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Mayock: Not all scouts down on Paul Dawson, T.J. Clemmings

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Pittsburgh offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings and TCU linebacker Paul Dawson wowed no one at the NFL Scouting Combine, but NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said Tuesday that both remain viable prospects.

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Appearing via phone on the "Rich Eisen Show," Mayock said he had talked with what he called "an old-school scout" who said both can play.

Mayock said the scout told him, "Don't get off Paul Dawson. ... Trust your gut." In addition, he said the scout also told him, "Stay on Clemmings. ... That kid's got more upside than any tackle in this draft."

Dawson's performance was considered so poor that he decided to respond to critics. As Mayock noted Sunday during NFL Network's combine coverage, the film showed that Dawson (6-foot-0 1/8, 235 pounds) played at an extremely high level and showed off excellent instincts. But Dawson was clocked in 4.93 in the 40, had a vertical of just 28 inches and a broad jump of only 9 feet, 1 inch. In addition, he didn't look all that sharp during on-field drills. Dawson will get another chance to live up to his tape on March 27, when TCU holds its pro day.

Not counting linebackers who are considered edge rushers, Dawson should be in the mix to be the first linebacker drafted; others in that group are Washington's Shaq Thompson, Mississippi State's Benardick McKinney and Miami's Denzel Perryman. None had anything close to a great combine.

As for Clemmings (6-4 3/4, 309), his combine performance came on the heels of a less-than-stellar showing at the Senior Bowl. Saturday during the offensive line drills, Mayock said Clemmings had a "tremendously high ceiling." But Mayock and NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara also noted that Clemmings has played just two seasons along the offensive line (at right tackle) and that he is raw and needs technique work. Pitt's pro day is March 3.

Clemmings is part of a big group of tackles about which there are questions; he also is the only one who played on the right side this season. Iowa's Brandon Scherff is seen by some analysts, including Mayock, as a better fit for guard. LSU's La'el Collins might be better off at right tackle or guard. Stanford's Andrus Peat appears to have a big upside, but didn't always show it during the 2014 season; the same goes for Florida's D.J. Humphries. Miami's Ereck Flowers might be a better fit on the right side. And Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi not only struggled after making the move from the right side this season but also is rehabbing from ACL surgery.

Mayock also said he wanted to see more tape of Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty.

"I keep wanting to like Bryce Petty because his arm is so good," Mayock said.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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