TE Gresham says he's 'good to go'

Notebook

Ravens could use ex-Oklahoma player to succeed aging Todd Heap

February 26, 2010|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham is pretty certain his knee -- which he injured in 2009, forcing him to miss his final season with the Sooners -- is now 100 percent and no longer an issue.

"I've been yanked and tugged on, and not one doctor said anything bad about it," Gresham said. "They said the knee's great and I'm good to go."

That's good news to NFL teams trying to decide whether to use a first-round pick on Gresham, a list that might include the Ravens.

Even though he didn't play last season, Gresham is still rated as the top tight end in the draft by virtually everyone, and the Ravens need to find a replacement for an aging Todd Heap sooner rather than later.

Could Gresham be that guy? He's certainly confident he could be. He's such a gifted physical specimen -- he's 6 feet 6, 260 pounds and can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds -- that his college coach, Bob Stoops, compared him to former Sooner Adrian Peterson in terms of ability.

"I never thought I was anywhere close to that guy's stature, because he's a freak," Gresham said. "When I heard that, it made me feel good. But in a sense, I know that he's just being a coach, just being a nice guy. I still think I have a lot to prove."

Gresham is one of the few tight ends this year who is the complete package. He has soft hands, game-breaking speed and can block on the line when asked. "I want to be everything," he said. "I want to be a guy that, you know, the greatest player, if not one of the greats, that played. So hopefully I can be a great blocker, great pass catcher, great route runner, everything."

Gresham said he thinks his abilities are similar to those of Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez.

"He played in so many Pro Bowls year in and year out," Gresham said.

"He's a great player, he puts numbers up, he's productive. I'd like to be something like that."

A Terp in the mix

Maryland left tackle Bruce Campbell continues to shoot up draft boards, despite the fact that he started only 17 games for the Terrapins during his career.

Campbell is admittedly a little raw, but he might be the most athletic left tackle in the draft this year. He measured just a shade under 6 feet 7 and weighed 314 pounds but has barely a noticeable ounce of fat on him. He also turned heads by bench pressing 225 pounds 34 times during workouts. As a result, his projections are all over the place, with some mock drafts having him going as high as the 10th pick and others having him in the second round.

"Wherever I go, I'm going to go there and compete for a position," Campbell said. "I'm going to play football no matter where I have to go. I really don't mind wherever I go, Cowboys, Rams, Redskins. It really doesn't matter to me. I'm here to play football."

Campbell acknowledged he needs to improve his blocking technique but said he's eager to do so.

"I feel everyone has room for improvement, but I feel like I have a little more," Campbell said. "My first year, I'm really going to work on it because I really want to get in and play. I'm not the type of person who comes to the NFL and is satisfied with just being here. I actually want to do something in the NFL."

Tebow in hunt for a team

Tim Tebow charmed a huge throng of media today during his 15-minute interview session, saying that if it doesn't work out at quarterback for him in the NFL, he'll happily move to another position if it means he can get onto the field. After word spread Thursday that he wasn't going to work out at the combine, Tebow apparently changed his mind because he said Friday he's going to do everything but throw.

"I want to be a quarterback in the NFL. That's been my dream since I was 6 years old," Tebow said. "I'm going to do whatever it takes to do that. If I'm on a team that asks me to help the team in another way, of course I'm going to do that. It's always team first. That's how it's always been."

He confirmed that he has been trying to change his throwing motion a bit, which is one of the biggest knocks on his game.

"It's more like a tweak; it's not necessarily changing my whole motion, just the way I'm holding the ball and kind of how I'm getting to where I'm throwing it," Tebow said. "That's kind of the biggest problem we've seen so that's what we're working on the most."

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