Three Boise State players head to Indy for NFL combine

Paradis, Leno and Lawrence hope to impress NFL decision-makers.

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comFebruary 21, 2014 

For years, Matt Paradis has watched the NFL Scouting Combine on television, measuring his skills against those competing in the annual pre-draft event.

“I can do that. I can run as fast as that and perform as well,” said Paradis, Boise State’s starting center for the last two seasons.

Now he’ll get his chance to show NFL scouts, personnel directors and general managers exactly how he stacks up.

“Now I’m actually going to be the one out there. It’s kind of surreal. It means a lot,” Paradis said. “I was excited to get (the invite). I felt like I should go and be able to show what I can do out there.”

Paradis, former Boise State left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and former defensive end Demarcus Lawrence will participate in the combine — half job interview, half meat market — in Indianapolis.

Off-field activities, including interviews with teams, started Thursday. On-field drills begin Saturday for offensive linemen.

“I feel like I have something to prove all the time — at the Shrine Bowl, at the combine, at pro day,” said Leno Jr., who started the final 39 games of his college career. “I know I have everything on tape, but I always want to improve.”


Height/weight: 6-3, 300

Combine prep: NFL Players’ Association Collegiate Bowl, Chip Smith Performance Systems in Atlanta, Ga.

Most looking forward to: Interviews. “I think I can display my intelligence. Get on a white board and draw plays. It’s something we’ve always done at Boise as well. I think I can shine in those personal interviews, the Wonderlic and personality tests.”

Most worrisome drill: Bench press. “On the field, I play really strong. The bench press isn’t necessarily an indicator of that strength.”

What they’re saying: “He’s a very smart player. He’s extremely smart in the game of football and just very consistent. You know what you’re going to get out of Matt every single game,” Leno Jr. said. scouting report: Paradis “is a stoutly built, intelligent, hard-nosed overachiever who will make it difficult for coaches to cut him.”


Height/weight: 6-4, 294

Combine prep: East-West Shrine Game, Fischer Institute in Arizona.

Most looking forward to: Vertical jump and the interview process. “I’ve played basketball all my life. I’m going to be very disappointed if I’m not at the top of the vertical jump.”

Most worrisome drill: 40-yard dash. “It’s one of the things I don’t think I’m the best at. Everything else I feel fine in.”

What they’re saying: “His hard work and his intelligence with the game (stand out). He’s been a real resource for me, especially when I moved to offensive line to help me assimilate into being an offensive lineman. He helped me a ton on the field, just being another set of eyes to watch for adjustments,” Paradis said. scouting report: Leno Jr. is “most ideally suited for a role as a versatile, swing back-up in a zone-blocking scheme.”


Height/weight: 6-3, 245

What they’re saying: ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranks Lawrence as the No. 6 defensive end in the draft.

What they’re saying: “He’s crazy athletic. His athleticism is off the charts. He’s going to perform very well at the combine,” Leno Jr. said. scouting report: Lawrence’s “pass-rushing ability rates among the best in this year’s class, and he holds mass appeal.”

Brian Murphy: 377-6444, Twitter: @MurphsTurph

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