INDIANAPOLIS — Marvin McNutt walked to the podium, smiled big for everyone and told jokes. He was at ease, and told everyone he belonged on the stage.
This stage. The big one. The NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
McNutt acted the part, touted his humility but make no mistake, he said. He has the ability and the confidence to play in the NFL.
“You can sell yourself by being humble,” McNutt said. “Being the person that you are is really what you’re selling. It’s not about selling yourself or showing that you can talk a lot or things like that. It’s about showing who you are as a person and how you react to things and how good of a football player you are.”
McNutt checked in at 6 feet, 2 1/2 inches and 216 pounds, down 1 1/2 inches from Iowa roster this season. His hands measured at 10 inches, not quite the largest of the group but up there. But he belonged, and that’s what he told everyone Saturday afternoon.
He touted his football intelligence, based on his experience as a quarterback. He described his speed as deceptive and told everyone he was consistent catching the football.
“I know I have enough at the college level,” McNutt said. “Like I say, when you start playing with fast people, you play faster. Breakaway speed isn’t the No. 1 key about playing football; it’s about technique and getting open. I believe I have that.
“I think one of my biggest things that I bring is that I’m big-bodied and I know how to use my body well, as well as catch the ball with my hands. I’m an intelligent player, and I’m a former quarterback. That makes it a lot easier to know where to be in the defenses because I’ve studied the game.”
Since Iowa’s Insight Bowl game, McNutt has spent his offseason working out at Athletes Performance in Phoenix. He’s concentrated mostly on his 40-yard dash time, and he’ll perform that drill for scouts on Sunday.
“My main thing was and most people were concerned with was my 40 time and as well as staying sharp with my route running and my separation getting in and out of cuts,” McNutt said.
McNutt met with “15 or so” teams and had to answer some strange questions. He was asked if he prefers marching band music or violin music.
“And I was thinking neither one,” he said with a laugh.
McNutt posted the best statistical season of any receiver in Iowa history last year. He posted 82 catches for 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns, all three either tying or breaking school records. He also owns career records for most receiving yards (2,861) and receiving touchdowns (28). He ranks second in career catches (170).
Projections have McNutt anywhere from the early second round to the late third round. He said he’ll know more about where he ranks among receivers after the combine.
McNutt touted his Senior Bowl experience in providing him with the confidence to compete at the NFL level.
“The ability that I am capable of playing with top-tier talent, that each day you continue to get better and continue to learn from NFL coaches,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of knowledge so you’ve got to take it from them.”
McNutt embraced the process, the interviews and even the off-the-wall questions. In fact, he enjoyed the experience that some loathe.
“I’m fortunate to be a part of it,” he said. “I’m just going to go out (Sunday) and have fun.”
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