5 Prospects to Watch at the 2013 NFL Combine | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

5 Prospects to Watch at the 2013 NFL Combine

February 22, 2013

Must See Football Videos

Geno Smith

Geno Smith prepares for the NFL Combine at IMG Academy.

At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, more than 300 prospects will be put through a battery of tests that teams use to gauge their potential as professional football players. While draft analysts point out that the 2013 class lacks the surefire superstars of past seasons, like Andrew Luck or Cam Newton, there are several players who we think are poised for a big breakthrough. After the whistle blows on the last drill in Indy, here are five names we think you'll be hearing a lot more often.

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

In 2011, we were blown away by the explosiveness displayed by Von Miller as he prepared for the NFL Combine at Velocity Sports Performance in Irvine, Calif. In the drills we watched this year, Vaccaro—the consensus top-rated safety in the 2013 NFL Draft—was every bit as impressive as Miller, who was selected second overall by the Denver Broncos in 2011.

Vaccaro showed good balance and body control when transitioning out of his breaks during position-specific work, and flashed his ball skills as he got his hands on nearly every pass thrown in his direction during DB drills.

Cordarrelle Patterson NFL Combine.

Cordarrelle Patterson is an unknown commodity looking to make a name for himself at the NFL Combine.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Who? You ask. Patterson is somewhat of an unknown commodity, having played just one season at Tennessee after transferring from junior college. Scouts/ESPN Insider doesn’t even have a scouting report on the guy.

Yet Patterson is regarded by many as the top wide receiver in the class, and he should dazzle scouts with his superb blend of speed, size and athleticism. Ken Vick, high performance director of the Combine training program at Velocity, likened Patterson’s ability to transition to top-end speed to that of DeSean Jackson, who ran a 4.35 40-Yard Dash in 2007.

Measuring around 6’3”, Patterson could draw comparisons to 2011 first-rounder Julio Jones, who blew the roof off the dome at Lucas Oil Field with his sensational Combine showing. If Patterson checks in with a performance like Jones’s, he could solidify himself as a top-15 pick.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Smith caught some flack for declining an invite to compete in the Senior Bowl, but he aims to redeem himself by participating in all Combine activities. The senior QB from West Virginia was all business during our recent visit to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

By all accounts, Smith is the most polished QB prospect in this year’s draft. He appeared confident working from under center and looked solid when throwing from the pocket. He displayed good footwork in his drops and escapes from the pocket and was decisive with his reads.

There are several QB-needy teams at the top of the draft, desperate for a true No. 1 QB to emerge. Smith appears to have a slight edge entering the Combine, and a strong showing during QB drills could put him high up on the draft board as a potential No. 1 pick.

Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Nick Winkelman, director of training systems for Athletes’ Performance, says Trufant possesses elite speed and quickness and is the fastest athlete he’s trained for the NFL Combine since CB Leon Hall, a first-round pick in 2007.

Hall owns the second-fastest time in the Three-Cone Drill (6.5 seconds) among defensive backs since 2006, and his time in the 20-Yard Shuttle (4.07 seconds) was second among all participants in 2007. Look for Trufant, the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks CB and 2003 first-round selection Marcus Trufant, to challenge for the top agility times among all position groups in Indy.

Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist

With all of its sprints and jumps, the NFL Combine looks more like a track meet than a football game. So who's better positioned to deliver a dominating performance than a former shot put and discus champion? Hunt won gold medals in both events at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing before pursuing a football career in the United States. He’s still raw in terms of his skill set, but his athleticism is off the charts. So, too, is his size: The bio for Hunt on the SMU athletics site lists him at 6’8”, 280 pounds.

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,216
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,551,323
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 34,038,865

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 135,407
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 14,586
Elite Performance With Mike Boyle: Train the Core While Standing Views: 311,611
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,221,618
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,105
How Greg Nixon Gets More 'Twerk' on the Track
Views: 950,576
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

The Best College Football Programs

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective