Notre Dame's Nix shines during news conference
INDIANAPOLIS — Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix is being mentioned as a possible Steelers draft pick, though a knee injury that cut short his 2013 season worries some teams. And the Steelers, in a draft in which they might need to add a wide receiver, cornerback, safety and inside linebacker, would seem to have bigger needs than a nose tackle.
But Nix held an entertaining news conference Sunday during which he said he's run into Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in Indianapolis.
He also said he encountered Ravens coach John Harbaugh, whom he described as “kind of nice ... sort of.”
• Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was officially timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds, down from an unofficial and very-fast-for-a-QB time of 4.56. And while Central Florida QB Blake Bortles impressed with his throwing, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater believes he should be the first quarterback chosen. “Yes, no doubt, I feel like I'm the best quarterback in this draft. And I'm not going to just sit up here and say it,” he said. Bridgewater's relatively thin frame is a concern to some, but he weighed in at 214 pounds.
• Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald will work out Monday. He'll run a 40, complete as many repetitive lifts of 225 pounds as possible, take part in the vertical and broad jumps and the three-cone drill that measures an ability to quickly adjust on the fly, plus the shuttle run. Asked what he's been working on, Donald said, “My 40 time, everything. … This is what you train for, to get ready for this and go out and show yourself.” Donald will return to Pittsburgh after the combine.
• With the wide receivers working out Sunday, 40-yard dash speeds were being closely watched. Sammy Watkins of Clemson helped solidify his status as the top receiver available when he ran unofficial times of 4.34 and 4.37 seconds. Mike Evans of Texas A&M, a tall receiver who is on the Steelers' radar for the No. 15 overall pick, ran a 4.53; Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State had a 4.61. The fastest times were by Brandin Cooks (4.33) of Oregon State and John Brown (4.34) of Pittsburg State. Penn State's Allen Robinson was among the slower receivers at 4.6; Devin Street of Pitt ran a 4.55. None of those speeds impressed Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, another player who might draw the Steelers' attention at No. 15. Gilbert said, “I ran a 4.33 a couple of weeks ago, and that was just my first attempt. I'm usually faster on my second attempt.” Gilbert will run Tuesday at the combine.
— Alan Robinson
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