5 Players With the Most to Gain at the NFL Combine

We're just a few days out before the NFL's future brightest stars take the field to prove why they should be on top of every team's wish-list. With such a great opportunity comes a chance to rise above the pressure, ace all the tests and rise above the crop.


There will be plenty of players on the field who have something to lose, and others finding themselves in the unique position to increase their draft stock ahead of April's big draft. Though there are plenty who will succeed and surprise, let's take a look at the five biggest names who will steal the headlines.

5. Lamar Jackson

Michael Vick publicly stated that Lamar Jackson is basically a spitting image of him, and there are plenty of teams out there who would want to draft the next Vick. In essentially what is a track-and-field event, Jackson is going to wow in the 40-yard-dash, the broad and high jump, the three-cone drill and practically every athletic drill he chooses to participate in because of how special he is. 


The knock against him is that he's too much of a runner as opposed to a pocket passer, but don't let that fool you from thinking he doesn't have an arm. A true gunslinger, he'll get a chance to show his ability once the passing drills begin. Although his footwork might be called out, his ability to effectively throw on the run and from uneven platforms will wow the onlookers.

4. Rashaad Penny

Despite leading the FBS in total yards and breaking numerous records along the way, SDSU's Rashaad Penny still remains somewhere in the middle of the mix in a running back class that has extraordinary depth. Though he wont go as high as Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones II or maybe even the Georgia duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, he has the prototypical size and speed to be an every-down back in the NFL.


He'll finally get a chance to run drills alongside the most popular names ahead of him, and that will be a chance for him to close the gap that exists.

3. Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin is probably one of the coolest stories in this year's draft. Overcoming a condition that claimed his left hand at birth, Griffin has beat all odds to become college football's top edge defenders. As 2016 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, Griffin is as versatile as they come and can play both linebacker and defensive end. 


His strongest trait is his notable high motor; he never stops pursuing the ball, never gives up on a play and never seems to get tired on the field. That's going to show throughout each drill, and for a guy who was questionable to receive a combine invite leading up to the Senior Bowl, he carries a third-round draft projection where he can easily slide into the second round based off of his performance this week.

2. Courtland Sutton

There's a debate whether Alabama's Calvin Ridley or SMU's Courtland Sutton is the best receiver in 2018's class, but Ridley typically gets more attention because of his association with the dominant Crimson Tide.


Yet, Sutton is an absolute monster ready to take over No. 1 wideout responsibilities the minute he steps onto the gridiron as a pro. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, he's a matchup nightmare with powerful hands and spectacular route-running ability for a guy his size. After this combine, he won't be able to fly under the radar any longer. 

1. Baker Mayfield

You would think the Heisman winner and most vocal, media magnet of this class would have everything to lose in this one, but the fact that Baker Mayfield thrives when the stakes are high and the chip is on his shoulder makes him the best candidate to take over in this combine. 


Some analysts have already listed him as a second-day, second-round pick, but his skillset is not to be overlooked. Mayfield is a leader with arm power that doesn't get enough credit. He'll be in his element as he yet again gets another chance to try to prove why he should be considered as one of the best quarterback prospects in this draft.