The 2012 NFL Combine will take place from February 22nd to February 28th at the traditional location of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Over 300 NFL Draft hopefuls have been invited to showcase their athleticism and take physical and mental examinations. The best players from NCAA Football will compete in several drills on a level playing field, vying to improve their draft stock and move up NFL Draft boards. Once the NFL Combine is complete, the NFL Draft countdown begins. Mock drafts and speculation becomes much more accurate because teams have an idea of who they want to draft.
This year’s most scrutinized and anticipated NFL combine invitees:
- Andrew Luck (QB) – Stanford - No Quarterback since Peyton Manning has been more hyped than Andrew Luck. As a result, he may choose to bypass the combine having nothing to gain.
- Robert Griffin III (QB) – Baylor – One of the most explosive players in NCAA football, Griffin III is quickly becoming an elite NFL draft prospect.
- Ryan Tannehill (QB) – Texas A&M – Tannehill is an athletic QB who NFL scouts love. A strong performance at the combine could make him a top 10 pick.
- Russell Wilson (QB) – Wisconsin – Wilson is a smart, athletic passer who could soar up draft boards this spring with an impressive combine.
- Trent Richardson (RB) – Alabama – Richardson projects as a top 15 pick who could go in the top 5 with a good showing at the combine.
- Lamar Miller (RB) – Miami – Miller has two years of eligibility left, but his elite athleticism should land him in this year’s NFL draft. He could impress with scouts with a very fast 40 yard dash time.
- Justin Blackmon (WR) – Oklahoma State – Blackmon is an early favorite to be a top 10 draft pick. A good combine could solidify that.
- Michael Floyd (WR) – Notre Dame – The combine will be important for the big-bodied Floyd. An impressive combine could propel him into the top 20 picks.
- Matt Kalil (OT) – Southern California – Kalil could be the most talented prospect at this year’s combine.
- Riley Reiff (OT) – Reiff is widely expected to be drafted in the top 10 picks.
- Quinton Coples (DE) – North Carolina – Coples is a huge, physical freak capable of playing both DE and DT.
- Devon Still (DT) – Penn State – Still is the best DT in the draft, and should go in the first round.
- Luke Kuechly (ILB) – Boston College – Kuechly is a lock for the first round, and could go towards the top.
- Melvin Ingram (OLB) – South Carolina – Ingram is flying up NFL draft boards and could go in the top 10 picks. A good combine will certainly help his stock.
- Morris Claiborne (CB) – LSU – Should be a lock for the top 5 picks, and a good combine will ensure that.
- Alphonso Dennard (CB) – Nebraska – Could move up draft boards with an impressive showing.
- Mark Barron (SS) – Alabama – Barron is a big, athletic safety who will want to prove he is healthy after coming back from a pectoral injury.