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NFL Scouting Combine: Top prospects who weren't invited

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The 323 participants in the 2015 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.


» Prospects invited to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine


College Football 24/7 Hot Topics:

Quarterbacks

Number of combine participants: 15
Declared underclassmen not invited: None
Notables not invited: Rakeem Cato, Marshall; Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion
Buzz: Cato and Heinicke were two of the most productive quarterbacks in NCAA history. Cato threw 131 TD passes, tied for fourth-most in FBS history. Heinicke threw for 14,959 yards and 132 TDs, but he spent his first three seasons in the FCS ranks. Size and arm strength are issues for both: Cato is listed at 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds, and Heinicke is listed at 6-1 and 213.

Running backs

Number of combine participants: 36 (including 2 fullbacks)
Declared underclassmen not invited: None
Notables not invited: Malcolm Agnew, Southern Illinois; Michael Dyer, Louisville; Alonzo Harris, Louisiana-Lafayette
Buzz: Agnew, who began his career at Oregon State, was considered one of the most talented tailbacks in the FCS ranks. His dad, Ray, was a longtime NFL defensive lineman. Dyer has talent; too often, though, he was in trouble or seemed as if he simply didn't care. Harris (6-1, 240) was a four-year starter at Louisiana-Lafayette who rushed for 44 career touchdowns.

Wide receivers

Number of combine participants: 44
Declared underclassmen not invited: Zach D'Orazio, Akron; George Farmer, USC; Deontay Greenberry, Houston; Chris Harper, Cal; Nigel King, Kansas; Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International; Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
Notables not invited: Devin Gardner, Michigan; John Harris, Texas; Austin Hill, Arizona; Levi Norwood, Baylor; Bud Sasser, Missouri; Jordan Taylor, Rice
Buzz: Greenberry's exclusion is a huge surprise. He is big and fast, and while he was inconsistent, that can be blamed on Houston's uneven quarterback situation when he was a freshman and again last season. Gardner is a big-time athlete trying to make the move from quarterback, and his exclusion is a surprise as well. Hill, whose dad played in the NFL, had a huge season in 2012 as a slot receiver, missed 2013 with a severe knee injury, then returned as an outside receiver in '14 and played well. Harris was a non-entity at Texas until this season, when he had 68 receptions and seven TDs despite playing in a lackluster offense. Sasser was second in the SEC with 77 receptions and was third in the league with 12 TD catches; he also played with a quarterback who was consistent only in his inconsistency. Norwood had a strong junior campaign but struggled as a senior. Taylor is a big guy (6-5, 210) who has good speed and had a third of Rice's 45 TD catches in the last two seasons.

Tight ends

Number of combine participants: 19
Declared underclassmen not invited: None
Notables not invited: Devin Mahina, BYU; Casey Pierce, Kent State; C.J. Uzomah, Auburn
Buzz: Pierce and Uzomah were Reese's Senior Bowl participants, and Pierce was second nationally among tight ends with 60 receptions in 2014. Mahina is big (6-6, 251) and physical and was underutilized as a receiver at BYU.

Offensive linemen

Number of combine participants: 52 (34 tackles, 12 guards, 6 centers)
Declared underclassmen not invited: OT Patrick Miller, Auburn; G Tyler Moore, Florida
Notables not invited: C David Andrews, Georgia; OT Mickey Baucus, Arizona; G Ben Beckwith, Mississippi State; G Kyle Costigan, Wisconsin; C Chris Jasperse, Marshall; G Kaleb Johnson, Rutgers; OT Eric Lefeld, Cincinnati; G Shaquille Mason, Georgia Tech; C Jake Smith, Louisville
Buzz: Andrews was a three-year starter for Georgia. Baucus started for four seasons at Arizona. Beckwith received all-SEC notice this season. Costigan was a first-team All-Big Ten pick this season and was a road-grader in the running game, but injuries have led to him giving up football. Jasperse has excellent size (6-5, 294) and was a four-year starter and two-time All-Conference USA selection. Johnson started for four years at Rutgers, at tackle and guard. Lefeld was a four-year starter and two-time all-conference pick. Mason is squatty (6-2, 310) and was a first-team All-American in some circles this season; he started for three seasons at Tech and was at the Senior Bowl. Smith started for four years at Louisville and also can play guard.

Defensive linemen

Number of combine participants: 55 (31 ends, 21 tackles, 3 nose tackles)
Declared underclassmen not invited: DE Deion Barnes, Penn State; DT David Irving, Iowa State
Notables not invited: DT Kaleb Eulls, Mississippi State; DT Chucky Hunter, TCU; DT Travis Raciti, San Jose State; DE Shaquille Riddick, West Virginia; DT Xavier Williams, Northern Iowa
Buzz: A lot of analysts felt Barnes made a mistake leaving early, and his exclusion from the combine gives those folks even more ammunition. Williams' exclusion is a surprise; he is big (6-5, 320) and productive and considered one of the top FCS defenders. Eulls (6-4, 296) played tackle and end for the Bulldogs. Hunter is a run-stuffer who was a three-year starter and also a three-time second-team All-Big 12 pick. Raciti (6-5, 290) was a four-year starter and played end and tackle. Riddick transferred from FCS member Gardner-Webb and was the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year in 2014 after he finished with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

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Linebackers

Number of combine participants: 35 (18 outside, 17 inside)
Declared underclassmen not invited: Max Flores, Northern Colorado; Darien Rankin, North Carolina
Notables not invited: Jeff Luc, Cincinnati; Quayshawn Nealy, Georgia Tech; Terrance Plummer, UCF; A.J. Tarpley, Stanford; James Vaughters, Stanford; Zach Vigil, Utah State
Buzz: Luc, who began his career as a five-star recruit at Florida State, made 133 tackles this season and was at the Senior Bowl. But he also is 5-11 1/2. Nealy is another sub-6-footer, though he was productive at Tech. Plummer is another who has been ultra-productive (315 tackles in his three seasons as a starter at UCF) but also measures in a shade under 6-0. Tarpley, who is 6-2, started for four seasons at Stanford and had 300 tackles in his career. Vaughters, who also is 6-2, started in his final two seasons at Stanford and had 10.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries in those two seasons. Vigil was the Mountain West defensive player of the year this season, finishing with 154 tackles, nine sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. He is a former walk-on who started for three seasons.

Defensive backs

Number of combine participants: 54 (33 cornerbacks, 13 free safeties, 8 strong safeties)
Declared underclassmen not invited: None
Notables not invited: CB Bryce Callahan, Rice; SS Sam Carter, TCU; CB Imoan Claiborne, Northwestern State (La.); S Erick Dargan, Oregon; FS Dechane Durante, Northern Illinois; CB Cam Thomas, Western Kentucky
Buzz: Claiborne was a Senior Bowl participant. Callahan started for four seasons at Rice and had 13 picks and 33 pass breakups. Carter (6-1, 215) arrived at TCU as a quarterback but ended up starting at safety for three seasons; he had 13 picks and 175 tackles in his career. Dargan was a second-team All-Pac-12 pick this season, when he led the league with seven interceptions. Durante (6-2, 193) started for four seasons for one of the best non-Power Five programs in the nation and had 11 picks and 238 tackles in his career. Thomas (6-1, 190) was a three-year starter who had 11 interceptions and 24 pass breakups in his career.

Specialists

Number of combine participants: 13 (7 punters, 5 kickers, 1 long snapper)
Declared underclassmen not invited: LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
Notables not invited: P Scott Arellano, BYU; P Darragh O'Neill, Colorado; P Mike Sadler, Michigan State
Buzz: Arellano was the No. 2 senior punter in the nation, averaging 45.8 yards per attempt. O'Neill owns a career average of 42.7 yards, and a third of his 281 career punts dropped inside the 20. Sadler, a four-time Academic All-American, had a career average of 42.2 yards, and almost 40 percent of his 268 career punts (104, or 39 percent) were downed inside the 20.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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