OU’s Jermaine Gresham, who is projected to be a late first-round draft pick, did not appear for media interviews Thursday, the day tight ends were scheduled. NFL personnel declined to say why Gresham was not available, but most Combine media veterans speculated that Gresham’s time was taken by extensive medical evaluation. Gresham missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing knee surgery in August. NFL teams don’t let any injuries slide. They find out exactly what kind of health they are drafting. "People don’t miss those anymore,” said Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, who has coached the Seahawks and Packers to Super Bowls. "You check, then you have a re-check, then another re-check. "In this day and age, there’s so much shared information. I’m very comfortable with that part of it (medical evaluation).” OU tight end Brody Eldridge, who missed the last half of the season with a neck injury, also missed the media session. He, too, could have been detained by medical evaluations.
Quarterback derbyOf the top six quarterback prospects at the Combine, only Cincinnati’s Tony Pike is scheduled to throw. While OU’s Sam Bradford, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Texas’ Colt McCoy are recovering from injury, Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour and Florida’s Tim Tebow are bowing out for non-health reasons. "My personal opinion, you get a chance to compete, you compete,” said 49er general manager Scot McCloughan. "But you can’t lay it all on a kid’s shoulders.” McCloughan said agents and handlers sometimes encourage players to skip the workouts. All the quarterbacks will go through medical evaluations and interviews. Pittsburgh Steeler director of player personnel Kevin Colbert said he wouldn’t hold it against a QB who didn’t throw in Indianapolis, but "he’ll never have an audience like he has here.” Virtually every NFL coach and general manager, along with some owners, is at the Combine. "If he works out at his school,” Colbert said, "he’ll have a good turnout, but nothing like he’ll have here.” Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson has said he’ll throw at the Combine. Bradford is scheduled to throw for pro scouts on March 24 in Norman.
Okung: Best Cowboy blocker ever?Oklahoma State All-American offensive tackle Russell Okung is projected as a top-five pick in the draft and is the most decorated blocker in school history. "Our O-line coach (Joe Wickline) would tell me otherwise,” Okung said. "But it’s very humbling to actually hear something like that. But I don’t really take too much into it. I’m just another guy at Oklahoma State trying to make his way.”
Gailey agreesChan Gailey is back as an NFL head coach after an 11-year hiatus. He was fired by the Cowboys after going 18-16 overall in 1998-99 and recently was hired to lead the Buffalo Bills. In January, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he made a mistake in firing Gailey, and Gailey on Thursday said, "I will not disagree with his statement.” Gailey said he has not talked to Jones but appreciated the sentiment and said Jones was "very good to us (in Dallas) ... if you haven’t made a mistake, then you haven’t made decisions.”
Check the filmBaylor center J.D. Walton is projected as a third-round draft pick. He was asked extensively about two guys he played against in 2009 — Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh and OU’s Gerald McCoy, the defensive linemen expected to go 1-2 or 2-1 in the draft. Walton said he played "pretty well” against both behemoths. "Those are the games I tell everyone to look at. The conference I played in was pretty good. Good d-tackles every week. I feel well-prepared.”