The NFL Scouting Combine is an event that every evaluator and fan of the game has circled on their calendar.
Usually released during the second week of February, the event contains over 300 of the top college football players in the country, but there always seems to be some players that are left out. This year was no different as it always comes as a surprise to see which players are left out, but that doesn't mean that their story is over.
We've seen a lot of players in years past not receive an invitation to Indianapolis, but that hasn't caused their pro aspirations to remain unfulfilled. Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay is a prime example of how a player persevered through being left out from the yearly spectacle, but he turned out to become a better player than most of the running backs that were drafted in 2018.
This year, many stories remain unwritten, but the road to making an NFL roster is no easy task. Not being invited is a sore wart that will be hard to overcome for many, but others will still remain the same in the eyes of many evaluators who will now have to wait until their pro day workouts on campus in order to get testing numbers. There are a host of players that were omitted from this year’s event, but five prospects stuck out to me the most.
Levonta Taylor, Safety, Florida State
In what started as a promising career, Levonta Taylor was a key piece to Flordia State’s 2016 recruiting class. A successful first few seasons on campus led many to believe Taylor could be the next big-time prospect to exit the program early, but he returned after an injury-riddled junior season. With high expectations as senior, he was unable to return to his earlier year form. In a snapshot scouting report about the defensive back, there's a lot to like:
During his time in Tallahassee, Taylor has played all five positions on the back-end of the Seminoles 4-2-5 defense. After playing outside and nickel cornerback during his first three years, he transitioned to the strong safety/STAR role as a senior. Having experience at so many positions will only help him in the long run as has now experienced every spot during his collegiate career.
His upper-echelon foot speed makes him an option to experience success at multiple spots in the right scheme on the next level. Teams were constantly trying to keep him out of their backfield. As a highly successful blitzing option, he has the tendency and awareness of knowing how to time up those pressures. A bit of a creeper, but his success rate with getting into the backfield when blitzing off of the slot or from the backside is high. Taylor is a press-man coverage menace that is competitive at the line of scrimmage with his hand fighting and initial technique.
Myles Dorn, Safety, North Carolina
Myles Dorn inherited his family’s athletic genes and proved to be a reliable option on the back-end of the defense at North Carolina. In what came as a surprise to many, he was left off of the combine invitation list. After a breakout junior season, Dorn nearly topped all of his previous totals as he recorded career highs in tackles (83), tackles for loss (3.5) and tied his previous mark with two interceptions.
Tyler Huntley, Quarterback, Utah
It's no secret that Tyler Huntley's career at Utah has been a never-ending adventure. The clear leader of the Utes offense, Huntley finally hit his stride during his final season after battling all types of adversity in previous seasons. The NFL still seems to be a bit on the fence about his future projection, but for now, he project as a seventh-round pick or undrafted priority free agent come April.
Bravvion Roy, Defensive Tackle, Baylor
A mammoth in the middle of Baylor’s defense, Bravvion Roy was an immovable anchor. With space eaters becoming more of a thing of the past, it's understandable why the league may be down on him at the moment. Unfortunately for all of us, Roy would've tested much better than a prospect of his size because of his athleticism shown throughout his time in Waco. Despite him being left off of the list of 337 prospects, it shouldn't come as a surprise if Roy turns out to be one of the better Day 3 interior defensive line prospects from this class if his landing spot is ideal.
Kevin Dotson, Guard, Lousiana-Lafayette
Kevin Dotson is by far the biggest combine omission. He was paired alongside Robert Hunt, and the two formed a formidable duo that consistently collected bodies weekly. Dotson has the makings of possibly being a future starter with more development down the road. Already possessing the nastiness of a long-time veteran, he's a bit of a projection, but one that many teams should be sprinting to the podium to take a chance on during the third day of the draft.