November 27, 2014

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NFL Scouting Combine: Day 4 updates

Scott Petrak, the C-T’s Browns beat writer, is still at the NFL scouting combine – at least for a few more hours.

Defensive backs are due into the media room today, led by LSU cornerback Morris Claiborn. On the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs are running, jumping and doing drills.

Petrak will provide updates throughout the day on Twitter @scottpetrak and here. He’ll have news, notes and impressions after talking to the draft prospects and the league’s coaches and general managers.

INDIANAPOLIS – The resemblance is striking.

Chase Minnifield, a cornerback from Virginia, looks a lot like his dad, Frank, a former Pro Bowl cornerback with the Browns. They have the same head, eyes and smile.

Chase can also play a little bit, too. He’s expected to me a midround draft pick.

The best advice from his dad?

“Just don’t let other people outwork you,” Chase said. “It is work ethic passed down to me. My dad went from a walk-on to a Pro Bowler. He’s a big-time hard-work guy.”

Chase (5-foot-10½, 183 pounds) was asked a bunch of questions about Frank and Cleveland. A few samples:

* The possibility of being drafted by the Browns.

“Yeah, that would be an awesome situation,” Chase said. “My dad never got to a Super Bowl with the Browns. It’s something I would try to do. I’m always striving to do more.”

* His dad’s stature in Cleveland.

“He’s a rock star in Cleveland. It’s real,” Chase said. “My dad barks every time he comes to Cleveland.”

* Chase has the Top Dawg and Mighty Minny poster featuring his dad and Hanford Dixon. Minnifield and Dixon founded the Dawg Pound.

* Dixon gives Chase playing tips.

* Chase was asked who was better, Dixon or his dad. He went with family.

“He’d kill me if I didn’t say that,” Chase said.

 

** Green Bay’s Matt Flynn is expected to be the most sought-after quarterback in free agency despite having just two NFL starts in his four seasons.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes he’s ready to be a starter.

“Based on what I see in the everyday classroom, practice field, he’s ready,” McCarthy said. “It’s his time to play. You don’t ever know if a backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally he’s ready. Emotionally he’s definitely ready.

“But until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. And I think Matt’s ready for that.”

Packers general manager Ted Thompson wasn’t ready to concede Flynn will leave in free agency March 13, but the Packers have league MVP Aaron Rodgers as the starter and can’t afford to keep both.

The Browns are believed to be interested in Flynn, who could command a $50 million contract. The Packers run a similar West Coast Offense to the one used by Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur, and president Mike Holmgren has had success finding starters in backups for other teams.

But the Dolphins are the favorite to land Flynn if they want him. New coach Joe Philbin was his coordinator in Green Bay and knows him better than any other team.

The Browns are considering trading up from No. 4 to No. 2 in the draft to take Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. If they viewed the cost — multiple high draft picks – to be too expensive, Flynn and Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill would be the next-best options.

Of course, they could also stick with Colt McCoy.

** Everyone knew Griffin was going to run fast. We just didn’t know it would be this fast.

His official 40-yard dash time was 4.41 seconds.

That places Griffin among the faster cornerbacks and receivers. For a quarterback, it’s among the fastest ever. Philadelphia’s Michael Vick in 2001 has the fastest recorded time for a quarterback with a 4.33.

** Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck showed he has some athleticism, too, running a 4.67.

** North Ridgeville’s Jordan White, a receiver from Western Michigan, was unofficially timed at 4.68 and 4.72 in the 40-yard dash.

He looked smooth in the on-field drills, showing good hands and body control.