INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL Scouting Combine officially kicks off today with most of the league's general managers and head coaches taking the podium for their press conferences. That includes both Bob Quinn (10:30 a.m.) and Matt Patricia (10:45).
The first wave of players will be at the podiums for their media sessions on Thursday, and that's also when they begin their medical evaluations and interviews with teams. The running backs and offensive linemen are up first. The on-field drills for them begin Friday.
There's a lot going on this week in Indianapolis, but here are five things in particular to look out for:
Patricia will speak to the media on Wednesday, and this will be the first opportunity for beat writers and national media to hear Patricia talk more in depth about his evaluation of the roster and how it might fit into his plans on offense, defense and special teams. We might also hear him talk more about his coaching staff.
After hitting the film long and hard the last few weeks, Patricia should certainly have a better grasp of where he thinks this roster is strong and where it needs to improve. He and Quinn likely have a plan of attack already formulating. It will be interesting to hear what the Lions new head coach has to say about it all.
ZIGGY ANSAH ANSWERS?
Quinn used the team's franchise tag on Ansah Tuesday. Later this morning, we'll find out why he chose to make that decision. Will the team be working on a long-term deal with Ansah before the start of training camp? The move now obviously means Ansah is a part of both Quinn and Patricia's plans for 2018. Where does Ansah fit in with what Patricia wants to do on defense?
Those are all questions we should get some answers to later this morning.
Wide receiver John Ross became the fastest man ever at the Combine last year with a 4.22-second 40-yard dash. That run put a target squarely on his back.
LSU cornerback Donte Jackson is considered one of the fastest players at this year's Combine, and will look to be crowned the new speed king.
Jackson ran the 100-meter dash in 10.22 in 2017 for LSU's track team, and recently told the NFL Network that he's been timed at 4.24 in his training for the Combine.
Jackson is scheduled to run on Monday, March 5.
The Lions are likely to add a running back – maybe more than one – this offseason. Quinn could decide to accomplish that via both free agency and the draft.
When it comes to the draft, this is a talented and deep class of runners with a variety of skillsets to match just about any scheme.
Will the Lions be looking to draft one at No. 20? Will one of the runners here at the Combine say all the right things and then separate himself from the bunch to make that a reality? We shall see.
UCF outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin was a big story at the Senior Bowl, given that he plays the game without a left hand that was amputated when he was a young child. Griffen played linebacker, pass rusher and safety at the Senior Bowl, and did all three at a high level.
His performance that week earned him an invite to the Combine. It will be interesting to see how he tests this week, and what he looks like in the quickness drills. Griffen has been a playmaker and difference maker at UCF the past couple seasons. He's going to knock the interviews out of the park. If he tests well, he'll be an intriguing name come draft weekend.