By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer
For draft nerds like me the NFL Combine is an exciting time, where we get to watch the players we’ve been scouting all year reduced to nothing but their measurables and athleticism. ESPN’s Mark Schlereth calls it the Underpants Olympics is a semi-mocking tone, but while film study is far more valuable, much can be learned from comparing these incredible athletes by how fast they run, how high they can jump as well as getting an accurate picture of their height and weight.
A lot of questions can be answered in Indy and some players will shine and some will see their stock slide. This is part one of my 2013 Combine Preview:
(DE) Margus Hunt SMU 6’8 277
The football raw Estonian is already an impressive athlete. #1 on Bruce Feldman’s Freak List for his athletic exploits, he should run in the 4.7 range, with an over 80 inch wingspan, and absolutely destroy the 225lb bench press. Even with his on field production was relatively slim, he is the type of prospect who may reach his high point in February.
(WR) Marcus Davis VT 6’4 232
At 6’4 and a probable 4.4 40, Davis could move up everyone’s board if those measurements hold. He hasn’t put it all together on the field yet but could flash the upside that size speed combination grants him.
(WR) Cordarrelle Patterson TENNESSEE 6’3 200
I’ve loved the unlimited upside of the JUCO transfer ever since his impressive debut against NC State. Those athletic traits will be on full display as he should measure close to 6’3, run in the mid 4.4 range and is Bleacher Report’s pick for highest vertical. Not a bad combination is it?
(OT) DJ Fluker ALABAMA 6’5 355
A mammoth tackle prospect who will boost his stock just by walking in the door and shaking hands with coaches. He should run fairly well too, but his massive presence alone will leave an impression.
(DE) Ziggy Ansah BYU 6’5 274
Ansah wasn’t even a full year starter for the Cougars but he’ll be a star at the Combine. Already making a steady rise up draft boards he should solidify his spot in the first half of the first round in Indy. Ansah could run a sub 4.7 and should do well in all movement drills. He could turn himself into a top ten selection with a big day.
(OT) Menelik Watson FSU 6’6 320
A British import Watson’s game breaks the mold of dry and boring English folks, at least on the field. By no means a divvy, the 6’6 Seminole has stunning athleticism for that frame and should showcase his natural ability for drooling NFL evaluators.
(CB) Blidi Wreh-Wilson UCONN 6’1 192
Todd McShay ranks the senior among his top 25 prospects, but most draft centric sites aren’t giving him the same love. That could change after they see the long armed 6’1 corner run in the 4.4 range.
(DE) Devin Taylor SOUTH CAROLINA 6’8 267
The opportunity to build on a dynamic East West Shrine game performance is there for Taylor. He was disappointing throughout the year but the freakish 6’8 end could be peaking at just the right time.