- Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.
The NFL combine will take place Feb. 24-Mar. 1 in Indianapolis, giving more than 250 prospects the chance to show their wares for NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel on the biggest pre-draft stage there is.
After taking a look at the invite list, though, we noticed a few interesting names that were left off. Here are the five highest-graded players who did not receive invitations, along with other notable prospects who will not be in attendance.
1. South Florida DE Craig Marshall (Scouts Inc. grade: 46)
Marshall notched four sacks in his first five games but a foot injury in October all but ended his senior season. He has the measurables (6-foot-4, 262 pounds) and flashed production throughout his career but Marshall needs to stay healthy and continue to improve his feet and power in order to make it in the NFL.
2. Florida DE Justin Trattou (44)
An undersized (6-3⅜,255) college defensive tackle who lacks the speed and athleticism to play end in the NFL. Needs to help on special teams and find a niche on defense, but there's a lot to like about his motor and instincts.
3. Alabama TE Preston Dial (42)
Dial is an undersized (6-2⅛, 238) H-back with only adequate speed. Still, we think he has a chance to contribute in the NFL because he's tough, gives great effort and is a reliable pass catcher.
4. Southern Illinois CB Korey Lindsey (39)
A versatile playmaker as both a defensive back and return man at the FCS level, Lindsey's marginal size (5-10⅛, 182) and below-average speed put a low ceiling on his NFL potential.
5. Mississippi CB Jeremy McGee (35)
A solid player who never took his game to the next level. McGee has average height (5-10⅜, 197) and top-end speed, and only one interception each of his last two seasons does not help his cause.
Others of interest
There are some other notable names not attending the combine, including four underclassmen (denoted with an asterisk).
• Stanford LB Thomas Keiser* (58)
• Oregon S Javes Lewis* (47)
• Gerorgia Tech OT Nick Claytor* (42)
• Nebraska OT Michael Smith (34)
• Oklahoma OT Cory Brandon (34)
• Oklahoma CB Jonathan Nelson (34)
• Texas TE Greg Smith (33)
• Stanford OT Derek Hall (33)
• Kent State S Brian Lainhart (32)
• Florida OLB Brandon Hicks (32)
• Stanford TE Konrad Reuland (31)
• Virginia DE Zane Parr* (30)
387dTodd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl