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Meet the WR who 'helped himself more than anyone in the country' with big NFL Combine, Senior Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's been a heck of a 2018 for D.J. Chark.

The former LSU wide receiver rode the momentum he created with a stellar Senior Bowl into a breakout performance Saturday at the 2018 NFL Combine.

Chark clocked the fastest 40-yard dash of anyone through the first two days of on-field drills with an official time of 4.34 seconds. The 6-foot-3, 199-pounder showed off his athleticism in plenty of other ways, too, as he registered the best vertical leap among wide receivers (40 inches) and the fourth-best broad jump.

Chark also looked smooth during his position drills, something that's become a trend since he arrived at the Senior Bowl as a relatively unheralded prospect.

"In the postseason, when you look at what he did at the Senior Bowl and carrying that over to the combine, I think he's helped himself more than any player in the country," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during the network's broadcast of the annual scouting event. "You see the explosiveness, not just with him running, but you saw him jump. He tore that up as well.

"He put a lot of money in his pockets in Mobile and he put a little more money in his pockets today."

Though he played for a big-name program, Chark was completely off the map until his junior season, when he emerged as a deep threat in LSU's run-first offense. His senior year was by far his best, as he racked up 40 catches for 874 yards and three touchdowns. Five of his six career touchdown catches went for 35 yards or longer.

That kind of big-play production came out in a big way at the Senior Bowl, where he won Co-MVP after catching five passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also looked impressive as a core special teams player.

"I've played with a dominant mentality and they see that on film. I let them know that I'm willing to do special teams, things like that because it's part of football and I want to make an impact on the team," Chark said Friday. "I don't want to go and just sit on the bench so if I have to get on the field I'm willing to do that. let them know that I'm a competitor and they're going to get a guy that's going to come and compete with everybody day in and day out."

The Browns are looking to add competition to a wide receiver room that struggled from start to finish in 2017. Without naming any names, general manager John Dorsey said Thursday he liked the depth of this year's wide receiver class, particularly when it comes to the players he thinks could be available Day 2 and early Day 3.

A performance like Saturday's could help Chark rise the ranks.

"There's nothing catching me off guard," Chark said. "I'm enjoying it. I love sitting in front of these receiver coaches and head coaches and offensive coordinators and talking football and getting a chance to tell them my story and finding a way to connect with these teams, it's a great experience."

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