Thursday morning it was Jon Gruden’s turn to step to the podium at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from that press conference.
Three key things Gruden is looking for in at the combine
“Health. I want to see if they’re healthy. I want to see if they love football and want to see what their measurables are. That’s about all you can really find out here in Indianapolis. You have to study the tape. You have to gather information, but those are the three key ingredients.”
There are a lot of boxes to check when looking to draft a pass rusher
“Production. Can you win when you’re one-on-one? Can you win in adversity, when the back is chipping? Can you line up on the left side? Can you line up on the right side? Can you go inside over the guard? And what’s you’re playing style? Can you play 75 or 80 percent of the snaps? That’s how it is in pro football most of the time for the great players. A lot of these guys in college football haven’t played more than 50 percent of the snaps. So, what’s your endurance like, and obviously arsenal of moves? Do you have a number of ways to get home? Power rush, do you have an alternative move? But, we’re looking for instincts and a lot of things. Can you stop the run? You don’t get to rush if you don’t stop the run.”
When looking at defensive backs, it’s about more than just coverage ability
“Well, you have to be able to tackle, you see. I think it all starts there. Everybody gets enamored with the coverage ability, the length, the speed and all that stuff. You have to be able to tackle these guys in one-on-one situations. We had a guy walk in our room last night, a receiver out of Ole Miss, his name is [D.K.] Metcalf, I mean he looked like Jim Brown. He’s the biggest wide out I’ve ever seen. You have to ask yourself, who is tackling this guy? So, if you’re a 175-pound corner and you’re tackling a 235-pound back or a 230-pound wide out or a tight end, you have to ask yourself, is this what I want to do? You have to find guys that can tackle big time. I think sometimes that is overlooked.”
Raiders staff is tracking the AAF
“They are, every game. Every game. We get a writeup every game of who stood out...”
“I love it. I think it creates opportunity for coaches, too. I love football at any level and I think the more leagues there are, the more opportunity there is, and I think that league is off to a great start. They even got some good broadcasters, I was listening to it the other night.”
Safety position is a priority
“We are looking at the safeties in free agency and the draft. When [Travis] Kelce is in your division and Antonio Gates is in your division, you would be looking at safeties too.”
Oh, and just to be clear...
“Yeah, [Derek Carr] is our franchise quarterback, yes. Try to make that clear.”