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The full list of 2020 NFL scouting combine invitations has been issued, with 337 players in all heading to Indianapolis later this month.
Not all players invited get drafted, of course, and many who don’t go still will end up being picked.
But there were some omissions, we felt.
Here are 10 combine-worthy players who will not be at the event but whom we believe warranted an invitation.
Utah QB Tyler Huntley
If you’re looking for the 2020 NFL draft prospect whose style most closely resembles Lamar Jackson, it’s probably Huntley. No, he doesn’t possess Jackson’s elite athleticism or arm talent, but Huntley is a decent facsimile who had a very effective season despite playing hurt.
Huntley’s accuracy, athleticism and toughness are all NFL-grade, even if he’s a developmental passer who needs time. I think Huntley could sneak into Round 7 — especially for an AFC North team that could use a developmental QB and Jackson clone in practice two weeks a year.
To me, Huntley was good enough to find a spot for.
North Texas QB Mason Fine
Another passer who deserved an invite in our eyes, Fine will always have to battle the questions about his height, standing 5-foot-11. But his production on the field spoke for itself, even as Fine was not quite able to match his brilliant 2018 production last season.
Still, he’s been such an effective passer with worthy leadership traits, we felt Fine belonged in the mix.
Central Michigan RB Johnathan Ward
The 6-foot, 202-pound Ward was a workhorse for the Chippewas, and I thought he did enough to warrant an invite, even at a fairly deep position. Ward was named to the NFLPA Bowl All-Practice Team and answered some questions there about his biggest concerns: fumbling and pass protection. It appeared he might get an invite, so it’s surprising he didn’t.
Temple WR Isaiah Wright
I have a late draftable grade on Wright, who was one of three players to have kickoff and punt returns for TDs in 2018, as well as his solid work as a receiver and even a runner. (Wright also can throw the ball.) The problem was that his 2019 receiving production and special-teams impact both fell off a bit.
The 6-2, 220-pound Wright now must hope he runs a good 40-yard dash — something under 4.6 seconds, we’ll say — at his pro day with only one crack at it now, sans the combine. Still, this is a player who can earn an NFL job with his special-teams prowess.
Memphis TE Joey Magnifico
In addition to being blessed with a tremendous name, Magnifico has enough receiving chops to have received an invite. The 6-foot-4, 242-pounder has good hands, nice seam ability and averaged an eye-opening 16.9-yards per catch.
A scout who lives near the school and has seen Magnifico up close questioned his blocking a bit and felt he needed a bit more consistency in his game but that Magnifico had earned a late-round grade as an underused element of the Tigers’ offense.
Louisiana OG Kevin Dotson
Dotson might be the highest-drafted non-combine player. HIs teammate, Robert Hunt, is getting all the buzz right now — a right tackle who could kick in at guard in the NFL. But Dotson also proved to be a quality prospect, somewhere in the Round 4 range, taking a big step up this season.
Although he struggled in the bowl game against Miami (Ohio) and had some up and down practices at the East West Shrine Game, there’s too much potential in the 6-4, 305-pound guard for him not to be in Indy. He plays bigger than his size, seeks to bury people and isn’t as athletically limited as some think.
Texas C Zach Shackelford
It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Shackelford, who earns A-plus grades for character and who has played extensively at a tough position the past four years. Injuries have hindered him, and there’s nothing overwhelming about Shackelford’s physical traits. But his toughness, character, smarts and desire all are ready-made for the league, having grown up in a military family and overcome doubters along the way.
Baylor NT Bravvion Roy
Turn on the Oklahoma tape from the Big 12 title game and tell me this young man isn’t an interesting NFL prospect. Better yet, tell me he's not deserving of a combine invite, as Roy dominated possible 2021 first-rounder Creed Humphrey in their head-to-head matchup.
Roy won’t be for everyone as a stout plugger — 6-foot-1 and 333 pounds. But in a two-gap system, Roy absolutely could be a valuable piece. And he’s not just a run stopper; Roy is surprisingly good at collapsing the pocket and gaining interior penetration against the pass, too.
I think he will go somewhere early on Day 3 of the 2020 draft.
Mississippi State EDGE Chauncey Rivers
There are some who wonder how the 6-3, 275-pound Rivers — who started at Georgia before going to junior college — will fit in the NFL. But we felt like he provided enough pressures and “almost sacks” to fit into a defensive line rotation in the pros. He improved his numbers across the board despite playing slightly out of position as a “Leo” type rusher for the Bulldogs.
The knock on Rivers is that he’s not all that athletic, but we think he can drop weight and test better than expected. It’s too bad he’s not in Indy.
San Diego State LB Kyahva Tezino
I thought Tezino played like a draftable prospect this season, leading the team in tackles and making plays against the pass and run. It’s a surprise the 6-foot, 235-pounder wasn’t one of the linebackers selected to the event — 40 of them in all. It’s hard to believe Tezino isn’t among that group.
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