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Brett Smith, Denicos Allen among those not invited to Combine


The 335 participants in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine have been announced.

Here's a position-by-position look at the number of invitees, declared underclassmen who weren't invited and some notable players who won't be there.


Number of combine participants: 19.
Declared underclassmen not invited: Brett Smith, Wyoming.
Notables not invited: Garrett Gilbert, SMU; Casey Pachall, TCU; Keith Price, Washington; Chase Rettig, Boston College.
Buzz: Smith's exclusion is surprising. While he should've stayed for his senior season, there are more than a few analysts who think he should go somewhere in the middle to later rounds of the draft. Gilbert, who began his career at Texas, averaged 352.8 passing yards per game, which was fourth nationally, and has good size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds).

Running backs

Number of combine participants: 36 (including 3 fullbacks).
Declared underclassmen not invited: Brendan Bigelow, California; Darrin Reaves, UAB; John Spooney, Brown.
Notables not invited: Rajion Neal, Tennessee; Branden Oliver, Buffalo; FB Jay Prosch, Auburn.
Buzz: Prosch is considered the best fullback in the draft by numerous analysts. Neal was a 1,000-yard rusher this season. Spooney has legit track speed. Oliver is short and lacks breakaway speed, but he's a physical runner who was ninth nationally in rushing this season and broke most of James Starks' career records at Buffalo.

Wide receivers

Number of combine participants: 48.
Declared underclassmen not invited: None.
Notables not invited: Alex Amidon, Boston College; Chandler Jones, San Jose State; Jeremy Johnson, SMU; Alex Neutz, Buffalo; Solomon Patton, Florida; Bernard Reedy, Toledo; Eric Thomas, Troy; Eric Ward, Texas Tech.
Buzz: The "notables" in this section were productive -- and in some cases, incredibly productive -- college players who lack size or speed. Jones was David Fales' favorite receiver and a four-year starter for the Spartans. Amidon is the leading receiver in BC history. Johnson caught 189 passes in the past two seasons. Reedy can fly, but is just 5-foot-8. Patton and Thomas were at the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Tight ends

Number of combine participants: 22.
Declared underclassmen not invited: None.
Notables not invited: Alex Bayer, Bowling Green; Ted Bolser, Indiana; Chris Coyle, Arizona State; Michael Flacco, New Haven (Conn.); Gator Hoskins, Marshall.
Buzz: Bolser was one of the better tight ends in the Big Ten in each of his four seasons. Flacco is a former minor league baseball player who is the brother of Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Coyle was a first-team All-Pac-12 performer this season. Bayer was a steady four-year performer who showed an ability to get deep in 2013. Hoskins, likely a better fit at H-back, had 15 TD receptions this season, and 30 of his 99 career receptions went for scores.

Offensive linemen

Number of combine participants: 50 (23 tackles, 15 guards, 12 centers).
Declared underclassmen not invited: T Terrance Hackney, Bethune-Cookman.
Notables not invited: T Evan Finkenberg, Arizona State; G Parker Graham, Oklahoma State; T Matt Hall, Belhaven (Miss.); T Donald Hawkins, Texas; C Zac Kerin, Toledo; T Danny Kistler, Montana; G Jordan McCray, UCF; G Andrew Norwell, Ohio State; T Bryce Quigley, San Diego State; G Austin Wentworth, Fresno State.
Buzz: Finkenberg, Graham, McCray, Norwell, Quigley and Wentworth were first-team all-league performers in their conferences. Hall is huge (6-9, 325) and also played at Arkansas and Ole Miss. Kistler for a time was considered one of the top three linemen in the FCS ranks. Hawkins has good versatility and also can play guard. Kerin generally had been considered one of the top seven or eight centers in the nation.

Defensive linemen

Number of combine participants: 56 (30 ends, 22 tackles, 4 nose tackles).
Declared underclassmen not invited: NT Carlos Gray, North Carolina State; DE Chris McCain, California; DT Viliami Moala, California.
Notables not invited: DT Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State; DT/NT Ken Bishop, Northern Illinois; DE Chris McAllister, Baylor.
Buzz: Moala is a former five-star recruit who showed flashes at Cal but never was close to being consistent. Barnett and McAllister were first-team All-Big 12 guys. Bishop is a stout guy against the run and still could get drafted.


Number of combine participants: 35 (20 outside, 15 inside).
Declared underclassmen not invited: None.
Notables not invited: OLB Denicos Allen, Michigan State; ILB Justin Anderson, Louisiana-Lafayette; OLB Shaquil Barrett, Colorado State; ILB Greg Blair, Cincinnati; OLB Brad Daly, Montana State; OLB Eddie Lackey, Baylor; ILB DeDe Lattimore, USF; ILB Keith Smith, San Jose State; ILB Andrew Wilson, Missouri.
Buzz: Allen not being invited might be the biggest surprise other than Brett Smith's non-inclusion. Allen is just 5-foot-11, but he is a tough playmaker who was a key component of the nation's No. 1 defense (in terms of total yards). Smith led the nation in tackles and was a four-year starter who finished his career with 476 tackles. He lacks quickness but has great instincts. Barrett made a ton of big plays for Colorado State. Wilson led Mizzou in tackles but is seen as strictly a run-stuffer. Blair was great as a junior but tailed off a bit as a senior. Lackey was a first-team All-Big 12 performer but lacks size (6-0, 220).

Defensive backs

Number of combine participants: 59 (39 cornerbacks, 11 strong safeties, 9 free safeties).
Declared underclassmen not invited: CB Nick Addison, Bethune-Cookman; CB Kameron Jackson, California; CB Al Louis-Jean, Boston College; FS Pierre Warren, Jacksonville State.
Notables not invited: CB Walt Aikens, Liberty; CB Carrington Byndom, Texas; SS Alden Darby, Arizona State; CB Ciante Evans, Nebraska; SS Jerry "BooBoo" Gates, Bowling Green; SS Brian Jackson, Oregon; CB Robert Nelson, Arizona State; SS Hakeem Smith, Louisville; CB Marcus Williams, North Dakota State; FS Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State.
Buzz: Aikens is a big corner (6-foot-1) who supposedly had a good week at the Senior Bowl. Smith was a four-year starter for Louisville and hits a ton. Darby, Evans, Nelson and Zimmerman were first-team all-league performers in their respective conferences. Gates is a big hitter who doubles as a dangerous return man. Byndom was a three-year starter for Texas whose performance didn't always match up to his potential.


Number of combine participants: 10 (4 kickers, 5 punters, 1 long snapper).
Declared underclassmen not invited: None.
Notables not invited: K Nate Freese, Boston College; P Zac Murphy, Miami (Ohio); K Cody Parkey, Auburn; P Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State; P Cody Webster, Purdue.
Buzz: Webster won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's best punter. Parkey and Freese are known for their ability to produce touchbacks. In addition, Freese was 20 of 20 on field-goal attempts in 2013 and made 70 field goals in his career. Murphy averaged 46.6 yards per punt this season, and Van Der Kamp averaged at least 41 yards each season in his career -- and he punted 289 times in those four seasons.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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