Nebraska Football: Tracking 2015 NFL Combine Results for Former Cornhusker Stars
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have a small turnout for the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. Only three former players will be participating, but they're each hoping to improve their draft stock by the end.
Running back Ameer Abdullah, wide receiver Kenny Bell and defensive end Randy Gregory all want an NFL team to take notice. However, each is going to have to step up to make it happen.
Each player will have to run the 40-yard dash and bench press 225 pounds as many times as he can. They will also have their vertical and broad jumps measured and will be asked to participate in a series of drills specific to their position.
How will the three former Huskers fare in the NFL Scouting Combine? Let's take a look at each player and what he needs to do to move up on the draft boards, as well as how he performs in the combine.
Ameer Abdullah, Running Back
NFL Scouting Combine Results
Bench Press: 24 Reps
Forty Yard Dash: 4.6
Vertical Jump: 42.5
Running back Ameer Abdullah is beloved by Nebraska football fans. There's no denying that. Will the NFL scouts love him just as much?
According to Bleacher Report's own Mike Tanier, the love might not be as great:
Draws Warrick Dunn comparisons because he's a speedy playmaker on the field with a great reputation off it. Abdullah is more of the "speedy luxury" type, but he may have played his way out of first-round consideration during Senior Bowl practices. Abdullah can run like the wind but could not block a drizzle with a beach umbrella, which is a big deal for a guy marketed as a passing-down back.
It seems Tanier isn't the only one who doesn't expect Abdullah to go in the first round, either. Mike Mayock, a game analyst and draft analyst for the NFL Network, put Abdullah in the second round when talking about the possibility of him going to the Detroit Lions.
"There are two of them in the second round that make a ton of sense: Ameer Abdullah from Nebraska and Duke Johnson from Miami," Mayock said, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Husker fans can expect Abdullah to impress scouts this weekend. As noted on his NFL.com combine profile, he is viewed highly from a character standpoint. His size will probably keep him out of the first round, but scouts will likely walk away with a good feeling about what he could bring to a team in the future.
Kenny Bell, Wide Receiver
NFL Scouting Combine Results
Bench Press: 7 Reps
Forty Yard Dash: 4.42
Vertical Jump: 41.5
Wide receiver Kenny Bell will take the field for testing Saturday. It's definitely going to be a big day for the former Husker to show NFL scouts what he can do.
How does the league view him? According to his NFL.com profile, he has some potential:
Lanky, vertical wide receiver with a second gear. He likes to lull cornerbacks to sleep before hitting the gas and getting over the top of them for big plays. Bell is a little more straight-lined than some teams are looking for, but with reliable hands and an ability to make plays on the ball down the field, he has starter's traits as a potential No. 2 WR in the league.
Bell is known for his big plays at Nebraska. However, one of his best qualities as a receiver is his ability to also block. Take a look at his block against Wisconsin, if you need your memory refreshed.
As for when he will be drafted, CBSSports.com is projecting the sixth round. That seems fair, too.
Ultimately, Bell can bring a lot to any NFL team in search of a wide receiver. He may not be the star, but he's reliable. That'll be worth something, especially if he can make that clear this weekend.
Randy Gregory, Defensive End
Out of all three of Nebraska's former players at the NFL combine, defensive end Randy Gregory is projected to be drafted the highest. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has Gregory as his top-rated defensive end and projected to be drafted third overall.
As for Mike Mayock, he sees a lot of potential in Gregory, as he told NFL.com:
At 6-6, 240, I would hope that he can put another 15 or 20 pounds on in the next couple of years. You'd love to see him at 260 or so, so he can be a little more physical. That's where he needs to get better. He needs to be a little more physical in the attack and run game, but he's got everything you want as a potential pass-rushing maniac at the next level. He's got hips, he's got speed, he's got quickness. He can flip his hips and come up-and-under. And I love the length; length and explosion are the differences for him as a pass rusher.
While Miller doesn't see him going first overall, Gregory believes he can. A passage from his draft diary for USA Today outlined that:
I think I’m worthy of the No. 1 pick. I would hope anybody in the draft would want to be the No. 1 pick. I know how I am as a player. I know my potential. I know what I can do. I know what I bring to a team. And I understand that this position is a premium. Everyone wants someone that can get to the quarterback. Everyone wants a quarterback. Everyone wants a left tackle that can block that guy that wants to get to the quarterback. I understand the game and where it’s headed, and I understand that there’s a big need, a big demand. I definitely think I’m worthy. And I definitely think I’ll show that at the combine and when I get out there in the NFL.
There are some concerns surrounding Gregory, as Miller and Adam Lefkoe discussed. Needless to say. Sunday (which is Gregory's day to take the field) will be very telling. Could he improve his draft stock? It's possible, if he has a great day of testing.