NFL Combine 2013: Highlighting Players Who Will Shine as Workout Warriors

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Barkevious Mingo #49 of the LSU Tigers celebrates a tackle for a loss of yards against the North Texas Mean Green at Tiger Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  LSU would win 41-14.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Barkevious Mingo will dominate the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, and his physical feats will inspire at least one NFL team to take him high in the draft based purely on his athletic prowess.

Workout warriors have earned a lot of money over the years due to their combine performances. 

Last year, Dontari Poe was selected No. 11 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs after the team became enamored by his incredible power and raw athleticism. It's a pick that may end up biting Kansas City in the behind, as Poe underwhelmed in a major way last year.

Julio Jones put on a show a couple of years ago, prompting the Atlanta Falcons to pay a king's ransom to the Cleveland Browns to move up to the No. 6 overall pick from their No. 27 pick. Jones has proven to be a game-breaking receiver for Atlanta, and his best is yet to come.

So which players are most likely to make their marks as this year's biggest workout warriors?


Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

Mingo will likely be the fastest defensive lineman in Indianapolis in 2013. 

He's a physical freak of the first order, which is why he's being considered as a potential top-10 pick in this year's draft. If team based their evaluations on production, Mingo wouldn't even be considered in the first round, as he only logged 21 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks in 2012 for the Tigers.

Mingo is exceptionally quick off the line, which will lead to a fast 40-yard dash time. He is also an explosive athlete, which will show up in events like the vertical jump and broad jump.

If Mingo puts up impressive numbers on the bench press, three-cone drill and the shuffles, his draft stock will skyrocket.


Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas

An Olympic long jumper, Goodwin will certainly be among the most impressive wide receivers at this year's combine.

Goodwin wasn't utilized properly during his time at Texas, only catching 120 passes for 1.364 yards and seven touchdowns during his four years with the Longhorns.

That won't stop teams from falling head over heels in love with this young man, though. Goodwin will dominate events like the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill, leading to a surge in his draft stock.

He showed off some impressive hands and surprisingly advanced route-running skills during practices at the Senior Bowl, and if he comes out and blows the hinges off the NFL Scouting Combine, he could be an early second-round choice.

Denard Robinson, WR/RB/??, Michigan

Robinson was a Heisman candidate as a quarterback for the Wolverines in 2011, but he spent the latter half of the 2012 season as a wide receiver/running back for Michigan. 

The reason for this is that Robinson has zero chance of becoming a quarterback in the NFL, and he needed to show NFL scouts he is capable of playing another position. 

Unfortunately, he struggled mightily at the Senior Bowl, and it's going to take an impressive performance at the combine to impress NFL teams that he's worth drafting. 

Thankfully for Robinson, he's an exceptional athlete who is sure to put up some jaw-dropping numbers in a couple of big-time events: He'll blow teams away with his raw speed in the 40-yard dash and his quickness in the three-cone drill.

Both of these events showcase Robinson's natural speed and agility—two key elements that will ensure he gets a shot at making an NFL roster as a receiver in 2013. 


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