Downtown Indianapolis was the location of the NFL Scouting Combine going on this weekend, and that meant a short journey south for the two Purdue players taking part. Josh Johnson and Kawann Short both received invitations to the exclusive event. Botha re also now expected to be drafted as a result.
First up was Kawann, who was graded as a solid 80.6 and expects to be taken somewhere in the first 60 picks in April:
Purdue's two-time team captain earned All-Big Ten recognition in 2011 (17 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) using his NFL size and surprising athleticism, the same attributes making Short a potential starter in 4-3 or 3-4 systems at the next level if he controls his weight and improves his consistency. He is a good athlete for his size, but needs to get stronger and get in better shape. He's had a productive and decorated career at Purdue, and is a big body with quickness, and figures to go in the top 60 picks of the draft.
The amazing thing is that Short did not participate in any physical drills due to a hamstring injury. He is expected to do all the drills at Purdue's Pro Day later on. That gives him time to go even higher on the draft board. Hopefully he can join Ryan Kerrigan, Anthony Spencer, and Dustin Keller as recent first round picks from Purdue.
Josh Johnson had a productive weekend in terms of the interview, improving his stock into the "draftable" category at 67.2 as a likely later round pick:
This ultra-confident and competitive corner is flying under the radar a bit playing for a mediocre Purdue squad without the history of providing NFL talent. Johnson, a high school baseball and football star, has played well over the past few years, and find a niche in a dime cornerback role.
Josh will go through his testing on Tuesday with the rest of the DBs and Safeties, so it remains to be seen if the combine will see him rise or fall. Scouts seem to be high on his speed so much that they believe he does not use it enough. Often times this year I felt Josh was the better corner than Ricardo Allen, who got more press.
I'll update this post tomorrow once Josh's drill numbers are out.