Agents and athletic trainers preparing their athletes for the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis are generally hesitant to put expectations on prospects prior to their official workout.
That said, each year in the week leading up to the Combine there is a buzz in the scouting community of prospects who are already turning heads in the pre-Combine preparation.
This year three players generating quite a lot of buzz are Pittsburgh wide receiver Jon Baldin , Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith and New Mexico State cornerback Davon House .
The 6-5, 230 pound Baldwin is reportedly running in the 4.4s and could push the 40" mark in the vertical jump. Results such as this could push Baldin into the first round.
Smith, a 6-2, 205 pound cornerback, has received a lot of national attention in recent weeks as some analysts have finally got around to reviewing his game tape. Graded as a top 40 prospect by NFLDraftScout.com since September, Smith could move into the top 20 if the early reports of his speed are true. Smith, according to sources, has been running in the high 4.3s to low 4.4s. If he runs that well in Indianapolis, Smith will only have to ease scouts' concerns about his off-field behavior to guarantee himself a spot in the draft's opening frame.
Just as many were slow in recognizing Smith's talents, don't be surprised if Davon House is suddenly cast as a draft "riser" if he runs in the high 4.3s to low 4.4s at the Combine, as he's been doing in preparation for the event, according to sources.
House didn't get much national attention playing for the Aggies, but like Smith, he has been highly rated by NFLDraftScout.com all year long. The First-Team All-WAC defender had signed on to play in the Senior Bowl before a recurring ankle injury forced him out of it.
The Combine always reveals some surprises. If these three players work out well, they'll be labeled as surprises by some. NFL scouts and those of us with an ear to the action won't be...