The 2017 NFL Combine begins this week in Indianapolis. The NFL Draft’s top prospects head to Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine, beginning on Tuesday. However, the competitive action does not begin until Thursday.
Before they hit the field, many prospects will get tested, examined, and interviewed by NFL executives and scouts. These prospects will also address the media in press conferences.
On March 2, position groups begin heading to the field for athletic tests like 40-yard dash and vertical jump. NFL Draft prospects will also compete in position specific drills that allow them to showcase their skills.
Many people have called the Scouting Combine the biggest job interview process. This combination of psychological and physical tests are created to help NFL teams decide which players are worth the investment of a draft pick.
Meanwhile, others have called this showcase the ‘underwear Olympics,’ because these players are not actually wearing gear or playing football in Indianapolis.
Nonetheless, these interviews and drills can make the difference in where a player is drafted and how much money they can make as an NFL rookie.
Which 2017 NFL Draft prospects will rise or fall after Indy?
Here are five former college football players to watch in the 2017 NFL Combine, per many sources from the web.
Safety Jabrill Peppers
During a conference call, Mayock said that the former Wolverines star will give professional teams a better idea of where he can play in the NFL. Peppers played safety, linebacker, corner and a few other positions during his Michigan career.
Mayock said Peppers needs to run a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash at the combine. Added, if Peppers can show a defensive back’s skill set during drills that will be good for his draft stock. Mayock said the more Peppers shows he can be a starting safety from day one and also be a dime linebacker, the better for his draft potential.
Running back Dalvin Cook
Former Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is among this year’s potential first round draft picks at the running back position. Cook’s most crucial test will not be on the field.
Real GM senior writer Jess Risdon listed Cook’s medical exams as one of the things he will be watching at the 2017 NFL Combine. Risdon points out that the beyond-comprehensive medical exams are the reason why the combine was created in the first place.
For Cook, it could mean the difference between being a first-round pick or free falling in the NFL Draft. Cook had three separate shoulder surgeries dating back to high school. He also suffered hamstring and ankle injuries in his football career. These soft-tissue injuries are a big deal considering the running back position takes a ton of hits, per Risdon.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II
Sobleski cites NFL.com’sDaniel Jeremiah as saying that Mahomes will get everyone buzzing after the combine.
Mahomes has prototypical size and athleticism. His pops was also an MLB pitcher for 11 seasons. Thus, Sobleski writes that Mahomes checks all the boxes.
There are questions about his inflated numbers and ability to read defenses due to playing in an Air Raid scheme. However, Sobleski said that Mahomes will find himself in the conversation as the top quarterback prospect if his workouts go as expected.
Receiver John Ross
Former Washington receiver John Ross is a name that you might be more aware of after Indianapolis, according to Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport.
Davenport listed Ross as a name to know at the 2017 NFL Combine because he could challenge the 40-yard dash record. Ross topped 1,100 receiving yards and 18 touchdown catches in 2016.
The Washington receiver credited his game to some advice from NFL receiver Desean Jackson. Jackson told Ross he did not need to use his speed on every play. Jackson told Ross to focus on technique and acceleration.
Either way, Ross could gain even more draft momentum by becoming the fastest player at the NFL combine. Moreover, he could also win a private island by running the fastest 40-yard dash in some Addidas cleats.
Edge Myles Garrett
Texas A&M Edge Myles Garrett is the consensus best player in this NFL Draft. That is saying a lot, considering this draft class is loaded with defensive talent.
Besides his 31 career sacks in college, Garrett’s hype surrounds his athleticism. At six-foot-five, Bleacher Report’s Justis Mosqueda ranked him as the No. 1 player at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.
Overall, more than five players will help their draft status at the 2017 NFL Combine. Moreover, there are sure to be a number of the 330 prospects participating at the combine that hurt their NFL potential. Either way, the scouting combine is sure to leave us with more questions about players’ projections than answers.
Nonetheless, stay tuned to see what these five prospects do at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
[Featured Image by Doug McSchooler/AP Images]