NFL Combine 2013: Players We'll Be Raving About After Workouts in Indianapolis
Groups 1, 2 and 3 have already arrived in Indianapolis for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, and there's a good chance those groups already hold first-round picks that will be selected in April's draft.
There's also a good chance that the on-the-field portion of the combine will send us raving to our friends, neighbors and anyone else that will listen, because that's the kind of athleticism we're now dealing with when it comes to NFL-caliber talent.
We're always going to be enamored by the defensive lineman that can run like a running back, the running back that has the agility of a wideout and the wideout that can jump like something straight out of the movies.
While the rest of the prospects get their bags packed and head to Indianapolis, here's a look at the guys that will draw the most attention after their drill times and scores at the combine.
Where will Ansah get drafted?
DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Ansah is a freak of nature who will be highly publicized at this year's combine. The 6'7" DE from BYU shot up draft boards after a dominant season along the defensive line, and many are eager to see what his soccer and basketball background will mean in relation to his measurables.
After being named Defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl, Ansah will have the eyes of many scouts in Indianapolis. Don't be surprised if he's considered a Top 10 pick by the end of the weekend—that's the kind of numbers many are expecting him to put up.
WR/KR/RB/PR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
From his 40 career touchdowns at WVU to his blazing speed, Austin has a chance to really cement his status as a clear-cut first-round pick at the combine.
With teams like New England, Denver and maybe even Seattle in the market for another slot receiver to take the pressure off of the current roster, Austin would be a perfect fit.
He can return kicks, line up anywhere on the field and is a major headache for opposing defensive coordinators—just ask any coach in the Big 12 and Big East. His speed and playmaking ability make him a must-gameplan, and that will be on display after he runs routes and the 40-yard dash in Indy.
According to NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, he's never been timed in the 40. That will change this week, and his number will likely be one of the top marks from any position.
WR Marquise Goodwin, Texas
Goodwin is expected by some to be the highlight of this year's combine, and for good reason.
The former track star and Rowlett High School product has Olympic speed, and participated in the long-jump at the 2012 London games (finishing 10th). He's got the pedigree to blow these drills out of the water, and Jeremiah wouldn't be surprised to see him go sub-4.3 in the 40.
Wide receiver and defensive tackle very well may be the deepest position in this year's draft. However, Goodwin is competing with some big names (Terrance Williams, Keenan Allen and Robert Woods, to name a few) for a shot at making his way up into the first or second round.
That being said, he'll have to show off his hands and route-running ability to make that leap. If the 40-time is there, don't be surprised if scouts salivate over his prospects as a sleeper.
RB/WR/KR/PR Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
McCalebb is fast.
That's what many will remember from his time at Auburn, and he'll have to tee it up again on the track in Indy as he prepares to impress teams. As Chelsa Messinger notes, McCalebb has some lofty stories to live up to:
He might not have anything to chase but the all-time record in Indianapolis, but with the speed he's shown at Auburn, even that might be in reach.
Projected mainly as a kick returner in most mock drafts, McCalebb falls somewhere between the fourth and sixth rounds. The flat-line speed is there, but I have a feeling his hard work, agility and interviews with NFL personnel will be enough to vault him up some draft boards.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Like Goodwin, Patterson is facing an uphill battle in proving he's the best WR in the 2013 class.
However, it's a battle he can win.
Patterson wasn't even the highest-rated WR on his own team when this season started, but he eclipsed Justin Hunter for that award and proved that he has the physical tools to be considered as the No. 1 WR on the board.
In the 40-yard dash and vertical jump, look for Patterson to outshine the rest of the field. His raw tools as a pass-catcher might be exposed a little bit, but the scouts will overlook those teachable flaws and focus more on what he brings to the table as a playmaker—which is a lot.
Anyway you slice it, Patterson has a chance to really emerge as a clear-cut No. 1 WR option for teams (Miami, Minnesota and Houston, among others) looking for help. Like the rest of these prospects, he'll leave Indianapolis with plenty of confidence and lots of chatter about his abilities.
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