NFL Combine 2013: Under-the-Radar Invitees to Watch for in Indianapolis

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2013

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 29:  Running back Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans rushes the football against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 29, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Spartans defeated the Horned Frogs 17-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is set to begin on Wednesday, thus kicking off a seven-day look at the best players college football has to offer. 

But while many will have their eyes glued to projected first-round talents like Luke Joeckel, Damontre Moore and Jarvis Jones, others will be tuning in to see how some of the under-the-radar invitees measure up and perform.

Let's highlight the top overlooked invitees as they get set to showcase their skills in Indianapolis.


Stedman Bailey, West Virginia, WR

West Virginia wideout Stedman Bailey led the Mountaineers in receiving in each of his past two seasons in Morgantown, recording 2,906 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns since the start of the 2011 season.

Bailey has been flying under the radar however with the emergence of fellow WVU junior Tavon Austin, who most view as the better talent. Still, Bailey should not be overlooked at this week's combine. He has no injury concerns and possesses phenomenal ball skills that are sure to translate to the pro level.

At 5'11", 193 pounds, Bailey's stock will rise or fall depending on his 40-yard dash performance. If he can show scouts that he has elite top-end speed, perhaps he'll become a coveted prospect this spring.

One thing is for sure, his resume is impressive (via Jared Counterman on Twitter):


Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State, RB

Le'Veon Bell finished as the nation's third-leading rusher in 2012, rushing for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns for Michigan State on 382 carries.

Although many NFL scouts and higher-ups will judge Bell on other factors, his production proves he's a sensational running back capable of getting it done at the next level. Plus, at 6'2", 240 pounds, you won't find a more powerful back who can move like Bell. 

Just watch him leap this Boise State defender in the above clip.

Bell has taken a beating over the course of his college career with the Spartans as well, which speaks to his toughness and durability. It will be interesting to see how Bell performs in the 40-yard dash and in the bench press.


Barrett Jones, Alabama, OL

Alabama's Barrett Jones is one of the most versatile offensive lineman coming out this year. Plus, he's a three-time BCS champion. 

He may not boast the physical prowess of a Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, but he's a winner and one of the smartest protectors headed to the next level. Jones has remarkable awareness, having played multiple positions up front, and is particularly strong in the running game.

His 6'5", 300-pound frame is sturdy enough for the next level, but his athleticism is a bit of a question mark.

It remains to be seen how much a strong combine performance could help Jones, since most experts don't like him to go within the first two rounds of the draft. But either way, Jones will have an opportunity to show scouts what he's made of before his pro day workout next month.


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