Whether it's on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf during athletic testing, in an Indianapolis hotel room answering questions in an interview with an NFL team, or when facing the scrutiny of team doctors in the all-important medical checks, the combine will go a long way toward determining the draft fate of these five prospects. Here are five RBs with the most to prove in Indy:
NOTE: Click on each player's name for a full combine scouting report.
Fournette was hampered by an ankle injury throughout the 2016 season. He carried the ball 20 times or more in just two games -- though he only needed 16 totes to rack up 287 yards and three scores against Ole Miss in late October. Scouts need to see him at full speed in Indianapolis. His medical exams are also important, as team doctors will want to see how his ankle has healed.
There shouldn't be any issues with Cook athletically, as his agility and speed are obvious on film. His past shoulder issues make his medicals important, however. Cook will also have to answer for past run-ins with the law, so his meetings with NFL teams and teams' investigations of those issues could prove critical to determining his draft range.
Perine holds the NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game (427), but saw decreases in his touches (263 carries in 2014, 196 in 2016) and rushing average (6.5 to 5.4) over his three years in Norman. Scouts aren't sure about his ability to make pro-caliber defenders miss, and are also unsure about his explosiveness given his current weight (listed at 235). Coming into the combine in top shape, and testing better than expected, would quiet some critics and raise his draft stock.
Clement looked like an NFL starter at the Reese's Senior Bowl last month, looking as agile and running as hard as he did on his best days with the Badgers. He had some issues during his time in Madison, however, with injuries, attitude issues, and lying to the team about an altercation in which he was involved. But in 2016, Clement had bounce-back moments while reliably handling a 314-carry workload. Taking responsibility for his actions in interviews and working out well will give him a shot to lock down a top-100 slot.
Williams' 40-yard dash time might be one of the most important of any player at the combine. There's no questioning his physicality as a runner, nor his willingness to be a workhorse. He looks like he's able to get moving fast enough to leave college defenders in the dust -- but what about veteran linebackers and safeties that he'll have to face at the next level? Displaying pure speed in the 40, as well as above-average agility in other tests, could earn him a late-second-round draft grade.