This weekend, all eyes will be on the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana as college prospects will be running around in shorts and spandex. Here are five players that could see their NFL draft stock rise if they test well at the Combine.
For most of the well-known players, the measurements and the on-field testing at the NFL Scouting Combine might not make a significant difference in their draft stock. For others who are lesser known, an excellent performance this weekend could vault them into the first or second round. Here are five players who scouts will have their eye on at the Combine:
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Although this year’s running back class isn’t as talented compared to years past, Montgomery has a chance to be the first one off the board in 2019. Montgomery is a running back that fits today’s NFL game with his versatility out of the backfield. Last season for Iowa State, Montogomery rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 22 receptions for 157 yards. If Montgomery posts an excellent 40-yard dash time, expect him to leap up on draft boards.
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
A highly recruited player coming out of high school, Gary never lived up to expectations at Michigan. However, with an excellent weekend, Gary could be on a lot of team’s radar. During his three seasons at Michigan, Gary recorded 119 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. In 2017, Michigan said Gary ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash and claimed his vertical jump is 31 inches. I guess we will find out what’s fact and what’s fiction this weekend.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
By now, most football fans have seen the viral photo of the 6-foot-4, 240 pound Metcalf’s body, which looks more like a linebacker than a receiver. However, Metcalf comes into the Combine with some injury concerns. In 2018, Metcalf missed a bulk of the season due to a neck injury that required surgery. If Metcalf clears his physical, expect him to be possibly the first receiver taken in April’s draft. He is an intimidating downfield threat with his size, but also his speed as Metcalf averaged 18.3 yards per catch during his three years at Ole Miss.
Bryce Love, RB Stanford
A torn ACL put an end to a disappointing 2018 season for Love. After being the Heisman runner-up in 2017, Love rushed for just 739 yards and only six touchdowns for the Cardinals. Those numbers were down from his 2017 totals as he ran for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns. Love’s physical will likely determine where he gets selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. A positive check-up will probably improve his stock.
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
A positive drug test forced Lawrence to miss the Tigers’ two games in the College Football Playoff. This weekend, Lawrence will need to explain what happened to all the 32 NFL teams to become a first-round pick. On the field, Lawrence was one of the best defensive players last season as he was a force in the interior of the Tigers’ defensive line. Before the positive drug test, Lawrence was considered a top 15 pick.