Wednesday cyber surfing: Recapping the Combine

Good morning. Here’s what “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 29:

The NFL Scouting Combine ended Tuesday, but the fallout from the things that transpired the past six days in Indianapolis continues, as well as the conjecture on what’s to come.

The future of Peyton Manning loomed large at the Combine, and not just because of the huge banner of the Colts’ iconic QB on the façade of Lucas Oil Stadium. The blogger brigade at ESPN.com weighs in on where Manning might land of the 2012 season: “It could be some time before a prospective employer has any sure sense of how the nerve regeneration that affects Manning’s arm is going and will come out. Will teams wait? Will they pounce? It’ll be incredibly compelling.”

Also at ESPN.com, John Clayton looks at what lies ahead moving toward the March 13 start of free agency and the April 26-28 NFL Draft: “The March 13 start of free agency is more than a week later than normal because of the new collective bargaining agreement, so there wasn’t a lot of urgency to lay the foundation for trades and signings at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Now that the combine is over, things will heat up. General managers and coaches will go into meetings and start to execute their plans for the offseason. This league works on deadlines. The first one is the March 5 deadline for naming franchise players. The second is March 13, the start of free agency and trades.”

Bucky Brooks at NFL.com has a look at who stood out during the final workouts at the Combine, including LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne: “Claiborne certainly doesn’t display the explosiveness and athleticism of his LSU predecessor Patrick Peterson, but he is a more polished technician at this point. He was smooth and fluid in his movements and glided through an assortment of change-of-direction drills with ease. Claiborne also showcased ball skills and awareness during the position drills, particularly on deep throws to the sidelines. His combination of hand-eye coordination and fluid movement skills should help him remain atop the board as the top corner in this year’s draft.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the improving NFC West – a division the Seahawks dominated from 2004-07, but one that is now stronger from top to bottom after the 49ers’ run to the NFC Championship game and the Rams’ hiring of Jeff Fisher: “ ‘It’s obviously a lot stronger division,’ (Cardinals coach Ken) Whisenhunt said last week at the NFC Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. ‘It starts with the way San Francisco played. Seattle certainly showed that they are a team that’s getting stronger. And we’re excited about the fact that we’ve got a lot of young players that make significant contributions for us this season and they’ll only get better.‘ Now comes Fisher, who brings instant credibility – not to mention increased optimism – to a franchise that has averaged 4.6 victories since 2003, when the Rams posted their last winning record and claimed their last division title. The consensus at the Combine was that the Rams just got at least two-wins better because of Fisher’s presence.”

The Combine prompted a new mock draft from NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang at CBSSports.com, as well as a new projected pick for the Seahawks at No. 12: “Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Many expect the Seahawks to consider a quarterback to compete with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson with this selection but in beating the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens last year and matching up well with division champion San Francisco, the club may not be willing to reach to fill a perceived need. Don’t be surprised if Seattle instead turns their attention to other areas of concern like receiver or defensive line. With Sidney Rice’s durability a concern, Seattle might be hard-pressed to let Floyd slip by, especially after he erased any concerns about his speed with a 4.47 showing at 6-3, 220 pounds.”


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