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2024 NFL Combine Day One Highlights: Insights from Coaches and GMs, McCarthy, Penix, and Odunze Confirm Participation

The 2024 NFL Combine unofficially started yesterday with GMs, coaches, and players doing the media rounds, and NFL teams began the individual player interview process. Medical evaluations will also take place this week, and as always, the medicals and the interviews will play a significant role in the NFL Draft evaluation process.

Below is a list of news-related items from the first day of NFL Combine discussions, which included media sessions with coaches, players, and GMs. There are some interesting tidbits to take from these media sessions, so I wanted to compile some of the most relevant discussions centered around the NFL Combine and the 2024 NFL Draft.

J.J. McCarthy Will Throw At The NFL Combine

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is set to participate in the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, where he will throw and work out alongside other quarterbacks. McCarthy, considered one of the top prospects in the draft, has been under scrutiny due to his limited usage in college. However, with a strong performance at the combine and his pro day, he could potentially secure a position as a top five pick. His decision to participate in the combine is crucial as it allows NFL teams to assess his abilities more closely, especially with other top quarterback prospects like Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams opting out of the event.

Opportunity for Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. To Showcase Their Talent

The absence of USC's Caleb Williams and LSU's Jayden Daniels from the throwing events at the combine offers an opportunity for other quarterbacks, such as Oregon's Bo Nix and Washington's Michael Penix Jr., to capture the attention of NFL teams. Both Nix and Penix Jr. have confirmed their participation in the combine workouts, aiming to elevate their draft stock amidst a deep quarterback class.

Patriots' Director of Scouting On QB Evaluation Strategy

Eliot Wolf, the New England Patriots' Director of Scouting, shared insights into what the team looks for in a quarterback. Leadership, physical talent, and positive body language on the field are key attributes. The Patriots, holding the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, are in the process of evaluating quarterbacks, emphasizing the importance of toughness at the position. This evaluation process is crucial as the Patriots consider making a change at quarterback.

Rome Odunze Will Participate In Combine Drills

In contrast to the trend of top prospects opting out of combine workouts, Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze has decided to participate fully in the drills at the combine. Expected to be a top-10 pick, Odunze's decision to perform all the drills sets him apart from other top wide receiver prospects like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers, who have chosen to skip the workouts. Odunze's exceptional physical attributes, including his speed, vertical leap, and broad jump measurements, are anticipated to impress NFL teams.

Vikings' New QB Coach Is Former Drake Maye High School Coach

The Minnesota Vikings have appointed Josh McCown as their new quarterbacks coach, a decision that carries significant implications given McCown's past coaching experience with top quarterback prospect Drake Maye in high school and his connections with the NFL, including the Vikings and head coach Kevin O'Connell. While the Vikings are exploring long-term options at quarterback, with Kirk Cousins' future uncertain, the hiring of McCown could hint at a potential interest in developing Maye, who shares the same agent with Cousins and is considered a high-ceiling talent in need of experience and seasoning​​.

Panthers GM Dan Morgan Emphasizes Need for Wide Receiver Talent

Carolina Panthers' new GM Dan Morgan and rookie head coach Dave Canales are clear about the team's need to enhance its wide receiver corps, especially after the team finished with the NFL's worst record in 2023. Despite not discussing quarterback Bryce Young's rocky rookie season, Morgan is focused on adding "playmakers" to provide better support for Young. He highlighted the necessity for more depth and competition among the wide receivers, pointing out the potential to bolster the squad through the draft or free agency. Morgan praised the current wide receiver class and expressed a desire for players who exhibit toughness and a passion for the game, eyeing the No. 33 overall pick as an opportunity to address this need with promising prospects available like Ladd McConkey, Troy Franklin, Adonai Mitchell, Keon Coleman, and Brian Thomas.


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