The players have entered the building, and the scouts are frothing at the mouth to get a look at them.
There’s little left to do besides check in and undergo a few medical tests before the players hit the combine field and show off their stuff.
Every one of them is looking to impress, but the following are the athletes that will likely steal the show at this year’s combine.
They say speed kills. And that’s what makes LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo an absolute death threat and a lock to improve his draft in the NFL combine.
He might only weigh 240 pounds, but Mingo runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and has a 6’5" frame that scouts will drool over.
Currently ranked third among defensive ends entering the draft, Mingo is projected to be taken with the ninth pick in the draft. It’s his raw physical ability though that will push him into the top five.
In a draft class without a clear-cut superstar quarterback, West Virginia’s Geno Smith has a huge opportunity to shut his doubters down and claim his spot as the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NFL draft.
If Smith does as expected in the 40-yard dash (4.8 sec.) and exhibits any improvement in his arm accuracy, the Kansas City Chiefs will have to take him with the first overall pick.
Travis Kelce has size (6’6”, 260 pounds) and runs a strong 40-yard dash for a tight end (4.68 sec.)
In addition to his physical assets, the Cincinnati Bearcat is a definite scoring threat in the red zone. He caught 45 balls and eight touchdowns this past season.
Kelce’s speed, size and hands will give him a big boost when scouts see him up close.
Great size (6’5”, 261), and decent speed (4.7 forty) will help Texas defensive end Alex Okafor garner plenty of attention from pro scouts.
The Baltimore Ravens recently proved that defense (and ridiculous Joe Flacco moments) wins championships, and Okafor (projected 25th overall) will impress and raise his stock at the combine.
He is not a physical freak (5’11”, 215 pounds), but the NFL cannot ignore the fact that Wisconsin running back Monte Ball set an NCAA record for rushing touchdowns in a career last season after punching in his 72nd score.
Ball is currently projected to go in either the second- or third-round, but small, slippery running backs like Ball are in vogue in the NFL these days (think Pierre Thomas).
That being said, the running back position is weak in this draft class, so Ball could move up to a low second round with a strong performance this week.