INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is more important for Rutgers wide receiver Mark Harrison than it is for most players.
While the importance of the 40-yard dash and other on-field workouts has been debated, Harrison knows he has a lot to prove because of his inconsistent production at Rutgers as a senior. He caught 44 passes for 583 yards and six touchdowns, but in 2010 he racked up more than 800 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
Harrison knows all eyes will be on his workouts this weekend.
"I'm always trying to prove myself on the field no matter what the situation is. A lot of coaches want to see me catch the ball and that's what I'm going to do."
At 6-feet-3-inches tall and 230-pounds, Harrison has the prototypical size to be a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. If he proves his speed on Sunday like he thinks he will, Harrison will just have to convince teams he can put all of his tools together. Harrison's training partner may help with that.
"I worked with Brandon Marshall," Harrison said. "He's always telling me lock in, ball first, catch it, tuck and run upfield. It's just training, the repetition of doing it. A lot of it is natural."
"Everybody can run fast, but they want to see how you catch the ball as a receiver. They're going to throw a lot of things at you out there and we're expected to perform."
Since 2005, three Rutgers wide receivers have been drafted, the most recent being Mohamed Sanu, a third round pick of the Bengals in 2012. Just before meeting with the media on Saturday, Harrison talked on the phone with Sanu to get some last minute advice.
"He's telling me he knows how this process goes," Harrison said. "He's telling me stay focused, lock in, do those little things. Just be so prepared out there that you leave everything on the field."
One of the teams Harrison has met with in Indianapolis is the Green Bay Packers. On Friday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson discussed what he looks for in wide receivers.
"You still look for big, fast guys," Thompson said. "Guys who catch the ball and are instinctive. All those things are the same as they were in 1992 when I first started scouting."
That's exactly what Harrison thinks he can bring to the table.
"You're going to get a big wide receiver who can go up top and make big plays," Harrison said.
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