Noah Spence will have plenty of questions to answer this weekend about his character.
Its hard to believe that the NFL Combine is already here. This year’s draft class is loaded with potential but there several prospects that have some question marks attached to them. Here are ten prospects that have some question marks heading into this weekend. I’ll be keeping an eye on them this weekend.
1. Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State: Wentz will impress physically but teams will grill him in the meeting and classroom sessions to see if he has the mental make up to start at the next level. Wentz played in a multiple offense at NDSU so he has experience playing both under center and in the gun. The good thing for Wentz is that he has already impressed some scouts and personnel people with his play at the Senior Bowl.
2. Derrick Henry, Running Back, Alabama: Henry had a tremendous college career and proved to be a big game player last season. He is physically strong but I want to see how fast he times and if he can consistently catch the football in drills. Henry has a lot of wear and tear on his frame. That will concern teams.
3. Noah Spence, Defensive End, Eastern Kentucky: The former Ohio State product is a raw talent but he has a lot of character concerns. There is no question that Spence has the physical ability, but he will need to sell himself big time in the interview portion of this process. Spence is a first round talent but I can assure you that plenty of teams don’t have them on their board.
4. Braxton Miller, Wide Receiver, Ohio State: I think Miller will test well but he needs to prove that he can consistently catch the football and that he runs good routes. Miller is a terrific athlete but he is unpolished. This weekend will go a long way in determining where he goes in this draft.
5. Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State: Bosa is an elite defensive end who is a three down difference maker. There is no question that the athletic ability is there but I am curious to see how many reps he does in the bench press and how he does in the explosion drills. Bosa can be a little inconsistent as a pass rusher. He will need to prove this weekend that he has developed in that area.
6. Shaq Lawson Defensive End, Clemson: Lawson had to go to Hargrave Military Academy after high school. There are some red flags there in terms of his character. He’s also a year older as a result. Dawson has raw pass rush ability but I think he needs to prove that he can do more than that in this combine. Teams will be looking to see if he can drop into coverage and play in space.
7. Christian Hackenberg, Quarterback, Penn State: Hackenberg has the physical tools and the size to be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. Teams want to know why he regressed so much the last two seasons. Was it him? Was it the coaching change? Was it the scheme? Hackenberg will need to answer all of those questions as he tries to prove that he is a first round talent.
8. Shawn Oakman, Defensive End, Baylor: At 6-8, 270, Oakman looks the part. He is chiseled and freakishly athletic. The problem is, he’s got some character issues and he’s been a career underachiever. Oakman is undisciplined and he doesn’t play within the scheme. He was projecting as a first round pick last summer but now he’ll be lucky to go in the first three rounds.
9. Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss: Nkemdiche will test well but he will have a hard time explaining to teams why he was smoking pot in New Orleans and jumping out of windows. I still think Nkemdiche is a first rounder but there is no doubt that he will slide to the bottom of the first round.
10. Scooby Wright, Outside Linebacker, Arizona: Wright was a tackling machine at Arizona and was one of the best defensive players in the country the past two years. A knee injury early last season sidelined him for most of the season. Wright came back to play in the New Mexico Bowl but he looked out of shape. He will need to prove that his knee is healthy and that he can move again. If he does, Wright has the potential to go in either the second or third round.