The NFL combine is a great chance for athletic prospects to show scouts what they are capable of achieving. Unfortunately, it could also set players back.
With poor performances, some college stars that were high on draft boards could look worse compared to their peers who might stand out during the week at Indianapolis.
Every year, players hurt their draft stock by running slowing, weighing heavier or measuring shorter than previously anticipated.
These men have the most on the line at the combine and could fall with bad performances.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Most will project Geno Smith as the No. 1 quarterback in this class. After throwing 42 touchdowns to only six interceptions with a completion percentage of 71.2 percent, this sounds like a fair assessment.
Considering that the Kansas City Chiefs hold the first overall pick and are in need of a quarterback, this would seem like a good match.
However, teams are still not certain about Smith. He had a poor performance in the snow in the Pinstripe Bowl and he did not play in the Senior Bowl. The combine will be the first time many scouts will be able to see him in person.
If he throws poorly this week, his stock could end up dropping in a hurry.
The top of this quarterback class is very difficult to predict. Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon and Matt Barkley are all capable of being first-round picks, but no one has separated themselves from the group.
Smith is already in front, but he can fall back to the pack by the end of the week.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
There were few better receivers in college football last season than Terrance Williams. He led the nation with 1,832 receiving yards and his average of 18.9 yards per catch was more than anyone with at least 60 receptions.
With this production and his great speed, Williams became a nice pro prospect as someone who can stretch the field as a deep-threat.
Unfortunately, he has plenty of competition from other players who can fill that role.
Besides Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson, there are also speedsters like DeAndre Hopkins and Tavon Austin that could sneak into the first round.
Williams is fast, but not quick enough to really turn heads at the combine. He also does not have great height for his position.
Unless the receiver is able to run a very fast 40-yard dash, Williams will fall down draft boards after the combine.
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
The offensive tackle class is very impressive at the top with Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson. However, there is a big drop-off after that.
There are plenty of teams in the second half of the first round looking to upgrade the offensive line. D.J. Fluker was impressive during his career at Alabama, but he has to show that he is worthy of a first-round pick.
Entering the combine, Fluker seems solid as the fourth tackle on the board. That might stay unless someone like Menelik Watson or Kyle Long is more impressive in the strength and agility drills.
Fluker also cannot show up overweight. Big size is a plus on the offensive line, but he needs to be able to control it.
In the end, it seems like the combine will provide more harm than good for the productive college player.
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