NFL Combine 2019: Prospects with most riding on Indianapolis performance
Workouts at the NFL Combine begin on Friday as the latest crop of draft prospects look to wow decision-makers with displays of athletic prowess and composure in the interview room.
While far from being the deciding factor in whether a team selects a player, an impressive display at Lucas Oil Stadium can significantly improve the stock of a prospect.
From some of the biggest names in college football to relative unknowns looking to enjoy a late rise up the boards, those being put through their paces in Indianapolis will be hoping they can significantly bolster their standing among NFL evaluators.
Here we look at five prospects with plenty riding on how they perform at the Combine.
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Whether he runs the 40-yard dash is immaterial. Everyone already knows how fast the Heisman Trophy winner is. The real test for Murray will come in the interview room. Having given up on MLB to play in the NFL, Murray will have convince teams there is no chance of him switching back to the baseball diamond should he not immediately enjoy life in pro football. Should he succeed, Murray will, in all likelihood, hear his name called in the top 10 of the draft.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Though recent workout pictures posted on social media have led to questions over whether he is too big, no receiver in the class appears to have the combination of size and athleticism that Metcalf possesses. He is expected to fly down the 40 track in Indianapolis and will shoot up numerous draft boards if he clocks a time below 4.4 seconds.
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
This about to bigger than Odell and Jarvis Landry when they entered the draft . Two potential 1st round draft picks from the same school. @nfl I hope you’re ready . @firstname.lastname@example.org/UBEJDjZBNy— AJ Brown (@Brown1arthur) February 21, 2019
Not quite the consensus best player in the draft anymore thanks to the emergence of Alabama wrecking ball Quinnen Williams, the combine represents Bosa's first chance to show the NFL he is completely healed from the core muscle injury that led him to prematurely end his collegiate career and sit out most of last season. Providing he is healthy, Bosa should deliver an explosive workout and cement his status as a top-two lock.
Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
With most of the buzz about a stacked edge rusher class surrounding Bosa and Josh Allen, Gators star Polite has fallen somewhat under the radar despite a superb final season in Gainesville in which he showcased his explosiveness, flexibility and a wide variety of pass rush moves to record 11 sacks. He's considered a little undersized but an impressive 40 time and strong overall workout would likely see him deservedly improve his stock.
With Alabama's Deionte Thompson absent because of a wrist injury, Adderley has the opportunity to cement his status as the top safety in the draft. Adderley had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl last month and in an NFL where teams are reluctant to pay safeties in free agency, a strong performance in Indianapolis could help him follow in the footsteps of quarterback Joe Flacco in 2008 and become only the second Delaware player drafted in the first round.