NFL Scouting Combine

TIM AND MIKE: Combine Day 2 observations

Posted Mar 1, 2018

Tim Twentyman & Mike O'Hara share their observations from Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

Right attitude: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is one of the top prospects in the draft. Some think he may be a once in a decade kind of runner. He was asked Thursday about potentially joining a Cleveland Browns team that’s won one game the last two years. His response should excite Browns fans.

“Yeah, that’s awesome,” Barkley said of that challenge. “It’s something that’s bigger than you. If you go to a team like that, obviously they’ve had some tough years, but I think they’re a couple pieces away.

“You want to be part of something like that. That’s something where you leave a legacy being part of something special.”

QB value: Signing Jimmy Garoppolo on a long-term contract after his impressive performance at the end of last season has helped the 49ers in many ways. One is the message it sends when the 49ers are courting free agents who want to know who the quarterback is.

“I don’t have to say, ’We’ll have one – I promise,’” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. – Mike O’Hara

Bench with a cause: Here’s a Combine performance everyone could root for. Auburn guard Braden Smith (6-6, 303) wanted a way to not only impress NFL personnel, but also donate to a good cause. He partnered up with Autism Speaks so he and others could donate for every bench press rep he did at the Combine. Smith put up 35 reps Thursday, and easily reached his $3,000 goal heading in. Good for him. – Tim Twentyman

Door opener – believe it or not: The Browns have 12 picks, and five are in the first two rounds – two in the first, three in the second. Most people think that with that many picks the Browns will stay put at No. 1 and take a quarterback.

GM John Dorsey opened the possibility of a trade at his media interview Thursday.

“My door is wide open,” Dorsey said. “I’m willing to trade.” – Mike O’Hara

Injured Buckeye: No one ever wants to see a player come to the Combine and hurt himself. Ohio State’s Billy Price is considered one of the best interior offensive linemen in this class. Price was forced to stop his bench press due to injury Thursday, and left the area in pain, according to multiple reports. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious. – Tim Twentyman

Growth spurt: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield measured taller at the Combine by a quarter inch Thursday than the measurement taken at the Senior Bowl a month ago. Mayfield arrived late to the Senior Bowl after dealing with a personal issue, so the measurement was taken in private, but that’s a healthy difference. He’ll be measured again at Oklahoma’s pro day in mid-March. – Tim Twentyman

Gruden’s groove: Jon Gruden, returning to the NFL sidelines as head coach of the Raiders after a nine-season absence, joked about being able to get some free time at night.

“I might be out after curfew this week,” Gruden said. “I’ve got a free pass from my wife.”

Gruden was head coach of the Raiders from 1998-2001, and head coach of the Bucs from 2002-2008. He won a Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs. – Mike O’Hara

Two’s company: There are nine podiums in the Combine media center for prospects to talk to the media. There’s also six tables that are typically reserved for some of the players who aren't “big names” among their position group. Western Michigan University teammates running back Jarvion Franklin and fullback Donnie Ernsberger shared a table during Thursday's media session. – Tim Twentyman