The NFL Scouting Combine is just a week away. That said, there are a ton of intriguing prospects that will be putting their talents on display in Indianapolis. Here are the NFL Draft prospects to keep an eye on at the combine.
Top NFL Combine Prospects to Watch
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson is arguably the best tight end in the draft, but he is still underappreciated. He possesses the size and strength to be a lethal threat in the NFL. Hockenson is an incredible blocker, but he also has the skill set to dominate as a receiver. While he didn’t have the most production in college, he showed signs of being an elite-caliber tight end.
Hockenson will be one of the rare guys that will perform well at every event, assuming he participates. He has superb athleticism to thrive in the receiving drills, and the strength to dominate the blocking and power drills.
Iowa TE TJ Hockenson is an animal pic.twitter.com/PeR5ODpUyj
— Luke Parrish (@LukeParrish_NFL) January 11, 2019
The redshirt-Junior is a projected first round pick, and his versatile skill set will be fun to watch in Indianapolis.
Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss
Dawson Knox is one of the more intriguing players in this draft that isn’t getting enough attention. Knox is another tight end that has a ton of talent. He is a great receiving weapon with athleticism to dominate the slot in the NFL. At 6’5” and 257 pounds, Knox still has the speed to beat linebackers.
Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox is a great athlete for a TE. I think he can play the slot in the NFL pic.twitter.com/Ebe4zvcVGD
— Luke Parrish (@LukeParrish_NFL) January 12, 2019
In a class loaded with tight ends, Dawson Knox has to prove that he belongs. The agility and speed drills will be his strong suit. However, a nice performance on the bench and in strength drills will do Knox a ton of favors.
A solid week at the combine will shoot Dawson Knox up draft boards.
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Here’s a fun one. Parris Campbell is likely a day-two pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. He comes out of Ohio State, a program that doesn’t benefit wide receivers in college. Still, Buckeye receivers translate well to the NFL, see Michael Thomas.
In his senior season, Campbell racked up 90 receptions, 1,063 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Campbell is fighting for a chance to be named with the other top receivers in this draft class.
#OhioState WR Parris Campbell is extremely raw but he's going to test off the charts in Indy. Might be the fastest WR in the class with incredible moves in the open field. Runs right through pursuit angles. pic.twitter.com/N87iAb1cLT
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 14, 2019
Now, the fun starts. Parris Campbell is potentially the fastest player invited to the NFL Combine. At 6’1” and just over 200 pounds, he offers a strong body and elite speed. Every year, fans tune in to see who will dominate the 40-yard dash. Parris Campbell is that guy this year. He is going to jump off the charts at the combine, and his name will be one of the most popular there.
Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Ole Miss
The 2019 quarterback class is a mess. Three quarterbacks will probably land in the top 15 in the draft: Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, and Drew Lock. Those guys will all be starters at some point in their rookie seasons, most likely. But developmental quarterbacks are important, too. Jordan Ta’amu is a project backup with intriguing upside.
Ta’amu is not the most polished passer, but he makes up for it with his legs. Only averaging 2.9 yards per carry in college, Ta’amu’s ability to run is still impressive. He should thrive in a heavy run offense that utilizes a quick-hitting passing attack.
Ta’amu will need to participate at the combine and show off his arm. He can sneak into the top of day-three if he shows growth as a passer, which is exactly what the combine aims to do.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has a lot to prove at the combine. There are questions about his positional fit at the next level. Regardless, he is an aggressive defensive back with speed and strength. He has the ability to play the nickel corner role or traditional safety if asked.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson's diagnosis here is great pic.twitter.com/mPm0vs6Dkh
— Luke Parrish (@LukeParrish_NFL) January 13, 2019
The ball-skill drills in Indianapolis will be huge for Gardner-Johnson. He must show his ability to flip his hips and track the ball in the air. He intercepted nine passes in college, at took three of them to the house. Gardner-Johsnon also recorded 71 tackles and three sacks in his final year at Florida. His versatility is off the charts.
Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
Justin Layne is long. He is 6’3” with long arms, making him a force at the line of scrimmage. He also dominates the zone scheme. The big question with Layne will be his speed. He needs to post a solid 40-yard dash time to keep teams from backing off. Slow corners are a huge liability.
Justin Layne! 🔒🔒🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/1FUVWebQVi
— WeAreDBnation (@WeAreDBNation1) July 1, 2018
Layne also needs to demonstrate good ball tracking and hip fluidity, as do seemingly all defensive backs. Justin Layne has the talent to jump into early day-two talk.
Layne has a body to press. NFL teams should fall in love with him in Indianapolis.
Embed from Getty Images