Media Roundup: Highlights from WR/TE Combine Media Sessions

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INDIANAPOLIS — A mix of personalities and pass-catchers met the media Friday afternoon at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

Wide receivers and tight ends faced bright lights from cameras and questions shouted from every which way as they continued their week in Indianapolis.

The skill guys will perform on-field drills Saturday, but here are some highlights from the media sessions of wide receivers and tight ends at the combine:

Wide receivers

Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Pre-combine draft rankings: NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks (1), The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (3)

On his foot injury, which will prevent him from working out: “It’s going good. Everything’s still on schedule. I started walking, and I have about three or four more weeks in the boot.”

On his strengths as a player: “My speed, playmaking ability, my dynamic ability and explosiveness. I need to get stronger, and I’ll continue to get stronger. I’ve been taking the weight room seriously since I got to college, and that’s something I’ll continue to work on.”

D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (2), Brugler (1)

On the impact of his father, former NFL player Terrence Metcalf: “Well, everybody looks up to their dad when they're in their lives, so just blessed to have a person that actually did everything that I'm going through now. So it's like having a cheat sheet to life. Just listen to everything he's taught me. He's still talking to me now … ‘How is it?’ Checking in on me, so it's just a blessing just to have him with me.”

On the viral photo that showed off his physique: “There's no Photoshop in that picture. I know the work I put in, so I'm not worried about what other people are going to say.”

A.J. Brown, Mississippi

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (4), Brugler (4)

On his confidence: “Personally, [I think] I’m the best receiver in the draft, by far. I’m versatile … I can play inside and outside. I run great routes, I have strong hands and I’m a man after the catch. A lot of guys are not like that. I’m very different.”

On his physicality: “I'm a physical guy, I'm real tough. I like to really bully [defensive backs.”

Why no love for defensive backs: “They're just in the way.”

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (3), Brugler (5)

On being invited to the Combine: “I’ve always envisioned myself in this seat, ever since I picked up a football.”

On playing under former NFL head coach Herm Edwards at ASU: “It’s benefited me so much. He prepared me for this moment. He prepared me to be right here talking to you guys. … I sat down with him frequently, from basically right when he got there through the whole season.”

Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (unranked), Brugler (2)

On making an immediate impact: “That’s what I’m doing — I’m coming in so I can be a starter. I want to help the team the best way possible — come in and compete and bring those around me just to a high level.”

On contested catches: “Those 50/50 balls are 90/10 balls when they’re thrown my way.”

Riley Ridley, Georgia

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (5), Brugler (6)

On combine advice from his brother, Calvin, a wide receiver with the Falcons: “Focus in more than I ever did in my life.”

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

Pre-combine draft rankings: NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks (1), The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (1)

On being the top-ranked tight end: “I try not to pay attention to it. I'm doing my job right now. I'm here at the combine. I'm having a lot of fun meeting new people, building new relationships. And I'm just not worried about anything else.”

On his blocking prowess: “Like I said, it’s the culture at Iowa. If you want to play at Iowa, you’re going to have to come to work every day. You’re going to have to block people, especially at tight end. The biggest thing is you’re going to have to learn so much, you’re going to have to be the best you are every day. One thing I learned was you have to goal-oriented. That wasn’t, six months from now I want to play, a year from now I want to start. It was today, ‘I want to get pads down, today I want to get my elbows in.’ That’s what I was trying to do.”

Irv Smith, Jr., Alabama

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (2), Brugler (3)

On being a complete player: “Most tight ends, they can either block or run routes, but I feel like I bring a combination that’s going to change the position for the future of the tight end.”

On his dad being recruited by some of same people talking to him (his father, Irv, was a first-round pick by New Orleans in 1993): “The tight ends coach from the Steelers actually recruited my dad at Auburn a long time ago. It’s wild, 20-something years ago they recruited my dad, and now they’re coming after me, so it’s a blessing, honestly.”

Noah Fant, Iowa

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (3), Brugler (2)

On which Iowa tight end will be selected first: “I take a lot of pride in that. Obviously, it would be a special thing. More than anything, I’m worried about being the first tight end taken. That’s a big accomplishment. Obviously, I want both me and T.J. to go in the first round. He’s a great player, and it’s going to be fun to compete out here on the field.”

On his versatility: “It helps out a lot because in that scenario, who are you going to flex out to put on me or put on any player in that matter. It’s not just me, we have a lot of versatile tight ends in this class. Put a corner out there, he might be too small. Put a safety, he might be too slow. Put a linebacker, he might be too slow. So, it’s one of those things where you get the right matchup, it could be pretty special.”

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (5), Brugler (5)

On his excitement about being in Indianapolis: “I grew up watching the NFL, so really all [the pieces of this experience] have stuck out to me. I’ve really been like a kid at a candy shop, just enjoying this whole process.”

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