NFL Combine 2012: Melvin Ingram & Projected 1st Rounders Whose Stock Will Rise

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29: Melvin Ingram #6 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A handful of projected first-round selections are looking to boost their stock for the coming 2012 NFL Draft in late April, but not every one can or will.

The week-long NFL Scouting Combine will emphasize some players' strengths while exposing the weaknesses of others. One player in particular, South Carolina's dominant defensive end Melvin Ingram, is rising on most draft boards and will soar even higher during his time at the annual event.

When prospects get the opportunity to showcase themselves without pads and purely as athletes on a field, scouts and coaches get a rare glimpse of their future players as individuals in their most vulnerable state.

So which projected first rounders will make the best of their chances at the nerve-wracking event? Check it out.

Michael Brockers, LSU, DT

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 19: Barry Brunetti #11 of the Ole Miss Rebels scrambles with the ball against Michael Brockers #90 of the LSU Tigers on November 19, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Massive LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers has been moving up boards at a considerable pace this winter and is a lock to go early given his size and strength on the defensive line. At 6'6", 306 pounds, Brockers leaves little to be desired from scouts and coaches and was a huge reason why the Tigers went undefeated during the regular season in 2011.

Brockers' versatility on the defensive line for an athlete so big has made him a coveted prospect to this point in the draft process, but a strong showing in Indy this month could have him cracking the top five in April.

Melvin Ingram, South Carolina, DE

Oddly enough, Ingram's 23rd birthday also happens to be the day of the 2012 NFL Draft's first round, which means that his special day has the potential to be one of the best of his young life. 

Ingram racked up 10 sacks last season with the Gamecocks and made two interceptions. At 6'2", 276 pounds, Ingram has both the size and athleticism to play on the defensive line and come off the edge as a pass-rushing linebacker from time to time.

Ingram is also one of the older players entering the draft this spring, which means he should be above-average in the maturity department and should also do well during the interview process.

Kendall Wright, Baylor, WR

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Kendall Wright #1 of the Baylor Bears runs during a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

It wasn't all Robert Griffin III for Baylor in 2011. A lot of the Bears' unexpected success was in part due to the spectacular play of senior wide receiver Kendall Wright, who caught 108 balls for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The 5'10", 190-pound wideout has explosive speed that will be on display later this month at the scouting combine. Wright will also be able to show off his hands, which are above-average compared to many of the wide receivers in the draft.

As one of the few true athletes in Indy, Wright is a lock to wow. His performance in front of NFL decision-makers will undoubtedly have his stock on the rise heading into the spring. 

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