NFL Czar: NFL Combine preview
It's officially that time of year again. Teams are moving away from last season and on towards the NFL Draft. We already saw the Senior Bowl in late January, and now we will see the NFL Combine take place. Each year, hundreds of NFL prospects converge in Indianapolis to work out for scouts and coaches. They are put through a number of physical (and mental) tests to determine their skill set and how it would translate to the NFL.
Every year, there are certain players who need to have a great showing at the event. Whether they are considered top-10 prospects or are just trying to make the draft, the Combine is important to everyone. This year, there are three players in particular that I want to focus on.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck: Luck is considered by many to be the number-one pick in April's draft; however, he still has some doubters. This is his chance to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the best player available come April.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III: Despite all the love for Mr. Luck, there are still some people who think that RG3 will get the nod at number one. The 2011 Heisman winner also has a lot to prove, as he is drawing comparisons to last year's number-one pick Cam Newton. If there is any chance the Colts draft RG3 at number one, it will be because he has a great showing at both the Combine and his individual pro day in March.
Alabama cornerback Dre' Kirkpatrick: This one is slightly more interesting. Kirkpatrick isn't going to be the number-one overall pick. He may have been, but some criminal actions a few months ago stopped all talk of him going high in the draft. Teams are pretty quick to drop players with "character issues" on their draft boards, so Kirkpatrick will need a fantastic showing at the combine to maintain his status as a first round pick.
Those are three players I will certainly be watching. Now, I have a good feeling that Luck likely won't even throw at the Combine, so that will make his Pro Day in March that much more important. But teams aren't as generous when evaluating the Pro Days, as they take place in the comfort of the individuals' school.
For next week, I will take a look at the top five players who will be available in free agency and predict their likely landing place.