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Combine Confidential: Top 5 Storylines


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is under way from Lucas Oil Stadium. While workouts won't start until Friday, offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists address reporters today and begin medical and measurements on Wednesday.

In addition, each head coach and general manager from all 32 NFL teams will address the media on Wednesday and Thursday. Titans general manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt have their turn at the podium today at 11:45 a.m. and noon, CT, respectively.

Before the week's events gain full steam, here are five storylines for you to keep an eye on this week.


  1. Jameis Winston's Interviews**

There are few questions about Winston's playing ability. Most draft analysts pick him as the top quarterback in the draft over Oregon's Marcus Mariota. There's still plenty of hesitation before teams hand over their keys to the franchise to Winston.

For Winston, the combine is far more about easing the minds of NFL execs than it is about performing on the field. Every team that chooses to interview Winston will have 15 minutes to grill him about all of his off field allegations and headlines.

Winston needs to convince at least one team that he's mature enough to lead a team as a 21-year old rookie.

2. Can Phillip Dorsett top CJ2K?

Phillip Dorsett told reporters at the Senior Bowl that he not only expects to be the fastest player in the 2015 draft class, but wants to make a run at Chris Johnson's record 40 time of 4.24 seconds at the combine. The wide receiver out of Miami said he's been clocked under 4.30 seconds, so there may be some credibility to his expectations.

Other names to watch in the 40-yard dash are Ohio State's Devin Smith and Auburn's Sammie Coates.

3. Marcus Mariota's Workout

Marcus Mariota  announced Tuesday that he will throw with the rest of the quarterbacks on Saturday. It was unclear if he would participate as he was dealing with a shoulder injury from Oregon's National Championship game.

He will go through an entire progression of short, intermediate and deep throws. It's hard to put too much weight on what will probably be no more than 20 throws, but it never hurts to see extra reps from one of the draft's top prospects.

4. Who Emerges as the Top Wide Receiver?

At one point Alabama's Amari Cooper was undoubtedly considered the top receiver on the board. Now draft analysts have fallen in love with West Virginia's Kevin White. DeVante Parker from Louisville, Devin Funchess of Michigan and Breshad Perriman from UCF are also widely regarded as first-round talents.

The measureable workouts are often more important for skill position players. A fast 40-time or high vertical jump will help players separate themselves and climb draft boards.

5. Official Measurements/Medicals

Media guides lie. That is a fundamental rule to understand. Players listed as 6-foot-2 in college may be closer to 6-foot-1. Those discrepancies make a difference. How tall is each receiver? Does an offensive lineman have long enough arms to play left tackle? Are a quarterback's hands big enough? Those are all questions that scouts will be looking to answer.

Outside of the Senior Bowl participants, most prospects don't have official measurements. That will change this week.

Every player will also go through a thorough medical exam. This will be especially important for players who have a lengthy injury history. Were Randy Gregory's injuries in 2014 minor, or a sign of things to come? Are Hau'oli Kikaha's knees truly 100 percent after two ACL tears? These are more questions to be answered by NFL scouts this week at the combine.


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