INDIANAPOLIS – Lucas Oil Stadium and downtown Indianapolis is now NFL headquarters.
The NFL Scouting Combine has invaded Indianapolis for a 30th straight year.
On-the-field workouts won’t begin until Friday, but players will start to meet the media on Wednesday (offensive linemen and running backs).
Wednesday also is when coaches and general managers take to the podium. Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson will speak on Thursday.
Here are updates from Day One at the 2016 NFL Combine:
Back in the stadium he won a Big Ten Championship, Jack Conklin is another guy who has been pegged for the Colts at pick No. 18. The former walk-on from Michigan State is thought to be more of a right tackle. Conklin calls himself a "prototypical run blocker" and has trimmed down to 308 (from 320) since his season ended. Will Conklin last to the Colts at No. 18?
By far the top true center in this year's draft class, Ryan Kelly was a three-year starter at Alabama. Kelly snapped the ball to three different quarterbacks in his time as a starter. Physically, Kelly is an imposing figure in the upper body. You don't see many true centers go Round One, but Kelly is thought to be a guy who could hear his name called in the first 20-30 picks.
No person will enter this week's Combine with more medical concerns than Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith. The former Indiana Mr. Football significantly injured his knee in last month's Fiesta Bowl. Will 2016 be a redshirt year for Smith? That will likely determine just how far the rangy linebacker falls in Round One. Many believe Smith would have been a top 5-10 pick, had he was completely healthy.
Speaking wise, Decker was an impressive prospect. He's also impressive in stature, as his 6-7 frame was the tallest of any offensive linemen at the 2016 Combine. When Jack Mewhort left Ohio State in 2014, Decker was the team's starting left tackle for two seasons. Decker appears to be a left tackle at the next level.
The offensive linemen are starting to trickle into their media sessions and Garnett had a nice crowd around him. Some Mock Drafts have had Garnett as a second round pick. Garnett is one of the true natural guards in this draft. That's of course an area the Colts could upgrade this offseason.
The Colts will play the Lions next season. Bob Quinn, the team's new GM, isn't sure if he will have Calvin Johnson against the Colts though. Johnson, one of the game's most difficult matchups, is seriously considering retirement. The Colts play some elite receivers on next year's slate but it's up in the air if Johnson will be part of that group.
This was the popular topic of the day for the Titans' brass. What will they do with the No. 1 overall pick? There's no real obvious choice for the Titans that directly fills a need. They have the quarterback (Marcuis Mariota) and a franchise left tackle (Taylor Lewan). Does trading down make the most sense for a team having those blue chip type guys already in place? Titans GM Jon Robinson agrees with draft pundits in the extensive depth along the defensive line in this year's draft class.
Denver and Manning are not deviating from their original plan of giving the first ballot Hall of Famer ample time to decide on his future. A decision on Manning is likely by the new league year, when he's due $19 million. The Broncos continue to talk with Manning, while also wanting backup Brock Osweiler to return next season. On Wednesday, Kubiak spoke extremely highly of Osweiler, an unrestricted free agent who started seven games last season for Denver. Kubiak believes Osweiler is "special" and has a "bright future" in Denver. The Colts play at the Broncos in 2016.
Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio met the media early on Wednesday. The Colts play the Raiders next season and they will be playing that game in Oakland, after an eventful three months for the Bay Area franchise. In Oakland, the Colts will see a team filled with some promising young talent---quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper and edge rusher Khalil Mack.
The 34-year-old Johnson is under contract through 2017, but it sounds like he might be thinking about retirement. However, Johnson's agent debunked that notion later in the morning. There's little doubt Johnson is one of the most decorated wide receivers in NFL history and will at least garner some discussion in Canton, when that time comes. If Johnson does indeed hang it up (or the Colts decide to move on from the former No. 3 overall pick), that will open up a spot at wide receiver for the Colts---behind T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Jacoby Brissett and Quan Bray.
The quarterbacks won't workout until Saturday, but this is headline news to start Combine week. Saturday will be their day on the field and the big guns are throwing. This just doesn't happen at the NFL Combine. Many elite quarterback prospects elect to forgo this portion of the workout, not wanting to jeopardize their position. In 2015, the Colts played the first two quarterbacks in that draft class (Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota). Will they see any of these guys on the 2016 slate?