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Highlighting 10 Combine Snubs

Posted Feb 7, 2013

Over 300 NFL Draft prospects have officially been invited to the National Scouting Combine and will convene in Indianapolis at the end of February, where they will take part in a rigorous schedule that includes media appearances, team interviews, medical physicals and on-field workouts. As is the case every year, there were a few surprise names that were left off the invite list. Keep in mind though, that these omissions shouldn't be forgotten, as many players have gone on to have an impact in the NFL without having participated in the Combine, some even early on (Bryce Brown headlined the list of 'snubs' in 2012). So who was left off the list this year? Let's take a look at the top 10 players who weren't invited to Indianapolis...

10. Tulane QB Ryan Griffin

Griffin raised some eyebrows after his performance during the week of practice at the “Texas vs The Nation” All-Star game last week, which wasn't all that surprising after watching him in action for Tulane. Griffin is a tough pocket passer with a quick, compact release who throws a good (albeit not great) ball. Just under 6-4, 216, Griffin is a decent athlete who moves well inside the pocket and has some moxie to his game. While he is far from a lock, Griffin is likely to hear his name called on the final day of April’s Draft.

9. Princeton DL Mike Catapano

Catapano had a decent week of practice down in St. Petersburg at the East-West Shrine Game after a productive career at Princeton. Catapano can play a number of positions along a 4-3 or 3-4 front and versatility could be his biggest asset as the draft creeps closer. He wasn't the only Ivy leaguer without an invite, as Senior Bowl attendee Kyle Juszczyk missed out as well. The Harvard grad projects as a fullback or 'H-Back' at the next level, but a lack of size and dynamic athleticism could keep him from reaching that goal.

8. Maryland DL Joe Vellano

Vellano may be a bit unassuming when you first look at him, but he's a tough, high-motor player who gets the most out of every snap and may remind some of Derek Landri. The big question mark will come in his medical evaluation, as Vellano has undergone several surgeries to his shoulders over the past few years. He wasn't the only Terrapin left off the list, as fellow Shrine Game standout A.J. Francis (a defensive tackle), linebacker Kenny Tate (another injury risk) and wideout Kevin Dorsey will not be in attendance for the Combine.

7. Ohio State CB Travis Howard

While Howard may struggle with his deep speed, he's a scrappy press corner with good ball-skills; two qualities he put on display in St. Petersburg at the Shrine Game. The former Buckeye profiles as more of a zone cornerback at the next level. His experience as an impact special teams player should go a long way come Training Camp this summer.

6. Florida State LB Vince Williams

A late invite to the Senior Bowl, Williams is an undersized middle linebacker who plays with a lot of energy and thrives as a downhill player. After a solid week of practice in Mobile, Williams was one of the more shocking names to be left off the list for Indianapolis.

5. San Jose State DE/LB Travis Johnson

It's not often that a player who attends both the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game does not get an invite to the Combine, but that appears to be the case with Johnson. An undersized but deceptively athletic pass rusher from San Jose State, Johnson was a late addition to the roster in Mobile but made the most out of his reps in the week at practice and registered two tackles in the game.

4. Central Michigan S Jahleel Addae

A personal favorite, Addae was a four-year starter in one of the best programs in the Mid-American Conference, and for good reason. While he's undersized, the former Chippewa has great movement skills for the safety position and plays from sideline to sideline. A physical tackler, Addae isn't afraid to mix it up in the run game. He also spent a lot of time covering slot receivers during his senior season. While this is one of the deeper safety groups the NFL Draft has seen in years, it was still a surprise to find out that Addae will watch the Combine from home.

3. Michigan DL William Campbell

A talented prospect who flashes greatness at times, Campbell was one of the most talented players throughout the week of practice at the Shrine Game. Playing in a rotation along the Wolverine's defensive line, Campbell showed a good first step, a high motor and a nose for the football. Consistency and sustainability are question marks, but it would be a surprise for Campbell to go undrafted.

2. Nevada TE Zach Sudfeld

Lining up as an offset tight end in Nevada's Pistol offense, Sudfeld had a very productive college career. While he's a bit older than the normal prospect (26 years old), Sudfeld has great size at 6-6, 261, and the athleticism to get down the seam. Sudfeld was also a willing and capable blocker and was often used in the run game on counter and misdirection plays. Much like the safety class, the tight end group in 2013 is as good as we've seen in a few years, but a player like Sudfeld could have really benefited from the exposure in Indianapolis. He's not the only talented tight end to miss out though.

1. Western Kentucky TE Jack Doyle

A versatile, talented four-year starter for the Hilltoppers, Doyle is the type of, ahem, “Jack of all trades,” who can play a number of roles in any offense. An aggressive blocker who works to finish his man in the run game, Doyle plays with good technique and toughness. Not only is he a good blocker, but Doyle also is a long strider who can get down the seam and has the strong hands to make contested catches. Any other year, Doyle would be considered one of the more attractive options at the position. But this spring, it looks like he may just get lost in the numbers in a deep class of tight ends.

Others Snubs Of Note: QB Nick Florence (Baylor), RB Dennis Johnson (Arkansas), WR Jasper Collins (Mt. Union), WR Russell Shepard (LSU), TE Michael Williams (Alabama), OT Alex Hurst LSU, OT R.J. Mattes (NC State), G Matt Summers-Gavin (California), G Blaize Foltz (TCU), DL Darrington Sentimore (Tennessee), LB Cameron Lawrence (Mississippi State), LB Will Compton (Nebraska), CB Melvin White (Louisiana-Lafayette), CB Trey Wilson (Vanderbilt), S Ray-Ray Armstrong (Faulkner)

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