Top names like Luke Joeckel and Geno Smith performed well at the combine and will be sure-fire first-round selections, but unheralded stars also got the chance to shine under the watchful eye of the NFL scouts.
All of the following names weren't on many fans’ lips coming into the 2013 scouting combine, but each has cemented his spot as a first-round pick.
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The scouts know all about the Trufant brothers and their physical abilities—both Marcus and Isaiah play in the NFL—so when Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant was invited to the scouting combine, teams took notice.
Trufant has the size (6’0” and 190 pounds) and speed (an impressive 4.38-second 40-yard dash time) to be effective on the next level (via NFL.com).
What the cornerback really proved to franchises at the scouting combine, though, was that he was the same physical beast they saw on tape.
There are a plethora of teams looking for defensive backs—a team like the New England Patriots that could be depleted in the secondary by free agency—and there will certainly be interest in Trufant’s services in the first round.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
There are a few question marks surrounding former Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, but the raw talent showed in his one season of Division-1 college football and at the scouting combine will have a team selecting him in the first round.
While most scouts love Patterson’s size as a receiver (6’2” and 216 pounds), the 4.42-second 40-yard dash time he blazed at the combine opened some eyes (via NFL.com).
Add in the agility (37 and 128 inches in the vertical and broad jumps, respectively), and it is clear that this is a physical freak who won’t last too long on the draft board.
At the 2013 scouting combine, Patterson proved his lack of highlight tape from college wouldn’t stop him from being a first-round pick, possibly even going as high as the top 15 on draft day.
Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
It’s finally time that the big men on the interior of the offensive line get some love—it’s not all for the tackles, you know—and the biggest standout star at the combine was North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper.
Many scouts questioned how well the shorter guard—6'2” and 311 pounds—would translate to the NFL (via NFL.com), but the serious skills Cooper showed at the combine will have every GM in the league re-watching his tape.
Any question about strength was answered when the big man pumped out 35 reps in the bench press, and his 5.07-second 40-year dash time made him one of the top 10 fastest offensive linemen at the combine.
Those numbers will force teams to reevaluate Cooper’s draft stock, and will have the North Carolina star taken in the latter stages of the first round in the 2013 NFL draft.