INDIANAPOLIS – Most of the defensive tackles at the Scouting Combine spoke to the media on Saturday. Given the Broncos’ need for interior pass rush — and the dearth of viable helpful options on the free-agent market — it’s a logical starting point for the weekend.
MICHAEL BROCKERS, LSU:
HEIGHT: 6-foot-5 - WEIGHT:322 lbs.
It didn’t take long for Brockers to catch people’s attention; all he had to do was share his weight.
Brockers was listed at 306 pounds, but ended the 2011 season at 317 and said Saturday that he’s now up to 322 — which he insists is not because he celebrated the end of regular Les Miles practices by going on an all-Krystal-and-Zaxby’s diet.
“I didn’t really plan on gaining weight,” Brockers said. “It’s just drinking supplements, lifting weights differently pumped me up. I think I put on more muscle mass than anything else.
“Good, solid pounds. The good pounds, not the bad pounds.”
That being said, he was surprised.
“I’m still quick and I don’t know what I would weigh in at,” Brockers said. “And then I weigh in and say, ‘Oh, snap! I’m 322 now.’ It’s a shock I guess. But I’m just blessed to have this body frame and still be quick with it.”
However, Brockers said his 40-yard dash time increased from 4.8 seconds to 5.0 seconds after he jumped from 280 to 310 pounds. The impact of the extra weight on his sprint time won’t be known until his Pro Day; Brockers won’t run the 40-yard dash or lift in the bench press here but will do everything else.
FLETCHER COX, MISSISSIPPI STATE:
HEIGHT: 6-foot-4 - WEIGHT: 298 lbs.
Cox’s weight was about what was expected — and what one would hope to find from a three-technique defensive tackle.
His emphasis since announcing his decision to declare for the NFL Draft last month is exactly what the Broncos need most from a new defensive tackle: pass rush.
“Since the season’s been over, I’ve been doing a lot of hand drills,” Cox said. “Not that my hands are slow, but just developing more pass rush moves was the biggest thing I’ve been working on.”
And when Cox studies pass rushers, he doesn’t examine tackles.
“I look at more ends (including) DeMarcus Ware,” Cox said. “I like how he gets after the quarterback.”
DONTARI POE, MEMPHIS:
HEIGHT: 6-foot-4 - WEIGHT: 346 lbs.
Poe told media he’s played in 3-4 and 4-3 alignments and has been both a three- and five-technique — having moved outside because of a teammate’s injury — but acknowledged that the majority of NFL interest in him is as a 3-4 nose tackle.
“Most people kind of see me as a 3-4 nose tackle, which is cool with me because I like that position,” as well,” Poe said.
“I like to think that I’m versatile and I can play multiple positions.”
DEVON STILL, PENN STATE:
HEIGHT: 6-foot-5 - WEIGHT: 303 lbs.
There wasn’t much deference to other defensive tackles from Still.
“I think hands down I’m the best defensive tackle in this draft, just because I feel like I want it more,” he said. “I was able to take over a lot of games this season. Just the production that I had, I was able to disrupt plays even if I wasn’t making tackles or sacks.”
Retorted Brockers later Saturday: “If he said that, he said that … We’ll see Monday.”
Still would like to be on the radar of all teams, not just those who play the 4-3. Thus, he discussed his willingness to play a five-technique defensive end.
“I think I can play in both a 4-3 and a 3-4 just because I don’t see the five-technique being that much different from playing the three-technique,” Still said.
His defensive-line coach at Penn State, Larry Johnson — the father of the former Chiefs running back — moved him around the defensive line.
“Coach Johnson let me get a taste of all the different
positions on the line,” Still said. “I practiced end when I first got to Penn State and then I moved out to three-technique my sophomore year and I played both the three and the one.
“For my senior year, I played the majority at the three-technique, so I got a taste of every position on the defensive line.”
UNEXPECTED TALKING POINT:
NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, holding a press conference to talk about Combine workouts and other related topics, which included player drug testing.
Then Billick, the former Baltimore Ravens head coach and one-time Match Game contestant, traipsed into tangent mode.
“I absolutely detest the term, ‘recreational drugs.’ But again in our society that’s a tough one to deal with,” he said.
“Sooner or later marijuana use is going to be legal in California, and I’m from California. So I don’t live there anymore,” Billick continued, showing he won’t be a candidate for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination any time soon.
“You look at their budget and the way they work in Sacramento and you’d think they’re all on dope,” he concluded, by extension eliminating himself from the radar of the Democratic Party, which currently controls the California governorship.