Three hundred and thirty-eight players have been invited to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine which kicks off February 26 in Indianapolis. While this group represents the cream of the crop, there are always players who fall through the cracks. With that in mind, here is a list of players from each position that I was shocked to learn did not get invited to Indianapolis.
Quarterback – Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
Cornelius is a big-bodied passer who only started one year for Mike Gundy and the Cowboys at OSU, but he was pretty productive this fall and has NFL tools. Cornelius has huge hands, a good arm, and impressive touch to all areas of the field. The senior throws a nice deep ball, which we saw at the East-West Shrine Game. He will have to adjust to more of a pro-style offense, but I think he has tools to develop into a solid backup at the next level. In my opinion, he has more to work with than some of the other signal-callers who got the call ahead of him for this event.
Other Surprises: Taryn Christion (South Dakota State), Eric Dungey (Syracuse), Manny Wilkins (Arizona State), David Blough (Purdue), and Justice Hansen (Arkansas State)
Running Back – Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska
This was one of the biggest surprises for me. Ozigbo has above-average size, solid feet, and impressive play strength to shrug off contact and create his own yardage. A bit of a one-year wonder, Ozigbo didn’t hit his stride until his senior season under a new coaching staff with Scott Frost at the helm, but his film is impressive. A big back with definite power as a ball carrier, I think he can find a role in the NFL despite the fact that he needs to get a bit better in pass protection and isn’t an athletic mismatch in space. I’m a big fan of the way he plays.
Other Surprises: Jacques Patrick (Florida State), Soso Jamabo (UCLA), Ty Johnson (Maryland), Marquis Young (UMass), Darwin Thompson (Utah State), Damarea Crockett (Missouri), Kerrith Whyte (FAU), Darrin Hall (Pitt), Bruce Anderson (North Dakota State), and Wes Hills (Slippery Rock)
Wide Receiver – Penny Hart, Georgia State
Hart was one of the standouts from the Senior Bowl, and it’s a shock that he won’t be in attendance in Indianapolis as he would have been one of the top performers in drills. Hart is explosive, twitched up, and has a skill set that should translate well to the NFL game. He was able to consistently get defenders turned around in one-on-one drills down in Mobile last month. He is certainly undersized at 5-8, 180 pounds, but he was incredibly productive in the Sun Belt Conference finishing fourth all time in receiving yards. Hart should be able to carve out a role quickly at the next level.
Other Surprises: Olamide Zaccheaus (Virginia), Jesper Horsted (Princeton), Malcolm Williams (Coastal Carolina), Terry Wright (Purdue), Anthony Ratliff-Williams (North Carolina), Jalen Guyton (North Texas), John Ursua (Hawaii), Dredrick Snelson (UCF), and Ron’Quavion Tarver (Utah State)
Tight End – C’yontai Lewis, Florida
A solid player with plenty of reps both as a blocker and as a pass catcher, I think Lewis is one of the more underrated players in the class. Based off my film study, I think he does most things well but just nothing great. I don’t know that he can be relied on to play in-line right away, but he’s a pretty good athlete with the ability to get down the seam and make plays. No one is talking about Lewis, but he’s a name to keep an eye on for the future.
Other Surprises: Tyler Petite (USC), Kano Dillon (Oregon), Matt Sokol (Michigan State), Donald Parham (Stetson), and Charles Jones (Tulane)
Offensive Line – Garrett Brumfield, LSU
Brumfield really has flown under the radar, but he was one of my favorite linemen entering the season. A starter at guard for the Bengals of the Bayou, Brumfield is a big, strong, physical blocker who brings a nasty streak to the trenches and will fit in well in a power run scheme that asks their linemen to come downhill and blow people off the ball. At 6-3, 300 pounds, Brumfield missed some time this year due to injury, but I thought he was Senior Bowl-worthy on film watching him over the summer.
Other Surprises: Justin Skule (Vanderbilt), Lester Cotton (Alabama), Bunchy Stallings (Kentucky), Alex Bookser (Pitt), Damian Prince (Maryland), Tyree St. Louis (Miami), and Derrick Kelly (Florida State)
Edge Rusher – Malik Reed, Nevada
Reed is undersized for a pass rusher (6-1, 240 pounds) and made the move to off-ball linebacker in Nevada’s 3-3 stack scheme as a senior. In my opinion, his value is still off the edge in pass rushing situations. A good athlete for the edge with a motor that never quits, Reed should be able to serve as a good special teams player at the very least, but his position versatility should help his stock as well moving into the NFL.
Other Surprises: Mathieu Betts (Laval), Jesse Aniebonam (Maryland), Jamey Mosley (Alabama), Landis Durham (Texas A&M), Darian Roseboro (N.C. State), and Markus Jones (Angelo State)
Defensive Tackle – Michael Dogbe (Temple)
One of my other biggest surprises, I think Dogbe is a mid-round selection in the upcoming draft. A three-year starter for the Owls, Dogbe is an exceptional athlete, has position versatility (he played both defensive end and tackle throughout his career), and a non-stop motor. He further proved his wares down at the East-West Shrine Game back in January, where he was one of the most impressive players in attendance with a stacked defensive line group in St. Petersburg. I was very disappointed to see that Dogbe won’t be in Indy.
Other Surprises: Ricky Walker (Virginia Tech), Cortez Broughton (Cincinnati), Braxton Hoyett (Mississippi State), Ed Alexander (LSU), Chris Nelson (Texas), P.J. Johnson (Arizona), and Ryan Bee (Marshall)
Linebacker – Natrez Patrick, Georgia
A three-year starter at inside linebacker for the Bulldogs, Patrick has had some suspensions in his past, but on the field, he’s a tough, physical thumper with enough athleticism to play in the league. There’s debate, however, whether it’s enough to play at a starting level on all three downs. The Atlanta native projects best at middle linebacker, and his play strength really shows up on film.
Other Surprises: Joe Dineen (Kansas), Darrell Williams (Auburn), Anthony Wheeler (Texas), Ulysees Gilbert (Akron), B.J. Blunt (McNeese State), Drew Lewis (Colorado), Tre Watson (Maryland), Khalil Hodge (Buffalo), and Josiah Tauaefa (UTSA)
Cornerback – Isaiah Wharton, Rutgers
Wharton’s snub is a bit of a blessing and a curse. On one hand, he’s one of my favorite corners on film and he absolutely should be there in attendance in front of NFL teams. A four-year starter with impressive play strength, good instincts, and the ability to play well at the line of scrimmage, I think he’ll definitely stick in the league. The question, however, is his speed, and that may be the blessing here, as a bad 40-time would have put him on the radar for the wrong reasons. Wharton is a draftable corner, and one with potential, and I’m a bit shocked that he won’t be in Indianapolis.
Other Surprises: Tyler Horton (Boise State), Chris Westry (Kentucky), Keisean Nixon (South Carolina), Tim Harris (Virginia), Jordan Wyatt (SMU), Jimmy Moreland (James Madison), Clifton Duck (Appalachian State), and Kadar Hollman (Toledo)
Safety – Delvon Randall (Temple)
A three-year starter who excelled at playing the ball in the air, Randall left the East-West Shrine Game during the week of practice due to injury, but the former high school receiver has plenty of next-level ability thanks to his playmaking style. A tad undersized for the position from a height and length standpoint, Randall has the quickness to match in coverage and figures to fit into a secondary rotation as a backup safety in the NFL. I’m a bit shocked that the former Owl won’t be in Indy.
Other Surprises: Chris Johnson (North Alabama), Jojo McIntosh (Washington), Jamon Reynolds (Virginia Tech), and Santos Ramirez (Arkansas)
Fran Duffy is the producer of the Emmy-nominated Eagles Game Plan show which can be seen every gameday during the season on NBC10 in Philadelphia. He is also the host of two Eagles-related podcasts, Eagle Eye in the Sky, which examines the team from an X's and O's angle each and every week as well as the Journey to the Draft podcast, which covers college football and the NFL Draft all year round. Fran also authors the Eagle Eye in the Sky column, which runs four times a week during the football season to serve as a recap for the previous game and to preview the upcoming matchup. Prior to joining the Eagles in 2011, Duffy was the head video coordinator for the Temple University football team under former head coach Al Golden. In that role, he spent thousands of hours shooting, logging, and assisting with the breakdown of the All-22 film from the team’s games, practices, and opponents.