The NFL Scouting Combine starts later this week, and as always will be hosted in Indianapolis. NFL Draft prospects will litter the city starting Feb. 19th. The combine, which includes physicals as well as measurements of ability, runs through Feb. 25th.
Players from Indiana colleges are abundant on the list of invitees. Notre Dame has seven representatives, Ball State has three, while IU and Purdue have just one apiece.
Click here for the full list of invitees, via ESPN.
Notre Dame Players:
TJ Jones, WR
Troy Niklas, TE
Zack Martin, OL
Bennett Jackson, DB
Louis Nix III, DL
Stephon Tuitt, DL
Chris Watt, OL
Ball State Players:
Jonathan Newsome, DL
Willie Snead, WR
Keith Wenning, QB
Ricardo Allen, DB
Cody Latimer, WR
Notre Dame could see their two defensive lineman enter the draft fairly early. Nix and Tuitt are both graded in the 90s and both are seen as the number two ranked defensive tackle and defensive end respectively. Even Niklas is rated highly, rated as high as fourth among the tight ends. Nix has a big question mark against him as he was lost late in the season with a torn meniscus. How he has recovered from that surgery will be important for his draft stock.
Both Notre Dame’s Jones and IU’s Latimer are seen as late picks in the Draft. Latimer certainly has a big upside due to his size and Jones proved that he can be the go-to receiver on a team last season. Having watched both players all season, I believe that either one would be a benefit to their future NFL team, and since the Colts are in the market for a backup receiver they’d be a good fit in Indianapolis.
Allen is an intriguing prospect. At times he looked like a lock down corner, but its hard to gauge his overall ability after the disappointing season Purdue had. He can be overly aggressive sometimes and is pushed around by bigger receivers, but it is hard to argue with six interceptions in 2013. He is projected as another late round pick.
Wenning had an outstanding season and has gotten better every year. He’s projected as either a seventh round pick, or as an undrafted free agent. The problem with his 35 touchdowns, 4,100 yards, and just seven interceptions is that he played in the MAC against weak opponents. Wenning’s abilities make him an intriguing back up option for a team looking for someone cheap. At the very least he should end up on a practice squad.
We’ll have updates as these players lock in their times at the combine this week.