Indianapolis - The silence is broken for Dorial Green-Beckham, as this giant wide receiver spoke with the media at the NFL Combine. The former five-star from Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest has had a roller coaster of a career.
Green-Beckham could have named his school. This kid was that good. He elected to stay home and play for Missouri. There, he had a good first year and a standout sophomore season. Green-Beckham was on the verge of really making a name for himself on the field.
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But off the field incidents surrounded him as a Tiger. Over the course of two years he was arrested twice on marijuana possession. Last April an 18-year-old Missouri student told police that Green-Beckham forced his way into her apartment and pushed her down a set of stairs while looking for his girlfriend, the alleged victim's roommate. Police closed the case days later, citing reluctant witnesses fearing retaliation.
Green-Beckham was later dismissed from the team and later enrolled at Oklahoma. The NCAA didn’t allow him to play at all this past season, giving Green-Beckham plenty of time to see the error of his ways.
“I realize that I made mistakes,” Green-Beckham said. “I am disappointed in myself. I took a step back and knew I had to mature. It’s tough to stand here and speak to you [the media]. I have not spoken in a year. I sat out and focused on what I need to focus on.
Green-Beckham, 6-foot-5, 237-pounds, is as athletically gifted as any prospect in this draft. He draws on the field comparisons to Detroit Lion standout Calvin Johnson. But will he ever realize that enormous potential?
“I know what’s at stake,” Green-Beckham said. “This is the NFL and I have to show everyone what I am capable of doing. I have to overcome the past. I have been through a lot. I have to think about all that but also have to look forward and not look back.
Many feel he should have returned to Norman and played this fall as a Sooner. He could work on his image and beef up his football resume. After all, a good year on and off the field would do nothing but elevate his draft stock.
”I know I have a lot to repair,” Green-Beckham said. “I could have used one more year to boost my stock higher but I believe this was the best decision for me and my family. Now I have to show the NFL. I have to show maturity. I have to talk about what I have done and show that I have grown up through these situations.
Versatility helps Agholor
Nelson Agholor was a very highly sought after recruit from Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep. He signed with USC over Florida. What drew so many college scouts to Agholor was his versatility. He was a high school running back who converted late in his career to wide receiver and also was a big time defensive back as a safety. Agholor believes that helped his game transition well as a Trojan.
”I think playing running back teaches you aggressiveness,” Agholor said. “You have to have that mentality. So I believe that helped me because I became a more dangerous wide receiver with the ball.”
Agoholor, 6-foot-0, 198-pounds, is not the biggest wide receiver or the fastest. But he gets the job done.
”I wasn’t always the quickest or the fastest,” Agholor said. “But when I was playing running back my athleticism caught up with me. At a younger age I worked hard and prepared. Then I became a better athlete. I became more explosive.
”Now, I make a reception and I am thinking about making a big play. When you are a running back, that’s the way you think. You have to have that mentality and run after contact. You have to keep going.”
Agholor has only met formally here at the Combine with Cleveland. He knows there are more to come. One of his former teammates and good friends, Marqise Lee, helped him prepare for what’s about to come.
”He told me just to have fun,” Agholor said. “To prepare but just have fun. Sometimes when you get on this stage you forget that.”
”I had a great three years at Maryland,” Diggs said. “But I did what I thought was best for me and my family. I didn’t talk with anyone really about whether or not to go out. The coaches didn’t give me too much input to stay or go. It was my decision.”
Diggs battled some injuries as a Terrapin. There’s no question that when healthy, he’s a dynamic and explosive talent.
”I feel fine,” Diggs said. “I am 100%. “I feel I have the mental makeup. I can pick up the playbook. I believe in myself and play with confidence. I am a competitor and a winner. I will work hard every day and do everything. I want to work. I feel I am the best wide receiver here or among the best. There are some talented guys. I just want to play and produce.”
News and notes
Seahawks general manager John Schneider on running back Marshawn Lynch and retirement rumors - "There's been a lot of good running backs walk away. We'd like to know soon."
Packers general manager Ted Thompson on agents - “Players coached up by agents for combine is a good thing. Shows they are coachable."
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said their entire interview process is about football, not delving into personalities. He wants to see what players know/doesn’t know about the game. He has to know how quick a player can get on the field. He likes the workouts because everyone on same surface.
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (injury) will not work out at the NFL Combine. Instead he will work out at UCF's pro day on March 25.
1,071 media are in attendance. That’s the most ever to cover the NFL Combine.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians on the NFL Combine - "I remember 20 years ago nobody was here."
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