Underclassmen are keys in 2014 NFL Combine, draft

Underclassmen are keys in 2014 NFL Combine, draft
February 11, 2014, 9:00 am
Share This Post

The merits of performances at the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis are debated every year. But the results in the 2013 Combine already are expected to hold added interest because of not just the quantity of underclassmen working out, but also the quality.

Nearly 100 non-seniors are slated for Combine evaluations, ranging from the full spectrum of on-field drills and team interviews to selected workouts. The event runs Feb. 19-25.

[RELATED: Could the Bears select Missouri defensive end Michael Sam?]

And “a lot of those kids are first-, second- or third-round picks,” said ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper. “Twenty-three could be first-rounders.”

A significant number of those players are likely to be selected within the first three rounds, Kiper added.

Part of the Combine consists of measuring height and weight for players. Because NFL teams are embargoed from in-depth scouting of underclassmen, this can be the first time for official numbers being logged on them.

“You don’t have accurate measurables on these kids until the Combine,” Kiper said. “Normally, it’s spring practice of their senior year; well, they’re not coming back for their senior years.”