Paxton Lynch's shoulder raises red flag at NFL combine but the Memphis QB says it's fine

Paxton Lynch finally met the media Friday.

The Memphis quarterback, regarded as a possible first-round pick in the NFL draft, was absent Thursday when quarterbacks such as Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Connor Cook answered questions at the NFL scouting combine.

Lynch said doctors had requested MRI tests after reviewing X-rays taken during medical exams.

"I had an issue with my left knee and my right knee and an issue with my AC joint," he said. "When I hurt my AC joint back in my redshirt sophomore year of college . . . I didn't realize that I had, I think they said it was just a small fracture in my clavicle.

"So that popped up on the X-ray, but it was healed. But there was just some like piece of the bone I guess just floating around in there. So it spooked a team or two, I think, and that's why they requested the MRIs and all that.

"But I mean I didn't miss a game or a practice or a single throw because of it, and none of those injuries bother me today. I'm 100%, so I was more than willing to do what they need me to do."

Lynch is expected to throw on Saturday when quarterbacks do their on-field workout.

"When I first got invited to the combine, it was a no-brainer for me that I was going to throw, just because I want to be able to compete and go show all those coaches and GMs what they could get in person when I'm throwing to receivers live," Lynch said. "But I know those guys are going to be ready to compete and it should be a lot of fun."

Role models

Former UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark, one of nine Bruins at the combine, said he models his game after NFL players such as Haloti Ngata of the Detroit Lions, Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals and Mike Daniels and former Bruin Datone Jones of the Green Bay Packers.

"I don't really have a favorite, but I could see a lot of myself in Ngata and the way he plays nose tackle," Clark said.

Ngata, 32, is preparing for his 11th NFL season.

"His whole style of play is great," Clark said. "He gets off the ball quick. He's explosive, especially at the age he's at now, he's still doing his thing.

"He's still knocking guys back and being disruptive. That's impressive."

An offer he couldn't refuse

Former USC nose tackle Antwaun Woods is looking ahead to an NFL career. On Friday, he also looked back, describing the day he received a scholarship offer from former Trojans Coach Pete Carroll as "the best day of my life."

The offer came early during Woods' time at Woodland Hills Taft High. Carroll left to become the Seattle Seahawks coach a year before Woods arrived at USC. Five years later, Woods is at the combine readying for the next phase of his career.

"I would describe myself as a tough nose tackle that likes doing the dirty work," he said, then added, "Loves doing the dirty work."

Woods is the only USC defensive lineman at the combine.

Tackle Delvon Simmons, who made several big plays for the Trojans, will get his chance to impress scouts at USC's pro day March 23.

"If there's one guy that deserves to be here, it would be him," Woods said.

Woods said Simmons was using the perceived slight as motivation.

"He feels like he deserves to be here," Woods said. "So I know that's going to continue to motivate him and continue to make him work hard toward pro day."

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on February 27, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "An old injury raises a red flag - NFL COMBINE NOTES" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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