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Six who can solidify spot in Draft

2014 NFL COMBINE

Fri, Feb 21, 2014

By Phil Savage

For seniors who were able to participate in the Reese's Senior Bowl last month, this week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis will be their second chance to impress NFL clubs and perhaps add to the momentum they build in Mobile and solidify their spot in the NFL Draft.

Here are six players (three linemen and three skill players) who can do just that at the Combine.

LINEMEN

The three that jumped off the page in terms of trying to verify or confirm what the scouts saw in Mobile.

1. Dee Ford    DE    Auburn

The Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Reese's Senior Bowl. He's going to measure somewhere in than 6'2" to 6'3" neighborhood, weigh about 240-245 pounds. Scouts will be very interested to see what he runs in the 40-yard dash and what kind of times he puts up in the shuttle drills.

UPDATE: Ford did not go through position drills in Indianapolis after Combine officials advised him not to participate due to a potential issue related to a 2011 surgery on a herniated disk in his lower back. He told NFL Network he will fully participate in Auburn's Pro Day on Mar. 4.

2. Weston Richburg    C     Colorado State

Quietly, under the radar, he had a very solid week in the Reese's Senior Bowl practices and played well in the game.

UPDATE: 40: 5.10     Bench: 25 reps     Vertical: 25.5     Broad: 8'9"     3-cone: 7.93     20-yd shuttle: 4.63

3. Morgan Moses     OT     Virginia

A giants of a man. Played some left tackle at the Senior Bowl. It's going to be really important for him to post good numbers because if he does that, NFL people will be more apt to believe that he can play on the left side rather than just being penciled in as a right tackle. You're looking at that '10' time -- the start out of the blocks on the 40-yard dash -- and if he can run the 40 in that 5.25 or less range, that certainly will help him. Any kind of explosiveness he can show in the jumps definitely helps people believe that he has the lateral movement needed to play that tough left tackle position.

UPDATE: 40: 5.35      Vertical: 21.5     Broad: 8'9"     3-cone: 7.93     20-yd shuttle: 4.95

SKILL POSITIONS

These are three players that really showed up as 'football players' in Mobile. 

1. Jared Abbrederis     WR     Wisconsin

Former walk-on. His 40 time will be very important. But he's a skilled route-runner, very solid hands. If he can post good enough numbers to keep people interested in him based off what he did in Mobile, that's going to be a big help. 

UPDATE: 40: 4.50     Bench: 4 reps     Vertical: 30.5     Broad: 9'9"     3-cone: 6.80     20-yd shuttle: 4.08     

2. Crockett Gillmore     TE     Colorado State

Came to the Senior Bowl mid-week. Showed very good hands and he's a big body -- 6'6" and almost 255 pounds. If he can go to the Combine and show some strength and explosiveness in that body, NFL clubs will think they can andd 10-15 pounds to him and now they have a guy who can go down the middle of the field and then be a control/possession receiver.

UPDATE: 40: 4.89     Vertical: 33.5     Broad: 10'0"     3-cone: 7.42     20-yd shuttle: 4.44     

3. Jimmie Ward     S     Northern Illinois

Mobile-area kid who is undersized -- only 5'10, 190 pounds. So, he has to bulk-up a little bit. I'm looking for him to weigh in that 195-200lb range. And then he has to run fast. IF he runs a good 40 time -- based on the coverage-ablity that he showed in Mobile -- then you're going to hear his name ramp-up into those first few rounds of the NFL Draft.

UPDATE: Jimmie suffered a minor setback when medical personnel at the Combine did not clear him to participate due to what is reported as a minor foot issue. He did participate in the bench press, lifting 225 pounds nine times.



Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.