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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Quick guide to the NFL Combine

The NFL Combine is upon us, and the three Wildcats who were invited to participate could greatly improve their draft stock in the next few days. Here’s a look at what each player needs to do this week:

Rob Gronkowski, TE

Gronkowski told the Daily Wildcat in a text message on Monday that he would only participate in the bench press and interviews at the combine. He also told the Wildcat that his back is feeling, “”Great, 100 percent.””

That’s great news for Gronkowski if it’s true, but what  now he needs to prove to NFL teams that his back is, in fact, 100 percent. Gronkowski’s career doesn’t exactly boast a clean bill of health, and that’s what has most draft experts keeping him out of the first round. His goal for the combine should be to show that his back is at full strength by finishing in the top three or four for tight ends in the bench press, while convincing teams that he’s ready to get on the field and stay healthy during interviews.


Earl Mitchell, DT

Mitchell has spent the last month proving that he has top-tier work ethic and impeccable character, but his position in the draft is still in question. To help answer that, Mitchell needs to prove his athleticism.

There are concerns that he might not be big enough to play the nose in a 3-4 scheme. He should do his best to run above-average times in the 40-yard dash and other speed and agility drills so that he can show NFL teams that he’s talented enough to play any of the defensive line positions.


Devin Ross, CB

Ross is big and strong for a cornerback and should be able to contribute to the NFL by defending the run, but his pass coverage was suspect at best last season.

Ross needs to prove he’s quick enough to keep up with NFL wide receivers. His straight-line speed is solid but his agility could improve — especially his hip fluidity.

If he can prove he’s athletic enough to be a competent cover-corner in the NFL, combined with his size and tackling ability, Ross could hear his name called somewhere in the later rounds.

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