Combine Journal: Could Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux fall to Broncos at No. 9? The Denver Post

INDIANAPOLIS — Ten things from the NFL scouting combine:

1. What if Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux fell to the Broncos at No. 9? Last year, general manager George Paton and Co., believed cornerback Pat Surtain wouldn’t be there at that spot (most likely to Carolina at No. 8). But the Panthers passed on Surtain. Thibodeaux, incidentally, lifted the 225-pound bar 27 times on Saturday morning.

2. The scenario by which Thibodeaux can fall to the Broncos: Three offensive tackles — Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu and Charles Cross — are drafted. Detroit takes pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2. The Jets go safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 4. The Giants select inside linebacker Devin Lloyd No. 5 and trade out of No. 7 to a receiver-needy club. And Atlanta at No. 8 takes cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr. If anything, Thibodeaux being on the board would create options for Paton to trade down.

3. Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral did not participate in drills because of an ankle sprain sustained in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor. “There were no breaks, no tears,” he said. “The doctors said 6-8 weeks and thankfully, around six weeks, that’s when I started feeling 100%.” Corral said he started doing drop-backs 2 1/2 weeks ago and prior to that, he would throw passes from a stand-still position.

4. About Aaron Rodgers: In reality, does the ball ever get rolling until he tells Green Bay he wants out? One thing about last April, when his displeasure went public, the Packers never made him available for a trade. Quarterback-needy teams like the Broncos and Pittsburgh are in multiple forms of wait-and-see mode: For Rodgers to declare he wants to leave the Packers, for Rodgers to identify them as his next (and final) stop and for the Packers to accept a deal is all it takes.

5. Coach Nathaniel Hackett said he wants the Broncos to have a joint practice in August with one of their first two to-be-determined preseason opponents. “I always want to go against a defense that’s not like ours,” he said. “It depends on those first two opponents, whether they’re going to come to us or we’re going to them.” Recently, the Broncos have hosted Chicago (2018) and San Francisco (’19) and traveled to Minnesota (’21) for practice sessions.

6. Hackett said the last coaching staff hire he makes is a game situation-type position to assist him on timeouts and replays. “I do (have candidates in mind) — nobody anybody would have heard of,” he said with a laugh. “Remember, I always like to go with surprises.”

7. For the die-hard reporters who stuck around for the final player sessions on Saturday morning (defensive backs), it was a bummer that Hamilton and Baylor safety Jalen Pitre did not make a media room appearance because their medical examinations were delayed and they had to go straight to team interviews. Pitre is an intriguing prospect for the Broncos in the second round. He played a hybrid linebacker/safety role for the Bears and had 196 tackles, four interceptions and five sacks in 52 career games.

8. Many defensive linemen said the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald topped their list of favorite players, but Georgia’s Jordan Davis went way off the board and old school. “I really honed in on John Henderson of the Jacksonville Jaguars,” he said. “A very old name. Not a lot of kids say that (name) nowadays. He’s just one of those guys when I first started watching football that I was drawn to. He’s one of the guys I study. We’re comparable in stature and size. In my eyes, he’s one of the greats.” Henderson played 146 games for the Jaguars and Raiders from 2002-11 and had 29 sacks and 492 tackles.

9. At least USC edge rusher Drake Jackson was being honest when asked about creating sacks and takeaways. “I just love to kill the quarterback,” he said. “I just really want to make plays. It doesn’t matter if it’s turnovers, if it’s sacks, if it’s tackles.” Jackson had 113 tackles in 28 games for the Trojans and five sacks in 2021.

10. Miami (Fla.) safety Bubba Bolden said he is fully healthy after surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder last fall. Bolden started his career at USC (one year) and transferred to Miami. In 2019, he sustained a season-ending ankle injury while celebrating an interception against Florida State. In ’21, he said he played several games with the labrum issue before being shut down.

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