Gearing up for the NFL Draft: Team representatives, prospects, media take it all in at 2015 NFL Combine

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Melvin Gordon

INDIANAPOLIS (WITI) — This time of year, NFL football teams are trying to figure out which college players can become successful professional players, but those teams have come to believe that prospects have to talk the talk as well as walk the walk.

More than 1,000 credentialed media members and more than 300 prospects, along with representatives from 32 teams converged on Indianapolis in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams. The event began on February 17th and continues through February 23rd.

“This’ll be the first time I see any, really any of these college players in person. It’s always great to see those guys and connect with those guys and the prospects and watch them interact, you know, throughout their time,” Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.

“You know what I would do is I’d actually get a lot of these interviews. I would try to come back and actually watch a lot of these interviews. Sometimes it was as simple as, you know, ‘what are you going to do with your money?’ And, I remember a player who turned out to be a bust. He said the first thing he’s going to do is buy a yellow Lamborghini. And I remember hearing and I still remember it going ‘who buys a yellow Lamborghini?’ But that tells me a lot about the player and sure enough he was a second round pick and he busted because his mind wasn’t in the right spot. But that was an interview that actually happened out here,” ESPN analyst Mark Dominik said.

This year’s players dealt with cold weather and long days which have included physical testing, medical testing and interaction testing. Their agents recognize the value in coaching them on how to handle this week.

“They are well-coached, but if they’re well-coached then they’re coachable, so that’s a good thing,” Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winner is one of the candidates to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft. He was certainly one of the number one draws at the NFL Scouting Combine. But he was just one of the guys telling his story at the Combine.

“Hey I’m blessed to be here. Watching it growing up, seeing the players compete out here and actually having the opportunity,” Connecticut wide receiver Geremy Davis said.

“This has been a dream of mine since I’ve been very little,” Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell said.

“It’s a ten. It’s a blessing,” Maryland wide receiver Deon Long said.

If you are a running back or you are evaluating running backs it’s a Combine guarantee that you’ll be asked about the position being devalued. It happens every year.

“You got to be able to protect the quarterback you know,” Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon said.

Rushers haven’t been going near the top of the draft the way they used to.

“You know, I don’t have an answer for that. I just know that every year you just go out and evaluate all the, you know, like any other position, the runners that are out there,” Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider said.

“We just have to change that this year and show people that we’re capable of going first round,” Gordon said.

“Whether it’s this year or two years from now or something there’ll be a year where there’s five of them going in the first round,” Thompson said.

What happens in Indianapolis won’t stay in Indianapolis. The decisions reached on players over this past week will become evident in the NFL Draft, which comes up in just over two months. The first round is April 30th.

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