The NFL combine gets underway on Tuesday as draft prospects start to arrive in Indianapolis for the biggest interview of their lives. The combine participants will finally hit the turf for on-field workouts beginning Friday.
The on-field work can make or break a prospect's hopes of hearing his name called early in the NFL draft. A great time can spark a rise, while a slow time can be a huge step backward in the process. Several former Big 12 stars are facing a key week in their careers, so here's a look at some names to keep an eye on over the next week (all draft projections according to Scouts Inc).
Money maker (hoping to cement a spot in Round 1)
Baylor WR Corey Coleman: The 2015 Biletnikoff Award winner is currently projected as an early Day 2 pick who could easily be a Day 1 selection, and a stellar combine showing could help him solidify a spot in Round 1. Coleman has the type of elite athleticism that should shine in the combine setting, but questions about his size could impact his draft stock.
Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah: Currently projected as an early Day 2 pick, a strong combine showing could help Ogbah rise up draft charts and cement a spot in Round 1, particularly with NFL teams always searching for top pass-rushers. If he can surprise scouts with his speed and quickness, he could make himself some serious cash.
Workout warrior (finish among the top prospects in drills)
Baylor DE Shawn Oakman: We’ve seen the workout exploits of Oakman in various clips during his time in Waco, Texas, so it won’t be a surprise if he creates a major buzz with his on-field performance in Indianapolis. Yet it’s still important to him to validate his reputation as one of the most physically gifted players while impressing off the field during the interview process. He’s currently projected as a Day 3 pick.
TCU WR Kolby Listenbee: The Horned Frogs receiver has a legit shot at breaking Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record of 4.24 seconds this week. The former track star could see his stock rise if he solidifies his reputation as a speed demon. He’s currently projected as a late Day 3 pick.
Quiet doubters (early entrants who need to improve their stock)
West Virginia CB Daryl Worley: The All-Big 12 cornerback left early but finds himself as a
projected Day 3 pick. A strong combine could help him rise up teams' draft boards as teams search for quality covermen.
Oklahoma LB Dominique Alexander: Another projected Day 3 pick, Alexander’s decision to leave Norman early could be questioned if he doesn’t excel during the draft process and guarantee himself a spot in the NFL. The road to proving he made a good decision starts this week.
Easing concerns (lessen specific doubts)
Oklahoma State CB Kevin Peterson: There are questions about Peterson’s size, but if the All-Big 12 cornerback performs well in the combine he could force teams to put those size concerns on the back burner and go back to the tape to see if he plays bigger than his size.
TCU QB Trevone Boykin: Playing quarterback is Boykin’s preference at the next level, so he needs to prove he has the potential to excel at the position. The combine won’t erase all doubts -- no matter how well he does -- but it could help change minds if he shows potential at the position.
Here are the specific dates for on-field workouts by position:
Friday, Feb. 26: Running backs, offensive linemen, special teams
Saturday, Feb. 27: Quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends
Sunday, Feb. 28: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Monday, Feb. 29: Defensive backs
Here’s the complete list of Big 12 participants in the NFL combine:
Oklahoma LB Dominique Alexander
Oklahoma State DE Jimmy Bean
Baylor DT Andrew Billings
Oklahoma LB Devante Bond
TCU QB Trevone Boykin
Texas Tech T Le'Raven Clark
Baylor WR Corey Coleman
West Virginia S K.J. Dillon
TCU WR Josh Doctson
Baylor G Spencer Drango
Kansas State FB Glenn Gronkowski
Baylor CB Xavien Howard
Texas Tech DE Branden Jackson
West Virginia S Karl Joseph
Oklahoma G Nila Kasitati
TCU S Derrick Kindred
West Virginia LB Nick Kwiatkoski
Baylor LS Jimmy Landes
TCU WR Kolby Listenbee
West Virginia P Nick O'Toole
Baylor DE Shawn Oakman
TCU K Jaden Oberkrom
Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Oklahoma State CB Kevin Peterson
Texas DT Hassan Ridgeway
Oklahoma CB Zack Sanchez
Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard
West Virginia RB Wendell Smallwood
Oklahoma LB Eric Striker
Oklahoma DE Charles Tapper
TCU T Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Texas Tech RB DeAndre Washington
Kansas State G Cody Whitehair
West Virginia CB Daryl Worley