The NFL scouting combine is on the horizon and this year’s top prospects will be showcasing their skills in Indianapolis from the 3-6 March.
There is always a lot of excitement around the combine but here are my top 5 players I’m most looking forward to seeing…
#1 Jabrill Peppers, Safety
A high end combine could shoot him up the draft board, how many teams would love a top quality defensive back, who has the ability to play linebacker in hybrid systems. If Peppers can run a sub 4.5 in the 40 yard dash and impress in some other categories then he’ll definitely have everyone’s attention. My first mock draft had him going 31st to the Falcons, I just think he would fit that system so well, but if he shows the spectacular athleticism we know he possesses then look out for teams like the Raiders or Ravens getting interested.
#2 John Ross, Wide Receiver
Any man who could seriously challenge CJ2K’s 40 yard dash time is going to be someone to watch at the combine. I don’t think he’ll break that record but depending on how close he does run it, he could turn some heads. He’s one of the best deep threat guys out of this year’s draft class and that’s why I have the Eagles taking a shot at him 14th/15th overall. He won’t force his way any higher but he’ll still be so exciting to watch.
#3 David Njoka, Tight End
No matter what happens at the combine, Njoka is one of the best athletes to play the Tight End position you’ll see and that is a big statement to make. His top end speed and size are what make him so impressive. That’s why I’m so excited to see his combine scores and why a lot of scouts will be keeping a close eye on him. I picked him to go 19th to Tampa Bay in my mock draft and that is a great fit, lining him up opposite Mike Evans. However if he showcases his potential in Indianapolis scouts and coaches will be dreaming about what a mismatch he could be. Think about how much fun he would be on the Saints roster with Sean Peyton moulding him as Jimmy Graham’s replacement.
#4 Cam Robinson, Offensive Line
Robinson is an absolute beast and a Goliath of a man, his raw ability and power is what will be so interesting to watch. Teams love to talk about the “ceiling” of a player and he is someone who, with the proper coaching on his technique, has all the attributes. In my first mock draft I predicted he would go 4th to Jacksonville, due largely to their need for a man of his talents on the Offensive Line. Although I did mention that I thought it was probably too high for him and with the pending trade of Branden Albert going to the Jaguars, they appear to have already addressed the struggling O’ Line (at least in part). Therefore it doesn’t look as though he’ll go that high, but with a monstrous performance at the combine, he could tempt Carolina to take him 8th with their need to protect Cam Newton and get the run game going.
#5 Alvin Kamara, Running Back
He’s one of the more polarising prospects in this year’s draft. It’s a stacked Running Back class with tones of high quality as well as depth, but Kamara still is one of the more intriguing players. He is perhaps only behind Dalvin Cook in terms of his overall skill set and ability but has never really carried the ball enough to convince scouts of his consistency. The combine will be a perfect chance for him to show everyone he is a top athlete and convince some of the doubters about his ability. I predicted that he will go 23rd to Giants and I stand by that, no matter how good of a combine he has, he won’t go higher than Cook and Fournette. The Giants also have the biggest need for him unless they pick up a big name in free agency, but for now I think that’s his spot.
Notably I have left the likes of Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette from my top 5 and whilst they should be damn impressive to watch, they won’t surprise anyone. The only surprise would be if they are disappointing and nobody wants to see that. So for that reason alone, I’ll be looking forward to seeing the guys on my top 5 more.