The spandex Olympics are upon us. The NFL scouting combine will kick off in Indianapolis this week and aside from the beloved 40 there are a few other things to watch. This can be a cash cow for many prospects with low value or question marks on and off the field. The biggest letdown from the group of PAC-12 prospects headed to the combine has been the news that Sam Darnold won’t throw. However, Josh Rosen will have his silky-smooth delivery along with a few other PAC-12 alumni that you should keep an eye on.
Isaiah Oliver – Colorado – CB
The junior could be in the mix to be one of the first cornerbacks drafted. He could set the combine on fire with his track background. He should be one of the faster prospects in Indy. Oliver’s ability to look smooth in and out of breaks when doing ball drills will be his biggest question that’ll need to be answered.
Kalen Ballage – Arizona State – RB
Ballage isn’t a household name. His stats weren’t groundbreaking because he split carries his entire career, but he’s built like a created player on Madden. At 6’2 230 pounds he has great build and is expected to have incredible numbers for his size. His ability to catch passes should round out his performance as a great all-purpose prospect for the draft.
Tyrell Crosby – Oregon – OT
One of two Ducks to get an invite to the combine, Crosby will have a chance to show off the athleticism that allowed him to draw late-first or early-round grades in the early part of the season prior to injuries. The physical will be one of the most important parts of the combine for him after missing the majority of the 2017 season. Additionally, there are a lot of questions about his lateral quickness. A solid 3-cone and on-field drills will help.
Azeem Victor – Washington – LB
Many viewed Victor as a first rounder prior to this season. A solid junior campaign was cut short by injury and his senior year was a letdown to say the least. Off-the-field issues were just as bad as his on the field play. Looking slow on tape will put a lot of eyes on his 40-time and 3-cone. With his off-the-field issues, how well he interviews will determine if he’s drafted at all.
Uchenna Nwosu – USC – LB
Where does Nwosu play at the next level? He was somewhat of a Swiss Army knife at SC playing DE, OLB, and MLB. However, short arms have scouts questioning his ability to play edge. Questions about instincts and how well he moves in space drive the question of whether or not he can play LB. Each of the tests will be extremely important for him, as he won’t be able to control his arm length or show improvement in instincts.
Hercules Mata’afa – Washington State – DT
Is there a better name in this year’s draft class? 6’1″, 250-pound DT and there’s no way he’ll be more than a situational player at best if he doesn’t move to DE. He’ll need to test like a DE and show the ability to play on the edge from a two-point stance if he wants to be the day-two pick he’s capable of. If his motor on the field is any indication, we should see a solid performance from him.