For the second consecutive year, Rutgers football will send two former players to the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
WR Leonte Carroo and LB Steve Longa will represent Rutgers over the weekend in what will be their biggest opportunity to show their value to NFL teams.
WR Leonte Carroo
Position Workout: Saturday
Barring anything unexpected, Carroo will be the first Rutgers player taken in the draft. Mel Kiper says he is second rounder, while most sites have him pegged to be selected in any of the top 3 rounds.
Biggest Event: 40-yard dash
This is the event that many players consider the most important and is without a doubt the event that fans pay the most attention to. The truth is, it is an irrelevant exercise for most players, as "football speed" and instincts are usually more important. However, for Carroo, one skill in question in his straight-line speed. From NFL.com:
His gaudy yards per catch numbers are a function of Rutgers play-action passing attack more than his speed deep. Rarely outruns cornerbacks and struggles to get over the top and stack them.
Many times I have seen Carroo simply run around DBs and just have to turn and run back the other way because Chris Laviano couldn't reach him. I don't see his straight-line speed as an issue, but apparently scouts do. His goal is to run a 4.4 and that is very attainable. He should be able to put doubts of his speed to rest at the Combine, as I think he can run close to a 4.40.
LB Steve Longa
Position Workout: Sunday
Longa is very much on the fringe of being drafted and the Combine can be a huge weekend for him. He is a bit undersized and doesn't pop off the charts as an athlete. He could go anywhere from the 6th round to being undrafted.
Biggest Event: LB Coverage Drills
Technically position specific drills aren't an event, but this is where Longa needs to be his best. Truthfully, he just doesn't have to screw up the other events and he'll be fine. His instincts as a tackler and film are plenty for scouts. However, he really is not good in pass coverage. He isn't Kaiwan Lewis bad, but he certainly isn't very good. This drills will test his ability to backpedal and change direction unexpectly and move with the play. Scouts will be able to see how fluid his hips are and how well he can move in open space. That is an area he should've been working hard on in his training and it will be interesting to see how he does.