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NFL Combine: When to watch for MWC Players

Also: what does each player need to accomplish this weekend?

NCAA Football: Mountain West Championship-Fresno State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason for football is long and we are just at the beginning of it. The good news, though, is that the offseason if full of milestones to look forward to. One of those is the NFL Combine, which is happening this week. Players are arriving Tuesday through Friday and on the field drills will begin today, concluding Monday.

Here’s a tentative schedule, with the days staggered by position groups:

As a reminder, there are 10 players from the MWC who will be at the combine, going through interviews, tests, measurements, and of course drills and workouts. They are:

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

Nick Bawden, FB, San Diego State

Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

Cedric Wilson, WR, Boise State

Davis Wells, TE, San Diego State

Austin Corbett, OL, Nevada

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Andre Chachere, CB, San Jose State

Kameron Kelly, S, San Diego State

Notable Snubs:

  • Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State
  • Trayvon Henderson, S, Hawaii

What to Watch For:

Each of the 10 players have something to prove, especially as they attempt to quiet the doubters about coming from a “Group of 5” conference and the stigma of playing lesser competition. Some of those things were discussed in previous articles on this site (here and here). Also, there are a few things circulating around internet from the “experts” to keep an eye on this weekend:

  • Allen’s accuracy on his throws during drills. He will have to win over scouts to show he is worthy of a high first round grade.
  • Vander Esch’s bench press and 40 time (magic number seems to be around 4.6 for him)
  • Corbett going through drills to cement himself as one of the top interior OL players
  • Penny showcasing his receiving skills to prove he can be a complete RB. Also, all eyes will be on his 40 time as there are some concerns about his lack of top end speed.
  • Will Kelly be a CB or S? If he’s a CB, he has the desired size and length, but if scouts see him as a safety, there are questions about his strength and ability to help in run support.
  • Bawden will have to shed the fullback stigma. He can do so best by showcasing his pass-catching skills as well as a solid 40 time and will have to convince scouts of his special teams value as well.
  • Wells was featured mostly as a blocker, which he is very skilled at. But in today’s NFL game, top TEs need to catch the ball too.
  • Gallup needs to be at the top of drills and times in the WR group to distance the “put up big numbers against weak competition” label. Scouts seem to be high on his measurables.
  • Much of the same for Wilson. A strong 40 time, as well as other drills to show his athleticism will be needed to cement his status as a possible day 2 WR.
  • Opponents stayed away from Chachere’s side of the field often this season. With less tape, he will need to do strong work in drills to give scouts more to look at.

Your turn: What do you think each player needs to prove or show this weekend? Where do you think each player will be drafted? Drop a comment or respond on twitter.