Plenty need impressive workouts

Originally Published: February 15, 2005
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
The NFL combine workout is approaching fast, but there is not yet a buzz surrounding any particular player. The combine and individual workouts are going to be tremendously important for players hoping to improve their stock and create that buzz before draft day, especially at positions where key players are fighting for the No. 1 spot.

There is a lot of talk about the teams picking at Nos. 1-4 (San Francisco, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago) trading down to get more picks, but the problem right now is that no single player has distinguished himself enough to make teams seriously consider trading up to get him.

The marquee battle is between Utah's Alex Smith and California's Aaron Rodgers, who are fighting for the top spot among quarterbacks and perhaps the No. 1 position on the draft board. You're splitting hairs when you talk about the differences between Smith and Rodgers but arm strength could play a part in separating the two.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.