Five Scouting Combine Sleepers
Every year, the top collegiate athletes gather in Indianapolis, Indiana to take in the festivities known as the NFL Combine.
The spectacle features drills, a test and interviews in which the personnel of 32 NFL teams determine future players for their squads. For the players participating, this could be one of their last chances (aside from Pro Day workouts) to show every NFL team exactly what they can do. For some, it could determine their future.
For a select few, this event could be the determining factor of whether they are drafted or not during the NFL Draft. Or it could determine which round others may be drafted in. A spectacular performance at the NFL Combine could skyrocket a player’s stock, directly moving them up draft boards across the league.
On the flip side, a bad performance could drop a player completely.
For some, a late round selection is almost expected. However, those players are determined to prove that they belong in the NFL and deserve to be among the best names called over the three-day extravaganza known as the NFL Draft.
This list consists of five players that fans of the NFL probably don’t know, but should know as the workout portions of the NFL Combine begin to commence this weekend. Without further ado, here are five NFL Scouting Combine sleepers:
1. Shawn Loiseau, LB, Merrimack College – When I say Merrimack College, odds are the response will be “Where?” Of course, Loiseau knows that is the case as well and he’s been working hard all off-season long to prove that, despite where he comes from, the NFL is his ultimate destination. He expressed in an interview with me at Sports Reviews that he has some surprises for anyone that has doubted him.
The linebacker, listed at 6’1” and 240 lbs., has received multiple honors and recorded 120 or more tackles in each of his last three seasons including a school record 133 tackles during his junior campaign. He performed very well in the week-long East West Shrine Game practices and in the game itself. When watching Loiseau, it’s easy to see why he would be considered a great prospect to join the NFL as a late-round pick, but it’s his heart and determination that teams will take note of most.
2. Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan – Looking through multiple rankings of the wide receivers for this year’s draft, it’ll take you down quite a ways before seeing Jordan White’s name. However, the 6’0”, 215 lbs. wide receiver put up spectacular numbers in back to back years for the Broncos.
During his junior year, White had 94 catches for 1,378 yards and 10 touchdowns. Although those are stellar numbers, he would only go on to improve on those during his senior year. For the 7-6 Broncos, White provided 140 catches to the tune of 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns which are very spectacular numbers.
3. Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois – The athletic quarterback that led the Huskies to an 11-3 record as a senior is expected to show what he can do at the NFL combine. Coming out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback, it was Harnish’s arm that proved to be very valuable as he threw for 3,216 yards and 28 touchdowns to just six interceptions during his senior season.
Harnish is expected to be a late-round selection, but a solid performance in which his athleticism will show could lift him up into the fourth or fifth round range on draft day. When I interviewed Chandler Harnish, he expressed his ability to move and to throw and if he shows that ability, it will help.
4. Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech – Coale hasn’t been talked about much, but he’s had a stellar career for the Hokies. At 6’1”, 200 lbs., Coale has caught 165 total passes over his career for 2,658 yards and eight touchdowns.
He’s shown great hands and the ability to make some great catches (including the one in VTech’s bowl game that was eventually ruled incomplete). Coale has every chance in the world to shine at the combine and is fully expected to do so by this writer.
5. Aaron Corp, QB, Richmond – Corp spent two years with the USC Trojans and was caught in the unfortunate circumstances of being behind star quarterback Matt Barkley, so he took off to Richmond to become a starter. Corp is an athletic quarterback that doesn’t have an overly powerful arm, but can make all the throws needed.
Now that he’s finally got the spotlight on him in a national setting, Corp will hope to show that he can be an NFL starter. If he displays the same kind of throws he was making at the Players All-Star Classic, he could continue to improve on his stock. Of course he’ll have some improvements to make across the board, but those are things that will come with time and Corp knows that.
These are just a few names that could surprise people at the NFL Combine. Who are you watching for?
Brandon Williams is a freelance writer of 10-plus years and is the lead blogger at Sports Reviews. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America.