Injury Red Flags Heading into the NFL Combine

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Injury Red Flags Heading into the NFL Combine
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
See Teddy Bridgewater's knee? So will a lot of doctors this week.

The NFL combine has become a big event, but behind the scenes in Indianapolis, a lot more goes on. The part you see on TV is nice, but the teams are doing interviews and conducting high-level medical exams, and those can carry a lot more weight than a nice time in the 40-yard dash.

Last year, Star Lotulelei shot up and down mock drafts after an abnormal physical process. Worries about a heart condition knocked him down from a possible first overall pick to out of the first round. He proved that he was healthy, but he dropped to the Panthers much later than most expected.

As a solid rookie, the Panthers are glad they got the chance to draft him, so the medical process worked for them more than it did for Lotulelei. 

This year, a bunch of players are coming in with knees in various states of rehabs, and there are some questions about players with almost no injury history at all. More than ever, the medical tests and exams could shift what teams do in the draft.

You'll hear about red flags, black flags and confusion, but remember that teams won't agree with one another. One team will pull a player entirely off its board, while another will move the player up, thinking it understands the condition and can handle it. We saw the 49ers do this last year with Marcus Lattimore, and we'll definitely see that with two quarterbacks this year. 

The following slides are 10 of the top players whose stock will shift due to their health status. You may not get to order MRIs or even see the MRI results, but you should have a much better idea about what teams are looking for.

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