NFL Scouting Combine

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TIM AND MIKE: Combine Day 2 observations

Snake bit: Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson dealt with a lot in college. As a freshman in 2015, he broke his fibula in the second game of the season. He missed the 2016 season after fracturing a vertebrae in his neck during fall camp. As a sophomore in 2017, he played in all 13 games and rushed for 1,161 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Last season, he tore his ACL the third game of the year. Anderson played in just 17 career games, carried the ball 200 times and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt and scored 16 touchdowns. The talent is there. The medical evaluations will be important for him at the Combine. Can he stay healthy in the NFL? – Tim Twentyman

Staying power: Prospects have good stories about humble beginnings, and offensive tackle Devon Johnson (6-7, 338) of Ferris State started his journey at the bottom. He played only one football game at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill., but he became a Division II All-American at Ferris, which went 15-1 in 2018 and lost to Valdosta State in the DII national championship game. What will he tell NFL teams at the Combine?

“I’m real relentless,” Johnson said. “It’s just being relentless and nonstop. Nobody’s going to stop me.” – Mike O’Hara

View photos of the prospects that met the media on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Combine.

Taking one for the team: Last season after a loss to Florida, LSU tight end Foster Moreau was back on the grind working out, doing seated low rows with the weight stacked. A few reps in, the cable controlling the weights snapped, sending pieces of metal toward Moreau. Moreau was hit in the face, and ended up losing three teeth in the incident. 

He had some fun retelling the story at the Combine, talking about how after it happened, instead of moping around after a tough loss, his teammates were asking, ‘Oh my god, did y’all see what Foster did to his face?!’ – Detroitlions.com

Strong back, fast back: The strongest running back at the Combine is officially Kansas State’s Alex Barnes, who lifted 225 pounds 34 times, the most for a running back since 2003. Barnes, who is 6-foot, 226 pounds, rushed 256 times for 1,355 yards and 12 touchdowns last season at Kansas State.

The fastest running back at the Combine was Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 flat. Hills was a 1,000-yard rusher for the Cowboys in 2016 and 2017, and finished 2018 with 930 yards on 158 carries (5.9 average) with nine touchdowns. – Tim Twentyman

Spartan style: Players have role models, and Michigan State running back L.J. Scott said he and former Spartans star Le’Veon Bell have similar running styles.

“I’m a patient runner – the dead leg kind of runner,” Scott said. “I’m able to run somebody over as well.”

Sitting out a season, as Bell did in 2018 with the Steelers, isn’t something Scott thinks he’d do. “Personally, I wouldn’t do it,” Scott said. “It’s his decision. It’s his career.” – Mike O’Hara

Rave on, Risner: Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner put on one of the better reps at the mirror drill today. His moves caused NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah to exclaim, ‘I feel like I’m at a rave!’ – Detroitlions.com

Punters can run too: Mitchell Wishnowsky (4.63), Jake Bailey (4.72) and Jack Fox (4.73) had three of the top five 40-yard dash times by punters at the Combine since 2003, according to NFL.com. Wishnowsky’s time in the fastest by a punter since 2003. –Tim Twentyman

Star struck: Iowa State wide receiver Hakeem Butler measured in at just under 6-foot-6 and 227 pounds, making him the biggest receiver here at the Combine. He caught 60 passes for 1,318 yards (22.0 average) and nine touchdown in 2018. Butler made headlines before the Combine when a video of him working out and getting coaching tips from former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson went viral. Butler said at the Combine Friday it was kind of surreal working with a player the caliber of Johnson. He also said he got a ton out of the session as Johnson gave him a lot of good insight and tips as a fellow bigger-bodied receiver. –Tim Twentyman

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