The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 12, 2014

Kouandjio: ‘There’s nothing wrong with my knee’

— TUSCALOOSA (AP) — Former Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio says his surgically repaired knee shouldn’t be a red flag for NFL teams.

The potential first-round draft pick said Wednesday after the Crimson Tide’s pro day that he’s heard only from media reports that six teams didn’t clear him because of concerns over his left knee.

Kouandjio said his agent, Bus Cook, called him the night of the combine asking if there was anything wrong with the knee.

“I was completely confused. I said, ‘No, there’s nothing wrong with my knee,’” Kouandjio said. “I thought he was joking. But he kept asking. I was surprised. I was like, ‘There’s nothing wrong with my knee. Is there a rumor out there?’

“And he said, ‘Yeah, a couple of media things came out that there was something wrong with your knee.’ It was interesting, but I never worried about it because I know and the film will tell you there’s nothing wrong with my knee.”

NFL scouts and coaches — including Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis and Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly — were on hand to see Tide prospects go through workouts including Kouandjio, linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and quarterback AJ McCarron.

Like Kouandjio, the more high-profile prospects mostly stuck to their combine numbers.

The lineman, who entered the draft after his junior season, sustained torn ligaments in his knee after playing in eight games as a freshman in 2011. He started every game the past two seasons, and both he and Tide coach Nick Saban said he didn’t miss a practice because of knee problems.

Kouandjio’s stock has slipped from the first round in mock drafts since the NFL combine. The 6-foot-7, 311-pounder said he’s not fretting over either potentially dropping past the first round or questions about his knee.

“I’m not the type of guy to get frustrated over matters that are out of my control,” said Kouandjio, who had dropped 11 pounds since the combine. “All of these coaches know that there’s nothing wrong with my knee. I played two years. The fourth month after my knee surgery I was out there playing until now. I didn’t miss a practice. I haven’t missed a game because of my knee. All the guys out here, all the coaches know that. It didn’t bother me one bit.”

He worked in position drills on Wednesday while letting his combine performance stand.

Saban, a former Miami Dolphins coach and NFL assistant, said he thinks Kouandjio is a first-round talent and questioned the accuracy — or at least the wording — of reports that he failed physicals.

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