Take a look in at the first group at the combine and some players that could interested the San Diego Chargers
Thursday started the evaluations for three groups of players. PK/ST players will began workouts while offensive linemen and tight ends performed the 225 lb. bench press testing. In most cases, the NFL bench press numbers can be ignored. However, with offensive and defensive linemen this is not the case. Teams want to see just how much upper body strength a blocker possesses to compliment their lower body agility and power. Likewise, the tight end group should be monitored for upper body strength. Despite the majority of tight ends being drafted as a receiving threat, the need for an in-line blocking tight end will never fully subside.
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On Friday, the offensive linemen and tight ends will take to the turf to perform their respective on-field position drills. Many questions as far as footwork, technique, and reaction times will be evident through their performances and could factor into their individual draft stock. By no means is a team going to draft a guy purely off his combine performance nor will they steer away based off the combine, but it is an up close look into their overall intangibles. A great example of this for the Chargers would be Manti Te’o, who posted an underwhelming 4.82 40 yard dash and still was traded up for and selected in the 2nd round. To put that time into perspective, Corey Liuget ran a 4.99 at the combine at 298 lbs.
Although the tight end position isn’t looked at as a current area of need for the Bolts, they will have contracts expiring with Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green, and John Phillips after the 2015 season. John Phillips caught 1 pass for 1 yard and a touchdown last year and is in his final year of his contract. He will have a cap number of over $2 million in 2015, as a pure blocking specialist. Here is a breakdown of a few guys from the offensive line and tight end position groups that I think am most excited to see during on-field drills on Friday.