The first day of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis featured the first wave of player interviews, as well as the coaches and GMs for teams facing the media for press conferences. That included Browns GM Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, who followed one another at Podium 1 shortly after noon.
Here are some of the highlights and observations from a Tuesday at the Indianapolis Convention Center.
Kareem Hunt will be tendered
Berry indicated the Browns will indeed issue running back Kareem Hunt a tender offer as a restricted free agent. He did not state what level of tender Hunt would get, however. The Browns can choose what level of compensation to offer Hunt, and it would set the return compensation value if another team offered Hunt an offer and he left the Browns.
Coach Stefanski sees the value in bringing back Hunt, who was one of the NFL’s top receiving backs in the final eight weeks following his return from NFL disciplinary suspension.
“I think there’s a future for Kareem here, obviously, and we’ll work through all that,” Stefanski said of Hunt. “But he’s a player certainly that we’re eager to get to work with.”
Joe Schobert could stay in Cleveland
Berry spoke very highly of Schobert, calling him “a good player and an even better person.” But the standout linebacker is a pending free agent, and the market will dictate where he lands.
The new GM will meet with Schobert’s representation during the combine and discuss possible contract parameters.
“It has to work for us from a cost perspective with our long-term roster strategy, and obviously it has to be a fit for Joe and his family as well,” Berry said.
Schobert was not a priority for the old regime of John Dorsey and Freddie Kitchens, and that led to the linebacker hitting free agency. Berry hopes to stave off future issues like this with more pre-market contract extensions.
No player workouts
The on-field portion of the combine for players, the part that everyone tunes in to watch, doesn’t begin until Thursday. Today was interview day for the tight ends, quarterbacks and wide receivers. Offensive linemen got measured and will take to the interview podiums in the morning, along with specialists.
Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton’s measurements caused a stir in the media center. He’s a very large human:
His wingspan and hand size are excellent for offensive tackles.
Another measurement that was raising some eyebrows: Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ hands. As much consternation as there was over LSU QB – and presumptive No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow – having smallish hands, Ruggs owns some huge mitts.
Ruggs stands just 5-11, but his hands are over 10 inches wide. Compare that to Becton, who is eight inches taller and weighs over 150 pounds more than him, and Ruggs’ hand span is less than half an inch smaller. Ruggs also boasted he expects to break the record time in the 40-yard dash at 4.22 seconds.
Another odd positive measurement comes courtesy of Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk. He’s got exceptionally long arms and wingspan for a 5-11 guy…
Aiyuk indicated to me he has met informally with the Browns (among other teams) during his time here in Indianapolis.