The NFL Scouting Combine is a great environment in which to evaluate potential NFL prospects from many different aspects. General managers, personnel people, scouts and coaches are there to get an opportunity to see the players in various drills, check their 40-yard dash time and also their strength via the bench press.
But maybe the most important aspect of all is the interview process. That's when a potential prospect gets to talk to the various teams and talk about his football acumen.
In this process, teams like the Green Bay Packers can find hidden gems. In other words, they can find players who look to be selected on the third day of the NFL draft or in the fourth through seventh rounds and also make a solid impact on the team.
Ted Thompson has been able to find some of these types of players since he became general manager of the Packers in 2005.
Some of these players include defensive lineman Johnny Jolly (sixth round in 2006), linebacker Desmond Bishop (sixth round in 2007), kicker Mason Crosby (sixth round in 2007), guard Josh Sitton (fourth round in 2008), quarterback Matt Flynn (seventh round in 2008), linebacker Brad Jones (seventh round in 2009), running back James Starks (sixth round in 2010), defensive lineman C.J. Wilson (seventh round in 2010), tight end Ryan Taylor (seventh round in 2011), defensive back Micah Hyde (fifth round in 2013), defensive lineman Josh Boyd (fifth round in 2013) and linebacker Sam Barrington (seventh round in 2013).
In this slideshow, I'm going to name seven hidden gems that Thompson and the Packers should be aware of at the combine. You will note that I have not listed any defensive backs, which is a primary need of the Packers (especially at safety), because the defensive backs won't work out until Tuesday at the combine.