Jaguars private interview sessions scheduled
The NFL Scouting Combine is known for the 40-yard dash times, skill drills and weigh-ins. But some of the most valuable parts of the week in Indianapolis are not televised or conducted on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Though they would make great television, the private player interview sessions are among the most important exercises of the week for each franchise, as it is often the first chance to sit down with potential draft picks face-to-face.
Each team is permitted to conduct up to 60 15-minute private interviews during the Scouting Combine, normally in a hotel meeting room setting.
For efficiency purposes, Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said that the Jaguars' interview list is smaller.
"We're going to do exactly 47 (interviews)," Caldwell said. "We're (already) slotted to interview these guys, and generally you interview them before they work out. We will develop a game plan for each guy that comes into our room based on his history, based on his playing time, on his skill set."
With only 15 minutes with each player, each interview must target specific areas for different players.
"There might be a player that we know is a great kid and has no issues, but he has a hard time with different football concepts, so we might spend the whole 15 minutes on that," Caldwell said. "Vice versa, we might know that this guy is wicked smart and we're not going to waste time on that, but he's had a couple of character issues in his career, so we'll spend time on that.
"It's our first time actually meeting these players, Caldwell said. "We've never been able to really be able to sit down with them face-to-face. This is the first time that Coach Bradley and I can sit down and see what they are really about.
"We try to just make that 15 minutes as efficient as possible."
Fisch has larger role in Indianapolis and looks ahead to offseason schedule
Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday in preparation for his 10th visit to the Scouting Combine, but his first as an NFL coordinator.
"This one is the most exciting one because you really get to spend time with all the position groups, not just the particular one you're coaching that year," Fisch said. "Then being able to sit in all the interviews and interview the wide receivers, the offensive linemen, tight ends, running backs and quarterbacks. Then of course being a part of everything, watching the skills drills."
Fisch added that the offseason schedule is going as planned, but that it really intensifies following the week in Indianapolis.
"February is over by the time we get through with the Combine, and now you're into March already and you're dealing with free agency and draft prospects, and trying to put the system together," Fisch said.
Not only does the schedule begin to move quickly, but new faces could begin appearing in the building as well, something that he learned to deal with as the quarterbacks coach under Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during the 2010 season.
"One thing I learned from Coach Carroll when we were at Seattle is that there's going to be a lot of changes," Fisch said. "There's going to be a lot of people coming in, there's going to be a lot of people competing every day for their jobs. We brought in a ton of people during 2010, and I'm sure we're going to do the similar deal here and try to get the best guys."
Mayock discusses top ten draft prospects in the trenches
As teams and prospects prepare for the combine, speculation continues to center around the top of the draft, including the Jaguars' second overall pick.
The situation in the top five selections is fluid, and much could depend on what the Kansas City Chiefs do at number one overall. While some analysts project a defensive end there, NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock this week projected Alabama guard Chance Warmack, North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher as possible choices for the Chiefs.
"I don't care whether it's Warmack or Joeckel," Mayock said. "People will tell me I'm crazy, that a guard can't go No. 1. I think he's the best player in the draft, so I would argue that. But either way, I think they've got to get an offensive lineman and come back at 33 (34) and prepare to go with a quarterback or wide receiver or something. But I think the tackle is the most obvious guy for day one."
Mayock also said while many observers rate pass rushers such as Damontre Moore of Texas A&M, Bjoern Werner of Florida State and Barkevious Mingo of Louisiana State as Top-10 selections, he has the players rated lower.
"I'm not seeing a quick-twitch ability to get to the quarterback," he said of Moore and Werner. "Werner is a tough kid; he's got a good motor. He's got a good get-off. I like his end usage, especially for a guy that's playing a lot of football. He doesn't have that clean get off and go. Coming from a top five defensive end, that is kind of what you want to see."
Mayock added of Moore, "He's long, but, again, he does everything pretty well in the pass game but I don't see that elite, quick-twitch burst, and I also don't see a great run defender. I think he's average against the run at best."
Mayock said that he does value those players, but just not as high as some have projected them.
"I like them, but I like them later in the first round, not in the Top 10."
The media center at Lucas Oil Stadium opened Thursday morning when the first round of position groups were scheduled to meet hundreds of credentialed media members.
On Thursday, offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers and tight ends are scheduled to speak with the media in the East Club Lounge at Lucas Oil Stadium.