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Combine notebook | Quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs address the media

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Day 3 of the NFL scouting combine is upon us, and it's a big one. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers all spoke to the media, so let's not waste any more time and dive into their press conferences.

-- While there is still a lot of work to do for the Commanders regarding what they do with the No. 2 overall pick, there is plenty of speculation that they will take a quarterback at the top of the draft. They are certainly doing their homework on the position, as multiple signal-callers confirmed that they had spoken with the Commanders during team interviews.

We'll start with USC's Caleb Williams, who several analysts expect to be taken by the Chicago Bears with the No. 1 overall pick. Williams grew up in Washinton, D.C., and played at Gonzaga High School, calling the DMV "familiar" and "hometown." There is no guarantee Williams will be taken by Washington, but he did speak on the possibility of playing for the Commanders.

"It'd be really cool to be back there and experience that. The meeting went really well. Everybody was in the room, so being around everybody, just getting a taste of how they are, who they are, because...everything's new there."

-- UNC's Drake Maye was also asked about the Commanders, and he had positives things to say about his meeting with the team as well. "It kind of clicked right off the bat," Maye said of Commanders head coach Dan Quinn. "He was a great guy and...the stuff he does defensively with the Cowboys over the last few years has been pretty special." Maye also talked about getting to know quarterbacks coach Tavita Pritchard, who recruited him coming out of high school.

Plus, Maye dropped one of the best lines of the week.

"You don't want to game plan for me. You want to game plan with me."

-- LSU's Jayden Daniels, another quarterback expected to go at the top of the first round, also spoke highly about the Commanders' staff during his meeting with the team. "Just how cool the whole staff was," Daniels said of his impressions. "Dan Quinn, Kliff Kingsbury, all those types of guys. Just being able to sit in there and really just get to know people. You can see them on TV, see everybody coaching behind the scenes, so to be able to go in there and just have a conversation with them, that's the coolest part for me."

-- And just to do our due diligence here, the Commanders spoke with other quarterbacks besides those considered to be at the top of draft boards. Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. didn't say much about his interview with the Commanders, but he made it clear that it went well.

"I felt confident in all my meetings, and I know in that meeting, I felt confident going into it, and I felt confident walking away," Penix said. "I was super excited to be able to meet with ever team that I was able to meet with, but with the Washington Commanders, it was a good meeting."

-- Okay, now that we've done our obligatory quarterback roundup, let's move on to the other positions. Marvin Harrison Jr. was not at the combine, so the attention was able to be dispersed to the rest of the wideouts. According to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., Washington's Rome Odunze is the next best receiver available, and he certainly has plenty of confidence in himself.

When asked about 50/50 balls, Odunze responded with, "For me, it's 100/0. Just me and the ball."

-- LSU's Malik Nabers said he's a "dog," and his stats back that up. He finished his college career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2023. Some believe that he is rising up draft boards because of his dominant skill set, and like Odunze, he has confidence in his ability to make contested catches.

"When that ball's in the air, you know it's mine," Nabers said. "And when I'm able to get the ball in my hands, I'm able to do tremendous things with it."

-- South Carolina's Xavier Legette is a prime example of how deep the receiver class is this year. While not considered one of the players at his position, he exhibits several traits that hint at his explosiveness at the NFL level. When asked about not being placed among this year's best receiver prospects, Legette said he's not bothered at all.

-- We'll wrap things up with the running backs Kentucky's Ray Davis has had a lot of carries in his college career, toting the ball 746 times in five seasons. Some might see that as an issue, but Davis believes that it creates confidence in his ability and doesn't foresee it as a problem at the NFL level.

"I'm a guy who continued to go out there and get the job done," David said. "I've had to adapt to three different offenses, adapt to three different OCs and three different running back coaches, and I was able to be successful at every stop that I was at."

-- Finally, here's a positive update on Texas running back Jonathan Brooks, who many consider to be the best running back available in this year's draft. Brooks is recovering well from the torn ACL he suffered last season and said he is ahead of schedule. He said he'll be ready to go July 1, which gives him plenty of time to prepare for training camp.

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