2012 NFL Combine: Valuable Players Flying Under the Scouts' Radar
Every Year at the NFL combine there are players that stand out above others, through their workouts, such as Andrew Luck, or the surprisingly tall Robert Griffin III.
However, just as there are stars at the combine, other players are often overlooked and not talked about much by the media, and are thus undervalued.
So, here are a few players who flew under the radar at the combine and could definitely provide some value for teams a little later on in the draft, despite their lack of star quality.
Devier Posey, WR
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Being an Ohio State fan, I was disappointed this season when Devier Posey was suspended for most of the year due to off-the-field issues.
However, even in his small amount of playing time, he showed the ability to make tough catches and is being seriously undervalued by scouts.
Posey ran a 4.50 40-yard dash at the combine, which surprised many, as he was perceived as somewhat of a burner. However, I for one don't put too much stock into the 40 and prefer to look at the game tape instead.
Posey has good size at 6'2 212 pounds, and is a great route runner who consistently finds openings in the zone. He is a natural playmaker who could definitely make an impact at the next level.
I think too much stock is being put into Posey's off-the-field issues, which is why he's dropped to as low as a 4th-round projection in some mock drafts.I think that Posey has absolutely huge value if he drops that far, but I think he'll end up getting taken in the late second or early third round, despite his first round talent and ability.
Antonio Allen, DB
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Antonio Allen didn't help himself with his 4.62 40-yard dash time, which underwhelmed many scouts at the NFL Combine. However, I believe Allen has some serious value and definite potential at the next level.
Allen possesses good size for a defensive back at 6'2 and 200+ pounds. He has above average ball skills for his position, and he has the rare ability to play both Strong Safety and Corner, as shown this past season.
He played the "Spur" position at South Carolina, and excelled at both positions.
Allen has good coverage skills and is able to stay with wide receivers, which should allow him to prosper in the NFL. He plays like a linebacker but has the body of a safety. He's currently projected to be a late 2nd-3rd round pick, but I believe that in the right fit, he could be a future Pro Bowler.
Look for someone to snag him as early as late first, or early second round.
Kashif Moore, WR
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Kashif Moore really helped his case at this year's NFL combine.
Moore put up great numbers with his 4.42 in the 40, 43.5 inch vertical, and 3.05 shuttle. Moore's size is the only thing concerning everyone—he is only 5'9 and barely 180 pounds.
Moore sports a great pair of hands, and is a good route runner. He shows the ability to go up and catch the ball at its highest point, and has a great football IQ.
His stats aren't all that great, but I think that that has more to do with the lack of a good quarterback at UConn last season. Moore never really got a chance to establish a good relationship with a solid quarterback, and thus his numbers suffered.
It looks like Moore will be a late-round selection, but I think that he has some serious value there and is really flying under the scouts radar.
You can knock his size all you want, but out of the top 5 receivers in the NFL by yards last year, two were 5'9, those two being Wes Welker and Steve Smith.
While he may never reach that level, Moore certainly has the tools to be a solid pro.
Ronnie Hillman, RB
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Ronnie Hillman is perhaps the biggest running back sleeper in the draft.
He's an extremely explosive back, posting runs of 93 and 99 yards in each of the past two seasons. Last year he averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and recorded 17 touchdowns.
Need I say more?
The knock against Hillman is that he is somewhat undersized at 5'9 and only 200 pounds. While I don't think he'll be an every down back, he could certainly be used in a multitude of situations, as he has good hands out of the backfield, and posted a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine.
Also on his side is his youth. He is only 20 years old so he has a lot of time to learn and improve his game.
While he may be coming from a small school that isn't in a BCS conference, I guarantee he won't put up small numbers at the next level. Hillman is definitely a sleeper and will benefit whatever team selects him. In the age where running backs need to be shiftier and come out of the backfield, Hill certainly fits the mold.