2011 NFL Draft: 5 Potential Scouting Combine Freaks
With the combine looming just around the corner—yeah, it's only about two weeks away—it is time to start thinking about the guys who will climb in the draft purely based on athleticism.
Players like C.J. Spiller, Mario Williams and Chris Johnson all saw their stocks soar after having a big combine.
So will this year's standouts be?
With a weaker group at running back and quarterback, look for the wide receivers and defensive linemen to steal this year's show in Indianapolis.
These are five players who I believe will have the biggest impact this year.
Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices.
Dontay Moch: DE/OLB, Nevada
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If you have not heard about Dontay Moch's seemingly unrealistic fast speed, stop everything you are doing and Google search him.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Moch reportedly ran 4.18, 4.08 and 4.2 40-yard dashes at Nevada.
If these numbers are even close to being true, Moch will find himself moving well into the second round and maybe into the first round (he is currently projected as a third or fourth-round prospect).
Moch finished with 29 sacks in his career at Reno and may make a transition to outside linebacker in the pros.
Still, Moch's incredible athleticism should allow him to develop into any position a team would put him in.
Torrey Smith: WR, Maryland
Torrey Smith is another player whose draft stock will be highly impacted by his speed.
Smith has good size, 6'0" and 200 pounds, and reportedly can run in the 4.3s.
If this is true, Smith will shoot up many teams' draft boards and could turn into the next Darrius Heyward-Bey.
This is not meant to compare Smith directly to Heyward-Bey, but his draft journey may be similar.
With quick receivers seemingly taking over the NFL, many teams in the late or mid first round could have Smith ahead of a bigger and more injury-prone player like Julio Jones.
Look for Smith's good character and versatility as kick returner to propel him into the mid first round.
Pat Devlin: QB, Delaware/Penn State
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You may be thinking, "Pat Devlin! He isn't going to run a fast 40 or put up many bench reps, is he?"
This may be true, but fortunately for quarterbacks, those are probably the last things looked at in the combine.
At the end of the scouting season, Devlin's name will be moved into the top three quarterbacks available, and he could possibly move into the early second round.
Devlin possesses excellent size at 6'4" and 225 pounds and has an accurate and powerful arm and the toughness to survive in the NFL.
Devlin also has very good athleticism for a player of his size. He has the mobility to survive in an NFL pocket and the strength to escape defensive players.
Look for Devlin to shine when throwing the ball at the combine and become a household name soon.
Jason Pinkston: OT/OG, Pittsburgh
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I compare Pitt's Jason Pinkston to former Hoosier Rodger Saffold.
Just like Saffold, Pinkston has the ability to play both guard and tackle, is considered a second or third-round pick and has demonstrated excellent athleticism and strength already.
Look for Pinkston to run in the high 4.9s or low 5.0s and put up at least 30 reps on the bench press.
I see Pinkston moving into the early second round and possibly even starting day one, just as Saffold did.
Keep an eye on the big Panther during the combine.
Da'Quan Bowers: DE, Clemson
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No list of combine freaks would be complete without Da'Quan Bowers.
The 6'4", 280-lb. Bowers possesses 4.5 speed, incredible length and athleticism and bull-like strength.
Bowers, like Mario Williams, has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick if he puts together the kind of combine that all scouts are expecting.
Look for Bowers to really excel at the quickness drills. He should put up unreal numbers in the broad jump and vertical jump as well.
For Bowers, the sky is the limit. Have the combine of his life and he is most likely going first. However, a poor combine could allow Bowers' suspect tape to surface and dampen much of his hype.
Still, Bowers should be considered a lock for a top 10 pick.
More to Come
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Stay tuned for my next article, focusing on five players who may fail at the combine.