As they prepare to make their best case for a chance at professional football, college wide receivers from across the country took to the podiums at the NFL Scouting Combine Friday before tackling on-field drills Saturday.
One of the prospects, D.J. Moore, looks up to Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, a fellow Maryland alum.
Moore said that Diggs has impacted his approach not only to the game but to his pursuit of an NFL career.
"It just gives me light because I talk to both of them," Moore said of Diggs and Eagles receiver Torrey Smith. "They said enjoy the process and just continue doing what I'm doing, [keep] working hard. The NFL is something you're going to have to do every day."
Moore has even occasionally been compared to Diggs, who was drafted in the fifth round by Minnesota in 2015.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that while Moore (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) is bigger than Diggs, "their playing style and athletic ability **while at Maryland were similar**."
And does Moore see the comparison? He said he's heard it a few times, but the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year differentiates, as well.
"I don't say we play the same, but we have the same hunger for the game," Moore said.
Another wide receiver in this year's draft class also has a connection to the Diggs family.
Calvin Ridley, ranked as the No. 1 receiver by NFL Media analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks, was a teammate at Alabama with Stefon's younger brother, Trevon.
Ridley played in just three games during his senior season due to age restrictions, but the now 23-year-old maximized his opportunities, recording 18 catches for 420 yards and four touchdowns in that time.
When asked what makes him worthy of the top receiver status, Ridley emphasized his route-running ability.
"I take my time in my routes," Ridley. "I'm patient in my routes and identify coverages pretty good, and I get in and out my breaks pretty well, and I beat defenders pretty well. Great separation."
What does Ridley want NFL coaches to know about him?
"I just want to let them know that I am the guy," Ridley said. "I will come in from Day 1 and play and work hard and be my best."
Here are some other highlights from media sessions with wide receiver prospects:
James Washington, Oklahoma State
Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks 3, Mayock 4
Washington is a product of Abilene, Texas, sharing a hometown with Vikings quarterback Case Keenum.
When asked to compare his playing style to a current NFL player, he pointed to another Oklahoma State Cowboy who became a member of the Dallas Cowboys, of course.
"I kind of look up to Dez Bryant a little bit just because I've watched a lot of film on him, studied him and tried to develop my game the same way his is," Washington said.
Dante Pettis, Washington
Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock T5, not ranked by Brooks
Pettis is the son of former MLB center fielder Gary Pettis, a five-time Golden Glove winner and current third-base coach for the Houston Astros.
Pettis was asked if his father was disappointed that he didn't follow in the baseball footsteps.
"Not really. I think he kind of knew that football was where I was leaning," Pettis said. "I had a lot of fun playing baseball and everything like that, but I don't know, there is something about football that is just different than every other sport. I think he saw that I had that kind of passion for the game."
Deon Cain, Clemson
Pre-combine draft rankings:Brooks 5, not ranked by Mayock
On reputation of Clemson receivers:"We're the best. We work hard every day. I feel like we're 'Wide Receiver U' for a reason, and I just want to keep that trend going. I'm blessed to be a part of it. At the end of the day, I just want to thank [Clemson wide receivers coach Jeff] Scott, [for] pushing us hard every day in practice and just making us better as an athlete."
On advice received about making transition to NFL:"Yeah, I talked to Mike [Williams], I talked to [DeAndre Hopkins], all them boys, [they just gave] me great advice on the next level because it definitely is a big transition from college to the NFL, so it's more about just what you've got inside and how much you're going to put in, put out every day on and off the field."
Anthony Miller, Memphis
Pre-combine draft rankings:Mayock T5, "on the bubble" for Brooks
After starting as a walk-on for Memphis, Miller has defied the odds and made it to the NFL Scouting Combine, just weeks away from a shot at the pros. As a junior, Miller was a Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference pick after making 95 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air.
When asked what he attributed his success to, Miller said it was "basically just hard work."
"It is really not much to it. Just a whole lot of determination," Miller said. "I had to prove a whole lot of people wrong along the way. I am just blessed to be here."
Added Miller: "I had a couple of D-II schools knocking at the door. But, I always knew I was capable of playing at the Division-I level."