Intangibles -- like effort, leadership, attitude and intelligence -- can make or break a prospect in the NFL draft. They can be the difference between getting drafted on the first day or not being selected at all. Draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki, who writes player profiles for NFL.com, highlighted the intangibles of several prospects in his reports. Here are five players who should shine at the NFL Scouting Combine in interviews and on the field with impeccable intangibles.
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Desirable intangibles for the position -- advanced maturity, leadership and intelligence. Shows poise and moxie. On-field general who commands the huddle. Passionate about the game and works at his craft. ... Athletic, tough, instinctive, strong-armed, highly competitive quarterback who will impress in workouts, interviews and on the board.
Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Sparkling intangibles. Highly respected, hardworking leader who does all the right things. ... One of the cleanest prospects in this year's draft.
Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Mature and intelligent. Cares about the game and prepares like a pro. ... Should interview well, and has the look of a trustworthy, long-term starter given his pass-rush ability, motor and makeup.
Ben Malena, RB, Texas A&M
Compactly built, quicker-than-fast short stepper whose size limits his role, but Malena has the agility, elusiveness, hands and competitiveness to make someone's decision to cut him a difficult one, especially given his special-teams utility. Will interview well, be an asset in the facility and challenge for a complementary/third-down role.