There are a few players each year that make money at the NFL combine. Here are 7 prospects we feel will do so in 2018.
Their names become the stuff of legend during draft season. Guys that blow up the NFL Scouting Combine elevate their draft stock, potentially making millions of dollars over the span of a few days and they leave us talking about their performances for years. Some of them actually go on to become really good NFL players — Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Aaron Donald and many more have put on great performances at the combine, followed by NFL success. On the other hand, there are those who have been labeled as “Workout Warriors”. Names like Mike Mamula, Matt Jones and Vernon Gholston are perfect examples of this. Remember John Ross from just a year ago?
For this list, we’ll leave out the obvious, bigger-name guys. Everyone expects Lamar Jackson and Saquon Barkley to post big-time workout numbers. So, let’s take a look at the 7 players who will blow up the 2017 NFL Combine.
Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
A stellar showing at the combine will do little to squelch the David Johnson comparisons. At 6-2, 222, Ballage is not only a sculpted specimen, he is also an jaw-dropping athlete. As strictly a running back, he has some growing to do, but Ballage will shine on the Combine stage. And he’ll likely be overdrafted because of it.
Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State
The diminutive homerun threat is absolutely fun to watch, at just 5-8, 197. If a team is looking for a sparkplug on offense and in the return game, Hines is a definite option. He’ll put on full display at the combine, his speed, agility and explosion. He will also shine in receiving drills.
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk is another electric offensive weapon / return man whose athletic traits transfer well to the football field. While he won’t threaten John Ross’ 40-yard dash record (4.22), Kirk will be plenty fast, but also display the quickness, hands and explosiveness that may push him into round one conversations.
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
There aren’t many human beings this size that can move like Vita Vea. At 6-5, 345, Vea is one of the larger prospects available in the 2018 NFL Draft. And while it may not look like it to the untrained eye — due to his girth — he will be one of the more impressive athletes at the combine also. Vea may be even more impressive at the Combine than Haloti Ngata, B.J. Raji and Dontari Poe were.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds — at 6-5, 245 — looks like a defensive end. Prospects this size should not be as fluid and explosive as he is. He should be a joy to watch at the Combine with his physical traits. While he already getting substantial first-round buzz, a knockout showing in Indy could really send him flying up draft boards.
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Jackson has already come out and claimed his desire to challenge the 4.22 40 record set by Ross at the 2017 Combine. Jackson is a track star and was probably the fastest player in the SEC this past season. So, yeah, it’s safe to assume he will standout on the Combine stage.
Derwin James, S, Florida State
James is one of the more physically gifted athletes in the entire 2018 draft class. He spent 2017 getting back to full speed after a knee injury ended his 2016 season. Now, he’s back at full strength and will put on a show in Indy. He’ll also be one of the personalities that stick out among the prospects.