The 2011 NFL Combine starts today, but in looking at the schedule of events, absolutely nothing of interest will occur until Saturday. Today, Thursday, and Friday, all that will be happening is measurements, physical exams, Wonderlic Tests, and interviews with NFL team personnel. Barring some humorous sub-neanderthal Wonderlic scores, this is a whole lot of nothing, viewing wise.
These days are significant to the 49er coaches, of course, because they get to grill prospective draftees and watch their faces and body language for tell-tale signs of non-ITness or needle marks. They are not going to tell us anything about what they learn, though, so it will be up to spies, informers, and other “sources” to pass along any amusing or enlightening info.
This means that the death defying stupor called February will continue for three more days, and only the threat of March opening its doors will get this miserable month to finally put something on the table for us to eat.
Actually, nothing happens on Saturday, either, unless you’re enthralled by the 40 yard dash times of offensive linemen and tight ends. The bench press results might be interesting, but this is like saying eating popcorn before the movie starts is interesting. IOW, yawn.
So, the much ballyhooed COMBINE WEEK is actually, for fans, only a three day event. Boo. False advertising.
No more than 335 athletes can be processed at any one Combine, so there are probably more coaches and scouts at this shindig than there are players. In fact, this event is probably the biggest day of the year for the coaches’ grapevine.
Thursday is the last day that the 49ers can use the Franchise Tag on one of its players. This tag may or may not be valid without a new CBA, but if it isn’t used by tomorrow, that mayness will be moot. Only Abrayo Franklin and Dashon Goldson have been mentioned in the franchise breath stream, though Goldson may or may not be an unrestricted FA with a new CBA. Basically, if Franklin isn’t franchised by tomorrow night, and he won’t be, the Niners will have until March 3rd to sign him to a new contract or watch him toddle away, leaving a big fat question mark at the nose tackle position.
Letting Franklin walk away would create a bit of a stir in the blogosphere. He was not a very popular or productive player here initially, but has been very valuable the past two years. Ricky Francois got a lot of time at the position during Franklin’s absence from Training Camp last year, but did not particularly distinguish himself in spot duty during the regular season. Moving Isaac Sopoagna to the nose would weaken two positions at once.
This site has no clue how this is going to play out and the beat writers are too focused on clubbing the Alex Smith issue to death to bother discussing Franklin, or giving any insights as to what the 49ers are thinking. Guess we’ll have to wait another week to learn anything. By then, it will be March. And not February.