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25 Biggest Invite Snubs for the NFL Combine

Alex CallosCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2013

25 Biggest Invite Snubs for the NFL Combine

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    The official invite list for the NFL combine has been released and while there were 333 former college players invited, as always, there are some notable snubs from that group.

    It is not out of the question for a player to not get invited to the combine and still get drafted. It actually happens more often than people might think.

    Just last year names like Bryce Brown, Darryl Richardson and Brandon Brooks did not receive invites and went on to have successful rookie seasons in spite of that.

    While the names on the list have already been talked about and dissected enough, it is now time to look at the players who for one reason or another were not invited to Indianapolis for the combine.

    Here are the 25 biggest snubs from the 2013 NFL combine.

Honorable Mentions

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    Here are six players who did not quite make the list, but could also be considered snubs in the eyes of many.

    Duron Carter, Wide Receiver, Florida Atlantic: The son of Hall of Famer Chris Carter, has a big name with huge potential, but limited production during a troublesome college career.  

    Anthony McCloud, Defensive Tackle, Florida State: His senior season was not very productive, but at 6'2" and 322 pounds, he has the size to be a factor in the NFL.  

    Ryan Griffin, Quarterback, Tulane: Even though Tulane struggled, Griffin has the size at 6'4" and 216 pounds to make an NFL roster in 2013.

    Omoregie Uzzi, Guard, Georgia Tech: This guard is no stranger to run-blocking, having played in the Georgia Tech triple-option offense, and could certainly help an NFL team down the road.

    Cameron Lawrence, Linebacker, Mississippi State: Cameron Lawrence had some huge games during his senior season, recording double-digit tackles in eight contests for the Bulldogs.  

    Russell Shepard, Wide Receiver, LSU: Shepard did not put up the numbers he would have liked, but that was due in part to the problems at the quarterback position for the Tigers.

No. 25 Jahleel Addae, Safety, Central Michigan

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    Even though he may be undersized for the next level, Jahleel Addae has the versatility to make and NFL roster next season.

    He was a four-year starter for Central Michigan and showed the ability to be one of the best safeties in the MAC as well as the skills to cover wide receivers when necessary.

    Addae specializes in stopping the run game and is not afraid to make a tackle on anybody in the open field.

No. 24 Jerry Ceja Jr, Linebacker, Eastern Washington

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    This is one of the names that most people have probably not even heard of, but the defensive end for Eastern Washington put up some huge numbers in 2012.

    He will probably transition into a linebacker if he can catch on at the next level, but no matter what position, he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.

    His combination of speed and athleticism could make him an intriguing prospect come draft day.

No. 23 Anthony Rashad Wright, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State

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    Anthony Rashad Wright is a big dude. The defensive tackle is one of the bigger players in the draft at 334 pounds.

    He has a lot to work on, including maybe getting in better shape, but put him down in the middle of an NFL defense and he could be a factor.

    There is no question that the combine would likely not have done too much to improve his draft stock, but if a team can get the most out of his potential, he could be a productive NFL player for years to come.

No. 22 Omar Hunter, Defensive Tackle, Florida

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    Omar Hunter may not have quite the height that NFL teams are looking for from the defensive tackle position, but the 6'0", 317-pound big man is not short on talent.

    He helped anchor a Florida run defense last year that was one of the best in the country, and possesses plenty of talent for the NFL level.

    Even though he was not invited to the combine, it would come as a bit of a surprise if he did not make an NFL roster next season.

No. 21 Joe Vellano, Defensive Tackle, Maryland

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    Even though Maryland struggled mightily each of the past two seasons, that was not necessarily the case for defensive tackle Joe Vellano.

    Vellano has had some injury problems over the years, so that might be a bit of a concern for some NFL teams, but there are few players who give it more on every snap than Vellano.

    For a team looking for a guy who will give it everything he has, they might take a flyer on Vellano.

No. 20 Curtis McNeal, Running Back, USC

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    Perhaps the biggest name on the list is former USC running back Curtis McNeal.

    McNeal split carries last season with Penn State transfer Silas Redd and finished the year with 701 yards and two scores on 116 carries.

    As a junior in 2011, he went over 1,000 yards with six touchdowns on 145 carries. Those are solid numbers no matter who he is playing for.

    It is hard to imagine how a name like McNeal could have been left off the invite list.

No. 19 Cooper Taylor, Safety, Richmond

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    Cooper Taylor is another player that most people have probably not heard a lot about.

    He was very impressive in the practices leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.

    The thing with Taylor is he has not played near the competition a lot of others have, but with how well he played the the Shrine Game, it is hard to fathom that he would not have at least gotten a shot at the combine.

No. 18 Jason Thompson, Wide Receiver, New Haven

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    New Haven is a little known Division II school and former wide receiver Jason Thompson is not very well known either.

    He has excellent size at 6'3" and 185 pounds. He did not put up huge numbers in college, but is a big-time deep play threat.

    During his final two seasons, he totaled over 1,900 yards while averaging over 22 yards per reception with 30 touchdowns.

    Those numbers appear to be worthy of the combine.

No. 17 Nate Palmer, Linebacker, Illinois State

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    The former college defensive end will certainly move to linebacker at the NFL level. He finished the 2012 season with 15 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

    Even though he was starring at Illinois State, he was a 3-star recruit out of high school and began his collegiate career at Illinois.

    He has an excellent skill set with long arms and a 6'2", 233-pound frame that should translate well to the NFL.

No. 16 Ray Ray Armstrong, Safety, Miami

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    Ray-Ray Armstrong arrived at Miami in 2009 as the No. 1 athlete in the rivals.com class and the No. 13 player overall. 

    The former 5-star recruit had an up-and-down career and did not even play in 2012 after attempting to transfer to Faulkner University in Alabama. Eligibility issues were a concern for Armstrong in July of 2012. He tried to transfer, but was forced to sit out a year at the NAIA level and now is moving right to the NFL draft.

    It is hard to imagine a former top recruit not getting an invite, but then again, the NFL made the same mistake last year with current Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown.

No. 15 Travis Johnson, Linebacker, San Jose State

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    Travis Johnson is another of those players who will likely move back from his defensive end position to the linebacker spot.

    He was a key contributor to a San Jose State defense that was solid for most of the season. Even though he is undersized, the motor on this guy proves he will could be a success at the next level.

    Johnson participated in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Not receiving an invitation to the combine after that is very rare.

No. 14 William Campbell, Defensive Tackle, Michigan

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    The Michigan defense was much improved in 2012 and one of the reasons for that was the play of the defensive line.

    One of the key contributors along the line was tackle William Campbell. He participated in the East-West Shrine Game and played very well.

    Campbell still needs to work on a few things, but he has more than enough talent to be playing on Sundays in 2013 and beyond.

No. 13 Zach Rogers, Wide Receiver, Tennessee

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    Zach Rogers was stuck behind two very talented receivers in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson at Tennessee, so his numbers are skewed a bit.

    He still managed to catch 32 passes for 491 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, including a seven-catch 107-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 38-35 loss at South Carolina.

    That doubled the total from his first three seasons in Knoxville and he appears to be a sleeper at the wide receiver position for the upcoming NFL draft.

No. 12 Nick Florence, Quarterback, Baylor

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    Even though Nick Florence is extremely undersized at 6'1" and 205 pounds, there are plenty of successful NFL quarterbacks who are smaller than him.

    He put up huge numbers during his senior season at Baylor, passing for an amazing 4,309 yards with 33 touchdowns and only 13 picks.

    Florence can also dominate a game with his legs, and buy time while scrambling around the pocket.

    It is still amazing how this kid could miss out on a combine invite. 

    Since not being invited to the combine, Florence will not pursue a career in the NFL.

No. 11 Jack Doyle, Tight End, Western Kentucky

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    Jack Doyle was one of the go-to guys on the Western Kentucky offense for the better part of the past four seasons.

    He had nearly 1,800 yards during his four seasons as a starter and finished off his career with 566 yards and five touchdowns on 53 receptions in 2012.

    The 6'6", 253-pound tight end is also an excellent run blocker and could certainly be a factor at the NFL level next season.

No. 10 Wes Horton, Defensive End, USC

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    Wes Horton is a defensive end who has plenty of athletic ability for the NFL level.

    He might be more of a project than a lot of other players on the list, but once he becomes more polished, he could have a successful career for years to come.

    The combine would have been a great chance for Horton to show off that raw athletic ability and wow NFL scouts and personnel.

No. 9 Vince Williams, Linebacker, Florida State

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    Even though he is a little undersized at 6'1" and 250 pounds, this middle linebacker is not afraid to hit somebody.

    He had a very productive career at Florida State and was a late invite to the Senior Bowl.

    Williams might not have put up as big of numbers as a lot of other players at the combine, but he is a football player that will be a steal for anybody willing to draft him in the later rounds.

No. 8 Dennis Johnson, Running Back, Arkansas

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    Dennis Johnson spent most of his collegiate career as a backup, most recently to Knile Davis. Despite that he still had a very successful five years in Fayetteville.

    Johnson rushed for 757 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 carries last season, and finished his career with 2,036 yards and 13 scores on 345 attempts.

    He also has the ability to grab the ball out of the backfield, catching 49 passes over the past two seasons for the Razorbacks.

    Where he could make an impact is on special teams as he is the all-time SEC leader in kickoff return yardage. He could also be a factor on special teams.

No. 7 Kemal Ishmael, Safety, Central Florida

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    Kemal Ishmael quietly had a very productive season during his senior campaign at Central Florida, earning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors.

    It is sort of mind-boggling how a guy like this does not end up at the NFL combine, but he will almost certainly find himself on an NFL roster next season.

    He had nine or more tackles in eight games from the safety position in 2012 and also picked off three passes.

No. 6 Branden Smith, Cornerback, Georgia

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    Branden Smith is a very skilled corner, who played on a Georgia defense that has put a lot of players in the NFL over the past few years.

    He may not be nearly as talented as some of the other players to come through the secondary at Georgia, but has the skills to compete at the next level.

    His combination of size and speed makes him an intriguing prospect who probably should have been given a shot at the combine.

No. 5 Kyle Juszczyk, Fullback, Harvard

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    Fullback Kyle Juszczyk is not a household name, but the former Harvard standout has a good shot to make a living playing in the NFL.

    He has the potential to play a number of different positions, and during his time at Harvard, he lined up at receiver, tight end, running back and fullback, among other spots.

    Look for him to make an impact next season as he is one of the more underrated athletes in the draft.

No. 4 Travis Howard, Cornerback, Ohio State

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    Travis Howard had his moments during his time at Ohio State, but anybody who starts for an undefeated team, is almost NFL combine-worthy to begin with.

    He will get an excellent shot as a special teams player and is also talented enough to play in nickel situations a few years down the line.

    While he may never be a shutdown corner or even a starter at the next level, Howard is talented enough to see plenty of action in the NFL.

No. 3 Zach Sudfeld, Tight End, Nevada

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    There is no question that one of the biggest snubs from the combine is former Nevada tight end Zach Sudfeld.

    Sudfeld has amazing size at 6'6" and 261 pounds. He also was very productive at Nevada, catching 45 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012.

    Where he also excels is as a run blocker. With his combination of size and strength, the combine would have been an excellent chance for him to show it all off in front of scouts and other personnel.

Michael Williams, Tight End, Alabama

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    Micheal Williams is yet another tight end on the list. He looked very good in the Senior Bowl, and the fact that he is from Alabama should be worth something.

    Williams only caught 24 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns on the season, but did have three catches and a touchdown in the national title game against Notre Dame.

    He will not get a chance to show off those raw talents at the combine, despite everything he has accomplished since the end of the regular season.

No. 1 Jasper Collins, Wide Receiver, Mount Union

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    With the success players from Mount Union have had in the NFL over the years, it is hard to imagine that wide receiver Jasper Collins was not invited to the combine.

    Former Purple Raiders Cecil Shorts and Pierre Garcon are currently in the NFL and Collins appears to be next in line.

    He caught 92 passes for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2012, while earning first team all-conference honors.

    For a guy who does not get much publicity, going to the combine would have been a great chance for him to show off his talents.

     

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