NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001

NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001
March 1, 2012, 1:02 am
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Back in 1999 when Matt Light was still a junior at Purdue, Scott Pioli was out at the Boilermakers' practice. He wasn't scouting juniors per se, but what he saw from one lineman stuck with him. Light agitating about some teammates not going full speed in practice. When Light's time to be drafted came in April 2001, Pioli and the Patriots knew who they wanted in the second round. But the Jets -- who employed Pioli when he first saw the Light -- wanted him too. The Patriots wrangled their way ahead of the Jets, swinging a deal with the Lions to take Light with the 48th pick. The Jets took Lamont Jordan at 49. The Lions used the 50th pick -- acquired from the Patriots -- on center Dominic Raiola. Aside from his fiery demeanor, what else stood out about Light? At the Combine, Light was 6-5, 311 and ran his 40 in 5.29 (an eyelash off Tom Brady's 5.28 a year earlier). He put up 225 pounds 26 times. He protected the blind side of Drew Brees at Purdue. He was rated by NFL Draft Scout as the fourth best OT out of 31 and Leonard Davis, Kenyatta Walker, Jeff Backus and Maurice Williams were all taken before him. The Patriots also drafted Kenyatta Jones (later released after dumping scalding water on a roommate while he was on the toilet) and Brandon Gorin as tackles. And the Patriots first-round pick in 2001? Richard Seymour.
Just 20 when the Patriots drafted him with the sixth overall pick, there was much hollering about Drew Bledsoe needing a downfield target like David Terrell or Koren Robinson instead of Seymour. The Patriots never had Seymour in for a visit nor did he have off-the-charts production at Georgia. But the size (6-6, 305 on a chiseled frame) and absurd strength of Seymour plus his quiet confidence and 4.95 speed made Bill Belichick jump at the chance to get him. Some other interesting Combine tidbits from 2001? Safety Adam Archuleta put up 225 pounds an astounding 31 times. Drew Brees got a 28 on his Wonderlic, weighed 213 (two pounds heavier than the 6-5 Tom Brady), ran a 4.83 40 and had a 32-inch vertical. Andre Carter, who went seventh to San Francisco and was with the Patriots in 2011, had a preposterous 38.5 vertical for a 6-5, 249-pound defensive end. Wide receiver Chris Chambers ran a 4.33 40. Heath Evans? Great Combine. Ran a 4.56, put up 225 30 times and had a 34.5 vertical. Old friend Russ Hochstein? Bad Combine. A 5.40 40 and 16 reps on the bench. Santana Moss ran a 4.31 at the Miami pro day. Finally, LaDainian Tomlinson ran a 4.46 40 and had a silly 40.5 vertical.