NFL Combine 2013: Skill Players Sure to Impress During Weekend Workouts

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2013

December 1, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Tavon Austin (1) rushes the ball against the Kansas Jayhawks during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The West Virginia Mountaineers won 59-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is in full swing, but the action won't really begin until the weekend arrives, when the hundreds of college football prospects in attendance begin showcasing their skills in the on-field workouts.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers will take to the field at Indianapolis for their individual workouts, something combine viewers won't want to miss.

In anticipation for this weekend's pre-draft workouts, let's highlight a trio of skills players set to impress NFL scouts, coaches and executives.


Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR

Mountaineers senior Tavon Austin is among the quickest players at this year's combine. The 5'9", 175-pound wide receiver can accelerate in no time and leave even the best defenders in the dust, making him one of the top offensive weapons available this year.

Austin is the definition of a big-play threat. He can explode off his starting spot and then gain separation quickly. That is sure to be one of his strong points at the combine.

Look for Austin to showcase his acceleration and top-end speed during Sunday's on-field workouts. He has plenty of burst and natural athleticism, all of which should translate to the NFL.


Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, RB

Giovani Bernard may be the best running back in this year's NFL draft. The former North Carolina star has a low center of gravity and is compact, both ideal traits for a running back at the next level. 

Bernard will put his talents on display this weekend in a variety of workouts. Expect his quick feet to gain a lot of attention, as well as his tremendous ability to move laterally. He may not possess the bulk that Alabama's Eddie Lacy does, but Bernard will bring a Ray Rice-like style to the combine this weekend.

While his lack of intimidating size may be seen as a weakness by some NFL higher-ups, it certainly makes him a more versatile player.

He showed glimpses of greatness as a return man for the Tar Heels and is much more lethal as a receiver out of the back field because of his compact frame.


Kenny Stills, Oklahoma, WR

Kenny Stills isn't quite as fast as West Virginia's Tavon Austin, but the Oklahoma product is every bit as talented at gaining separation from defenders.

Stills can change speeds in a hurry and get in and out of cuts quickly as well. Combine viewers should keep an eye out for Stills during individual on-field workouts this Sunday to see how cleanly he can cut and change direction, one of his biggest strengths in college.

At 6'1'' and 190 pounds, Stills' best shot at boosting his stock will be to dominate the individual workouts at the combine this winter. He doesn't have a whole lot of physical question marks, so the combine should provide him with an ideal stage to make his case for the NFL. 


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