picked in the first round he will likely be the fourth Stanford first-round pick. Andrew Luck, David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin are all projected to be picked in the draft's first 20 picks.

To learn more about Fleener and Stanford football, check out Rule of Tree. To discuss the NFL draft, go to Mocking the Draft.


NFL Draft 2012: Jonathan Martin Disappoints In Pro Day Workout

Though Andrew Luck was the focal point of Thursday's Pro Day at Stanford , Jonathan Martin was another Stanford prospect that teams were keeping their eyes on The offensive tackle prospect met with the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns at Stanford's Pro Day.

According to CBS Sports' Rob Rang, Martin did not improve his draft stock in Thursday's workout:

Advertised as a top-notch athlete, the First Team All-Pac 12 left tackle was timed at 5.33 seconds in his first attempt at the 40-yard dash. Worse, this attempt was aided by the wind. Martin came in at 5.43 seconds, according to scouts, on his second attempt against the wind. Perhaps more alarming was that the 6-5, 307-pound Martin lifted the bar only 20 times during the bench press and wasn't as fluid or explosive as DeCastro during position drills. (Via:

SB Nation's mock draft currently has Martin going to the Chicago Bears at No. 19 overall in the first round.

To discuss Martin with Stanford fans, check out Rule of Tree. To talk about Martin with Bills fans, head to Buffalo Rumblings. To learn more about Martin from Vikings fans, go to Daily Norseman. To discuss Martin with Browns fans, hit up Dawgs By Nature. To talk about the NFL Draft in general, click here to be sent to Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck Likely No. 1 Pick As Peyton Manning And Indianapolis Colts Prepare To Part Ways

If Andrew Luck had any doubts that he'd be the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they were probably alleviated today when the Indianapolis Colts turned loose Peyton Manning. It's clear Jim Irsay and Manning haven't seen eye-to-eye for awhile and that the Colts really want to use the pick they have to draft their next quarterback, particularly when a player of Luck's caliber is available for them to draft.

Here's what the sources have to say about the Manning situation.

The decision to pass on the $28 million bonus owed Manning and not to pick up the four remaining years on his contract means Manning will become a free agent, and sources told Mortensen that he intends to continue to play.

The four-time league MVP missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a fusion of two vertebrae. His doctors have medically cleared him to resume his career and Manning has increased his throwing regimen.

All Luck has to do is hold off a late charge from Robert Griffin III to hang on and win the rights to try and become the next franchise quarterback for the Colts. But the former Stanford signal-caller is going to be stepping into some big shoes next year.

To talk about Luck, Manning and the current situation with Colts fans, head on over to Stampede Blue. To discuss Luck with Stanford football fans, go to Rule of Tree. To learn more about the NFL Draft, hit up Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III To The Dallas Cowboys? Don't Count On It

We all figured we would hear it at one point or another this offseason after yet another year of missing the playoffs: there may be a quarterback controversy in Dallas. While Tony Romo is a very talented quarterback and is capable of leading a team, many of his critics will point to just one playoff victory in the last six seasons. Because of their recent losing ways, some would like to see the Cowboys go after a quarterback in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.

Could Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III be headed to play for 'America's Team' next season? It doesn't look likely, according to this story from Nate Davis of USA Today:

"Tony is going to play a lot more than two more years," team VP Stephen Jones said via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We are going to take care of Tony. Tony is going to be a Cowboy."

Romo is a a three-time Pro Bowler but, more importantly to most Dallas fans, he's won just one playoff game in six years as the starter for "America's Team" and seems to match his amazing performances with spectacular meltdowns.

But Stephen Jones and his father, team owner Jerry Jones, continue to stick by their man; the team's website said the owner has definitively said he won't pursue Luck or RG3.

"There are not many better than him out there," Stephen Jones said. "I hear it -- he hasn't gotten it done yet. I hear it, all of that. But you are not going to find much better than Tony Romo. Every year he improves. As he gets better, our chances get better."

For one, I'm not even sure it would be possible for the Cowboys to move up the draft boards to be in a position to select Luck or Griffin, given their current draft pick of No. 14 overall. Not only would it take that, but the team on the other side of the deal would want at least one more first round pick, and multiple picks in the later rounds.

It also doesn't look like the Colts are even considering dealing the No. 1 pick for Andrew Luck, so we can probably put those rumors to rest for good.

As for Robert Griffin III, it does look like the St. Louis Rams will trade their second pick, but with other teams in the top-ten looking to move up, it's unlikely the Cowboys could offer up enough.

My take: stay with Tony Romo, maybe get a quarterback in the sixth or seventh round, and work on building a better team around him.


2012 NFL Combine: NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock Likes David DeCastro

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock spoke about what he's seen at the 2012 NFL Scouting combine and among his topics of conversation was Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro, who is slated as a top-15 pick on pretty much every sports website's mock draft. And from the following quote from Mayock, he likes what he sees from DeCastro as well.

"When you get him, you're going to plug him in Day 1 and he's going to be your starting guard - of course the exception could be injury or free agency - but he could be your starting guard for the next 10 years. That's what the Cowboys need; they need to keep getting younger and more athletic, in that offensive line."

Mayock also spoke on how he'd be shocked if Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III didn't go 1-2 at the top of the draft, how much he loves the defensive tackle position in this draft and how disappointingly weak the tight end class is this year.

To discuss Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree.


2012 NFL Combine: Monday Schedule And Preview

Monday marks the penultimate day of the 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The major fireworks and media scrutiny came and went on Sunday, when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were put through their paces and further wowed the NFL scouts and evaluators -- not that any further impressing was needed by either player prior to the 2012 NFL Draft.

The vast majority of the Stanford Cardinal players and the lone California Golden Bears invitee have already departed from Indianapolis and there are no Bay Area representatives taking part in workouts on Monday, but strong safety Delano Howell will represent the final Stanford player to have his on-field workout on Tuesday.

Here is Monday's full schedule of events.


Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)

Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)

NFLPA Meeting, psychological testing, interviews

You can find the full list of players invited to the 2012 NFL Combine, as well as full combine results and daily schedules, via the NFL Combine's official website.

To discuss Luck, DeCastro, Martin, Owusu, Jones and Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about Jones and Cal football with Golden Bears fans, check out the California Golden Blogs.


Andrew Luck Keeps Pace With Robert Griffin III In 2012 NFL Combine

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck posted some pretty good numbers at the 2012 NFL Combine. It's looking very much like he'll be holding onto that number one draft pick unless someone really blows it up at their Pro Day.

Luck was measured at 6'4", 238 pounds, giving him the protoypical size and height are in great shape to make an immediate impact. He also has pretty good arm length at 32 5/8", and has solid hands at 10".

In terms of agility and speed drills, Luck only fell behind the more mobile Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson in his 40 yard time, clocking in at 4.67 seconds. He finished the 20 yard shuttle in 4.28 seconds, and finished the three cone drill in 6.8 seconds. His broad jump was an excellent 124 inches, and Luck finished only behind Griffin with a 36 inch vertical jump. Those are excellent numbers overall, and although they're a clear second place behind the athletic RGIII.

Luck is in great shape and seemed to prove he has all the overall physical metrics to do great. And of course, he's shown plenty of in-game evidence that he's ready to perform at this level.

(via JMPasq)

To discuss Luck and Stanford football, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about Luck with Colts fans, check out Stampede Blue. To learn more about Luck and the NFL Draft, go to Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Combine Results: Chris Owusu Tied For Best 40-Yard Dash Time For WR

The Stanford Cardinal have been having a great showing at the 2012 NFL Combine this Sunday, with Andrew Luck impressing the pants off of everyone, and wide receiver Chris Owusu having a terrific showing in Indianapolis as well.

Owusu is tied with the best 40-yard dash time amongst all receivers with a time of 4.36, but has also been doing well in the other events too, getting 19 reps up in the bench press, leaped to a 40.5 inch vertical and bounded for a 129 inch board jump.

As for the other technical drills, Owusu finished the 3-cone drill in 6.85 seconds flat, the 20-yard shuffle in 4.11 seconds, and the 60-yard shuffle 11.22 seconds. He came into the draft with a rather low grade from, but may have turned some extra heads with his impressive athletic performance at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

For more on Luck and Owusu, head over to Rule of Tree. For more on the Combine head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Combine Results: Andrew Luck Nearly Matches Cam Newton In Drills [VIDEO]

The most high profile day of the 2012 NFL Combine is underway as quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are all going through their uniform and position-specific drills in Indianapolis. The most famous event is the 40-yard dash, which some call "The Money Maker." Some players will boost their stock with a good 40 and others can hurt their stock with a poor 40.

For quarterbacks, the 40-yard dash is as much simply a box to check as they look to show NFL teams some semblance of athleticism. Consider that box emphatically checked by Stanford QB Andrew Luck. The consensus number one pick in April's draft matched Cam Newton's 2011 performance with an unofficial 4.59 run on his second run of the day. He also came close to came with his 36" vertical leap and his 10'4" broad jump.

Andrew Luck has had solid athleticism throughout his Stanford career, but given his prolific passing numbers combined with his size (6'4, 234) it was always easy to overlook that athleticism. He is not a scrambling QB in the mold of Cam Newton, but he can create plays with his legs as needed. He can move around in and out of the pocket looking for the pass, and he can also tuck it and run for big gains. The best example of his running skills came in a 58-yard scramble against Cal in the 2010 Big Game:


NFL Combine Schedule 2012: Andrew Luck To Skip Throwing Drills On Sunday

Day five of the 2012 NFL Combine gets going on Sunday with quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers running through the various workout stations. The drills give them a chance to show off position specific skills and general athleticism in things like the infamous 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, vertical and broad jump and shuttle run. Given that wide receivers and running backs are running their 40s on Sunday, it stands as arguably the highest profile day of the Combine. It is also the day when the most money will be earned or lost in a matter 4.something seconds.

For teams looking at QB Andrew Luck, they will have to wait until the Stanford Pro Day to watch him throw. Luck will not take part in the throwing drills, in part because of the use of receivers he has never worked with previously. Luck shot down rumors that the Indianapolis Colts asked him not to throw at the Combine. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is trying to guilt Luck and others into running through the drills, so we'll see if anything changes.

Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu will be running through the gamut of drills on Sunday as he looks to boost his draft stock. He has been medically cleared following a pair of concussions this past year, but will need to continue showing his stuff to assuage the nerves of teams.

Here's the full schedule for all groups. You can watch the majority of the action for this year's NFL Combine on NFL Network or streaming live at


Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (RB)

Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis

Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)

NFLPA Meeting, psychological testing, interviews

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)

Measurements, medical examinations, media, psychological testing, interviews

To discuss Luck, DeCastro, Martin, Owusu, Jones and Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree. For more on the NFL Combine, head over to SB Nation NFL.


2012 NFL Combine Results: Andrew Luck, David DeCastro Go First Round In Mock Draft

With all of the new measurements and results coming out of the 2012 NFL Combine, took another crack at a revised 2012 mock draft. Let's see where the Stanford Cardinal hopefuls match up.

No surprise that Andrew Luck remains the No. 1 pick by the Indianapolis Colts. Luck and the Colts are already in discussions so nothing is going to change this pick before the draft.

Luck is reportedly already taking his marching orders from the Colts. With Peyton Manning likely to get released soon, "Suck for Luck" will be complete and the new era in Indianapolis will officially begin.

With the No. 19 pick, the Chicago Bears take Cardinal OG David DeCastro instead of a wide receiver:

The Bears said they planned to target a wide receiver in the draft, but the issues that have plagued their O-line in recent years cannot be overlooked. Mike Martz is out as offensive coordinator, and former O-line coach Mike Tice is in. Because quarterbacks, corners and pass-rushers are typically overvalued early in the first round, quality prospects like David DeCastro have a tendency to fall, and a team like the Bears can benefit. Typically, taking a guard this early is considered a no-no. However, DeCastro is highly valued and blocked in a very pro-style offense at Stanford.

And finally, tight end Coby Fleener shows up as the No. 29 pick by the Baltimore Ravens:

The Ravens need to get people around Joe Flacco who can actually catch the friggin' football. Taking a wide receiver like Alshon Jeffery here is too much of a reach with Fleener still on the board. He's an excellent pass catcher and a solid blocker.

We'll find out for sure where these guys end up very soon.

To discuss the NFL Draft with Stanford football fans, head to Rule of Tree. To discuss the NFL Draft, head over to Mocking The Draft.


NFL Combine Results 2012: David DeCastro Puts Up Impressive Numbers

As many offensive linemen and tight ends from the Stanford Cardinal and California Golden Bears are among the group of athletes flaunting their talents at the 2012 NFL Combine Saturday, some of the numbers are beginning to trickle in.

Let's take a look at Stanford OT Davis DeCastro, who is expected to be a high first-round pick and did nothing to dispel that with his work today.

He managed to put up 34 lifts on the bench press, finishing second only to Michigan's David Molk who put out 41 lifts.

In the 20 Yard Shuttle, DeCastro had the third-best time out of all offensive linemen, finishing it in 4.56 seconds.

He also put up the top-overall score in the Three Cone Drill, finishing in 7.30 seconds. Putting up strength, agility and speed numbers together show off an impressive package.

Other scores include a 5.43 second 40-Yard Dash, 29.5 foot Vertical Leap and 98 inch Broad Jump.

For more on the NFL Combine head over to Mocking the Draft. For more on the League in general check out SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.


NFL Combine Results 2012: Stanford's Jonathan Martin Skips Positional Drills

Stanford Cardinal offensive tackle Jonathan Martin seems to have gotten over his flu-like symptoms, however he decided not to participate in positional drills today at the NFL Combine.

"I'm not doing lifting or field drills (at the combine). I was sick the last couple days, just a little food poisoning, I don't remember what it was. Something I ate in Arizona."

Martin did take part in the height, weight, arm and hand measurement. He will instead wait to finish the drill portion of his workout at Stanford's March 22 Pro Day.

Martin came in at just over 6'5, weighing 312 lbs with a 34 inch arm length. DeCastro came in at a tall 6'4 (and 7/10 of an inch), 316 lbs and with an arm length of 32 3/8.

Martin also made a bold declaration, saying he was better than USC OT Matt Kalil and believes he is the best tackle in the draft.

For more on the NFL Combine head over to Mocking the Draft. For more on the League in general check out SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.


2012 NFL Combine Schedule And Preview: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Jonathan Martin Continue Process On Saturday

The Stanford Cardinal are well-represented at the 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week, with California Golden Bears wide receiver Marvin Jones also hoping to turn some heads in the biggest event leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

All seven Bay Area players will have a stacked day ahead of them. Consensus No. 1 prospect Andrew Luck, along with Jones and Stanford teammate Chris Owusu, will all undergo psychological testing and interviews on Saturday, as well as have meetings with the NFL Players Association.

Stanford players TE Coby Fleener, OT Jonathan Martin and OG David DeCastro will all wrap up their workouts on Saturday, working through timing, stations and skill drills before departing Indianapolis.

Stanford strong safety Delano Howell will be the last Bay Area player into town on Saturday, as he arrives in town with the DB groups and begins the registration process.

Here's the full schedule for all groups. You can watch the majority of the action for this year's NFL Combine on the NFL Network or streaming live at


Group 1 (P/K, ST, OL), Group 2 (OL), Group 3 (TE)

Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis

Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (RB)

NFLPA Meeting, psychological testing, interviews

Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)

Measurements, medical examinations, media, psychological testing, interviews

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)

Travel to Indianapolis, registration, hospital pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

To discuss Luck, DeCastro, Martin, Owusu, Jones and Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about Jones and Cal football with Golden Bears fans, check out the California Golden Blogs.


2012 NFL Combine Results: David DeCastro Shows Power In Bench Press

The NFL Combine wrapped up its third day with offensive linemen and tight ends going through the bench press drill. Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro did nothing to dispel the fact that he is as strong as they come, pumping out 34 lifts on the bench press. DeCastro finished second only to Michigan's David Molk who pumped out 41 lifts on the bench press.

DeCastro has been considered a mid-first round projection thus far and nothing has changed that thus far. His arms measured right around what was expected and it is unlikely that he would switch out to right tackle initially. If he had been able to make that move, his stock might have risen a little bit given the versatility.

Nonetheless, there is nothing to indicate he will not be the first guard taken off the board in April. He is drawing comparisons to All-Pro offensive guard Steve Hutchinson. If he slides down past 15, teams could be looking at quite a steal.


NFL Combine 2012: Andrew Luck Won't Throw At Combine, Discusses Peyton Manning

Projected No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck took to the podium Friday at the 2012 NFL combine, touching on a number of subjects including the fact that he will not throw at the combine this year, his relationship with Peyton Manning as well as his former coach Jim Harbaugh, and his plans for the rest of the combine.

The big question is how Luck would fare with Peyton Manning if both were on the Colts together. Luck was adamant that it could only be a plus if he joined on with No. 18:

On playing behind Peyton Manning:

"If I have the opportunity to learn from a guy like that, of course, you're going to take advantage of it."

Manning and Luck exchanged a few text messages when he was deciding on enter the draft last year, and has a rapport with him through some of his QB camps. 'He was my hero growing up," according to Luck.

Luck also touched on his former coach at Stanford Jim Harbaugh, and his time spent with the Colts as well.

On Coach Jim Harbaugh's time in Indianapolis:

"I am familiar with Captain Comeback and I know he had a great career here."

Even though he won't be throwing, he will be taking part in all the other drills, weighing in at 6-4 234 pounds. But a clean-shaven Luck showed some of off some his personality as well towards the end of the Q & A:

Can't wait to see how he fares in the combine, though it might not affect his draft stock much.

For more on the Draft, head over to Mocking the Draft.


NFL Combine 2012: Andrew Luck, Marvin Jones Get Measurements On Friday

The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal both have some great talents that will be available in the 2012 NFL Draft. Friday will see the beginning of examinations for quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs and both schools will have players participating in them.

Stanford QB Andrew Luck, WR Chris Owusu and Cal WR Marvin Jones are a part of this group who will go through the process of getting various measurements, medical examinations, performing media, taking psychological testing and doing interviews with teams and NFL professionals.

This group won't get to the on-field assessments until Sunday. Saturday will consist of an NFLPA meeting, psychological testing and, of course, more interviews. It's a long weekend for these guys and it's only just starting.

To discuss DeCastro and Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about Jones and Cal football with Golden Bears fans, check out the California Golden Blogs.


2012 NFL Combine Results: David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin, Coby Fleener Measure Up

A day after offensive linemen and tight ends checked in to the 2012 NFL Combine, we finally get a chance to get some news. Players do not begin running their 40s and lifting weights until Saturday, but for now we have some height, weight, arm length measurements. For now it will only lead to speculation about draft status, but it is something to start with for now.

Stanford is represented today by offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, offensive guard David DeCastro and tight end Coby Fleener. None of the three surprised anybody with their measurements. Martin came in at just over 6'5, weighing 312 lbs with a 34 inch arm length. DeCastro came in at a tall 6'4 (and 7/10 of an inch), 316 lbs and with an arm length of 32 3/8. Fleener is 6'6, 247 lbs with arm length of 33 3/8 and hand size of 10 inches.

Martin declared he was better than USC OT Matt Kalil and believes he is the best tackle in the draft. Martin reportedly suffered food poisoning in recent days and will not lift or do field drills during the Combine. He will save that for his Pro Day in March.

The big question with DeCastro was where his arm length would come in. His 32 3/8 was about what was expected and likely leaves him a a guard at the next level. He could potentially play some tackle, but arm length is a sizable consideration at the next level when a player is out on that island. His work in the drills will help better clarify that situation.


NFL Combine 2012: Test Your Skills With Sample Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic test has become a staple of any NFL draftee's experience now, forced to take the 12-minute, 50-question exam designed to test the aptitude of prospective employees in the realms of learning and problem-solving. The test score is based on the number of correct questions given in the allotted time, with a score of 20 being a median score that indicates 'average intelligence.'

But now you can try out the Wonderlic test for yourself by taking a simulated exam that gives you three minutes and 36 seconds to answer 15 questions. It isn't the Real McCoy, but gives a pretty good sense of what kind of questions these players are subjected to.

In his book The Thinking Man's Guide To Football, Paul "Dr. Z." Zimmerman listed the average Wonderlic score of NFL players by position. Here's their rank from highest to lowest, you can see where you'd fit in at your former/desired position, or if you should be applying for McArther genius grants or dishwashing duties.

Offensive tackle - 26
Center - 25
Quarterback - 24
Guard - 23
Tight End - 22
Safety - 19
Linebacker - 19
Cornerback - 18
Wide Receiver - 17
Fullback - 17
Running Back - 16

For more on the NFL Combine head over to Mocking the Draft. For more on the League in general check out SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.


2012 NFL Scouting Combine: David DeCastro, Marvin Jones Have Chance To Prove Themselves

The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal both have some great talents that will be available in the 2012 NFL Draft. All of them have some work they could be doing in trying to improve their stock in this week's Combine.

Two of these players are expected to be among the ones that could be drafted the highest for each team. Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro will obviously fall behind Andrew Luck and probably Jonathan Martin, but he is a bona fide first round pick. Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated reports that a switch in position could do DeCastro's draft stock well.

DeCastro closely resembles Steve Hutchinson on the field with his aggressive nature and dominant strength. Scouts wonder if DeCastro can make the move from guard to right tackle in the NFL. He's listed at 6-foot-5 on the Stanford website, the perfect height for a right tackle prospect. If his Combine measurement is close to that number and DeCastro turns in a good workout, franchises around the league could place him on their draft board at the right tackle position. His draft stock would then soar.

Former Cal wideout Marvin Jones has been performing quite well as one of the top under-the-radar receiver prospects, and he could make a further move up the board at the Combine.
Jones was cast as a possession wideout with minimal upside entering the 2011 campaign. He topped off a tremendous season by impressing NFL decision-makers at the Senior Bowl. The question remains: How fast is Jones? If he matches his 40 times in recent workouts (low 4.4s), Jones will be viewed in a whole new light and could jump into the second round.

To discuss DeCastro and Stanford football with Cardinal fans, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about Jones and Cal football with Golden Bears fans, check out the California Golden Blogs.


NFL Combine 2012: Mike Mayock Previews Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III [VIDEO]

As the NFL Combine gets going, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is in his element breaking down the various players taking part in the festivities. He has had a chance to break down a ton of film on these guys and he can now apply that film breakdown to what he sees in the drills and how the players measure out.

Mayock took a few minutes to chat with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (video below) and spent a good chunk of the discussion talking about Stanford QB Andrew Luck. The breakdown begins just after the three-minute mark. Mayock is a fan of what Luck brings to the table as a quarterback, but he is hesitant to declare him a once in a generation talent as many people have been inclined to do over the last seven months. Mayock believes Luck has the work ethic and love of the game that is needed to be great, but he also thinks Luck has areas to work on including making some of the throws at the next level. He thinks there is a good chance Luck is a Pro Bowl QB, but he is not prepared to go beyond that quite yet.

He also took some time to discuss the budding QB battle between Luck and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. There have been a few mentions of the Peyton Manning versus Ryan Leaf battle back in 1998 but Mayock thinks that if Griffin does continue moving up it is much different than what hindsight has revealed about Manning-Leaf. Leaf was a one year wonder and there were some questions about his mental make-up, which revealed themselves after he was drafted. Although Griffin is coming off his best year, he worked his way up to it with a fairly solid 2010 season.

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NFL Combine 2012: Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin, David DeCastro Among Six Stanford Players To Attend

There are six Stanford Cardinal prospects who will be at the 2012 NFL Combine, half of whom are likely to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Comcast SportsNet reports.

  • Quarterback Andrew Luck will be there. Might have heard of him. He might get picked pretty high up there. Just a thought.
  • Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Behind Matt Kalil of USC, Martin could be the top offensive tackle prospect out there if he holds his ground.
  • Offensive guard David DeCastro. DeCastro can climb higher and lock up his first round candidacy.
  • Tight end Coby Fleener. Fleener does seem to be the perfect tight end on paper, but will he actually make it? Fleener has struggled with health issues lately.
  • Wide receiver Chris Owusu. Owusu is trying to prove he can be an NFL player despite his nasty injury history, and would like to show his skills are up to par.
  • Strong safety Delano Howell. Howell is an overlooked safety who could make a move and become a big-time draft pick with a solid combine performance.

To talk about Luck, Martin, DeCastro and Stanford football, head to Rule of Tree.


NFL Draft 2012: Andrew Luck, Colts Allowed To Work On Contract Starting Friday

We all might have ourselves an answer to this Peyton Manning riddle much sooner than later.

NBC's Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio is reporting that the earliest the Indianapolis Colts can sign projected No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck is this Friday, which could be possibly prove to be some writing on the wall as to where the team stands on Peyton Manning at the moment.

Thanks to the new rookie wage scale, it makes it easier to sign No. 1 draft picks before the draft, especially with much less money to negotiate than previous years. So in theory, Luck could join the Colts this Friday and be Peyton Manning's teammate after all, but for how long no one knows.

With all the hoopla surrounding Peyton and Luck, Florio suggests nipping the issue in the bud so to speak by putting the two together could be a positive for Jim Irsay and the Colts:

With owner Jim Irsay clearly concerned about the P.R. issues relating to the departure of the team's franchise quarterback, why not get the next franchise quarterback under contract before sending Peyton packing?

It could prove to make some nice photo shoots and such, but these two can't be on the same team for long. It will be interesting to see if he Colts try to move on Luck this early before the draft, or wait until they figure out how to move Peyton.

For more on the Draft, head over to Mocking the Draft. For more on the Colts, head over to Stampede Blue.


2012 NFL Combine: A Quick Reference Guide To the Player Drills

The NFL Combine is made up of several tests, meant to measure a number of different things - athleticism in general, top-end speed, explosiveness, agility, power, and strength. Intelligence, skills, hand-eye coordination, maturity. You name it. Essentially, the skills needed to play at a high level in the NFL.

Bay Area fans may have a particular interest in watching Stanford's Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin, and David Decastro as they look to boost their stock, and Cal's Mychal Kendricks, Trevor Guyton, Mitchell Schwartz will look to move up team's draft boards. So - what should you be watching?

Fans like to place a lot of emphasis on the '40-time' a player records and that's typically the number that gets thrown around the most, but there are many tests to monitor as you watch the Combine this week. The typical tests administered at the Combine include: 40-yard dash, bench press (225 lb repetitions), vertical jump, broad jump, 20 yard shuttle, 3 cone drill, 60-yard shuttle, position-specific drills, interviews - each team is allotted 60 interviews in 15-minute intervals, physical measurements, injury evaluation, drug screen, the Cybex test and the Wonderlic Test. Let's run through them quickly.

The 40: Yes, this is the sexiest of them all. The 40-yard dash measures how quickly the athlete can run 40 yards, starting from a dead stop. This test is broken down into splits as well - 10 yards and 20 yards, to measure acceleration vs top-end speed. Fast split times indicate quick twitch acceleration and is valuable for any player in this league.

A good 40-time is going to be in the 4.4 to 4.5 second range for receivers, running backs, and defensive backs. 4.6-4.8 is what you could expect from a lot of the other positions - linebackers, defensive ends, tight ends, and some quarterbacks. Most linemen are going to run 4.9 or higher. If you see anyone run in the 4.3s or even the 4.2s, you're seeing something special.

Bench: This is mainly for the big guys - linemen and linebackers. It measures strength and stamina, mostly. Oregon State's Stephen Paea set the all-time Combine record last year with 49 reps at 225 pounds but anywhere in the 30s is pretty good. Guys with longer arms don't do as well because they're lifting the weight further, but in general I don't think teams look too much into the bench press test, unless a player just does horribly. That would indicate lack of dedication most likely - failure to hit the weights or prepare yourself.

Vertical Jump: This test tells teams how much lower body explosiveness a player has. You're not allowed to run and jump; you take off from a standing position, and a benchmark for the elite group in terms of vertical jump is 38" to 42". Anything more than that, you're looking at a freak of nature. Well, all these guys are kind of freaks in that sense, but 43", 44" or more is pretty rare. Virgil Green of Nevada hit 42.5" and Jonathan Baldwin of the Chiefs hit 42" on his vert last year to lead the way.

I'd say this test is probably more important for the receivers and defensive backs but really, lower body strength and explosiveness is pretty important for any player.

Broad Jump: Similar to the vertical, this test measures lower body strength and power. Explosiveness. The player jumps forward as far as they can from a standstill. 10 feet is the baseline for 'good', but if you get into the 10'6" range, you're looking impressive. Julio Jones blew everyone out of the water last year when he registered an 11'3" broadjump. The recent best was Cincinnati's Jerome Simpson in 2009, who jumped 11'4".

20 yard Shuttle (AKA "short shuttle"): Also referred to as the "5-10-5", it's a test of a player's lateral movement ability. The player basically starts in the middle of an area that's 10 yards long - he bursts out of a 3-point stance and fun five yards to the right, switches gears and go ten to the left, then again to the right to finish off. This drill is a lot more important than many people believe - some say it's more important than the 40-yard dash because it measures short-area quickness and agility, things any player on the NFL field requires. A good test in this area can get you noticed. Boise State's Austin Pettis set the bar last year with a 3.88 second short shuttle. Anything below 4-flat though, and you're getting looks.

3-Cone Drill: Similar to the 20-yard shuttle in importance. It measures change of direction, short-area burst, agility, and importantly, balance. Also known as the "L" drill. Players start out in a three point stance at the first cone, run forward five yards to the second, change direction back to where they started, change direction again and back to the second cone again. Instead of stopping there, they hang a right and around the third cone at the end of the "L". Coming back, the player again makes a 90 degree turn to their left then through the finish. Basically, it measures a players ability to keep their speed up through sharp turns and is especially important for receivers, corners, and defensive ends.

Benchmark for 'good' is 7 seconds. Benchmark for 'elite' - 6.5 seconds. Jeff Maehl turned some heads last year and ran a 6.42 for the best time at the Combine. He wasn't drafted, but caught on with Texas as an UDFA. Teams will be watching this time very closely, especially for those three positions.


Those are the mains physical tests to keep an eye on. A good 40-time will get a player some recognition, but a strong 3-cone drill and/or short-shuttle makes a big difference as well. You may have the best hands in the world as a receiver, but if you can't make quick cuts and maintain your speed, you're going to have more trouble against elite cornerbacks in the NFL. Visa versa as well for the defensive backs, and obviously for defensive ends, if you can't get by a left tackle your career at that spot may not last long.

Teams will also put players through positional drills to test their skills in catching, coverage, throwing, and a myriad of other 'football' skills. They'll interview players to evaluate their maturity, dedication, intelligence, etc. They will administer the Wonderlic Test, which is a timed test to measure IQ. The Cybex test is meant to measure fitness and joint movements.

The NFL Combine is the first best way for front offices to gather information on the players in which they are potentially going to invest millions of dollars. It's going to be exciting.


2012 NFL Combine: Stanford's Coby Fleener Will Not Participate In Athletic Drills

There will be a lot to see at the NFL Draft Combine - except for Stanford tight end Coby Fleener.

Fleener is still dealing with a high ankle sprain he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 3. It also kept him out of the Senior Bowl. So scouts won't be able to watch Fleener perform various athletic drills until the much-anticipated Stanford Pro Day on March 23. Joining Fleener will be some guy named Andrew Luck and his other two first-round caliber teammates in offensive guard David DeCastro and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.

According to a source cited by CBS Sportsline, Fleener has recovered sufficiently from the injury but due to his recovery, hasn't had a change to properly prepare for the Combine-specific workouts. Fleener will still be attendance to participate in medical testing and the interview process.

Fleener is's top-rated senior tight end and the second rated tight end overall behind Clemson junior Dwayne Allen.


NFL Draft 2012: Andrew Luck Willing To Throw At NFL Combine, Colts Tell Him No

Andrew Luck will undoubtably be the No. 1 overall pick at the 2012 NFL Draft and the NFL Combine is right around the corner. While most top-picks avoid throwing at the combine, Luck reportedly was willing to throw for teams to display his abilities in front of scouts from all across the league. Despite his willingness to participate, Luck will not throw at the combine, according to this report.

This gives even further credibility that the Colts aren't even considering trading the pick or taking Robert Griffin III to be their quarterback of the future. Regardless if Peyton Manning is in Indianapolis next season or not, it sure looks like Luck will be. Now it's just a matter of if and when Luck will become the starter.

NFL Draft talk is going to heat up in the coming weeks. Get ready for a wild ride, folks.

For more on Luck and the Stanford Cardinal, check out Rule Of Tree. For Colts news, head on over to Stampede Blue.


NFL Combine 2012: Mike Mayock Discusses Andrew Luck, David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin

The Stanford Cardinal have three top prospects that should be drafted in the first round: Quarterback Andrew Luck, offensive guard David DeCastro, and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Mike Mayock is one of the top draft analysts, and he likes them all. On, Mayock ranks Luck as his top quarterback, DeCastro as his top interior offensive lineman, and Martin as his third offensive tackle.

While Luck is going to be the number one pick 99.9% of the time, Mayock isn't as sold on Luck as the chosen one as others might have been. Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk has more.

Mayock just doesn’t see Luck as some sort of "once in a lifetime" prospect like others have indicated. (Yes, others means ESPN in this case.) Mayock compared Luck’s talent level more to someone like Sam Bradford.

Mayock seems to think Martin would be a good fit for many teams, including the Detroit Lions. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

"Jonathan Martin, to me, (is) the prototypical left tackle," Mayock said in a teleconference today. "Gifted athletically, needs to get a little bit stronger. A lot of things I said about (top tackle prospect Matt) Kalil, you could say about him. Needs to get a little bit stronger but will protect the quarterback."

From the same article on the Detroit Free Press on the monstrous Stanford offensive guard.

"I think DeCastro’s pretty sure," Mayock said. "You can plug him in, you can play him day one.

To talk about Luck, DeCastro and Martin with Stanford football fans, head over to Rule of Tree. To talk about these top three prospects, check out Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Draft: Jim Irsay Wants Peyton Manning Back. Maybe.

It's Valentine's Day. Love is in the air, girls and boys everywhere are smooching over chocolates and flowers while watching the Twilight saga together. So why wouldn't Jim Irsay want his best buddy Peyton Manning back? Adam Schefter has more.

SportsCenter is also reporting the following:

Is this just Irsay doing spin control on the situation? Irsay didn't seem too particularly happy with Manning the first time he commented on the possibility of his superstar quarterback leaving, and he is receiving a lot of flak for it in public circles. So Irsay might just be making a move to try and show that he does want his quarterback to stick around, but it's up to him on whether he wants to return.

It's more likely that Irsay is pretty much confiding with these statements that he's going forward with Andrew Luck as his main guy regardless, and Luck shouldn't have anything to worry about if the Colts pick him. Accepting Manning on a reduced salary means Indianapolis isn't that confident in his ability going forward, and Peyton should go look and find max money elsewhere.

To talk about Manning, Luck, Irsay and the Colts, head on over to Stampede Blue. Follow more NFL Draft coverage over at Mocking the Draft.


2012 NFL Draft Pro Days: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III To Work Out On Same Day

Following the late February NFL Combine, the month of March features most every major college hosting its annual Pro Day for NFL scouts. Pro Days allow scouts to view an entire school of players work out at once. They can view the high profile players while also potentially finding a sleeper in the mix.

Stanford and Baylor have announced their Pro Days and they will take place at the same time on Thursday, March 22. This is particularly interesting because it means Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will work out on the same day. Andrew Luck is the consensus number one pick at this point, but RG3 has pushed himself up draft boards and could still challenge Luck for the number one spot.

Teams have enough scouts to send them to both teams, but it will be interesting to see how many Colts scouts make an appearance at Griffin's Pro Day versus Luck's Pro Day. On the one hand, most people expect the Colts to take Luck. However, since they have been tracking him most of the year, they might be more inclined to check out Griffin one last time.


2012 NFL Draft: Chris Owusu Medically Cleared For Concussions

Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu has reportedly been medically cleared following a series of college concussions ended his 2011 season prematurely. A doctor from the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee declared him "perfectly" normal" and cleared him to begin football activities immediately. Owusu was invited to the 2012 NFL Combine and getting back into action will be important to boosting what was a sagging draft stock.

Owusu has game-breaking skills, but he suffered two concussions in 2011 that ended his season early. Concussion issues have become more and more prominent in recent years, so it will be interesting to see where Owusu goes in the draft. There will likely be at least one team willing to roll the dice on him, but the question is where he might go. After looking like a day two draft prospect, Owusu now is likely all over the board depending on which team you ask. Even with the medical clearance, some teams will be hesitant to reach for the Stanford receiver. He will have plenty to discuss during team interviews in the coming weeks.


2012 NFL Draft: Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay To Meet This Week As Andrew Luck Waits

The future of the Indianapolis Colts might be determined this Thursday when quarterback Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay meet this week. Manning told the Indianapolis Star that he expects to do so.

"I told him I would pass that along,’’ Peyton said. "We talked about getting together and I think it will be this week. He just said, ‘I look forward to sitting down with you soon.’ I told him the same thing.

"One thing he and I are not going to do is give a set date, where it’s like a game. We’ll handle it the way it should be handled and go from there.’’

How that meeting goes could set the tone for whether or not Peyton Manning is the starting quarterback of the Colts next year or if Standford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck will take over for him.

If you're playing the odds, you might want to know that Vegas oddsmakers at Bovada have the Arizona Cardinals as the early leader in the clubhouse followed by the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and then the Colts.

To discuss the NFL Draft with Stanford football fans, head to Rule of Tree. For more on the Colts, head over to the SB Nation blog Stampede Blue. To discuss the NFL Draft, head over to Mocking The Draft.


2012 NFL Draft: Robert Griffin III Proclaims Himself Best QB In The Nation

The 2012 NFL Draft will feature numerous quarterbacks, but Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have stood apart from the rest of the class. Andrew Luck remains the consensus number one pick, but RG3 is hot on his trail for that top spot. It would still be a surprise to see Griffin surpass Luck, but most people were also locked in on Luck winning the Heisman as well, so anything is possible.

Griffin took some time to chat with Don Banks of in Indianapolis before Sunday's Super Bowl. He discussed a variety of topics including his plans to compete for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, how Cam Newton's strong rookie season could impact him, and his thoughts on teams potentially trading a lot to move up and draft him.

His most notable comments reflected his confidence in his abilities. Colts owner JIm Irsay has indicated the Colts will take a quarterback with their number one pick (shocking!) and that Luck or Griffin would be that quarterback. Griffin is working to make his case for that number one pick:

I hate to talk about myself like that, but if I had to straight up tell a head coach or an owner why they should take me, it's because I'm the best in everything I've done. I'm the most accurate. I have the strongest arm. I may not be the tallest. I may not be the heaviest. But I'm the best quarterback in the nation, and if they pass on me, then I understand. But I'm going to go out and be the best quarterback for somebody else.

Griffin came out of nowhere in 2011 to claim the Heisman Trophy and emerge as a first round draft pick candidate. Although he does not have 13 more games to force the issue, the combine and private workouts will give RG3 a chance to at least raise enough doubt to create day one intrigue.


Andrew Luck Could 'Co-Exist' With Peyton Manning, But Prefers To Play

When it comes to the quarterback situation for the Indianapolis Colts, there seems to be two messaged need to be deciphered. The writing is on the wall for the first, they will draft Andrew Luck with the number one pick. The second is more like a cypher in an alien language as to what the team's ownership will do with Peyton Manning.

Either way, Luck says he's ready to get the work right away come next season.

Luck was at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Indianapolis on Thursday to get a little workout in. He, among with a number of talented collegiate players, will return in three weeks for the NFL combine and perhaps even after the NFL draft come April.

Luck noted that he could easily 'co-exist' with Manning, but would rather play right away one entering the league.

Manning's surgically-repaired neck forced him to sit out all of the 2011 season, though he says progress is being made and has even been throwing passes once again.. Peyton is due a $28 million roster bonus by March 8, the unofficial deadline for the Colts decision to be made.


NFL Mock Draft 2012: Andrew Luck Signs With Wasserman Media Group

Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck will almost-certainly be the No. 1 selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, as every single mock draft out there projects. When he is, the Wasserman Media Group will represent him. Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal is reporting that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to sign with Wasserman Media Group on Tuesday.

Instead of signing with a big-name agency like CAA or Athletes First or a top name like Eugene Parker or Drew Rosenhaus, Luck becomes the first football player with WMG. As Darren Rovell of CNBC points out, Luck will likely be represented by his uncle, William Wilson.

Lucky break for Wilson.

Wasserman Media Group is known largely for the basketball players but also rep the biggest names in American soccer (Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Hope Solo) and the rising stars of golf (Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson).

As Rovell also notes, WMG has had a No. 1 pick in the MLB, NBA, MLS and WNBA drafts. With the Colts expected to draft Luck, they can add a No. 1 NFL pick to the list.

To discuss the NFL Draft with Stanford football fans, head to Rule of Tree. To discuss the NFL Draft, head over to Mocking The Draft.


2012 NFL Draft Combine: Stanford's Coby Fleener, Chris Owusu, Delano Howell Invited To Indianapolis, Per Report

According to, a part of FOX Sports', three Stanford Cardinals football player has been invited to participate in the NFL Combine held in Indianapolis, Indiana, which takes place from Feb. 22-28. Those players are tight end Coby Fleener, wide receiver Chris Owusu and safety Delano Howell.

Fleener caught 34 passes in 2011 for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns. Owusu caught 35 passes for 376 yards and two touchdowns through the team's first eight games before suffering a concussion in the Oregon State game where he was carted off the field in an ambulance. Howell had 51 tackles and four passes defensed in 2011 despite missing three games in the middle of the season.

The Combine will give Fleener, Owusu and Howell a chance to display their athleticism and any attributes they have that will set him apart from others that play the same position.

For more updates on the Stanford football team, head over to Rule of Tree.


Robert Griffin III Draft Status: Baylor QB To Declare For 2012 NFL Draft, According To Reports

It's official. Andrew Luck's biggest competition is entering the draft alongside the consensus no. 1 pick.

Robert Griffin III is now available.

The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback out of Baylor will enter the NFL Draft and thus begin a competition with Luck that many saw coming.

Luck is the big prize. The "can't miss" prospect of this year's class. But Griffin's entry changes some things for Luck.

One, if Griffin rates just a hair behind Luck on teams' big boards, the Colts, who have the top pick, will see weaker potential deals for the pick because teams will see Griffin as a legit second option. If a team isn't willing to wager everything to trade up to get Luck, they could wait and grab Griffin a few picks later.

Two, as much as everyone is in love with Luck, Griffin isn't going away quietly. He is a legit no. 1 prospect. Whenever Luck is mentioned, Griffin will trail right behind him. Luck will have to beat out Griffin over and over again during the draft process. One slip up, and Griffin is there for the glory. Not saying it'll happen, just saying it isn't as farfetched as it may seem.

Let the fun begin...


NFL Mock Draft 2012: Andrew Luck Vs. Robert Griffin III And The Misconception Of Athleticism

Since the 2011 NFL Draft wrapped up, all the talk at the top of 2012 NFL Draft boards has been that Andrew Luck is the next great QB and as close to a sure thing as we will find. He has been locked in at the number one position all season long and is reflected accordingly in any mock draft you can find.

Naturally, such consistency bores some people. With a strong close to the 2011 college football season, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III has become the new flavor of the month. That is not to say RG3 will not find success in the NFL or that he will never have more success than Andrew Luck. We can speculate all day long about the two quarterbacks, but until they hit the field at the next level, it is nothing more than speculation.

However, there are newspapers to sell and page views to garner, so people will look for any and all stories they can come up with to fill the time between now and late April. Jemele Hill has thrown her hat in that ring with her latest article in which she suggests the Colts best scenario is actually drafting Griffin over Luck with the number one pick. She points to several reasons for selecting RG3 over Luck:

  • Luck is more polished and ready to start, but if Manning is good to go, it makes more sense to bring in Griffin who could reap a greater benefit from sitting behind Manning a'la Aaron Rodgers
  • Robert Griffin has crazy upside with his athleticism and accuracy and Cam Newton proves athletic QBs can be great

Griffin is a more athletic quarterback than Andrew Luck. There is no denying that. However, I have noticed more and more frequently that talking heads do not seem to sufficiently acknowledge Luck's athleticism. He is not a speedster, but he is much more athletic than some of the more traditional pocket passers in the NFL.

When it comes to scrambling skills, he seems like a better version of Alex Smith. People dog Alex Smith all the time, but they easily overlook his ability to scramble with the ball. Smith came out of the Urban Meyer offense that developed Tim Tebow and was a great scrambler in college.

Luck is a bit bigger than Alex Smith, but he also seems to be more open to showing off his athletic abilities. The most obvious example was his one-handed catch against UCLA. Another great example is his 58-yard run against Cal in the 2010 Big Game. He shows his maneuverability while also showing an ability to absolutely truck a defender.

Luck is known primarily for his arm and his brain, but his athleticism is easily overlooked. It is easy to get sucked in by what is working right now in the NFL. As we see with Hill's article, Cam Newton is one of the hot topics in the NFL, and rightfully so given his monster rookie year. However, it seems like Hill feels the need to fit Griffin into the Newton box in order to help justify picking him ahead of Luck.


2012 NFL Draft: David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin Announce Intentions To Turn Pro

Stanford officially lost two of their starting offensive linemen to the NFL today, as ESPN's Joe Schad reported that both Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro have declared their intentions to go pro. Martin was the first to officially declare and DeCastro was soon to follow.

Stanford OT Jonathan Martin entering NFL Draft: "It's time to take the next step. This one hurt, but I want a new challenge."
Jan 03 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

G David DeCastro: "It's time. It's the right thing to do. I had an awesome time at Stanford and I wouldn't trade the memories for anything."
Jan 04 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Martin told ESPN that the biggest thing he'll bring to the NFL is, "Hard work. I pride myself on competing to be the hardest worker on the field." Schad added that G DeCastro, at 6-4.5/310, said he'll try to emulate All-Pros like Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson.

With Stanford's DeCastro, Martin, and (unofficially) Andrew Luck recently declaring their intentions to go pro, OLB Chase Thomas is now officially the one to watch, as he mulls over his decision to stay in school or declare for the draft.

For more on the Stanford Cardinal, make sure you check out Rule of Tree.


It's Unofficially Official: Stanford's Andrew Luck, David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin Declare For NFL Draft, According To Reports

Stanford must now let the stars that made them a national power, head off into the sunset and into the pro ranks.


2012 NFL Draft Order: Indianapolis Colts Secure Top Pick...Let The Bidding Begin

The Indianapolis Colts secured the top pick of the 2012 NFL Draft on Sunday as they lost a 19-13 decision to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although the St. Louis Rams also lost, the Colts hold the tiebreaker due to strength of schedule. That puts the Colts on the clock with an opportunity to select one of the most sought after quarterbacks in recent memory, Andrew Luck.

While Luck remains the likely top candidate, there are still some scenarios that could create havoc with the 2012 NFL Draft. The odds are fairly high the Colts select Luck and move on from there, but not all NFL general managers make the wisest decisions.

If the Colts receive a proverbial "Godfather" offer, it is possible they might decide a bounty of picks would be in their best interest. Much like when the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker for a boatload of picks, the right offer could very well change the Colts minds. You can view the current draft order pending a coin flip. The Cleveland Browns have some extra picks thanks to the 2011 draft day trade that got the Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones. They have Colt McCoy, but if they think Andrew Luck is a better option, maybe they try and pull the trigger. It is not something people are saying will happen, but anything is possible.

The other possible scenario is how Robert Griffin III's draft status moves in the coming months. He is reportedly going to declare for the draft following a monster season capped by the Heisman Trophy. If he enters the draft, it becomes a two QB race at this point. Luck has a sizable lead, but anything is possible over the next four months. I don't think RG3 passes Luck on the Colts draft board, but again, anything is possible.

Here is the current Top 20 draft order:

1. Indianapolis Colts, 2-14
2. St. Louis Rams, 2-14
3. Minnesota Vikings, 3-13
4. Cleveland Browns, 4-12
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-12
6. Washington Redskins, 5-11
7. Jacksonville Jaguars, 5-11
8. Carolina Panthers, 6-10
9. Miami Dolphins, 6-10
10. Buffalo Bills, 6-10
11. Seattle Seahawks, 7-9*
12. Kansas City Chiefs, 7-9*
13. Arizona Cardinals, 8-8
14. Dallas Cowboys, 8-8
15. Philadelphia Eagles, 8-8
16. New York Jets, 8-8
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders, 8-8)
18. San Diego Chargers, 8-8
19. Chicago Bears, 8-8
20. Tennessee Titans, 9-7

*Will be determined by coin flip

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