I heard Cyrus Kouandjio interviewed on Sirius NFL this morning. I don't profess to watch enough college football to be fully objective but I had formed the impression that there were just a number of O-linemen with better skills, this year and Cyrus is a big lumbering guy who did well at Alabama but had some issues with his knee.
Three key things from the interview.
(1) He is from the western African nation of Cameroon (soccer is their national sport) and grew up in Maryland. Even though he is not yet drafted, he already has a lot of fans back in Cameroon (population 22 million) and when he makes it in the NFL it will spark significant interest from the sports fans in that nation. Young footballers will be encouraged to be like Cyrus and make their fortune in the NFL. In a way this links to the concept of creating international interest in the NFL and growing the game. Goodell and the owners can envisage NFL jersey sales, etc...
(2) Cyrus is a physically huge guy 6'7", 322 lbs (he's an O-lineman), but he spoke with genuine disappointment about his 40 time of 5.59 seconds. He even said that his Combine 40 times "sucked" and he knows that he can do a lot better and if you watch his actual game performances he moves quicker than his 40 time would suggest. I was surprised that an O-lineman expected to go in round 1 or 2, would take the 40 time so seriously. They do it but their other metrics are probably more relevant. He came across as very genuine, good character and answered well, but while the 40 time is very significant for a WR or RB or CB, I had never thought too much about the O-line 40. My learning from the interview was that the O-linemen like Cyrus, take it very seriously.
(3) Cyrus also spoke glowingly of AJ McCarron's confidence and leadership, that helped Alabama enjoy such dominance. He didn't have to promote his buddy.