NFL Scouting Combine: What we learned from Day 3


INDIANAPOLIS -- Day 3 of the NFL Scouting Combine included the first on-field drills, plenty of rumors and a lot of player availability.

» Yes, there were stories on Saturday other than the media session with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Here's what we learned, including the Te'o takeaways:

» Te'o handled the media barrage with grace. It was all a little awkward and odd. Te'o admitted the experience has been "overwhelming," but he's done a good job putting it in perspective and moving on.

» Lowest moment for the media: The New York Post asked if Te'o was dating anyone "real."

"No, not now," Te'o responded.

» As's Daniel Jeremiah pointed out, it's all about Te'o's on-field work. He pegged Te'o as a late-first round pick based on film only.

» I spoke with new Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley on Saturday. I've never seen a more energetic, positive coach. He makes Pete Carroll look like Mike McCarthy. It's not just for show; Bradley's energy amped up when the cameras were off. He was short on specifics when it came to his roster, but emphasized how quarterback Blaine Gabbert would have to fight for his job.

» New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese didn't give up a lot of information to the media, but he made it clear that releasing Justin Tuck is not an option for the team.

» On the field, prospects mostly held serve. Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert looks like the top tight end in this class, arguably by a wide margin. A strong day of drills included a 4.68 second 40-yard dash, and a 35½-inch vertical leap. NFL Network's Mike Mayock said Eifert helped solidify his spot as the top tight end, although his No. 2 tight end, Zach Ertz, also had a nice day.

» Mayock's No. 3 tight end, San Diego State's Gavin Escobar, ran a surprisingly slow 4.84 in the 40-yard dash. "That's not who he is on film," Mayock said. He said the slow time will cause teams to look at Escobar.

» Fairly big draft stock news: Oregon defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan announced Saturday that he will have surgery to repair a torn labrum after the combine. That will keep him off the field for three to four months. Jordon is a Mayock favorite who could wind up getting taken in the top 10. This won't help that effort.

» The Philadelphia Eagles look serious about this whole "We're not trading Nick Foles" thing. In another case of mildly irresponsible speculation, the Kansas City Chiefs are viewed as an early favorite for Alex Smith.

» My favorite bit of news I learned today: LSU defensive lineman Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery have a bet on who gets drafted first. The bet: $5,000 and a car wash. Of course, $5,020 would be simpler, but the loser actually has to do said car washing.

» Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson made it clear he will do anything to get into the NFL: Play wide receiver, quarterback or even cornerback. (Or possibly wash cars.)

» I learned that watching the NFL is not a prerequisite for playing in the NFL.

» Have no fear, Dallas Cowboys fans with Miles Austin jerseys. He's not going anywhere.

» Sunday looms: Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will work out. Defensive backs will talk. We'll be here for it all.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.