Kyle Rudolph Has Excellent Pro Day, Robert Quinn Visits Baltimore, and Other Links


On Thursday, former Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph held a pro day for NFL scouts just three weeks removed from fully recovering from a hamstring injury. With limited time to prepare (at least compared to the other prospects in the draft) Rudolph put together an excellent workout, though his 40 times were slower than anticipated, clocking in at a 4.82 and 4.83 on Mike Mayock’s stopwatch. Those 40 times mean virtually nothing, as we all know Rudolph plays faster and with more time spent working out, he likely would have run faster.

The general consensus that I’ve been hearing/reading about is that Rudolph’s workout was good enough to vault him into the first round, but whether or not a team will take a chance on him remains to be seen. We saw the Cincinnati Bengals do it last year, and the team rumored to be interested in taking Rudolph is Atlanta, who could easily lose Tony Gonzalez next year and not miss a beat with Rudolph waiting in the wings.

Another team Rudolph is constantly mocked to is the Denver Broncos, who to my knowledge have yet to set up a private visit or workout with the former Irish star. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested, as I’m sure they had a contingent at his pro day yesterday, and I’m sure they came away very impressed with his workouts.

Just watching some of the highlights, you can see that Rudolph has re-gained his ability to make quick cuts, and when he catches the ball he reminds me of a combination of Jason Witten and Rob Gronkowski, and I think that’s the type of player he will be in the NFL. The biggest concern with Rudolph is–can he stay healthy? He’s been hurt each of the last two seasons, so I think he will slip out of the first round, possibly to the early or mid-second like Gronkowski did a year ago, but he will be a nice value pick.

You can read another report of Rudolph’s pro day by following this link.

Another player with some question marks attached is UNC defensive end Robert Quinn, but he is receiving rave reviews this offseason. It’s apparent that Quinn kept in shape over the course of this year he spent away from football, and I believe he has top five ability, no question about it.

The National Football Post is reporting that Quinn has a visit lined up with the Baltimore Ravens, and this past week also had one with the Buffalo Bills. They also have an exclusive interview with Quinn, which seem pretty rare right now.

To me, Quinn is the best pass rusher in the draft. Had he played this past year–and you’ve heard this before–I think he would have easily been a top five draft pick, if not the first player off the board all together. So many people keep comparing Da’Quan Bowers to Julius Peppers, when really that comparison is unwarranted, and if anyone deserves it, it’s Robert Quinn.

Quinn needs to improve against the run, but he is relentless rushing the passer, and has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3, but I think he’s the perfect 4-3 right defensive end. But what do I know? Quinn is visiting two 3-4 teams, but also says he has interviews lined up with quite a few top ten teams as well.

Josh Buchanan, the top small school NFL Draft analyst on the web, has some new player journals as well as a fan mailbag on his site that you should definitely check out.

I don’t have a link for this, but there is a growing consensus in my mind right now that Cam Newton will be the first pick in the draft. Our Carolina insider right now is leaning towards Newton, and so is seemingly every major analyst on the web. Newton has an impressive combination of size, speed, arm strength, and accuracy. I think that while he’s not the top overall player in the draft, he is undoubtedly the top quarterback in the draft, and will be a big risk, but hopefully well worth it for Carolina.

I also got to talk to a Denver Broncos source yesterday. He told me he believes that all of Marcell Dareus, Von Miller, and Patrick Peterson will be available when the Broncos select 2nd overall, but they are not sure which player they want to go with yet. He also told me that the Broncos will try to trade down from the 2nd pick, but it will be difficult if there is not a CBA and/or if Cam Newton goes first overall.

On  the Broncos and drafting quarterbacks, he became the third source to tell me they are likely drafting another signal caller, and he opined that it would be with their second 2nd round pick (46th). However, he also told me the Broncos are going to attempt to move down in the second round to try and get some picks back in the middle rounds (they do not have a 4th or 5th round pick).

Christian Ballard has visited the Bills, Ravens, and Cowboys, all 3-4 defenses.

Follow us on twitter @NFLmocks