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As the 2018 NFL scouting combine approaches its conclusion, here are more comments from prospects that stood out, along with some perspective:
– Team interviews at the combine are well known for producing some strange questions or requests, and University of Texas punter Michael Dickson revealed this gem that came from the Seattle Seahawks. Dickson is an interesting prospect, as that rare punter going into the draft as an underclassman. The native of Australia closed his college career by earning MVP honors in the Texas Bowl against Missouri after downing 10 of 11 punts inside the 20. Dickson is expected to be the first punter drafted in 2018.
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– UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin severely underestimated the interest his media session would generate, particularly after he performed 20 reps in the bench press while wearing a prosthetic left hand. Griffin said his previous best was 11 reps; the 20 was tied for 11th among the 25 linebackers who did the bench press. Griffin, who had his left hand amputated when he was 4 continues to be the most inspiring story leading up to the 2018 NFL draft.
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– Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown is the son of the former Baltimore Ravens tackle of the same name, and he said trying to forge his own identity by playing a different position was never an option for him. Brown entered the combine as one of the top prospects at his position, but he certainly didn’t help his cause in Indianapolis by running the slowest time of any offensive lineman (5.85) and doing the fewest reps (14) in the bench press. Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield vouched for his teammate, saying the only thing that mattered to him was that he didn’t allow a sack last season.
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– USC’s Sam Darnold is in the mix when it comes to who will be the first quarterback drafted, but one of the concerns about him is his rather elongated delivery. Darnold, who chose not to throw at the combine, made his feelings clear about the idea of tweaking his throwing motion.
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– Chad Thomas not only is a talented football player, the defensive end from the University of Miami also happens to be quite gifted when it comes to music. He can play about a half-dozen instruments and produced the opening track, “Apple of My Eye,” on hip-hop artist Rick Ross’s new album, “Rather You Than Me.” Thomas, who goes by “Major Nine” in the world of music, says he’s all about football, though.