NFL Scouting Combine

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TIM AND MIKE: Combine Day 1 observations

Kyler Murray measures up: The Oklahoma QB exceeded expectations when he was measured at 5-10-1. The big question was whether he’d hit 5-10. He topped it by an eighth inch. Perhaps a bigger question was hand size. Murray was measured at 9.4 – the same reported size for Mitchell Trubisky, drafted second overall by the Bears in 2017. Overall, a winning day for Murray – hands down. – Mike O’Hara

From Denmark: One of the better stories at the Combine is that of Arkansas guard Hjalte Froholdt, a former teammate of Lions guard Frank Ragnow. Froholdt is from Denmark, and didn’t pick up the game until coming to the U.S. in high school as an exchange student. The defensive lineman turned guard is the first Danish player invited to the Combine. He plays both guard and center, has a terrific sense of humor, and could be a late-round pick. – Tim Twentyman

Tight end, down-sized: Of the three tight ends who are considered first-round prospects, Irv Smith of Alabama was the one who came up short in the measurements. Alabama listed him at 6-4, 241. His Combine measurement was 6-2-3, 242. The other two, from Iowa: T.J. Hockenson, 6-4-6, 251; Noah Fant, 6-4-1, 249. (measurements are in eighths of an inch.) – Mike O’Hara

Big backs: The Lions could be in the market this offseason for a power back to pair with Kerryon Johnson, especially with LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner being unrestricted free agents. The draft could be a good place for Bob Quinn and Co. to find one. There are 10 running backs in this year’s Combine class that weigh 220 pounds or more. – Tim Twentyman

Witten, tight end value: Jason Witten’s return to the Cowboys after a one-year retirement caused a buzz at the Combine, but it points up the value of a productive tight end. Four Cowboys tight ends combined for 68 receptions in 2018 – a season Witten spent in the Monday Night Football broadcast both. Blake Jarwin led the team with 27 catches. In 2017 at the age of 35, Witten had 63 catches on his own. – Mike O’Hara

View photos of the prospects that met the media on Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Combine.

A step in the process: OT Orlando Brown of Oklahoma saw his stock drop considerably at last year’s Combine after one of the worst testing performances in the event’s history. Considered a potential first-round pick coming in to the Combine, Brown was ultimately selected in the third round by Baltimore. Brown won the Ravens starting right tackle job the second month of the season, and finished the year with a positive grade from Pro Football Focus. Brown was graded among the top 27 tackles in the NFL. Brown is an excellent reminder that the Combine is just a piece of the overall evaluation of players. – Tim Twentyman

QB memory: Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is another example that all future stars don’t sit in the Combine’s bright lights. In 2003, a media friend suggested interviewing an obscure quarterback from Eastern Illinois sitting at a table alone. For a while it was the three of us – two writers and Romo, who signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and went on to have a fine career. – Mike O’Hara

Versatile linemen: Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Wednesday that he likes the depth of this year’s offensive line class. He’s drafted a number of offensive linemen over the years, and values the trenches. Depending on what happens with T.J. Lang, the Lions could have an immediate need at guard, and at the very least have to be thinking about the future inside with Lang and center Graham Glasgow heading into the final year of their contracts. There are a number of offensive linemen in this year’s draft with position versatility, something both Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia like. Guys like Christopher Lindstrom (Boston College), Dalton Risner (Kansas State), Cody Ford (Oklahoma) and Garrett Bradbury (N.C. State) have played multiple spots upfront in college and could interest the Lions. – Tim Twentyman

Matt Patricia, new look: Something was missing when the Lions head coach spoke to the media Wednesday morning. Gone was the ever-present pencil in his right ear. But is it gone forever? Might there be an endorsement deal in the works? A fountain pen perhaps? Stay tuned. – Mike O’Hara

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