After years of producing little NFL-bound talent, the Texas Longhorns will once again be well represented at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, with six former players officially earning invites from the league.
Many of the names are not surprising — offensive tackle Connor Williams, linebacker Malik Jefferson, and safety DeShon Elliott — but there several former players more on the fringes who put up invites, including cornerback Holton Hill, punter Michael Dickson. And even former running back/H-back Chris Warren III, who planned on transferring before opting to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility.
The major snub was defensive tackle Poona Ford, who was a standout at the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl after earning Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. As a result, Ford will have to impress scouts at the Texas Pro Day on March 28. Wide receiver Armanti Foreman did not earn an invite either.
The Combine will run from February 27 to March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium as the former Longhorns attempt to answer the most pressing questions emerging from the evaluation process.
For Williams, it’s all about proving that his knee is fully healthy and the pre- and post-injury performances were an aberration. Jefferson will want to repeat the ridiculous testing effort from The Opening Finals in 2014 to confirm his freakish athleticism. With Elliott, running well is important too since measures of his athleticism haven’t been as available dating back to high school. Meanwhile, Hill must convince scouts that his off-field issues after the last two years won’t impact his NFL career. As for Warren? He needs to demonstrate the short-area quickness that will define whether he can play running back at the next level. Then there’s Dickson, who probably won’t need to do much after his remarkable junior season.
Whatever happens, at least Longhorns fans will have ample reason to tune in again.