Sources Tell Us: What we heard on Day 2 of scouting combine

  • By Andy Fenelon
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Sources Tell Us from Scouting Combine: Wednesday

INDIANAPOLIS -- We listened in on what every NFL coach and general manager had to say Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, and when they weren't addressing their current team's roster, they were discussing the draft. Here's some of the more interesting things we heard on Day 2, and an attempt to make sense of it all:

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The scoop: "Physically, we think he has all the gifts in the world. We've all admired him. All of us who have been in the state of Missouri and the Kansas City area have seen him afar, have admired his physical traits. I think now what people want to do is get a feel for him as a person, see where he is at this state. Just see where he is, that's what we are doing. We will be meeting him in the next couple days and I look forward to it." -- Chiefs GM John Dorsey on WR Dorial Green-Beckham

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The skinny: Dorsey was surprisingly candid in a setting where team reps at the combine rarely say anything specific on players. There's no doubt the Chiefs will be in the market for a wide receiver (or two). Remarkably, the Chiefs haven't had a wide receiver catch a touchdown since Dec. 8, 2013, or in the last 19 regular-season games. Green-Beckham is an athletic marvel. He measured at the exact same height and within one pound of Calvin Johnson. While he has a ways to go before becoming the next Megatron, his stock could really take off after the combine if he can answer the tough questions teams will be asking about his troubled past. The only question then would be, will he be around when the Chiefs pick at No. 18?

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The scoop: "The sixth pick is a nice pick to be at. We're not going to lock ourselves into one (player) and say that's the one we have to get. I think that's an area where a lot of teams tend to be undisciplined at times. They make mistakes because they force picks." -- New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan when asked if he would take a quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick

The skinny: The Jets are in good position, in terms of cap money; as of Wednesday, they had around $50 million to spend. Maccagnan said he plans to be active in free agency, and while there isn't a stud quarterback to bring into the fold, the Jets could bring in a veteran like Brian Hoyer to challenge Geno Smith, which would allow them to focus on other areas of need in the draft, then wait a year when more pro-style quarterbacks are available. Then again, if Marcus Mariota is there at No. 6, they'd probably have to think about it long and hard.

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The scoop: "I will say we've made changes. We made our adjustments, and I think we'll be more prepared this year because of the different timeframe of me having the position for a year now instead of getting that appointment February last year." -- Browns GM Ray Farmer on if maturity issues with 2014 first-round picks Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert will change the team's approach in the draft process

The skinny: On Wednesday, coach Mike Pettine warned that the Browns weren't just going to "add players to our roster who are in the National Honor Society and the school choir" because of what happened last year. But they are more prepared this year to better vet prospects before drafting them. Farmer, who took over a front office in chaos 12 months ago, has hired six scouts who each have 20-plus years of experience.

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The scoop: "I've known him since the ninth grade. He's a good kid." -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians on Florida State QB Jameis Winston

The skinny: We're not certain how Arians has known Winston since he was a freshman at Hueytown (Ala.) High School, but we'll take him at his word. This has definitely been the theme at the combine this week, with team representatives lining up and freely vouching for Winston's character. "Good kid" is not to be confused with terribly immature person, which Winston is. Even if teams feel good with their security checks on Winston, immaturity issues can last a long time (ask the Cleveland Browns) and have a detrimental effect on the entire team. And if there's one position that maturity is a must, it's quarterback. Winston will have to convince the team that takes him, starting with interviews this week at the combine, that he's learned his lesson and that those days are in the past.

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The scoop: "I think 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. It's just cyclical and interesting, but it probably doesn't mean anything philosophically. I don't think teams are less inclined to take running backs now than they were five years ago." -- Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

The skinny: This is interesting. It goes against conventional wisdom that the NFL is increasingly becoming a passing league and the days of the bellcow running back are over. Dorsey on Wednesday said there are some "really special" running backs in this year's draft. Dorsey and Thompson were part of Ron Wolf's staff in Green Bay. Wolf, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month, once said one of his greatest regrets of his Packers career was not listening to Dorsey, who was pounding the table for a running back in 1996 for three rounds in the Packers' war room. Green Bay took RB Travis Jervey from The Citadel in the fifth round (Wolf had an affinity for military players), and the Broncos ended up with Dorsey's player in the sixth: Terrell Davis.

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The scoop: "If I tell you I want to draft a wide receiver in the first round, then guess what happens? Somebody jumps in front of me and takes that guy. It's better to leave everybody somewhat in the dark." -- Browns GM Ray Farmer

The skinny: There's a lot of light shed on the Browns' greatest need; it clearly became wide receiver after Josh Gordon was suspended for the 2015 season. With two picks in the first round -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- there's a very good chance the Browns will take a receiver early. At No. 12, one of the Big Three -- Alabama's Amari Cooper, West Virginia's Kevin White and Louisville's DeVante Parker -- should be left for the Browns to take. They also have six picks in the first four rounds, so it's not out of the realm of possibility Cleveland takes two receivers in a draft class that Chiefs GM John Dorsey said was "very similar to the draft class of last year."

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The scoop: "All options are on the table for the Browns. There's nothing that we don't look at. There's no circumstances that we haven't tried to put together a framework for what's the right thing to do and what those costs are. We've done a cost-benefit analysis as to what it's going to take to make any sort of move in free agency or the draft." -- Browns GM Ray Farmer on how realistic it might be for the Browns to package their two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 19) and trade up for a top quarterback

The skinny: Farmer likes Marcus Mariota, as noted by NFL Media reporter Albert Breer last week, and UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley said he met with the Browns on Tuesday night, among other clubs. The Browns have options, that's for sure. It's conceivable Farmer could package the picks if Mariota were to start falling, or if they wanted to develop a player like Hundley, they could wait a round. It's unclear at this point if they still believe in Manziel. If they do, they could bridge the gap and sign a quarterback like Mark Sanchez in free agency.

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The scoop: "I think when you look at our needs in the draft, I would say running back is a position that we could look at." -- Texans coach Bill O'Brien

The skinny: This makes sense. The Texans want to be a run-first offense under O'Brien and can no longer rely on the oft-injured Arian Foster, who will be 29 by the start of next season. O'Brien hinted on Wednesday that he plans to limit Foster's carries by "managing him in games," but also said he believes Foster has "a lot of football left in him." It sounds like the Texans could be looking at a split backfield in 2014. Alfred Blue has shown flashes, but with a deep and talented crop of running backs in this draft, it makes sense for the Texans to go get Foster's eventual replacement this year.

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The scoop: "No. 31 is better -- if anyone is out there listening." -- Seahawks GM John Schneider on possibility of trading the 31st pick in the draft, one year after owning the 32nd pick

The skinny: Seattle traded the 32nd pick in last year's draft to the Vikings, who then took QB Teddy Bridgewater. Don't be surprised if Schneider, who isn't a fan of drafting at the back of the first round, drops back again with a trade. As he said, he's taking all offers, even from the Patriots.

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