Clarett measures up and faces up

INDIANAPOLIS -- The hurry-up-and-wait experience known as the NFL scouting combine becomes tedious for coaches and personnel officials alike, but it's a necessary evil in the scouting process. With 333 NFL prospects in attendance, there is no more efficient means of gaining exact "measurables" than this seven-day event.

The other wonderful benefit for NFL teams is it allows them to formally interview 60 prospects throughout the week, which saves significant time and money. The Buccaneers will send scouts out to meet with and test all of the prospects on their draft board, but how many other chances will GM Bruce Allen and head coach Jon Gruden get to sit in the same room and talk to a prospect? While there isn't much action during the first two days of the combine, NFL teams nevertheless get a lot out of it.

The 2005 combine commenced at a snail's pace Thursday, and it doesn't promise to speed up much until Saturday morning. Thursday's morning session was devoted to measurements (height, weight, arm length and hand span) for 62 offensive linemen, four fullbacks, 14 running backs and 11 kicking specialists (punters and place-kickers).

The three-hour afternoon session featured more than 200 NFL personnel officials and coaches crammed into a conference room to witness 40 of those same prospects hammer out as many repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press as possible.

Because many of the offensive linemen were running late due to the extensive medical process, there will be another group of 30 or so whose bench press was pushed to Friday. Place-kickers, punters, quarterbacks and wide receivers are exempt from the strength portion of the combine.

Quarterbacks, wide receivers and the second group of running backs were scheduled to get their measurements out of the way Friday morning. Those same prospects will try their luck on the bench press, while the place-kickers and punters showcase their skills on the turf of the RCA Dome.

The workout schedule for the remainder of the combine is as follows:
Saturday: Offensive linemen and running backs (Group 1).
Sunday: Running backs (Group 2), quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Monday: Tight Ends and defensive linemen.
Tuesday: Linebackers and defensive backs.

Here is a positional breakdown of Thursday's events. We'll follow with reports Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday detailing the results of each prospect who participated in the workouts.

Running back and fullbacks

All eyes have been on Maurice Clarett, and so far, so good. Clarett has a quiet but determined demeanor about him this week. He was a cut 234 pounds at the weigh-ins and produced the second most reps (22) of the nine running backs who participated on the bench press.