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Five things learned at the NFL Scouting Combine – Day 3

Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock patterns his game after Aaron Rodgers


INDIANAPOLIS – The remaining offensive skill-position prospects met with the media on Friday, while offensive linemen and running backs ran through drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here's a handful of highlights:

1. Mizzou's Drew Lock patterns his game after Aaron Rodgers.

Lock didn't intend on unfurling NFL comparisons, but if someone asked him the question, the Mizzou quarterback had his answer ready.

Taking a moment to acknowledge he has a long way to go as a football player, the potential first-round pick in next month's NFL Draft named a single QB he patterns his game after.

"I would model my game after Aaron Rodgers," Lock said. "Just the stuff he does off-platform. I think if you watch my game, I throw a lot off weird platforms. My feet aren't necessarily perfect all the time. I throw from weird arm angles. I get critiqued about it. He gets critiqued about it a little bit. That's just our style of game. That's what we do. That's what we're proud of."

Whatever outside perception might be, Lock enjoyed a highly successful career as a four-year starter for the Tigers. A native of Columbia, Mo., Lock followed in the footsteps of his father, Andy, when he committed to Mizzou as a four-star quarterback.

As the first Tigers QB to start as a true freshman in 20 years, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound passer proceeded to throw for 12,193 yards, 99 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in 47 starts.

One of his favorite targets during that run was current Packers receiver J'Mon Moore, who caught 127 passes for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns during his final two collegiate seasons.

Lock knows he plays the quarterback position somewhat unconventionally at times, but he's considered one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's draft. Bucky Brooks' most recent mock draft on currently has lock going to Denver at No. 10.

"I know that I'm athletic enough to be in the NFL," Lock said. "I'm going to prove that. I know I have the arm strength to play, I can make any throw on the field and I know I have the creativity out of the pocket to make plays when the pocket breaks down."

2. Alvis Whitted has the undying respect of Colorado State's receivers.

Whitted brings nine years of NFL playing experience and a lengthy college coaching resume to his newest post as the Packers' receivers coach.

In seven years at Colorado State, Whitted coached three All-Americans and helped the Rams earn their recent reputation as "Wide Receiver U." More than just football credentials, however, Whitted gained the respect of his players for the way he dealt with people.

"He's a great dude, first off," said Colorado State receiver Bisi Johnson. "He definitely knows what he's talking about. He was in the league nine years. At one point, he was the fastest man in the world, so he knows speed and everything like that. Really, really great guy all around."

3. Zach Gentry grew up a Brett Favre fan.

Before Gentry became a 6-foot-8 tight end, the University of Michigan draft prospect was like any other young quarterback who idolized Favre at any early age.

Once's top-ranked quarterback in New Mexico, Gentry went on to catch 49 passes for 817 yards and four touchdowns during his final two seasons at tight end for the Wolverines.

While the Favre era has transitioned to the Rodgers era, Gentry said it would still be "awesome" to play at Lambeau Field, adding he's spoken with the Packers informally this week.

"I grew up a big Brett Favre fan," Gentry said. "Grew up playing quarterback. He was just my favorite quarterback. I just thought he was tough and cool."

4. Hakeem Butler doesn't understand how Allen Lazard wasn't drafted.

Butler always admired Lazard.

As a big, tall receiver himself, Butler (6-6, 225) appreciated how Lazard used his 6-5, 227-pound frame to dominate defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference.

Lazard, a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection, caught 241 passes for 3,360 yards and 26 touchdowns, production Butler would be asked to replicate in 2018 after Lazard's graduation.

Butler's size and success at Iowa State made it even more confusing to Butler how the Cyclones' receiver went undrafted last year.

"Allen is a great receiver," Butler said. "He didn't get drafted, which I think is bogus, but he taught me a lot. He's one of the first physical, big-bodied receivers I've ever interacted (with) coming into college. He used his (body) about as well as anybody and he showed me some of that body control."

Lazard signed with Jacksonville as a college free agent and spent most of his rookie season on the Jaguars' practice squad, until the Packers signed him to their 53-man roster on Dec. 18.

Active in the regular-season finale against Detroit, Lazard caught his first NFL pass, a 7-yard gain, on his only offensive snap against the Lions.

"He showed me work ethic and a lot of different things," said Butler, one of the top receivers in this year's draft class. "The dude had a great career at Iowa State and I think he'll have a great career in the NFL."

Photos of PK, ST, OL & RB prospects working out at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Friday, March 1, 2019.

5. There are NFL personnel people who scouted both Alabama's Irv Smith and his father.

The combine has been eye-opening on several fronts for the Crimson Tide's Smith, but perhaps for no bigger reason than he's been interviewed by some NFL personnel people this week who also scouted his father 26 years ago.

A first-round pick (20th overall) of New Orleans in 1993, Irv Sr. caught 183 passes for 1,788 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight seasons split with the Saints, 49ers and Browns.

Irv Jr. is considered one of the top prospects in this year's tight end class. He declared early for the draft after catching 44 passes for 710 yards and four TDs as a junior.

As expected, Irv Sr. has helped guide his son along throughout the draft process.

"He definitely helped me a lot," said Smith, who has met with the Packers in Indianapolis. "He played tight end, as well, at Notre Dame and eight years in the league. He's a big resource to me and helped me a lot through this."