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Getting a line on running back value

News, notes and nuggets from NFL Network coverage of Day Four of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

THE RUNNING BACK QUESTION: Bijan Robinson is the fourth-rated player on NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah's big board, but the Texas running back is no lock to go fourth overall in April.

Will he be valued the way Saquon Barkley was when he was selected second overall in 2018?

Will a team take into account how the 49ers went 12-1 with Christian McCaffrey starting after acquiring McCaffrey (eighth overall, 2017) from Carolina?

Or will teams remember the Chiefs found Isiah Pacheco on the 251st overall selection last April on the way to Pacheco leading them in rushing and scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and fill other needs initially?

"Yes, you might be able to strike gold here on Day Three (of the draft), there's some really good running backs," Jeremiah noted. "But this guy (Robinson) is just different."

Another word Jeremiah used to describe Robinson was "rare."

Working against Robinson is the depth of the 27-back class that was invited to Indianapolis.

"You could say it on a bunch of these guys, starting-caliber running back in the NFL," Jeremiah assessed. "If you want a home run hitter at running back you have some to choose from here.

"For me the tight end group is as good as it's been in a decade and the running back group is not far behind just in terms of sheer number of guys."

Jeremiah had one prediction regarding Robinson: "Whoever gets this man is going to be very happy."

EYES ON THE LINE: Offensive linemen have never gone out of style, and probably never will, but they're seemingly getting more recognition and more time in the spotlight of late.

Day Four was a day for offensive linemen at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Feb. 12, the day Super Bowl LVII was contested between the Chiefs and the Eagles, was, too.

"If you watched the Super Bowl, you saw two of the best offensive lines in the National Football League," Jeremiah observed. "That's not lost on these 32 teams.

"You've gotta build up front."

RICHARDSON RESONATES: NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport was still talking about the buzz Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson had generated on Day Three a day later.

"One of the bigger stories coming out of this Combine has been the rise of Anthony Richardson," Rapoport maintained. "I've been out seemingly every night. I've been talking to a lot of people, scouts, general managers, head coaches. Anthony Richardson has probably been the most talked about player here.

"The fact that we are now talking about Anthony Richardson possibly going all the way into the Top 10, especially with some uneven moments at Florida, has really been fascinating."

QB QUIP: The Colts are one of the teams potentially in the quarterback market.

Indianapolis has gone with a succession of fill-in veterans, one season at a time, ever since Andrew Luck retired just prior to the 2019 season.

Jacoby Brissett (2019), Philip Rivers (2020), Carson Wentz (2021) and Matt Ryan (2022) have since passed through what has become a revolving door at the position in Indy.

"They've been dating," Jeremiah said of the Colts. "They need to get married."

STEELERS SPECULATION: Former Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan visited the NFL Network booth and was asked by host Rich Eisen about potentially joining the Steelers.

Lewan played 64 snaps in 2022 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

He was released by Tennessee on Feb. 22.

"If I can get my knee healthy and I truly believe I can contribute to a team I will absolutely play football," in 2023, Lewan said. "It's all about getting the knee healthy."

Lewan's previous relationship with the Steelers includes admittedly spitting in outside linebacker T.J. Watt's face and hitting Watt in the groin.

Lewan has also publicly said he was challenged to a fight by Watt and former Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree following a game in 2017.

That prompted the following exchange:

Eisen: "There's a lot of Steelers fans that would love you to go there. Would T.J. Watt be fine with you?"

Lewan: "I don't know about that. I put a video out there, I have apologized. And to be honest with you I can see why I was in the wrong there. I can understand why I was probably in the wrong.

"Mike Tomlin though, that city, those colors, that song they play ("Renegade") as they're transitioning to the fourth quarter? Incredible spot. I'm a big fan of the Steelers. I'm a big fan of that head coach."

THANKLESS JOB: Steelers assistant offensive line coach Isaac Williams had the honor of wearing the pad offensive linemen were required to strike before releasing into the flat during the "Screen Drill."

"The cool thing about this is not only can you run this drill, but you can actually umpire a Little League game after it's over," Jeremiah observed.

CHAMPIONSHIP BLOODLINES: Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski is following in the footsteps of his grandfather on the path to the NFL.

Bob Skoronski was an offensive linemen and a captain for the Packers during his days with Green Bay (1956-68). Skoronski started 124 of his 146 career games with the Packers, who were coached by Vince Lombardi from 1959-67 and won NFL championships in 1961, '62, '65, '66 and '67.

Day Four's coverage included a photograph of Bob Skoronski and Lombardi.

Lombardi is holding a baby, Bob's son Bob Jr., Peter's father, in the photo.

THE BIGGER THEY ARE: Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones measured 6-foot-81/4 and weighed in as the heaviest player at the Combine at 374 pounds.

His physical skill set might require a little adjusting on the part of teammates and opponents.

"You can feel the turf pounding," NFL Network analyst Charles Davis insisted. "If you're a running back you better get used to it because you might fall down if you're following him on a sweep."

Defenders might also have to come up with alternatives against Jones.

"Speed and power against that? C'mon, no chance," Jeremiah insisted.

Added Davis, "As (Ivan) Drago told Rocky, 'You … will … lose.'"

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