Catrell Simpson: February 25, 2017
The combine is less than a week away. A lot of the country’s top prospects will be able to rise or drop their draft stock after these tests in Indy. Unfortunately, the NFL only invites 335 participants. Here are some of the notable snubs that teams should still take a chance on when the draft comes.
Chad Kelly QB, Ole Miss:
Let’s be clear: The only reason Kelly is not here is for off-field issues. He is a big fan of “the moment”. He had some of his best games against some of the best teams in the country like Alabama and Florida State. Kelly recently had surgery on his torn ACL, so he probably wouldn’t have been a full participant at the combine but his arm strength alone would have impressed NFL Scouts. He’s still trying to fight his way into the combine, but his efforts are not likely to work.
Elijah Lee LB, Kansas State:
His film shows that he has a lot of potential. While he struggled with block shedding and zone coverage, he made up for it with his great instincts and his athletic ability to run from sideline to sideline. The drills at the combine would have highlighted Lee’s strengths. He would have displayed his good ball skills and tested among the best LBs in the 40 yard dash. Lee will have to show out at his pro day if he wants his stock to rise.
Zach Terrell QB, Western Michigan:
Terrell is a name that has recently gained some attention after his performance in the Senior Bowl. By being a QB from the Mid American Conference, he has often been overlooked. He led Western Michigan to an undefeated regular season and gave Wisconsin all they could handle in their Bowl game. His pocket presence needs some improvement, but his decision making and deep ball accuracy is impressive. Terrell will be able to WOW scouts at his pro day where he will have the ability to throw to his top target Corey Davis.
Joe Mixon RB, Oklahoma:
This is another guy that isn’t here because of off-field issues. Mixon could arguably be taken in the first round. His shiftiness and ability to catch out of the backfield makes him a versatile back. He can also help in the pass game with his blocking. He is quick with his movements on the field, but I wanted to see where he would rank among the other RB prospects in the 40 yard dash. Mixon’s talent is undeniable, but he will have to convince teams that all his problems are behind him now.
Fish Smithson S, Kansas:
The DBs in this year’s class are deep, but there’s no reason why Smithson didn’t receive an invite. He isn’t the fastest of players, but he flies around the field like a bat out of hell. His ball skills are also very impressive. Being a DB in the Big 12 doesn’t do him any favors, but Smithson will be able to show scouts at his pro day just what he is capable of.
This upcoming week may be the most important for these prospects. These drills can really change their stock. These 5 players all could make a solid case as to why they should be at the combine. Not receiving an invite isn’t the end of the world. If anything, it should be even more motivation to prove your doubters wrong at your pro day.