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5 things to know from the NFL Combine, Day 4

INDIANAPOLIS — Day 4 of the NFL's annual scouting combine is in the books. Here's five things to know.

1. The battle for No. 1 All eyes were on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and Alabama's Jonathan Allen, who are considered two of the best prospects in this year's NFL Draft class.

Both made their cases to be the top overall pick on Saturday and entertained the idea of a friendly competition to earn that distinction. "He's going for No. 1 and so am I," Garrett said. "It's no real animosity between us, but we're vying for a spot and I've gotta get it."

"I'm going to control what I can control," Allen added. "But the competitor in me wants to be the first, but I'm also going to go out there and work toward it."

2. Tight ends continue to shine

This year's class of tight ends could be one of the league's best, and they reaffirmed that notion on during on-field workouts. Five players clocked sub 4.6-second 40-yard dash times while 10 others ran it under 4.7 seconds. The average time was 4.66 seconds, the fastest among any tight ends group at the combine since 2003, according to the NFL's Media Research Group.  

Leading the way was Evan Engram for Ole Miss, who turned in a 4.42. Alabama's O.J. Howard, considered the top player in the group, ran a 4.51. 3. The 'fear of god'

Solomon Thomas might not receive the attention that Garrett and Allen do, but the Stanford defensive end is widely thought to be among the best prospects here in Indianapolis. And in a deep defensive line group, he's determined to stand out. "I can rush anywhere. I can play anywhere. I play every down. I'm great stopping the run, great rushing the quarterback. I'm very versatile. I have toughness," he said.

"I try to get after every (offensive) lineman and put the fear of God in them and make a play. I'm just trying to get to the quarterback every play and be destructful and wreak havoc." Thomas totaled 61 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last season.

4. Jabrill Peppers: Linebacker? Safety? RB? What position will Jabrill Peppers play at the next level?

"What do I look like?" he asked reporters Saturday at the combine. The Michigan standout will work out with both the combine's linebackers and defensive backs groups to see where he best fits on an NFL field.  

So Peppers will run his 40-yard dash on Sunday with the linebackers and participate in on-field workouts with the defensive backs Monday. "(The league) said the only way I could do it was if I could do both," Peppers said, referencing how he was set to work out only with linebackers because it was his listed position at Michigan.

But in a bit of a plot twist, Peppers said teams have spoken to him about playing running back and slot receiver.

"He's a matchup player," NFL Network's Mike Mayock told reporters Saturday. "It's a matchup league and I think people are starting to figure that out." So what position does Jabrill Peppers play? That probably depends on who drafts him. We'll find out more in the coming days, weeks and months.

5. No man's land Michigan defensive end and potential first-round pick Taco Charlton grew up in the Columbus suburb of Pickerington. And at the combine, he let everyone in on a secret: he grew up an Ohio State fan (gasp!).

"I grew up in Columbus. We don't really have a pro team," Charlton said when asked to identify his favorite NFL team. "Our pro team is the Buckeyes even though I'm a Michigan guy. So, that was our pro team and I grew up rooting for them. I didn't grow up with a pro team."

Charlton ultimately chose to head north and play for the Wolverines.

"Michigan showed me the most love," he said, "and I wanted to go where I was wanted and that's where I was wanted."

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