This week in Indianapolis, many of the best players from the previous college football season will show off their skills at the NFL combine. The week-long event is more about their athleticism, but the numbers from the workouts and position drills still play a big role as teams ramp up their evaluations. Sports Illustrated put together their best guess for the guys who have the best chance to make some heads turn in the workout portion of the combine.
DL Kentavius Street, NC State: Street is expected to weigh in at 6’2″ and around 285. But he will most likely be clocked in the 4.5s in the 40-yard dash. Last year, he ran an electronically timed 4.58, vertical jumped 40 inches, benched 475 pounds and squatted 700. He is also the most flexible guy in the school’s program, according to strength coach Dantonio Burnette.
RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State: NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote in December that Barkley is “the best RB prospect I’ve seen since Adrian Peterson.” Last year, he clocked a 4.33 40 at 228 pounds and he has a 38-inch vertical and 10’10” broad jump.
LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State: He was a 0-star walk-on who excelled as a quarterback and basketball player at Salmon River High School in Riggins, Idaho. But Esch emerged as a tackling machine for the Broncos in 2017, making 129 stops. He also won Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors.