Murchison, Smith-Williams 'Measure Up' at NFL Combine
Defensive linemen Larrell Murchison and James Smith-Williams won't actually take the field for physical drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis until Saturday. But the evaluation process they hope will end with their selection in the upcoming draft has already begun.
Wednesday, the former NC State stars arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium for the first phase with their fellow defensive linemen for weigh-ins and measurements.
Murchison, who played both end and tackle for the Wolfpack, checked in at 6-foot-2, 297 pounds -- an inch shorter and seven pounds heavier than he was listed on State's roster this season.
His hands measured at 10 inches while his arms are 32 5/8 inches long.
Smith-Williams came in at 6-3, 265, the same as he was listed with the Wolfpack. His hands, at 9 1/4 inches are smaller than Murchison's while his arm length of 33 3/4 is slightly longer.
On Thursday, the defensive linemen and linebackers will undergo medical and psychological testing -- including the dreaded Wunderlic Test -- before doing interviews with NFL position coaches and a media session.
Friday's schedule includes more interviews, an NFL Players Association Meeting and bench press in the weight room before finally getting onto the field for the 40-yard dash and other physical testing on Saturday.
There are 337 players participating in the event, often referred to as the "Underwear Olympics, that run through March 1.
Murchison earned his invitation on the strength of a strong senior season at State, in which he ranked among the ACC leaders with seven sacks -- including 3.5 in a loss at Florida State on Sept. 28 -- while recording 48 tackles (12 TFLs), five quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.
He followed that up with an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, earning praise from the many draft observers on site in Mobile, Ala., for his quickness and leverage, while garnering personal interviews with the Colts, Saints, Jets, Eagles, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Raiders and both Super Bowl participants -- the 49ers and Chiefs.
Smith-Williams had a frustrating season in which he appeared in only seven games because of injuries, recording only 20 tackes and one sack. But he made up for it by being one of the most impressive players on the East team in practices leading up to the East-West game in Tampa.
The well-rounded Raleigh native already has a job lined up for him with IBM once his football career is over. He can delay that, however, with a strong Combine performance.