Philadelphia Eagles News

Thursday's Scouting Combine Blog

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Cameron Artis-Payne and LeSean McCoy were once teammates at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa. After his freshman year at McDevitt, Artis-Payne transferred to rival Harrisburg and became a star on the field.

Artis-Payne also attended Milford Prep following high school like McCoy did. Following time at Milford Prep and Allan Hancock Junior College, Artis-Payne went to Auburn in 2013. Last year, Artis-Payne led the Tigers with 1,608 yards rushing at an average of 5.31 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns.

A die-hard Eagles fan, Artis-Payne said that his favorite memory was when the Eagles won the 2004 NFC Championship. He did not list one of McCoy's stellar runs.

"No, not one of Shady's runs," Artis-Payne said. "If I say that, he's going to call me."

-- Chris McPherson, 5:25 PM

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Wide receiver Devin Smith wore No. 9 at Ohio State because of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who sported that same number in college at Missouri.

"Jeremy Maclin is one guy I kind of model myself after a little bit. I watched him when I was at Missouri. He was probably the reason I wore No. 9," Smith said.

"He's one of my favorite receivers. The thing about him is that when he runs, it looks so natural and he runs so smooth that it really looks easy to him."

Like Maclin, Smith was one of the most explosive receivers in 2014. Smith averaged an eye-popping 28.2 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns. He nearly had 1,000 yards receiving (931) on just 33 catches.

"That's what teams need. They need guys who can go and get it. I think I have that ability," Smith said. "I've shown it plenty of times in college so I'm just going to translate that to the next level."

In Indianapolis, Smith wants to show that he's a complete receiver.

"It's very important especially when everybody says all I can do is run go routes," Smith said. "It's very important for me to show these coaches that I can run every single route."

-- Chris McPherson, 5:02 PM

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Quarterback Marcus Mariota wouldn't mind a reunion with head coach Chip Kelly in the NFL, but he understands that it's not his decision to make.

"Why not? I think that would be a fun opportunity, but again this process is out of our hands, out of our control," Mariota said. "We'll see what happens."

Mariota won the Heisman Trophy and led the Oregon Ducks to the National Championship Game last season. Kelly has raved about his former quarterback saying that he knew that Mariota would win the Heisman as a freshman.

"He might be the fastest guy on the field, but his mind is even faster," Kelly said prior to the National Championship Game. "Thinks like Peyton Manning."

Mariota is aware that there will be a transition from the college game to the NFL, but said he expects to make an impact from day one. He has worked during the pre-draft process with Kevin O'Connell, who was just hired to be the Browns' quarterbacks coach. Mariota has also spent time with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

One of the biggest challenges, per Mariota, will be huddling up. He hasn't called plays since high school, so he took play cards and practiced saying them at night.

Mariota is fully healed from a shoulder injury incurred in the National Championship Game and will participate in the throwing drills.

-- Chris McPherson, 3:03 PM

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Quarterback Brett Hundley was recruited by Chip Kelly and remains a huge fan of the Eagles' head coach. When asked at the NFL Scouting Combine which offense would be most similar to the one that Hundley ran at UCLA, the quarterback said the Eagles' offense.

Even with that being said, Hundley is smart enough to know that it would not be a seamless transition from college to the NFL.

"It is an advantage, but at the same time there's always a learning curve everywhere you go, so transitioning to the Eagles' offense to any other offense that I may get drafted to is always going to be a learning curve," Hundley said.

Hundley's goal is to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, which would be one spot higher than the quarterback whom he admired - Eagles Hall of Famer Donovan McNabb.

"I love Donovan to death. I talk to him even to this day. He has helped me out through this process," Hundley said.

Hundley said that there's even a little of McNabb's game in his.

"He's a smooth quarterback. He's unique at what he does. I think that's the same thing I can bring and I bring while playing football," Hundley said. "I guess it's the it factor. He has it."

-- Chris McPherson, 1:54 PM

A running collection of the latest sights from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where the top college recruits showcase their skills for coaches and scouts.

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"Just a lack of focus."

That's how Auburn's Sammie Coates responded to a query regarding his drops in 2014.

Coates measured in at 6-1, 212 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is expected to put on a show during the drills, saying his fastest time in the 40-yard dash is 4.3 seconds. He led the Tigers with 741 yards receiving on 34 receptions and four touchdowns in 2014.

Per NFL.com, however, Coates had a drop rate of 19.1 percent.

The challenge for scouts and personnel evaluators is to determine whether drops are something that can be corrected in the NFL, or if it is a trait that is most likely to carry over.

-- Chris McPherson, 1:04 PM

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Quarterback Jameis Winston has off-the-field concerns, but is still very much in the running to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft. Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham will also serve as a case study for how teams will weigh the risk of off-field issues against talent.

In two seasons at Missouri, Green-Beckham had 87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdown receptions. However, he was dismissed from the Tigers' program for a litany of problems ranging from drug use to an alleged domestic violence situation.

Green-Beckham transferred to Oklahoma and spent the season on the scout team. Even with eligibility remaining, Green-Beckham decided to enter the draft. He measured in Thursday at 6-5, 237 pounds drawing size comparisons to the Lions' Calvin Johnson.

Addressing reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, Green-Beckham claimed that he "was young" and "made mistakes."

Why will things be different in the NFL?

"I know what's at stake," Green-Beckham responded.

Green-Beckham acknowledged that his behavior hurt his draft stock. He cited his year of good behavior at Oklahoma while not playing in games as an example of what he can be in the NFL.

The challenge for NFL teams will be to weigh the potential on the field against the risk off of it.

-- Chris McPherson, 12:53 PM

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NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell is impressed with the wide receiver class in this year's draft. It may not rival last year's group that featured a dozen wideouts - including the Eagles' Jordan Matthews - going in the first two rounds, but there's one player who, in Cosell's estimation, is going under the radar.

"I'll give you the guy who really jumped off the film to me, a name you're not hearing much about him yet, and I really believe you'll start to hear about him is Breshad Perriman," Cosell said.

Listed at 6-3, 214 pounds, Perriman had 50 catches for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns last season at Central Florida. The junior had a streak of seven straight games with a touchdown reception. Perriman's dad, Brett, was spent 10 years as a receiver with New Orleans and Detroit.

Unfortunately for Perriman, he will not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine due to an injury but will be able to showcase his talent for scouts at Central Florida's pro day on March 25.

-- Chris McPherson, 11:25 AM

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It's going to be a busy day in the media center at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are all scheduled to meet with reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday. Those three position groups will also go through measurements and medical exams as well as interview with teams.

The on-field workout begins Thursday for the specialists, while the offensive linemen and tight ends will compete in the bench press. The offensive linemen, specialists and tight ends will also undergo psychological testing featuring the infamous Wonderlic test.

If you've wondered what types of questions are on the Wonderlic, [test yourself here.](http://www.wonderlic.com/sites/default/files/SLE Sample Questions_1.pdf)

You can get caught up on what happened Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine here with a look at how the top of the draft could shake out, a former Eagles head coach on the promotion of Ed Marynowitz and a player who models his game after All-Pro Jason Peters.

-- Chris McPherson, 6:24 AM

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