Texas Football: Predicting Former Texas Players' 2014 Combine Performance

Zach SheltonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2014

Texas Football: Predicting Former Texas Players' 2014 Combine Performance

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    Jackson Jeffcoat has a great chance to improve his stock at the NFL Scouting Combine.
    Jackson Jeffcoat has a great chance to improve his stock at the NFL Scouting Combine.Michael Thomas/Associated Press

    Though a small group, four Texas Longhorns will be looking to make major noise at this year's NFL Scouting Combine.

    Leading the group is All-American Jackson Jeffcoat, who is looking to ride the wave of a transcendent senior campaign. Despite recording 17 sacks over his last 19 games, his performance in Indianapolis will make or break his draft stock.

    Also coming off career-best seasons are kicker Anthony Fera and defensive tackle Chris Whaley.

    Joining Jeffcoat as an All-American, Fera will try to show off his range and anchor himself atop the rankings at the position. Whaley, on the other hand, is simply looking to re-enter the discussion after tearing his ACL midway through 2013.

    Rounding out the group is Mike Davis, a wideout that has already done himself some favors in other pre-draft events. But will his character and size ruin all the progress he has made?

    As with the rest of his teammates, his stock can take a major swing with one big showing.

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats and information courtesy of TexasSports.com.

DE Jackson Jeffcoat

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    Jeffcoat's stellar senior season has him squarely on the radar of teams in need of a pass-rusher.
    Jeffcoat's stellar senior season has him squarely on the radar of teams in need of a pass-rusher.Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press/Associated Press

    Can he play outside linebacker? Does he have enough power to produce at the professional level?

    These are the questions that Hendricks Award winner Jackson Jeffcoat faces as he prepares for the combine. Even as he comes off a consensus All-American season, the 6'5" prospect has to prove that he deserves to be selected in the first two days of the draft.

    Though this highly productive college player has the pedigree, his durability and speed are question marks heading into the evaluation process.

    He missed 11 games in his college career, seven of which were due to a season-ending torn pectoral, and is on the lighter side at 250 pounds. Because of that, the pressure is on him to show out in 40-yard dash and the bench press.

    If he can outperform his projected 4.8 time and put up at least 15 reps on the bench, Jeffcoat's technical skill will lock him in as a second-round pick. Given his size and production while splitting time at linebacker his senior year, he is sure to turn some heads with an impressive athletic showing.

    STOCK: UP

WR Mike Davis

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    All bets are off if Mike Davis turns in a sub-4.4 time at the combine.
    All bets are off if Mike Davis turns in a sub-4.4 time at the combine.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    After exceeding expectations at the Senior Bowl, Mike Davis can afford to pick his spots at the combine. The interview process is where he stands to make the most significant strides.

    Few players made more of their Senior Bowl experience than Davis did. Sharp route-running and quickness allowed him to stand out even when working with Jordan Matthews, according to Dallas Cowboys' scout Michael Broaddus. After that performance, it would be a surprise to see him take much part in the positional drills before his pro day.

    But even after that showing, Davis has a lot to prove before solidifying himself as a mid-round pick. He may be listed at 6'2", but will measure out closer to 6'0" and a skinny 195 pounds. There are also questions about his character, meaning he can ill afford to coast through Sunday's workout.

    Since he won't measure out as a imposing deep threat, Davis' 40 time will be of utmost importance to his stock. NFLDraftScout.com projects him to turn in at best an above-average 4.4 time that will keep him squarely in the Day Two discussion. That is, as long he can allay any off-field concerns during the interview session.

    STOCK: No Change

DT Chris Whaley

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    Just three months removed from injury, it's doubtful that Chris Whaley will be able to participate in the combine.
    Just three months removed from injury, it's doubtful that Chris Whaley will be able to participate in the combine.Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    As of this writing, the extent of Chris Whaley's participation in the NFL combine remains a mystery. For a player as athletic as Whaley, his not being able to participate limits the defensive tackle's draft stock.

    Prior to his season-ending ACL injury, Whaley had a great chance to follow in the footsteps of Pro Bowler Henry Melton, another ex-Longhorn tailback. He boasts the quickness to beat double-teams and is a formidable asset for any defensive coordinator that likes to drop tackles into coverage on a zone blitz. 

    Unfortunately, there is little chance that Whaley will get to showcase his ability just three months removed from such a devastating injury. If he is even selected, Whaley will be a high-upside pick in one of the draft's final two rounds.

    STOCK: Down

K Anthony Fera

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    Lou Groza Award finalist Anthony Fera is one of the top kicker prospects in the draft.
    Lou Groza Award finalist Anthony Fera is one of the top kicker prospects in the draft.Associated Press

    Already considered one of the top prospects at his position, Anthony Fera can do as much as he wants in Indianapolis.

    A two-time Lou Groza Award finalist, the Penn State transfer turned in the finest season of his career in 2013, connecting on over 90 percent of his field goals. He also booted a career-long 50-yarder against Oklahoma.

    The 40-yard dash and vertical leap won't sway Fera's stock in either direction. He does, however, intend to show off his leg with some 60-yard attempts. Lucas Oil Stadium is an indoor facility, so this is definitely his best opportunity to solidify his status as the best kicker in the draft.

    Expect Fera to show some range up to and past 55 yards, which is the only thing left for him to do in this process.

    STOCK: Up