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5 things learned at the Combine

Posted Feb 26, 2016

News & notes from prospects visiting the media center on Day 3

INDIANAPOLIS – With NFL coaches and general managers getting their press conferences out of the way on the first two days of the NFL Scouting Combine, Friday was focused on the prospects meeting the media at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here’s a handful of interesting bits from Day 3 in Indy.

1. Ohio State DE Joey Bosa believes he’s the top player in the entire draft.

The dynamic pass rusher was one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten the past three years, and his father was a first-round draft pick 29 years ago. John Bosa was the 16th overall selection, and son Joey sees himself going much higher.

“I do believe I’m the best player in this draft,” Bosa said. “There are a lot of amazing players in this draft and it’ll be up to Tennessee (with the No. 1 pick) to make that decision. But if you’re a top player and you don’t believe that, then something’s wrong.”

Bosa is one of a single-school record 14 Ohio State players at the Combine this week. He also felt plenty comfortable in front of a large media throng.

“After meeting with a bunch of NFL coaches, you guys are nothing,” Bosa said.

2. UCLA DT Kenny Clark has watched some Packers games.

Among the NFL players at his position Clark said he likes to watch is Green Bay’s Mike Daniels. Clark also mentioned fellow UCLA alum Datone Jones, but Clark’s description of his playing style sounded like it came from Daniels’ mouth.

“I like to put my hands as violently as I can on people,” he said.

3. Alabama DT A’Shawn Robinson keeps an occasional eye on Green Bay as well.

Robinson brought up Julius Peppers among the players he likes to model his game after. Peppers has always been known as a physical freak of nature, and while Robinson is a prototypical 6-4, 320 pounds for a defensive lineman, it sounds like he was a bit of a freak in his younger days as well.

He said as a 5-year-old, he began playing football in a youth league against 8- and 9-year-olds.

“I think it made me a lot tougher than what I was as a little kid,” Robinson said.

4. Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche is hoping NFL teams forgive him for his high-profile mistake.

In a much-publicized December incident in Atlanta, Nkemdiche fell out a hotel room window and was charged with marijuana possession. A potential high first-round pick, Nkemdiche is answering a lot of questions from NFL teams about what happened.

“That wasn’t me. That was rash. That was a blunder,” he said. “People who know me know that’s not who I am.”

Nkemdiche said he was drinking and the drugs weren’t his, but he was charged because the hotel room was in his name and no one “wanted to take the fall,” a curious choice of phrase.

5. Ohio State TE Nick Vannett doesn’t believe his stats reflect the type of all-around player he is.

Last year for the Buckeyes, Vannett had just 19 receptions for 162 yards. His four-year career numbers – 55 catches, 585 yards, six TDs – are similar to what top tight ends put up in one year.

“The first thing I hear from these NFL teams is, ‘We feel you are underutilized,’” Vannett said. “I smirk when I hear that.

“I was asked to block a lot, so that’s what I tried to do, be a good team player. I didn’t want to be the reason we couldn’t run the ball.”

He feels dedicating himself to blocking has made him a better tight end and “the best combo tight end in this draft.” He put his pass-catching skills on display at the Senior Bowl and says he has also picked up the nickname “Baby Gronk” on Twitter.

“I think people forgot I can catch the ball, and I got to do that again,” he said of his week in Mobile, Ala. “I made pretty much every play thrown my way.”

 
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