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The toughest of questions addressed again in Indy

It was "Skill Position Saturday" in Indianapolis.

Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers were the feature attractions at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Following is a look at some of the highlights of the NFL Network's coverage of Day Three at Lucas Oil Stadium:

QB OR NOT QB, THAT IS THE QUESTION: Kurt Warner won a Super Bowl on the way to the Hall of Fame, but when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, to projecting which college passers will succeed or fail at the NFL level, even he's not doing anything any better than taking educated guesses.

"I don't know how you do it," Warner admitted.

Added NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah: "It's darn near impossible, especially when you don't know what environment they're going to walk into."

Warner relayed one characteristic of quarterback play he believes can and must translate when transitioning from college to the NFL.

"When I watch tape, for me, the one thing I believe can always transfer is the ability to process," Warner emphasized. "In other words, I look at a play and go, 'OK, how would you read this play?' To see that play out and see the coverages, when you can see a guy do those things consistently, that's where I say, 'OK, I believe that can at least translate to some level.'

"The athleticism part, I don't know. You see some guys that are so athletic in college and you say, 'OK, can it look the same at the NFL level against these better players? Are they that dynamic athletically or not?' I still believe this game is won inside the pocket, so that's how I watch tape. That's the one thing I believe I have at least an idea of how to project.

"But it's very difficult for me to know what these guys can be at the next level and, obviously, why the success rate when you draft these guys is about 50-50. Because I don't think anybody really knows."

LETTING IT RIP: Michigan's J.J. McCarthy, Tennessee's Joe Milton III, Oregon's Bo Nix, Notre Dame's Sam Hartman and Kentucky's Devin Leary opted to put their passing skills on display during the first round of quarterback/wide receiver workouts.

Milton confirmed he brought his cannon with him to Indianapolis.

He delighted the reported crowd of over 16,000 by launching a completion to Mississippi State wide receiver Lideatrick Griffin during a go-route drill that traveled 69 yards in the air.

"When he was throwing these, all the guys had their jaws on the floor," the NFL Network's Peter Schrager reported of the on-the-field reaction of Milton's fellow QBs "They all know that when it came to that drill, Milton was going to blow them all away."

Milton demonstrated an intention to throw with touch as well as rely on his profound arm strength.

"He took some off, especially early," Jeremiah noted. "And then he let the big dog eat a little bit."

NUMBERS GAME: Jeremiah reported the average time in the 40-yard dash of the top 10 running backs in yards from scrimmage in 2023 in their respective Combines was 4.48. The top 10 wide receivers in receiving yards last season averaged 4.47.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: A standard feature on Combine broadcasts is identifying an NFL comparison for prospects based on physical skill sets and testing numbers.

For Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey, the NFL Comp was none other than his older brother, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, who performed for evaluators in 2017 in Indy.

Luke was a little taller (6-foot-15/8 to 5-111/4).

Christian was a little heavier (202 pounds to 198).

Both posted a broad jump of 10'1".

Christian had the better vertical leap (371/2" to 36").

But Luke was a little faster (4.47-4.48).

GRAIN OF SALT: ESPN personality Pat McAfee's visited Rich Eisen and Jeremiah in the NFL Network booth and acknowledged potential draftees sometimes tell teams what they think the teams want to hear in the interview process at the Combine.

McAfee did more than that when interviewing with Colts General Manager Bill Polian in 2009.

"I just lied to him," McAfee confirmed.

The subject was McAfee's ability to hold for placekicks.

"I was a kicker in college so I obviously couldn't hold for myself," McAfee continued. "A couple people thought I was going to be a punter in the NFL, and if you're a punter you have to hold. Bill Polian asked me, literally, in draft lead up, 'Hey, you've held before? You've practiced before because you knew there was a chance you were gonna have to hold?'

"I said, 'Absolutely, I used to do it like three days a week.' I had never done it once in my life. Then I get drafted, hold for Adam Vinatieri, the greatest of all time. Adam Vinatieri sent me to a holding camp in North Carolina for like four days to learn how to hold, that's real deal. Then that first training camp he threw me no less than 500 balls throughout the day, would come to my dorm room at night, throwing me balls, making sure I'm doing it."

McAfee went on to explain "holding camp" consisted of a few days spent at the home of Ken Walter, who had held for Vinatieri in New England.

"He had a Hall-of-Fame career already established," McAfee noted. "Some lying punk was't going to ruin all that."

ON THE JOB: Steelers wide receiver Allen Robinson was on hand to provide analysis for NFL-Plus.

He was welcomed back to the Combine with a highlight of the 4.6 40 Robinson ran in 2014 prior to becoming a second-round pick of the Jaguars.

"I was a drills guy," Robinson told NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales. "I wasn't a burner, but once we got into the route running, the toe drags, over the shoulder, that was perfectly in my wheelhouse."

Robinson confirmed Dales' suggestion that he's a big fan of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

"'Coach T' is remarkable," Robinson insisted.

UP NEXT: Offensive linemen and specialists wrap up the on-field evaluations on Sunday in Indy.

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