Most evaluators agree that the results in Indianapolis shouldn't trump what you spent all fall and winter studying on tape. However, there is no denying the fact that every year, a few prospects see their stock soar after posting impressive numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine. I've identified five players who should help themselves with monster workout numbers.
(NOTE: Click on each prospect's name for a full scouting report. And be sure to tune in to NFL Network for full coverage of the combine Feb. 17-23.)
1) Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.): Most NFL personnel men expect Dorsett to claim the title as the fastest man in this draft class. He has gone on the record stating his goal for the 40-yard dash: 4.29 seconds. After studying him on tape, I wouldn't be surprised to see him achieve that mark. He has effortless speed and destroys pursuit angles.
2) Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn: Coates has great size (6-foot-2, 201 pounds), and his speed/explosiveness is clear as day on film. Auburn coaches have told scouts to expect a show when Coates is officially timed and tested in Indy. He should post a low-4.3 40 time and compete for a top spot in just about every other event.
3) Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: There is some concern about Ray's lack of bulk (Mizzou listed him at 245 pounds), but he makes up for it with rare explosiveness. Ray should record an outstanding 10-yard split in the 40, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him rip off a low-4.5 time in the event. Scouts also expect him to log a vertical leap of close to 40 inches.
4) Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State: Smith should contend for the fastest time in the 40-yard dash, but his most impressive numbers might be recorded during the vertical and broad jumps. He has an extensive high school track background, having claimed an Ohio state title in the long jump. He also competed on the track team at Ohio State during his freshman year. The hyper-athletic receiver could put on the best all-around show at Lucas Oil Stadium.
5) Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA: He battled injuries during his career at UCLA, but he put together an excellent 2014 campaign. Odighizuwa is one of the most physically impressive players in this draft class and should put up huge testing numbers in Indianapolis. Last spring, he weighed 264 pounds and ran a 4.62 40-yard dash. At the combine, I wouldn't be surprised if he checked in at 270 pounds and run something in the 4.5 range. Also, he should impress in the jumping events.