Tyler Wilson and 10 NFL Draft Prospects Who Will Rise at the Scouting Combine

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIFebruary 6, 2013

Tyler Wilson and 10 NFL Draft Prospects Who Will Rise at the Scouting Combine

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    There are quite a few prospects who will end up skyrocketing up boards once the NFL combine goes down. The underwear Olympics have proven to be an excellent way to measure pure athleticism

    The NFL combine is one of the biggest events of the offseason leading up to the NFL draft. By performing well in the interview gauntlet and the athleticism gauntlet, there will be at least 10 guys who will get boosted from late first round or later grades to top 15 or even top 10 grades.

    The combine isn't used to propel players as much as the standard fans would think. It's mainly used as a way to solidify the evaluations used by the draft evaluators all around the league and within each team.

    Follow along as we present 10 players who could use the combine to propel themselves into a top position with the best combines.

QB Tyler Wilson

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    Everyone has a great idea of how good Tyler Wilson's arm is.

    However, Wilson's true value is in his leadership both on and off the field.

    He should be able to show that through his actions in the interviews and at the combine.

    Wilson could also put on a display with his deep-ball accuracy, which could launch him from a perceived late first-round value to the top overall pick.

    It will be interesting to see how perceptions change on the Arkansas quarterback once the combine ends.

RB Giovani Bernard

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    Giovani Bernard had a terrible ACL injury that stopped him from playing his true freshman season in Chapel Hill.

    He's shown top end breakaway speed and vision with his over six yards per carry and over 10 yards per catch out of the backfield in his redshirt sophomore year.

    The medical portions of the combine will also be huge in how the NFL views the knee injury.

    If the injury shows up as something that could re-occur in the NFL, Bernard could end up dropping down to the third or even fourth round. 

    Nonetheless, if he can show that he's 100 percent healthy and then later runs a 4.45 or better, he will go as high as the late first round.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson

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    Cordarrelle Patterson is as naturally talented as they come at the wide receiver position.

    He's shown that he can be used similarly to Percy Harvin with 1,858 all-purpose yards and 10 all-purpose touchdowns in 2012.

    He's got great size at 6'3", 205 pounds, and the combine should solidify him as a top prospect at wide receiver athletically.

    The biggest questions about Patterson come from how raw he is.

    If Patterson does well in interviews and under coaching during the drills, there is no reason why he shouldn't be the first receiver taken.

TE Gavin Escobar

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    Gavin Escobar right now is a mid-round pick that could be taken on either the second or third day of the draft.

    Escobar has some questions regarding his athleticism that he could easily answer at the combine.

    If he does well in the 40, that can help him tremendously.

    However, the biggest thing that Escobar can do at the combine is run well in the three cone and the shuttle drills.

    If he can show that he has the agility and speed needed to be a top tight end in the NFL, he could sneak into the late first round after a good combine.

DE Barkevious Mingo

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    Barkevious Mingo is a top athlete in the draft and should showcase this at the combine.

    The questions in his game come from his coachability and intelligence level.

    Now that's not saying that he isn't coachable, but as a prospect Mingo has shown to be very raw.

    If he takes to coaching and interviews well, showing that he can pick up strategies and technique, Mingo could end up as a top five pick in the draft.

DE Ezekiel Ansah

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    If there's a prospect that's raw and athletic, it's Ezekiel Ansah.

    He's going to have to prove just how athletic he is though.

    There is a question as to whether he can play the 3-4 outside linebacker role similar to how Terrell Suggs does.

    If he times well and shows the natural athleticism to play multiple roles, Ansah could end up as a pick in the top half of the first round.

    Even then, he'll have to show he can take well to coaching.

    The interviews at the combine will allow him to show his football intelligence, and this could be the biggest key to him getting selected high.

LB Sean Porter

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    Playing in both the 3-4 and 4-3 scheme has shown Sean Porter's versatility.

    Something it hasn't shown is his true athleticism.

    He's been mainly used as blitzer and in shorter zones.

    But for someone at just 6'1", 230 pounds, Porter should be able to show that he's one of the more athletic linebackers.

    If he can prove his athleticism at the combine, he could be a surprise riser into the early second day of the draft.

LB Alec Ogletree

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    Former safety Alec Ogletree is being thought of as a late first- or early second-round pick at this point in the process.

    However, he could propel himself up to the mid-first if he can run his 40 under 4.55 and show that he has the hip flexibility to play well in coverage.

    The Georgia product also will have to prove himself through interviews, as he has an arrest on his record stemming from stealing a scooter helmet.

    Should everything check out, he has no reason to be selected after Chicago picks at No. 20 overall in the first.

CB Tyrann Mathieu

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    Interviews will be huge for former LSU standout Tyrann Mathieu. 

    If he can prove that he is a changed man, there are teams that could be willing to spend as much as a fourth-round pick on him.

    If he can also prove that he isn't a slower corner and should be moved to safety, he could really end up being selected high. 

    Mathieu is going to be undrafted if he can't allay the fears about his character or his natural athleticism.

    It will be interesting to see the results from Mathieu's combine and the buzz after it pertaining to his interviews.

    He could either end up as the next Vontaze Burfict or the next Janoris Jenkins.

S D.J. Swearinger

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    D.J. Swearinger is widely considered a second-round pick or later at this point.

    He has one of the best coverage skill sets in this year's draft, though.

    If he can turn in a 40-yard dash of 4.45 or under, he would solidify my opinion that he is the best safety in the draft.

    He could also end up being the first safety taken—as high as the mid-first round.


    All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium StatsESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld.

    Scott Carasik is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.