The NFL Combine is an opportunity for some of the nation's top prospects to do some things with very little correlation to the football field. They'll run the 40-yard dash, rep out 225 pounds on the bench press and do some other speed and agility testing that will provide a profile of their overall athleticism. Prospects will also get a chance to do some football related drills specific to their position, and it's an opportunity to impress scouts ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft. If you get invited, of course. There is a substantial list of 2013 NFL Combine snubs, perhaps the worst being Jasper Collins of Mount Union.
Jasper Collins is the star wide receiver from Mount Union, the Division III powerhouse that earned another National Championship by knocking off St. Thomas in the Stagg Bowl. Jasper Collins posted 92 receptions for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns over the course of his senior season. The NFL invited 333 players to the 2013 NFL Combine, but Jasper Collins wasn't one of them.
Jasper Collins projects as a slot receiver in the NFL. Throughout the week at the East-West shrine Game, he struggled a bit with press coverage but is very good when operating off the line of scrimmage and given a cushion to work with. At 6'0", 190, he's not a big receiver but he should get better at getting off the press at the line of scrimmage with some practice.
It would be more understandable if Mount Union was still completely off the NFL radar. After producing Pierre Garcon of the Washington Redskins and Cecil Shorts of the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent years, producing NFL wide receivers has become a regular thing for the Purple Raiders. Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts received invites to the NFL Combine in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
For a Division III athlete, the NFL Combine can be more important than it is for most prospects. The opportunity to showcase your skills with the big boys from Division I under the same roof in front of NFL scouts is a priceless one. For most of the prospects at the NFL combine, they've been competing against each other on the same field for years. There are head-to-head matchups throughout the hours of film NFL teams have on the prospects form bigger schools. It can be a bit harder to have a reference point athletically with a player like Jasper Collins.
it's not just a disservice to Jasper Collins, it's a detriment to the NFL teams trying to evaluate him. Jasper Collins is currently projected to be selected around the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Top 10 2013 NFL Combine Snubs:
- Jasper Collins, Mount Union
- Vince Williams, Florida State
- Jack Doyle, Western Kentucky
- Joe Vellano, Maryland
- Ryan Griffin, Tulane
- Ray-Ray Armstrong, Faulkner
- Zach Sudfield, Nevada
- DeVonte Christopher, Utah
- Travis Howard, Ohio State
- Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard
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