TAMPA, Fla. -- College all-star game practices are a great place for NFL scouts and personnel men to evaluate upcoming talent. But it's not all about prospect evaluation. The latest player news, coaching moves and everything else relating to the NFL are all hot topics, as well.
Here are a few nuggets I gleaned during my time on the sidelines at the East-West Shrine Game practices this week:
» One personnel executive mentioned that he wouldn't be surprised if the Baltimore Ravens allowed Ed Reed to depart via free agency in the offseason. If the 11-year veteran safety hits the open market, two logical landing spots would be the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. Reed is close to Colts coach Chuck Pagano, the former Ravens defensive coordinator, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick has never been shy about his high opinion of Reed.
» Opinions are really split on North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon. Some teams are infatuated with his size and arm strength, while others are concerned with the high volume of turnovers.
» There was plenty of chatter following Chip Kelly's decision to accept the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching job. One interesting topic involved potential quarterbacks that would allow him to incorporate all aspects of his offensive system. This draft class doesn't have an ideal candidate for his scheme, but one executive mentioned an interesting possibility: Why not trade a mid-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Tyrod Taylor?
» NFL scouts have always had an incredible amount of respect for Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson. He is always on the road evaluating college players, and he puts more effort into the process than any other executive in the league. A prime example: Following Wednesday afternoon's East-West Shrine practice, most scouts and personnel men headed home for the weekend, with the real action wrapped up and only unpadded practices left on the docket. At Thursday's afternoon practice, there were only eight NFL representatives in attendance. It was pouring rain outside and there was Thompson, sporting a rain poncho and closely monitoring every individual drill.
» Scouts and executives don't just evaluate the players at these games; they also keep an eye out for potential coaching candidates. While still at the University of San Diego, Jim Harbaugh chose to coach in a college all-star game in Las Vegas. That is when his stock began to rise, as NFL personnel types came away impressed with his coaching style and command. Former all-pro cornerback Al Harris is looking to make the transition to coaching, as well. He has done an excellent job coaching the West team's secondary, and I fully expect him to be an NFL position coach in the near future.
» The Dallas Cowboys' hiring of Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator came as a shock to numerous scouts and executives. They assumed his NFL coaching career had ended and don't really see him as a good fit in Dallas. Time will tell if this move proves to be the right one for that organization.
» It's been several weeks since Jadeveon Clowney's ridiculous play in the Outback Bowl, but it's still a hot topic in NFL circles. Several veteran personnel men said it was one of the most impressive plays they've ever seen.
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