Friday, February 7, 2014
B1G players invited to NFL combine
By Brian Bennett
The official invite list for the 2014 NFL combine is out, and 36 Big Ten players will try to impress pro scouts during workouts in Indianapolis from Feb. 22-25. In case you were wondering, that's fourth most among conferences behind the SEC (71 invitees), the ACC (48) and the Pac-12 (45).
Here are the Big Ten players who were invited, broken down by position:
Running backs (2)
Wide receivers (8)
Tight ends (2)
Offensive linemen (8)
Defensive linemen (2)
Defensive backs (7)
It's a strong list of players, but were there any snubs. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen and Iowa cornerback B.J. Lowery jump out right away as missing, though Martinez has injury (and position) concerns, while Allen's small frame means he'll have to prove to scouts he can play at the next level.
I'm also a bit surprised not to see Indiana's Ted Bolser on this list; he's not a traditional blocking tight end, but his receiving skills would seem to translate to the NFL. Only nine kickers and punters were invited to Indy, yet it's a little disappointing that Purdue's Cody Webster and Northwestern's Jeff Budzien weren't included in the specialists.
Others who could have gotten an invite include Purdue defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, Ohio State guard Andrew Norwell and Nebraska defensive back Ciante Evans.
That doesn't mean those guys won't play in the NFL. But their path to the league might be a little more winding.