The NFL combine happens every single February highlighting the best and the brightest players eligible for the NFL draft. While it’s used mainly as a checkpoint for NFL scouts, it always happens ever single year; either someone with talent has a sloppy combine which raises questions or some underachiever has an awesome workout in shorts. Today I’m going to highlight 5 players who are decent football players, but will tear up the combine and get more attention than they deserve.
1) Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada
Moch lined up in a hybrid position at Nevada that could be compared similarly to Von Miller. He rushed the passer, but had coverage responsibilities. He put up good numbers, but one thing about stands out about him from all the other linebacker prospects: he runs a 4.2 40 yard dash. No typo, apparently at Nevada’s pro day he ran a 4.25. People always put too much stock into 40 yard dashes and so will be the case with Moch. With that athleticism, he should be able to compete with defensive backs in the speed drills and get people talking. Don’t put too much stock into Moch; he’s still raw to playing as a true OLB and will need some time to adjust.
2) Allen Bailey, DL, Miami
There’s an old saying for some players who look great in shorts but don’t translate: look like Tarzan, play like Jane. Bailey doesn’t necessarily play like a girl, but he doesn’t do a great deal to stand out on the football field. However, being 6’4″ 285 lbs with 4.7 speed definitely doesn’t hurt. Bailey also apparently looks like a greek god in shorts and which will makes scouts notice. This all doesn’t include his brute strength (he owns school records for DL for the bench press and power clean). The combine was made for players like Bailey and he will shine.
3) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Peterson doesn’t need any more hype, but he’s definitely going to get it at the combine. A star cornerback from the SEC Conference that is built like a linebacker and claims to run a 4.2 40 yard dash? Yea, he’s going to blow the combine up. It’s a nice surprise to see someone so confident in his abilities and considering the other top corner Prince Amukamara isn’t as athletic as Peterson, it will be his chance to separate from the pack. If Peterson does well, he might even be mentioned as a possibility for the top overall pick in the draft.
4) Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
Not too many players stand out at the middle linebacker spot in this year’s draft class which is why Wilson makes this list. He’s only had 2 good, quality seasons under his belt with Illinois but has the tools you want. At 6’4″ 250 pounds with 4.6 40 speed, Wilson definitely looks the part and has the length and speed that will leave scouts drooling. His athleticism will jump off the page during drills and should help him separate himself from the pack. He’s doesn’t look very natural reading and reacting, but lucky for him that’s not what the combine is about. He will get some looks during the combine.
5) Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
Smith will draw a lot of unfair comparisons to Darrius Heyward-Bey simply because both are vertical threats from the same school. I honestly like Smith more than DHB, but like most Maryland prospects Smith is a freak athlete. His size to speed ratio will leave scouts drooling all over him as he’s 6’1″ 200 lbs and runs a 4.3 40. His biggest issue is the ability to release cleanly against press coverage so having a free release in shorts plays directly into Smith’s biggest strengths while avoiding weaknesses. Smith is a fringe first rounder but an impressive combine can vault him to a team in the top 20 and could put him as the 3rd receiver selected.