Ask 5: Who will be biggest surprise of 2018 NFL Combine?

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's always a buzz when you arrive in Indy for the NFL Scouting Combine (March 2-5 on NFL Network). There's chatter about not only the star players in attendance, but also the emerging players that are going to generate some traction following their workout.

There are a dozen or so prospects each year that surprise everyone with their performance at the combine. Cowboys DB Byron Jones comes to mind as one such player. Everyone knew he was a good player coming into the event a couple years ago, but his workout was a shock to the system.

I reached out to five NFL personnel execs and asked them who'll be the biggest surprise of this year's group. Here are their responses.

Executive 1: UCLA OT Kolton Miller
"He's going to run fast and test very well. He's going to springboard his combine into being the hot, rising tackle."

Executive 2: Iowa C James Daniels
"James Daniels is going to blow up the testing. He's going to run really fast."

Executive 3: UTSA DE Marcus Davenport
"Rooms are split on Davenport, but I think he'll put up outrageous numbers and that will convince the doubters."

Executive 4: Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd
"He's going to test really well. He'll generate some buzz."

Executive 5: Georgia State CB Chandon Sullivan
"My dark horse is Chandon Sullivan. He's going to open some eyes after he tests here in Indy."

Summary: That's one vote apiece for Kolton Miller, Nathan Shepherd, James Daniels, Marcus Davenport and Chandon Sullivan.

Conclusion: As for my take on the prospects mentioned, I'm already sold on Davenport as one of the top edge rushers in the draft, and I don't expect his workout to change my evaluation. I think Daniels is one of the better center prospects we've seen in last five years. Miller is a polarizing player around the league. The grades for him are all over the map, but strong workout would definitely help his cause. Shepherd was on his way to having a huge Senior Bowl week before he suffered a hand injury. He can recapture that momentum with a good workout here. Sullivan is very raw, but teams are always looking to invest in players like him in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.

Two players I'm excited to see that weren't mentioned are running backs -- Jacksonville State's Roc Thomas and Miami's Mark Walton. They could surprise people during the testing at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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