2012 NFL Combine | Players to Watch
The 2012 NFL Combine will be amongst us starting Wednesday when offensive lineman, tight ends, and kickers will get settled in and weighed in.
The scouting combine gives these players a chance to show NFL coaches and scouts what kind of athletes they are, while also getting a chance to interview with teams, and get physicals.
There are over 330 players that will be in attendance, many of which will be drafted in April’s draft.
Here are some of the most interesting players to keep an eye on in the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine held February 22nd-28th.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Teams will be interested to see just how fast Blackmon runs in the forty yard dash. Anything under 4.54 will keep him in the Top 10.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
He will be interviewed heavily based on the marijuana arrest over a month ago, and will be expected to look fluid when doing the speed turn drill.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The forty time and weight for Jeffery will be huge. We’d like to see him under a 4.60 forty, but that could be tough if he comes in slightly overweight.
Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington
Ta’amu’s cone drills will be interesting to see as I believe him to be more agile than his film presents. He has a high ceiling and can hold the point of attack. Maintaining consistent leverage is the key for Ta’amu.
Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
Coaches will want to see what kind of shape Poe is in. Expected to come in around 350 pounds, it will be interesting to see if he’s in shape for his size, as well as how strong he is.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jenkins will need to interview well and prove that his marijuana days are behind him. I’m expecting a very solid forty yard dash, and for him to do very well in the speed turn drill.
Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
I’ll be curious to see how well he fares in the 3-cone drill which has shown to have some correlation with outside linebacker success. A strong forty could not hurt as well.
Vontaze Burfict, MLB, Arizona State
Burfict should test very well in all of his main drills as he is quite athletic. But his interviews will need to impress scouts to keep him from dropping out of the Top 100.
Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Brown’s lack of tackling ability will likely be over looked after he posts a sub 4.50 forty yard dash. He’s a pure athlete that should not be drafted in the first, but will be hyped because of nasty combine numbers, granted they will be fun to see.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
We know that Sanu can catch, but we want to see his 3-cone drill, as well as his forty yard dash. With a good workout, he could sneak into the first round.
Dont’a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
Hightower could use a nice workout to prove that he’s more athletic than what his 260+ pound frame appears to be. He’s a sledgehammer that really needs to show coverage ability and play sideline to sideline as a lateral player.
Mark Barron, SAF, Alabama
Barron should be looking to stay under the 4.60 range in the forty yard dash if he wants a better shot at the first round. Speed is one of the things that scouts have on him as they don’t believe he has as much range as he could.
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Wright has been listed in some Top 10 lists, and also as far down as 50 on some lists. He has first round ability, but with good workouts and proving that he can have consistent hands in drills, he will land in the Top 25 picks.
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Gilmore’s speed will be in question at the 2012 NFL Combine, as well as his ability to turn and run. Look for him to need to show that he can bend and turn in the speed turn drill.
Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
Chapman won’t be running thanks to his ACL injury, but he will get to bench. Rumor has it that he could get to 40-41 reps, if not more. Brute strength will help him at nose tackle.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Allen’s athleticism is what makes him so special, but his hands will also be shown off. Allen has fringe first round potential, but this tight end group is as close as ever. Allen’s blocking ability is what separates him.
Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Like Allen, Charles relies on athleticism. Charles is a faster down field down end, but not as strong a blocker. Charles needs to show off his hands and athleticism to try and get into the first round.
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Hill is rumored to have Demaryius Thomas ability, and his size is obviously exceptional around 6’5 and 206 pounds. We’ll see his actual size and speed, and he could be a big riser with a great workout.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Weeden didn’t have the strongest Senior Bowl, throwing two interceptions in the game. He could really use a couple days of throwing, as well as interviews to prove that he’s NFL ready and can step in right away.
Reuben Randle, WR, LSU
There’s more and more talk of Randle seeing first round action, and it’s not out of the question, but he will need to put up a good forty and show good hands in drills. He has solid size, around 6’3, but will need to show that he’s not a stiff route runner as well.
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
Johnson has great size for a corner around 6’3 210, but despite his size he struggles to get off of blocks, and doesn’t get turned around quick enough at times. He will need a nice series of reps in the speed turn drill, and a nice forty to get into the second round.