Today marks the official start of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. The Combine was created in order to give NFL teams a centralized event to evaluate players medically, but it has evolved into so much more than that. The Combine is a place that is still used to poke and prod potential draftees, but it is also used to judge prospects' athletic ability, interview players and as a place to talk shop with other NFL scouts, coaches and executives. It has also become a media circus for countless outlets, most notably the NFL Network, which covers the event on television.
Much is made about the evils of the Combine because of what it has grown into. NFL people sometimes allude to annoyance with the level of scrutiny that they now receive, but they shouldn't. The fact that a scouting event can rate higher ratings than other sports' games shows how wildly popular the NFL has become, and it is that popularity that allows the NFL to garner $9 billion in revenue annually to argue over.
Pretty much any draftnik that has a decent amount of pull has received media credentials to the Combine and is spending today traveling to Indianapolis. Due to this migration, there isn't as much draft-specific stuff today. I will have a list of Twitter users that I suggest you give a follow to as they will be covering the Combine up later today. In the meantime, follow the jump for all Houston Texans related happenings.
The man with perhaps the biggest stage at the Combine is NFL Network's Mike Mayock. Mayock published his third edition of his Top 5 players at each position yesterday, which had some notable changes. Among them, Mayock has Robert Quinn as his number one DE (he was initially fourth, if memory serves me), Muhammad Wilkerson as his third rated defensive tackle and Akeem Ayers as his second outside linebacker.
As has widely been the subject of Texans conversations, Eugene Wilson was released on Friday, along with four other players. John Hallam wonders if John McClain's claim that Glover Quin will be moved to free safety is based on sources or conjecture.
Rivers McCown thinks that such a move would be a cheap way out, and I agree. The fact that OJ Atogwe has presumably not visited the Texans yet is inexcusable, given the complete lack of depth. More on this later.
Patrick from the Texans Tribune added his two cents about Wilson and Quin, plus his opinion on the current labor mediation with the NFL and the NFLPA.
John McClain writes that DeMeco Ryans will stay busy this offseason with rehab as well as being the NFLPA rep for the Texans.
Alan Burge noted that Ben Tate has been cleared to participate fully in workouts by medical personnel, a nugget that he found on Tate's Facebook. Tate also made the announcement on Twitter yesterday.
My time to post is being cut short by my real job, but if you find anything worth linking, leave it in the comments.