NFL Draft 2013: Unheralded Combine Superstars Poised to Take NFL by Storm

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IMarch 4, 2013

EAST LANSING, MI - AUGUST 31: Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans looks for running room during a third quarter run while playing the Boise State Broncos at Spartan Stadium on August, 2010 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell will be a star in the NFL as a rookie in 2013, and he's not the only player who made a huge statement at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.

When looking at workout warriors and evaluating whether or not they have what it takes to excel at the next level, we must look beyond their pure athleticism to see what kind of football player they can become. 

Here are the players poised to make an instant impact after wowing scouts and casual observers alike at the combine.


Le'Veon Bell, Running Back, Michigan State

With a player like Bell, his college career is proof enough that he has the game to compete at a high level. During his junior season at Michigan State, Bell rushed for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown.

His extraordinary combine performance only furthered his cause as a potential NFL superstar.

Bell is a power running back with prototypical size, at 6'1" and 230 pounds. He posted an impressive 40 time of 4.60 seconds at the combine, which is really amazing considering his size. 

His biggest impression was made in the 3-cone drill, though, where he ranked No. 3 among all running backs with a time of 6.75 seconds.

The 3-cone drill measures how quickly a player can accelerate in short bursts, and it's usually a drill that smaller players separate themselves from big men like Bell. The fact that he showed quicker feet than the likes of Kenjon Barner, Johnathan Franklin and Giovani Bernard opened up a lot of eyes.

Bell does have a tendency to run with his pads a bit high, but then again, so did Eric Dickerson. This young man is a powerful runner with exceptionally quick feet who can also catch the ball with skill. He's ready to step into the starting lineup for one lucky team in 2013 and become a featured back.


Margus Hunt, Defensive End, SMU

Perhaps no player had jaws dropping quite as much as Hunt, the Estonian giant who ran faster than many running backs and matched defensive tackle Brandon Williams for a combine-high 38 reps on the bench press.

Hunt, at 6'8" and 277 pounds, posted a 40 time of 4.60 seconds (third among defensive linemen, behind only Trevardo Williams and Barkevious Mingo) moved around like a man half his size during the field drills, and his overall combine performance can only be described as awe inspiring. 

He doesn't have the same kind of dominating college stats as Bell, but Hunt's eight sacks and one interception last season as a senior prove he's no workout warrior without any potential for production.

Hunt also has a knack for getting his hands on balls as a special teams ace, blocking 17 kicks during his four-year career.

He may be a bit of a project, but so are players like Mingo and Dion Jordan who are projected to go early in Round 1. This makes Hunt, who is projected as a second-round pick, a player worth gambling on.

His measureables make him an intriguing prospect, and given a bit of proper pro coaching he'll dominate the competition at the professional level.


Ryan Swope, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

It's pretty hard to fly under the radar when you run a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, but that's exactly what Swope has done.

Swope also posted impressive marks in the vertical jump, the broad jump and the 3-cone drill, and his ability to catch the ball was on display during the field drills.

This young man had a successful career with the Aggies, catching 252 passes for 3,117 yards and 24 touchdowns in four years. And at 6'0" and 205 pounds, he is a bigger, faster version of Wes Welker who is ready to step in right away at the NFL level and dominate the middle of the field as a slot receiver. 

His 40 time shows that he'll be a dangerous downfield weapon, too, making him a nightmare for opposing defenses to keep track of on the field.

The former Aggies star will flourish in the NFL in 2013, and he'll be a steal in Round 2 or Round 3.


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