Jaleel Scott is out to make a name for himself.
That mission started last month at the Senior Bowl, where the relatively unheralded New Mexico State wide receiver did his best to leave NFL teams with a positive impression. Now, Scott will try and do the same at the league's annual scouting combine in three weeks.
"Coming from a smaller school, a lot scouts want to see if I can play with the top guys," he said. "I feel like, at the end of the day, football is football no matter who you're going up against."
At the Senior Bowl, he said teams are intrigued by his catch radius and ability to highpoint balls in the air over smaller defenders. In fact, Scott said he sees a bit of himself in Browns receiver Josh Gordon, whom he described as one of his favorite players.
"He's back in the league, I'm excited to see him play," he said. "The stuff he does, he's a freak a nature. He's a freak of nature. I love seeing freaks of nature at my size. So it's just like crazy how good he is and the stuff he overcame … He has strong hands and I feel like I have strong hands, too."
Scott, one of 44 wide receivers invited to the combine in Indianapolis, has started to gain attention in recent months thanks to good athleticism, a big frame (6-foot-6, 215 pounds), and a big final season with the Aggies. Scott caught 73 passes for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns to end his college career after bouncing around at multiple junior colleges. Coming out of high school in South Carolina, he was recruited by schools such as Kentucky and Maryland but was unable to qualify academically.
Scott made the best of that situation and eventually found himself as arguably the best player on New Mexico State's football team.
Scott, to be sure, isn't getting too far ahead of himself. Projected as a mid-round pick, his first goal is to make a team's roster. His second objective is to help that club win a Super Bowl. "I think that's why all players should play the game of football," he said. Any individual accolades, he added, will come in due time.
Scott will have ample opportunities to showcase his talents in the coming months. And the prospect of facing off against big-name prospects like Alabama's Calvin Ridley, Oklahoma State's James Washington and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk doesn't faze him. He believes he belongs on the field, too.
The Browns will be watching, of course, as they look to upgrade a wide receiver room that struggled throughout 2017.
"You still have to showcase your talent," he said, "so this is a chance to show all the guys at New Mexico State and smaller schools that, if you work hard, you can be here one day."