Keenan Reynolds among 6 biggest NFL scouting combine snubs
When the NFL scouting combine invites are released, every year there are a number of deserving players that didn’t make the list.
Here are five players that stood out to us during the season with their performances and deserved to showcase their talents at the combine:
Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds had two things counting against him when it comes to a combine invite. First, he played in a service academy option offense and second is that he will be asked to switch positions, most likely to running back or possibly even slot wide receiver. While Navy’s option attack isn’t close to an NFL offense we felt that Reynolds should have been a Heisman contender for his high level of production on a weekly basis. He isn’t the biggest, strongest or fastest running back but he runs with an instinctive feel for finding creases and space and he was an incredibly productive rusher at Navy. Reynolds would have been interesting to watch compete with the running backs group at the combine.
Jake Coker, QB, Alabama
Jake Coker was not among the 18 quarterbacks invited to the combine, which was a bit of a surprise considering his program’s success and big-school pedigree. While Coker isn’t necessarily a top-five guy at his position he did grade out better during the season than a few of the other quarterbacks who will be in Indianapolis. Additionally, Coker performed well during team drills at Senior Bowl practices showing he belonged with the best players in the nation. While some smaller-school quarterbacks will embrace their combine opportunity, Coker will have to wait until Alabama’s Pro Day to make his next impression on the scouting community.
Aaron Green, RB, TCU
Aaron Green is small, but quick and elusive. He can make people miss in the open field. Despite his small stature Green, held his own in pass protection drills at Senior Bowl practice. That combined with his pass-catching ability means he can be on the field on third downs. Green was the most productive running back by far during team drills in Mobile, ripping off several nice runs. He demonstrated his versatile skill set and made a statement — he deserves to be competing with the best players in the country.
Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron
Jatavis Brown was one of our highest-graded linebackers this season, but if you take a look at his size it is easy to see why he was passed over. He is listed at 5-11 and 223 pounds, which is both short and light for a NFL linebacker. However, Brown’s play shows his true potential at the next level. Brown was a blur on film, flying around and making plays in different phases of the game. He played well all season and graded positively as a pass rusher, run defender and in coverage. Brown will have to hope that his performance during the season — as well as his outstanding performance during the NFLPA Bowl week — will be enough to convince a team of using a draft pick.
Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennesse
Kevin Byard’s lack of height (5-11) probably helped keep him on the outside looking in when it comes to the combine. However, Byard appears capable of playing a true deep safety role in the NFL and those prospects have been hard to come by in the last few draft classes. Byard looks comfortable playing on the third-level and showed during team drills in Mobile that he could play well against top competition. Byard played better in Mobile than some players at his position who did receive combine invites. From a scouting and evaluation standpoint it would have been very informative to watch a player like Byard — with experience and NFL safety potential — run through the position drills next to his peers.
Darion Grisold, TE, Arkansas
Darion Griswold is a player who has stood out to our analysts since his sophomore year. A former basketball player, Griswold has the size (6-3 and 249 pounds) and movement ability that NFL teams love in tight end prospects. He can get open as a pass catcher and he also developed nicely as a run blocker over the past few years. While Griswold did fly under the radar at Arkansas State, he ended up as our 10th-highest tight end in this draft class and should hear his name called on Day 3.