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2016 Combine: Scouting the Running Backs

The running backs took the field today at the NFL Combine.

TOP FIVE PERFORMANCES

40-Yard Dash

  1. Keith Marshall (Georgia) – 4.31
  2. Tyler Ervin (San Jose State) – 4.41
  3. Kenyan Drake (Alabama) – 4.45
  4. Daniel Lasco (California) – 4.46
  5. Marshaun Coprich (Illinois State), Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Wendell Smallwood (West Virginia) – 4.47

Bench Press

  1. Andy Janovich (Miami), Dan Vitale (Northwestern) – 30
  2. Soma Vainuku (USC) – 26
  3. Tre Madden (USC), DeAndre Washington (Texas Tech) - 24

Vertical Jump

  1. Daniel Lasco (California) – 41.5
  2. Tyler Ervin (San Jose State) – 39.0
  3. Dan Vitale (Northwestern) – 38.5
  4. Kenneth Dixon (Louisiana Tech) – 37.5
  5. Derrick Henry (Alabama) – 37.0

Broad Jump

  1. Daniel Lasco (California) – 11'3"
  2. Derrick Henry (Alabama), Tyler Ervin (San Jose State) – 10'10"
  3. Paul Perkins (UCLA) – 10'4"
  4. Kenyan Drake (Alabama), Dan Vitale (Northwestern) – 10'3"

Broad Jump

  1. Wendell Smallwood (West Virginia) – 6.83
  2. Shad Thornton (North Carolina State) – 6.85
  3. Kenneth Dixon (Louisiana Tech) – 6.97
  4. Peyton Barber (Auburn) – 7.00
  5. DeAndre Washington (Texas Tech) – 7.03

QUOTEBOOK

Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon

On his knack for finding the end zone…

"I feel like hard work is the skill that you have to get all those touchdowns. You have to have the skill to lead because the offensive line has to come off the line and block for all four quarters. The quarterback's got to throw to open up the pass. The coach has to call the right running play for us to do it. So it's a skill, but it takes a team to do all that."

On his receiving ability…

"I feel like my receiving abilities will put me over the top over some of the running backs that are here that haven't caught the ball so much in the offense. I feel that receiving the ball out of the backfield is an excellent skill that I'll possess in the NFL

On who he compares to…

"I used to watch Marshall Faulk a lot. I know people compare me to him. I'm nothing compared to Marshall Faulk. Marshall Faulk is in the Hall of Fame. He's one of the all-time greats. I'm just trying to follow the path that he did. People always compare me to Marshall Faulk, and he's a great guy, but another thing (is) he was a great receiver out of the backfield. That's one reason why I get that comparison."

Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott

On what sets him apart from the other running backs…

"I think the thing that sets me apart is my versatility. I'm a guy that can play three downs. You don't have to take me off the field. I value blocking more than anything. I obviously love to run the ball and I think I have great hands out of the backfield."

On the running back he looked up to and tries to emulate….

"Marshall Faulk was my guy growing up and that's who I always emulated my game after. He's been a mentor to me. We have the same agent. He's been a big help to me in this process."

On how he improved his blocking…

"When I first started playing football I was a fullback. My first job was to block. When I first got to Ohio State I realized I wasn't going to be the biggest or fastest guy. I was only 17 playing with a bunch of 22- and 21-year old guys, so I was trying to find something that would set me apart. And that day I realized it was just effort. Not everyone is willing to go out there and play with a lot of effort. And blocking is another thing that running backs aren't really willing to do. That's a part of my game. I really made it important to me to become very good at."

Alabama RB Derrick Henry

On who he models his game after…

"I don't really model my game after anybody. Everybody has their unique style, but there are some players that I like. Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, players like that. But I never really compared to anybody. I feel like everybody has their own style."

On former teammate T.J. Yeldon's influence…

"Just watching how he carried himself over the years by the way he ran. Anytime I ever needed advice, he was always there to help me. He'd just go out of his way to make sure I had everything I needed to know so I could be good when I was in the game."

On the areas he needs to improve…

"I feel like I can do better at everything, but the questions are my quickness, catching the ball, my protection. I definitely want to get better at that and showcase that I can do things like that, but I know I need to work on that."

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