Interview Day For Murchison, Smith-Williams at NFL Combine
Thursday was interview day for Larrell Murchison and James Smith-Williams at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
The two former NC State defensive ends spent the day talking to representatives of NFL teams, then members of the media during their second day at the league's pre-draft evaluation event.
Although the Combine can be a pressure-packed envrionment for players trying to improve their professional prospects, especially those like the Wolfpack alums whose draft position is anything but certain, Murchison said having a teammate there makes the experience much less intimidating.
“It’s good to have my brother by my side,” Murchison said.
Among the teams that showed interest in Murchison on Thursday were the Colts, Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers, Jets, Raiders and Saints. He also had an informal meeting with the Cowboys.
Smith-Williams met with the Panthers, Bucs, Raiders and Saints. He was also one of several defensive line prospects that were asked to work out as a linebacker as well when the position groups begin on-the-field testing on Saturday.
“I can kind of do it all," Smith-Williams said. "I think I’m versatile."
He's also athletic. So much so that ESPN draft analyst Jim Nagy has predicted that Smith-Williams will record the fastest 40-yard dash time among players at the Combine in the 250-275 pound range.
The former Wolfpack captain addressed those expectations:
"Yeah, everyone’s guessing that I’ll have the fastest 40 in my weight class." he said. "I think there’s pressure but it’s good pressure to me. I am enjoying the fact that I have that spotlight on me."
Murchison has flown more under the radar since his arrival in Indianapolis, but that's nothing new for him. As a player that came up through the junior college ranks, he said he's used to beating the odds.
“Coming from JUCO, I was a really raw player," he said. "My redshirt year was one the best years to help mold me as a player.”
Murchison opened the eyes of a lot of scouts with a standout performance during the week at the Senior Bowl last month. He said the experience was just as enlightening for him, especially his interaction with North coach Matt Patricia and the rest of his Detriot Lions staff.
"I learned a lot from him in the three days there," Murchison said. "Coach Patricia, you could see their hard hat program where they work hard and strictly work. Being around that staff was everything.
"Coming out of college straight to that staff, just seeing what it's like the day of a life of an NFL player, it was a great experience. I'm gratified I got the invite and I'm glad I got to show my talent."
Murchison and Smith-Williams will both be showing their talents over the next two days, starting with bench presses on Friday and numerous physical drills -- including the 40 -- on Saturday.