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.
Of 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.