The NFL Combine can cause draft stocks to soar and take a previously unheard of player to an early round selection. It can also reverse the fortunes of prospects with a lot to prove. The following prospects are heading to Indianapolis hoping to end their current slides.
QB Matt Barkley (USC)- Prior to his lackluster senior campaign, Barkley was considered the heavy favorite to be selected first overall. Now, a poor season and a shoulder injury could have the Trojan sliding out of the first round completely. He will not throw at the Combine, but good interviews could stabilize his fall.
LB Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)- Along with Ezekiel Ansah, Te’o may be one of the primary unknowns in the draft. After looking like a Top 15 pick form most of his senior season, a horrific performance against Alabama in the National Championship Game and a hoax that still leaves many questions surrounding the linebacker, has Te’o falling. Shortly after the initial story broke, I wrote that Te’o would not be a first round draft pick. While I still think he slides out of the first, he is in a better position than I initially anticipated and could improve his stock with good interviews this week.
LB Alec Ogletree (Georgia)- Ogletree is the most talented pure linebacker in the draft. However, he continues to be his own worst enemy. He followed up some off the field troubles at Georgia with a DUI this week. Teams will have to evaluate whether he is worth the risk, and it will be on Ogletree to prove that his troubles are behind him.
ATH Denard Robinson (Michigan)- No one doubts that Denard Robinson is an outstanding athlete. Unfortunately for the former Wolverine, no one doubts that his future is at wide receiver and there is a lot of doubt about his ability to catch the football. He had a poor showing at the Senior Bowl and will need to improve his pass catching ability or he may slide deeper into the draft. I would currently peg him as a third round pick.
QB Tyler Bray (Tennessee)- Many thought a natural progression in Bray’s game would lead to him being a high first round pick. However, there has been little progress with the Tennessee quarterback who still struggles with accuracy, decision making, and maturity. Despite having all the raw tools, he may have slid to the middle rounds.
Follow Cole Muzio on Twitter @ColeMuzio