Dorial Green-Beckham Has Much to Prove at NFL Scouting Combine

It happens every year at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Somewhere in between the public-speaking rotation of NFL head coaches and general managers at "Podium A," is the opportunity to hear from a promising prospect who is looking to address character concerns.

Enter 6-foot-5, 237-pound wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the fourth-best wideout in this year's draft class according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

Green-Beckham will have to answer as many, if not more, character questions than ones about Xs and Os this week in Indianapolis. The 21-year-old receiver has the size and skills to be an instant perimeter threat in the NFL. He does, however, have to explain what led to his dismissal from the University of Missouri football team and what he learned while he wasn't able to play for the University of Oklahoma due to NCAA transfer rules.

The young wideout had a chance on Thursday to speak publicly about his off-the-field incidents while facing the national football press gathered inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. Green-Beckham will also touch on the important topics when he meets with NFL clubs for 15 minute intervals at night in Indianapolis.

Green-Beckham had several run-ins with law enforcement during his time at Missouri. On the field, he became one of the most publicized college receivers in the nation after he caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore. Green-Beckham was later kicked off the Tigers football squad by coach Gary Pinkel.

"All the decisions I made," Green-Beckham said, "I wish I could take it back. "What's happened has happened. I was young, I made mistakes. I understand that."

Green-Beckham's willingness to open up behind closed doors has impressed NFL decision-makers, according to Bleacher Report's respected football scribe Jason Cole.

"So far he's been pretty impressive in the interviews because he's been forthright," Cole said.

Several draft analysts have compared Green-Beckham's upside to the likes of Detroit Lions "Mega" receiver Calvin Johnson and future Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss. Still, Green-Beckham has a long way to go before he can be mentioned in such an elite category. A solid showing in the combine's on-field testing – including the all-important 40-yard dash – will go a long way in helping the receiver prove he's physically among the best at his position.

 "He's one of the best receivers I've ever seen," an AFC scout recently told NFL Media's Albert Breer. "He's special. He's gigantic; he has tremendous body control, balance; he runs like a deer and can leap out of the gym and high-point the ball. He's special. It's impressive. If not for all that stuff, he'd be the best receiver to come out since Calvin Johnson."

Green-Beckham, the former No. 1 ranked Rivals football prospect coming out of high school, has a chance to improve his draft stock and show that he's physically the best receiver in Indianapolis. Some draft experts have him slotted as the San Francisco 49ers first-round selection (15th overall) in recent mock drafts.

But before he can do that during on-field workouts, which begin on Saturday, Green-Beckham must handle the tough questions that come with people doubting his past choices.

"It's very tough for me," Green-Beckham said. "It's tough for me, standing up here and be able to speak in front of all you guys because I have not spoken in the past year."

"I want to come in and stay on track and focus on one thing only, and that's competing here at the combine. Just going in and being the best I can be and letting everybody know what I came here to do."

The wide receiver prospect said he made the most of his time at Oklahoma. Green-Beckham practiced with a quality football program.  In his mind, the experience helped his maturation process.

"(I've) grown up from this and taken advantage of it and not looked back," Green-Beckham said.

As much as he wants to move on from his college years, experiences like the combine serve as a reminder of the mistakes he made in the past. For Green-Beckham, his ability to handle his transgressions and show his personal improvement will continue to be in the headlines until he's officially drafted into the NFL and able to demonstrate his improved behavior.

Green-Beckham, a sure-handed receiver on the field, vowed to not let his major combine opportunity slip out of his grasp.

"I know what's at stake," Green-Beckham said. "I know what type of person I am, and I understand (what teams are) looking for from me as a person. I just want them to know I'm gonna go out there and give my all, show everybody what I'm capable of doing and just focus on being the best player I can be."

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