Tyrann Mathieu will be under spotlight at NFL combine


The NFL Scouting Combine gets rolling next week, with 40-times and other measurements getting the most attention. For many of the prospects heading to Indianapolis, the team interviews matter a lot more.

Bucky Books highlights 10 combine invitees with something to prove next week, with five of them having "character" or "maturity" issues. A quick look at the group:

Brooks: Prospects in the crosshairs
Bucky Brooks identifies 10 draft prospects with a whole lot at stake in the upcoming NFL Scouting 
Combine in Indy. More ...

» Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray had several off-field incidents. He's not seen as a guy who can be a leader of men. (Otherwise, he could get taken highly.)

» Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is going to find a team willing to look past his off-field indiscretions, just like St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins last year. The question is how early will teams take a risk on The Honey Badger? His performance at the combine in the interview room will make a big deal.

» Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o obviously has a lot of questions to answer behind closed doors. Teams will also probably watch how he handles the enormous media scrum he is bound to face in Indianapolis.

» Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers left Tennessee because of violations of the school's substance-abuse policy. He will be prepared to go over all of his issues.

» Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree was suspended four games for violating team rules.

Brooks' full list is worth a close look. But these five players are ones to keep an eye on next week in terms of what they say, not what they do on the field.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.