The NFL Combine Will Have Many Future NFL Stars Perform And Try To Improve Their Draft Stock
From February 28 until March 6, all eyes will be focused on the 330 players who will be at the NFL Combine. The Detroit Lions will send their scouts to the event to see who could fit the Lions when it comes to draft day in April.
So who should you watch? There are a TON of great players in the 2017 draft class, that I could list 100 players to watch, and still be missing some big names. So this list isn’t the 10 best players to watch, but when looking at each position they seem the most interesting to watch.
Cooper Rush – QB (Central Michigan)
Detroit is moving on from Dan Orlovsky as the backup quarterback and Jake Rudock has moved up the depth chart as the backup. Detroit could draft a rookie to be the third string and there is no better quarterback to find after the fourth round than Cooper Rush. While at CMU he set records for the school, getting the most yards in one season and one game, along with most touchdowns in one game.
He was also 12 yards from beating out Dan LeFevour from most yards in a career at CMU. Rush would be an excellent late pick in the draft for Detroit, but if he has a solid combine, then he could be off the board. Either way, we need to see him compared to the rest of the competition.
Kareem Hunt – RB (Toledo)
From one MAC record breaker to another. Hunt has the most rushing yards in a career at Toledo and he has been moving up draft boards. Hunt had an up and down career at Toledo though, while he was a great player overall, his sophomore and senior year seasons were far better than his freshman and junior seasons getting 3,106 yards compared to 1,839. Could consistency be an issue? The combine might be able to help determine that.
Amara Darboh – WR (Michigan)
Detroit doesn’t know what they are doing at the wide receiver position behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr.
Anquan Boldin could retire, but Detroit needs to act like he will and start watching some at the combine if they need to address that need. Insert Amara Darboh. Detroit needs a physical receiver to replace with Boldin and Darboh could fill that role. He is currently projected as a mid-round pick and the two things to watch for him is his strength and speed as if we can have a faster, possibly equal in strength wide receiver as our number three, it could change the offense.
David Njoku – TE (Miami FL)
Rising up draft boards since January has been this man here. Coming off of the collegiate season, Jake Butt was considered the number two tight end behind OJ Howard, but with the ACL injury he got knocked down and suddenly people started noticing Njoku. Seeing him in person up against the rest of the group will test to see if he owns that number two spot and if he could compete with OJ Howard as the best tight end in this draft.
Taylor Moton – OT (Western Michigan)
Detroit needs some depth on the offensive line, especially at the tackle position. If Riley Reiff leaves too, then the need moves up over the other current needs. A possible steal is Taylor Moton who has been creeping up draft boards lately for scouts. If he can show that he is just as good as the tackles from the Power five conferences, Moton could have a future in the league.
Malik McDowell – DL (Michigan State)
Nobody on this list has been questioned about giving their all. Malik McDowell is the only one people question that coming into the combine. Malik has been known to take plays off, as many lineman do, but it seems to have been more often for McDowell. His draft stock has taken a dive, falling out of the top 10 to out of the first round entirely. He needs this combine to boost his stock and with Detroit needing help on the defensive line, McDowell might fit the bill, but it just depends on the combine on where he goes.
Haason Reddick – LB (Temple)
Along with Taylor Moton, another player moving up boards and appearing in the first round lately is Haason Reddick. While the Senior Bowl helped his stock greatly, a fantastic combine could move him up even higher on draft boards and solidify himself as a first round pick.
Anthony Walker Jr. – LB (Northwestern)
A different linebacker here. Walker hasn’t been getting much hype as he has been projected getting taken in the mid-rounds. Detroit might wait to take a linebacker, which isn’t the best idea with the limited talent at that position in this draft, but if Walker can distance himself from the rest, he could be taken earlier and Detroit needs a need fulfilled.
Marlon Humphrey – CB (Alabama)
From the number one cornerback coming into the draft to outside the top three. Humphrey has taken a hit in his draft stock and the combine will be the main stage to regain the title as the best cornerback.
Desmond King – S (Iowa)
A new position for Desmond will determine his NFL future. Playing cornerback at Iowa, he has switched to safety as it seems to fit him better and gives him a better chance to play in the NFL. He will need to show he has adjusted well at the combine and he can be a legit safety. Detroit could take a chance on him, but his numbers will need to pop for him to grab their attention.