NFL Combine 2013: Prospects Who Will Take Advantage of Limelight in Workouts

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 3:  Defensive lineman Jesse Williams #54 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during first quarter action with the Kent State Golden Flashes on September 3, 2011 at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Alabama defeated Kent State 48-7.  (Photo by Greg McWilliams/Getty Images)
Greg McWilliams/Getty Images

A few NFL draft prospects are going to be doing their bank accounts a nice favor this weekend.

The NFL combine has become one of America's favorite springtime spectacles. Football-starved fans dying to watch anything football related are treated to an open workout of sorts for the premier college prospects across the nation. Some players will inevitably use the spotlight to become household names.

While no one (except for NFL scouts) watches enough college football to see all of these prospects in action on the field, everyone can see these guys go at it in drills at the combine.

These are the players that will capture fans' attention and dominate the combine.


Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

At 5'9" and 174 pounds, Austin will have to really jump off the paper at the combine if he wants to ensure that he's taken in the first round.

He certainly doesn't lack in confidence. He's already made the claim that he's the best all-around player in the draft (h/t Pro Football Talk).

Austin is a shifty playmaker who was a pivotal part in a dynamic West Virginia offense. His ability to turn short screens and quick slants into big gains was a huge asset for the Mountaineers. However, it will be the 40-yard dash that has all eyes on Austin.

According to Will Brinson of CBS Sports, Austin has run as low as a 4.29 and expects to run less than 4.4.


Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

The bench press isn't usually a marquee event at the combine, but when Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams goes to rep out 225 pounds, it won't be surprising to see a contingent of people interested.

The monstrous 6'3" 320-pound defensive tackle anchored the Tide defense with his ability to hold the point of attack in the middle. Much of that can be attributed to his 600-pound max bench press (h/t CW Sports).

Former coach Jerry Dominguez told the New York Times that he thinks Williams will put up 225 pounds somewhere between 55 and 60 times. That would shatter the current record of 51 put up by Eastern Kentucky's Justin Ernest in 1999.


Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Ansah is continually compared with Jason Pierre-Paul and he'll have the opportunity to bring that comparison full-circle as he works out at the combine.

Like Pierre-Paul, Ansah is a relatively inexperienced player with freakish athleticism and a ton of upside. The 6'6", 270-pound defensive end played multiple positions in the front seven for the Cougars and ran a 21.9-second 200-meter dash as part of BYU's track team (h/t CBS Sports).

Every year there's that one player that shows off a rare combination of size and athleticism that forces teams to move that player way up their draft board. Ansah will be that player in the class of 2013.