NFL Combine 2013: Players Ready to Prove Scouts Wrong

Nick LantzCorrespondent IIFebruary 25, 2013

Giovani Bernard wants to prove that his knees won't slow him down.
Giovani Bernard wants to prove that his knees won't slow him down.Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is fully underway, with many players motivated to prove scouts wrong.

Though the combine is not the only way a player can move up draft boards, it certainly makes it easier.

Every year, some players have a difficult time grabbing the attention of the scouts due to factors such as size or previous injuries.

Many players are hoping the combine can help their case to be drafted. Let's take a look at three players in this year's draft class who are ready to make a statement.


Giovani Bernard, RB

With Eddie Lacy unable to perform in the 2013 combine, the door is wide open for running backs.

Giovani Bernard is 5'8", which to some scouts may be an issue.

His torn ACL in 2010 with the North Carolina Tar Heels is more of a concern for scouts than his size, though. As a running back, it is important to have strong, durable knees.

Bernard is exceptionally quick and can make fantastic cuts while running.

With scouts closely watching his speed and lateral movement, Bernard showed that he is still very quick with impressive performances in the shuttle drills.


Montee Ball, RB

As a Wisconsin Badger, Montee Ball put up legendary numbers.

Last season, Ball finished with 22 rushing touchdowns. He was awarded the Doak Walker Trophy and was a first-team All-American.

Ball actually had a better season as a junior, scoring 39 total touchdowns, tied with Barry Sanders for the NCAA record.

At 5'10", he is slightly undersized as well. Scouts may also worry about how worn down Ball could be after carrying the ball 356 times last season.

Though he does not have explosive speed, Ball will want to show scouts that he can be quick and effective on his feet.


Tavon Austin, WR

At West Virginia, Tavon Austin did a bit of everything for the Mountaineers.

He played wide receiver, but also was used as a running back and as a returner on special teams.

Some scouts consider Austin to be relatively small at 5'8" and 174 pounds.

It has also been said by some scouts that he looks for the "home run" too often, rather than taking what he is given.

There is not much Austin can do about his size, but he can continue to bulk up and slowly gain muscle.

Austin can also impress scouts with his speed. He posted a 40 time of 4.34, which definitely will help his case.


There is no clear top running back in the 2013 draft class, but Ball and Bernard will be taken early despite their size.

Austin is showing scouts that he has the speed to be a performer in the NFL as well.

The combine is a test of physical ability, but the real test will be how these players fare on Sundays.