Carolina Panthers

NFL Combine: Todd Gurley aims for Round 1 selection

Running back Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday.
Running back Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday. Getty Images

Everything you need to know about Thursday at the NFL Scounting Combine, in three minutes.

Three things we learned

1. A running back hasn’t been taken in the first round of the draft since 2012. Both Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley said confidently that should change in 2015.

2. Despite being the same height and having very different body types, Jameis Winston is only 9 pounds heavier than Marcus Mariota, who weighed in at 222 pounds.

3. Broncos vice president John Elway said he expects Peyton Manning to return in 2015 but wouldn’t discuss his contract situation.

Observations

▪  With his history of failed drug tests and domestic violence allegations, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham isn’t an option for the Panthers, according to team sources. Thursday he offered a mea culpa. “All the decisions, I wish I could take them back,” he said. “It’s happened. I was young, I made mistakes. I understand that. I just want to focus on one thing and I look forward to this draft and being the best I can be.”

▪  Florida State receiver Rashad Greene said he and Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin are like brothers, and Benjamin imparted some wisdom on the NFL hopeful. “To be honest with you, he pretty much told me that it’s not what you think it is. It’s not anything harder than what you’re going to face (in college).”

▪  Seattle general manager John Schneider said it wouldn’t shock him if running back Marshawn Lynch decided to retire, but he said the Seahawks want him back. “He’s a guy that kind of just beats to his own drum. He does what he wants, and he would never let you know one way or the other. A lot of great running backs have just walked away. So I have no idea.”

By the numbers

11 Pounds Duke receiver Jamison Crowder has added since he weighed 174 at the Senior Bowl.

4.5 Seconds in the 40-yard dash that is Mariota‘s goal, which would make him the fourth quarterback since 2006 to run it in that time.

Panthers prospects to watch

Players who could be of interest to Carolina:

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: Ogbuehi met with the Panthers Wednesday night. GM Dave Gettleman lamented Ogbuehi’s ACL injury in his postseason press conference. Ogbuehi is still projected as a first-round pick and said he’ll be healthy by training camp.

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn: Coates admitted the thought of having Auburn alumnus Cam Newton throwing him passes at the next level has crossed his mind. He plans to run as fast as a 4.3 40-yard dash this week.

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami: Flowers put up 37 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press. He’s an intriguing prospect who could be available at No. 25.

They said it

“I didn’t do a good job.” – San Francisco coach Jim Tomsula on his very awkward TV interview after being named the 49ers’ head coach.

“Drink a lot of water so I won’t be dehydrated and licking my lips the whole time.” – Georgia RB Todd Gurley on how he’ll prepare for his 24 interviews with teams.

What’s next?

Friday’s highlight: Offensive linemen and specialists begin on-field workouts. Bring on the fat-guy 40s.

Combine on TV: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., NFL Network.

Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9

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