INDIANAPOLIS -- The busiest day yet at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine saw the offensive linemen and tight ends go through on-field workouts, and a cast of players take their turns with media interviews, including the top QB prospect who said he'd win a Super Bowl next season. Here's a look at the players who fared well, and those who did not, throughout the day.
Friday's top performers
- LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins drew praise from analysts for the athleticism he displayed, particularly in position drills. At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., some NFL scouts suggested Collins' best fit in the NFL might be as an offensive guard. But Collins' performance at the combine figures to give rise to his standing as a tackle prospect who can handle the faster pace of play on the edge.
- Jake Fisher drew strong reviews Friday for his efforts, including a 5.01 40-yard dash that ranked second among offensive linemen. Fisher, a tackle prospect from Oregon, was also a standout to Jeremiah and turned in the best 20-yard shuttle time of the big men as well (4.33). Given the pace at which Oregon plays on offense, it comes as no surprise that Fisher proved to be one of the more athletic linemen on hand.
- Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams ran a 4.78 40-yard dash, the third-best time at his position, and drew praise from NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah for the ease with which he caught passes. Williams did nothing to hurt his status as a potential first-round pick, and figures to have little to prove at the Golden Gophers' pro day event.
- Cam Erving, Florida State's versatile offensive lineman, helped himself in more ways than one. His 40-yard dash of 5.15 seconds ranked him in the top 10 at his position, but his bench-press reps (30) and fourth-ranked broad jump (112 inches) combined to give him one of the top overall performances among offensive linemen. Erving's pro potential will be evaluated as both a tackle and an interior player -- he played both tackle and center in his final year at FSU -- and he'll leave the combine with both possibilities intact.
What they're saying
"Yeah, I like the Bucs, but you know, the Bucs are the Bucs." -- Florida DE Dante Fowler, Jr., on growing up in St. Petersburg, Fla., near Tampa
Biggest workout winner
Little-known prospect Ali Marpet of Hobart College was the fastest offensive lineman in the 40-yard dash event, logging one of only two sub-5.0 times (4.98 -- and the other came from a long snapper). Marpet's day caught the eye of NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein, as well. Between Marpet's showing at the combine (he also pushed 30 reps in bench press testing) and his strong performance at the Senior Bowl in January, his draft arrow is undoubtedly pointing up.
Biggest workout loser
Wisconsin's Rob Havenstein didn't finish especially high in any of the combine testing, perhaps not altogether surprising given his massive size (6-8, 333 pounds). He ran a 5.46 40-yard dash, better than only eight others, finished near the bottom of the linemen in the 20-yard shuttle (4.87), and turned in the worst three-cone drill time (8.28). He also managed only 16 reps on the bench press, the lowest total in the field.
» Bucky Brooks breaks down which prospects were buzzworthy, and which were buzzkills, in his list of Friday's combine winners and losers.
Biggest media darling
Dante Fowler, Jr., DE, Florida: The former Gators stud was the star of the show on Friday as he held court from the podium to discuss everything from his position at the next level to growing up in St. Petersburg. It was probably a sign of how captivating he was that several NFL-centric media members asked him if he was always this loose in such a setting.
Biggest media flop
Frank Clark, LB, Michigan: Off-the-field issues dominated the conversation with Clark at his table and he didn't exactly put concerns to rest or address them head on. He did discuss how he is going to counseling but still managed to pass off blame to other things. Not a great look.
» Jameis Winston was the marquee name during Friday's media session, but several other top prospects also took the podium. Here's a look at the podium stars and busts from Day 3.
What NFL Network analysts are saying
"I fully expect Brandon Scherff to be the first offensive lineman off the board. I think he kicks inside and Day becomes a starter." - NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock on Iowa OT Brandon Scherff
"He is the only tight end I have in the first two rounds." Mike Mayock on Minnesota TE Maxx Williams
"This guy is a physical specimen. He definitely has the athletic ability to be a tackle." - NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara on Pitt OT T.J. Clemmings
» Find out what else NFL Network analysts were saying about Friday's top offensive linemen and tight ends.
Six other things we learned Friday
- At least one former Washington teammate is willing to go to bat for Marcus Peters. Peters was dismissed from the Huskies' program last season and is among the prospects in this draft that will be red-flagged for character concerns. However, Hau'oli Kikaha, a pass-rushing prospect who played with Peters at UW, had nothing but nice things to say about Peters on Friday, calling him a "good teammate" and a "great guy."
"It was unfortunate," Kikaha said of Peters' dismissal. "A number of things could have been done to prevent all of that, but the main thing is that he's kind of matured and feels better about everything. And he's here (at the combine). And he's going to be at (Washington's) pro day. Everything is kind of put to rest and at peace. I'm happy for him."
Naturally, a teammate would stick up for Peters. But NFL clubs will go far deeper than that in determining whether his attitude issues with the Huskies will manifest into a problem on the next level.
- Missouri defensive end Shane Ray measured 6-2 5/8 at the combine Friday morning, allaying fear among scouts that one of the NFL draft's top pass-rushing prospects didn't stand as tall as his official college listing. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiahrevealed some concern among scouts for Ray's height last week, with some expecting him to measure in the 6-1 range.
- Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory weighed in at only 235 pounds, 10 pounds less than his playing weight as one of the top pass rushers in the Big Ten. Presumably, Gregory slimmed down for the combine to excel in the 40-yard dash and various agility drills, but at 6-foot-6, there were NFL scouting concerns about his light frame even at 245. Gregory will work out on Sunday. If he performs well enough to skip Nebraska's pro day event, don't be surprised if he starts adding weight to show NFL scouts that he can carry more size.
- Miami offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, whose 37 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press might prove to be the best of the entire combine field, is acting as his own agent. "I've done research with my father and I see no reason to have one," Flowers said. "I'll probably get a lawyer for the contract. But other than that, I'm my own agent." That's a bold move, to be sure, as Flowers is believed to be the only player at the combine without an agent. But it's one less check he'll have to write out of his signing bonus, and one less voice involved in getting a rookie contract completed.
- USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams said he had to play rugby rather than Pop Warner football as a youngster because he was over the 180-pound weight limit by 30 pounds.
- T.J. Clemmings, the Pittsburgh offensive lineman whose draft stock has risen sharply, didn't exactly draw a lot of scholarship offers coming out of high school. The potential first-round pick was offered by only Rutgers, Seton Hall and Providence.