The combine kicks off this week as fans are drooling over finally seeing their pet cats strut their stuff. The NFL Network will be showing many of the events in Prime time so we can see all the action. They have also added a few new drills so prospects can improve their rankings with a good showing. We have waited for this moment & the time has finally come to see them in action.
There will be 326 invites with a handful that didn't get the invites so the private workouts will be their chance to shine. The draft only has 256 slots so it is imperative that these guys have a good showing. Many have their pet cat picked out & some will find a pet cat they can call their own at the combine. Watching these guys prance about trying to improve their ranking is a challenge for all those that attend.
Then there are those that come to this event with a medical file thicker than a phone book. It is this group that needs to show they are now healthy & have overcome any lingering injuries. Now is not the time to pull a muscle or do anything that may jeopardize their ranking. These guys will be prodded & examined to see if they can find a future injury or if recovery has taken place so they can be drafted.
The Red Flaggers have several highly mocked prospects who could see their draft position take a hit or see it rise as they have overcome their past boo boo. For those the time is now to shine & use this time to overcome any stigma associated with them. Let's look,
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, ALA- He is the biggest star he needs to show his hip is now recovered. He also has that ankle that was operated on. Being the QB with so much potential he has the ability to shock the draft in a good way or a bad way. This is his first big test on his road to recovery.
Bryan Edwards, WR, S CAR- He had some concerns as he was dealing with recovering from a recent knee scope. He just announced he broke his foot while getting ready for the combine. He might be taken off most teams boards & go much later or not at all since his chances of playing in 2020 are not good.
Zach Moss, RB, Utah- He comes to Indy with a shredded knee injury from 18 & needs to show he is healed with no other problems. His draft slot rides on him showing he is good to go.
Trey Adams, OT, WAS- He comes to town with knee & back injuries. His talent is there, but his body is already letting him down. He might be off many boards & have to be an UFA for his second chance at a career in the NFL.
Lucas Niang, OT, TCU- His draft stock was high until a hip injury took him out of action. How healthy he is will determine ware he gets drafted. He could slide into the late rounds or not at all depending what the doctors find.
Netane Muti, OG, Fresno ST- He comes to town as damaged goods with foot & the dreaded Achilles issues. he also has the inability to stay healthy as he collects injuries like a woman collects purses. His career in the NFL hinges on him being able to fool the doctors & show he is healed.
Terrell Lewis, DE, ALA- He had a great season on the field in 19, but also has had season ending injuries the past two seasons to his elbow & knee. He needs to test well & show he has recovered. His draft stock is on the line.
K'Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU- He is an athletic freak who will test well, but he needs to show that his ankle injury from last year is healed. He tore his knee the previous year so there is that. His draft stock is on the line as well. He could be a first rounder or slide down the charts into no man's land if teams aren't convinced of his health.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, S CAR- He is widely considered the second best DT in the draft & a potential Top 10 draft pick. For his sake, the tendonitis issue at the Senior Bowl was nothing & is being blown out of proportion. He had hip surgery in 18 so some might be spooked by these two conditions. His draft stock could take a tumble if word spreads he has lingering issues with some teams removing him from their boards. This could be nothing or something.
Jaylon Johnson,CB, Utah- His injury is tricky, whilst only missing one game whilst playing he has had 2 surgeries on his shoulder in the off season. The shoulder issue goes back to his high school days. The guys in the white coats will be seeing if it will follow him to the pros or he is now recovered. He is expected to test well, but a few teams might remove him from their boards because of that lingering issue.
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia- He will be in street clothes as he recovers from a late season ankle injury. While recovery is expected, for a CB that is not a body part you want to have injured. He will get a second chance to flaunt his recovery at private workouts, but his draft stock has taken a hit.
Antoine Winfield JR, S, MIN- Many are aware he had two severe injuries when he first got to MIN & was Red Shirted twice. His sophomore year he ripped his hammy. The following year it was the dreaded Lis Franc. He was clean last year & played brilliantly while living up to the hype he created his freshman year. Some think it is a big issue & some aren't worried, but he is expected to test well & stay in the conversation as one of the better safeties in the second tier.
So there you go, a few guys to watch this upcoming weekend & listen to hear how the feedback from the scouts about their past injuries. Remember to tune into the NFL Network for full coverage with any news. The less we see of Ian Rappaport means good news from the medical tent.