With the NFL Scouting Combine underway, many teams look for that one guy that impresses. The NFL Draft is just around the corner. All teams want that one "steal" in the draft—the guy you can get later than expected that performs better than expected.
That is why the Combine is important—this proves strength and conditioning as well as ability. Some coaches can see potential where others see weaknesses.
If a player has a good Combine, they can raise their draft stock. If a coach is deciding between a few players, he will go with the kid that proved the most at the Combine.
With so much on the line and a week to prove it all, here are ten guys to look for at the Combine. They have something to prove and want to raise their draft stock, or at least solidify it.
Best went down towards the end of the season. Up to that point, he had a great season going. In nine games, Best had 867 yards and 12 touchdowns, with just under 100 yards per game.
He needs to prove he has not lost any of his speed or agility, as those are his best weapons. Best can turn on a dime and has the speed needed in the NFL. Now, he just needs to prove it.
The punch heard around the world. After his suspension, Blount proved to NFL teams that he would not be a problem off the field. He did all the right things and earned his spot back towards the end of the season.
Now, he needs to prove he has what it takes in the NFL. Blount is a bigger running back, so he is more of a Brandon Jacobs-type, which is what some teams will need.
He won’t compete in drills, but he will do strength and speed tests. He missed most of the season for Oklahoma and there are a lot of questions surrounding his abilities.
Has he lost some of his strength and speed because of the surgery/injury? In order to keep his draft stock up, he will have to out-do anything he did before. Some teams may not want to take the risk he lost his throwing ability with the injury.
Many teams had struggling offensive lines this year. With no one really on top of the pile, Davis has the potential to be the No. 1 offensive line pick. He has the size needed for the NFL (6'6", 325lbs).
Davis will go against Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, who is the other left tackle being looked at. With Davis’s size, he can out-do Okung and project himself in to the No. 1 spot.
Passed up for the Heisman, Gerhart outrushed everyone in college football this season. He is a bruising running back with decent speed. He has the potential to surprise people at the Combine with his speed and agility.
There is no real No. 1 rusher, so Gerhart can impress and be that top running back chosen in the draft.
LeFevour finished with more touchdowns than any other quarterback in college history, but no one has heard of him because he plays for Central Michigan. With the quarterback board open, LeFevour can prove his worth at the combine.
With big names Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen missing drills, this kid can prove his value to NFL teams. He has the arm and accuracy; he just needs a team to take a chance on him.
Every team looks for that one wide receiver that lights up the field. Some teams got lucky with DeSean Jackson or Percy Harvin. This year’s guy is McCluster.
He is a little small for the NFL, but everyone said the same about Darren Sproles. McCluster is only 5'8" and 165 pounds.
He needs to prove himself during the strength and conditioning drills, to prove he can hang with NFL talent despite his size.
Again, with Bradford and Clausen missing drills, McCoy can raise his stock above them. He, too, had an injury during the BCS Championship game. When his arm went out, so did his draft stock. He lost all the strength in his arm and needs to prove he has it back.
McCoy needs to do well during the strength tests and solidify his place during the drills.
He missed some time during the season, but almost had as good of numbers as Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy. Pike is definitely considered top five at quarterback, but he can help himself out by having a good combine.
Because Bradford and Clausen are missing drills, Pike can prove himself during these drills. If he keeps pace with Colt McCoy or outdoes him, Pike can move up in the draft, possibly in to the first round.
Not many small schools not in Division I produce NFL players. Veldheer has the chance to become a DII success story. Since many teams need offensive linemen and there are not a million to choose from, he has a great chance.
Veldheer will need to run under five seconds in the 40 and prove his speed and strength in the other drills to have a chance. If he does both, he could be a late steal for someone in the draft.
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