INDIANAPOLIS – It's only right to continue tradition. With more than 300 NFL prospects showcasing their talents – and personalities – at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, 49ers.com has once again put together a list of the top characters from the week in Indy.
We present our fourth annual "All-Personality Team."
Whether it's for their noteworthy quotes to the media or their creative posts on social media, we've taken notice of the most impressive prospects during the week that was the 2014 combine. The 40-yard dash, bench press and three-cone drill standouts can be examined in another post.
For now, let's get to the memorable offensive characters from the combine.
Quarterback - A.J. McCarron - Alabama
All he does is win – and post hilarious tweets. McCarron is Brent Musburger's favorite player, but he didn't get a ton of love at the combine. McCarron was one of the few top-rated quarterbacks to throw at the combine, illustrating the competitiveness that made the Crimson Tide passer so successful in the SEC. McCarron led the Tide to a pair of BCS National Championships and maintained that his leadership was his best attribute. McCarron played with a lot of future NFL talents, but he also faced elite defenders on a weekly basis. In 40 starts, McCarron completed 77 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. Personality-wise, McCarron had a humble approach at his combine press conference. "I was raised without any money," McCarron said. "Being broke, I'm used to it. If you're money-hungry, it's not going to come to you. If you're just patient and go with the flow and let the chips fall where they fall and (rely on) God's plan, everything will be fine in the end."
Had a slow 40 but I will run again at pro day. Good thing I wont be drafted to run the option lol! But good day throwing! Blessed 2 B here!! — AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) February 23, 2014
Running Back - Tre Mason - Auburn
Right is wrong when hype is written / On the Soul, De la that is. The well-known lyric can't be applied to Auburn's lead running back. Mason, the son of DJ Maseo from the hip-hop trio De La Soul, was a Heisman-Trophy finalist in 2013 and almost came up as the hero in a near defeat in the BCS title game defeat to Florida State. His hype is real. Besides having arguably the coolest dad at the combine, Mason is a hard-working running back who doesn't take his own success lightly. "Growing up with my dad being who he is, it just taught me how to stay hungry and humble," Mason told reporters. "I just learned a lot from him, and he helped me throughout my success, how to maintain and how to handle it." In 2013, Mason rushed 317 times for 1,816 yards and scored 23 touchdowns. In the national championship game, Mason carried the ball 34 times for 195 rushing yards and scored on an impressive 37-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left to play. Mason's combine efforts even earned recognition from 49ers running back Anthony Dixon.
Tre Mason is now the number 1 back I didn't know he was moving like that... — Anthony Dixon (@Boobie24Dixon) February 23, 2014
Running Back - De'Anthony Thomas
Best nickname in this year's draft class goes to Thomas. And, he has bragging rights for the moniker. He's the original "Black Mamba," and Snoop Dogg gave him the nickname before it was applied to NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Thomas enjoyed a productive combine, including a 4.50, 40-yard dash that was originally clocked at 4.33 unofficially. The nickname talk, however, was his most memorable moment. It showed the Oregon's runners supreme confidence. "I feel like everyone knows I was (Black Mamba) before Kobe Bryant," Thomas said. "He was just in the spotlight more than me. It was my childhood days. It was great to look up to him and one day we could do a commercial about it or something." Thomas, a 5-foot-9, 174-pound runner who has wide receiver talents (113 catches in college), produced 41 total touchdowns (26 rushing, 15 receiving) for the Ducks.
VERY SUCCESSFUL WEEK AT THE COMBINE I MET SOME GREAT COACHES AND THANK GOD FOR GIVING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY#RUNDAT — DE'ANTHONY THOMAS (@RUNDAT2014) February 23, 2014
Wide Receiver - Sammy Watkins - Clemson
"For me, I think I can do just about anything on the field from wide receiver to running back to slot I can make plays all over the field," the future top-10 pick out of Clemson told the combine media. "What I love doing is dominating defenses. I think that's what I bring to the game and I think that's going to turn over to the NFL. When I come into the NFL, I think I can be that dominant receiver." Is there more to add to that bravado-filled statement? Sure, stats. The Clemson play-maker's line reads as follows: three seasons, 240 receptions, 3,391 receiving yards and 27 touchdown catches. Watkins walks the walk and talks the talk.
Wide Receiver - Mike Evans - Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel's go-to target gets the nod in a crowded crop of personable wide receivers. Truthfully, Evans had more of a stern demeanor during his press conference. His face was all business. He didn't smile once. Evans, however, said something that would surely get the attention of 49ers fans. It wasn't his admiration of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. No, it was his eagerness to compete against the All-Pro corner. "That would be a fun matchup," the Aggies wideout said. "I'd go at him." Evans went at plenty of defensive backs in college. The 6-foot-5 receiver caught 151 passes for 2,499 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons at College Station.
Tight End - Jace Amaro - Texas Tech
The Red Raider tight end put up numbers in 2013 that would make former Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree impressed. Amaro mostly lined up in the slot, allowing him to work underneath routes to perfection. Amaro was overlooked for the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's top tight end, but he still managed to catch 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns. Amaro ranked No. 7 in the NCAA, averaging 8.2 catches per game. With that kind of consistency, it wasn't hard to reason with Amaro's confident comments. "I'm coming in here knowing that I'm the best guy out here, and I'm the best available," said the tight end, who benched 28 times and ran a 4.7, 40-yard dash.
Tackle - Greg Robinson - Auburn
In the race to be the top offensive tackle in the draft, Robinson did his part to earn recognition. Robinson ran a 4.92, 40-yard dash, the best among this year's tackles. Robinson also posted 32 reps on the bench press and had a 113-inch brock jump. On the field, the 6-foot-5, 325-pound tackle plays with the right approach. "I'm real gritty," he said."
**Tackle - Jake Matthews - Texas A&M
Was it hard to block for Manziel at Texas A&M? Probably so, but don't ask Matthews. He made no excuses for the challenge. Blocking for the top play-making signal-caller couldn't be easy. "It's definitely different," the 6-foot-5, 310-pound prospect said. "Ever since Johnny took over, I've been answering this question – you really don't know what to expect, he's all over the place. But at the same time, you gotta take what comes with it because the guy makes plays. He's proved it game after game." Matthews proved he can handle some of the top pass-rushers in the college ranks, so when plays break down in the NFL, he can thank Manziel for having him prepped for the challenges of blocking for an extended period. **Guard - Xavier Su'a-Filo - UCLA
"I wasn't much of a rah-rah guy," the Pac-12 mauler told reporters. "I like to do my leading by example. But anytime I had to speak, I wasn't afraid to do it. In the locker room, I tried to be a leader. I was voted team captain the last two years and tried to give an example to my teammates, especially our young offensive line, how our coaches expect things to be done and how we're going to be successful." There's a reason why UCLA has become an ascending football program, players like Su'a-Filo are setting the tone on and off the field. The 6-foot-3, 325-pound guard is an intriguing prospect (5.04, 40-yard dash and 25 reps on the bench press). He's also the type of solid character you want in your locker room.
That boy Clowney fast, he make fast people look not fast — Xavier Su'a-Filo (@theeDocHolliday) February 24, 2014
Gaurd - David Yankey - Stanford
Guard – David Yankey – Stanford Fun fact: Out of all the prospects at the combine, only Yankey had a last name starting with the letter "Y." The 6-foot-4, 315-pound guard left Palo Alto a year early to pursue his NFL dream. The former Jim Harbaugh recruit enjoyed a solid college career at Stanford and was impressive when explaining his reason to leave school. "It was about me and where I was as a person," Yankee said. "It was something I talked about with my family a little bit. We felt it was right for me to come out. Unfortunately a lot of guys decided to come out and give me a little competition, but that's fine." Yankey is graduating in the spring and said he feels ready to pursue his NFL dream.
Center - Weston Richburg - Colorado State
You have to respect a lineman who loves the physicality of his job. Richburg likes the trench battles that take place on the line of scrimmage. Scratch that. He loves it. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman spoke at length about his passion for line play. Richburg also had an interesting take when explaining his animal science degree. "I grew up on a farm, raising cows, raising pigs," the first-team All-Mountain West prospect said. "I dealt with that my entire childhood, throughout high school. I really developed a love for it and it's something I wanted to continue with and something I'd like to do after my football days are over with, go back to the farm and raise cows."
Glad I'm not a left tackle #4.47 — Weston Richburg (@westonrichburg) February 24, 2014