2013 NFL Combine Schedule: When to Catch Top Players in Draft

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2013

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 17:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners during the game on November 17, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is officially underway, but the players aren't scheduled to hit the field until Saturday. 

Right now, players and coaches are busy with interviews and medical examinations, but what you really want to know is when the top players in this year's draft class will show off their speed, athleticism and power.

Here is the official schedule, courtesy of NFLCombine.net.


Luke Joeckel and Offensive Linemen, Tight Ends

Joeckel and the rest of the linemen and tight ends will set up shop on Friday, February 22 to hit the bench press, then take the field to run and go through drills on Saturday, February 23. 

Offensive linemen aren't a particularly intriguing group to watch run the 40-yard dash, but the tight ends can make a move up draft boards by posting low times in this event.

The biggest key to watch with these men is how strong they are in the weight room and how agile they are when moving in drills. 

If a guy like D.J. Fluker, who is massive, shows he can move as well as some of the leaner competition, he'll certainly move up boards or at least force teams to take another look at the tape.


Geno Smith and the Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Running Backs

Smith, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib and the rest of the quarterbacks will hit the field on Sunday, February 24, along with the wide receivers and running backs.

There isn't a single quarterback in this year's draft class that can hold a candle to Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, but you can be sure at least a couple teams will reach for one of the top signal-callers in this year's draft. 

It will be interesting to see what kind of times Smith and Nassib put up in the 40-yard dash, and it's always fun to see which quarterbacks have the most natural passing skills. Throwing at the combine can be tricky, since these young men will be slinging passes to guys they've never played with before. 

For the receivers, it will be fascinating to see if Marquise Goodwin can beat Chris Johnson's 40-yard-dash record. 


Dion Jordan and Defensive Linemen, Linebackers

One of the deepest groups of this year's draft class, the pass-rushers, run-stuffers and tackling machines will hit the bench press on Sunday, February 24. Then, they'll run, jump and show what they can do on the field on Monday, February 25.

I'm particularly interested to see what kind of 40-yard dash times Jordan, Alec Ogletree and Margus Hunt can post. 

Another key aspect for these players to watch will be how well they move in space in the field drills. 

The first round of the 2013 NFL draft will be loaded with guys from this group, and it will be fun to see which players stand out the most when the competition heats up.


Kenny Vaccaro, Dee Milliner and Defensive Backs

We'll be treated to plenty of speed when these athletes hit the field on Tuesday, February 26.

Agility will be tested just as much as speed, as playing in NFL secondaries requires flexible hips, quick feet and the ability to change directions in a heartbeat.

Vaccaro is already a lock as a first-round pick, but if he were to post a smoking 40-yard-dash time, he could well vault up into consideration as a top 10 pick. Milliner will likely be a top 10 pick, and if he runs well he could move up into the top five. 

There are plenty of other players to keep an eye on in this group, too, and it won't shock anyone to see three or four defensive backs end up as first-round picks in April.


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