5 Combine Participants Whose Combine Rose Their Draft Stock

5 Combine Participants Whose Combine Rose Their Draft Stock

A look into draft hopefuls who raised their draft stock.

Between the end of the football season and middle of February, there are different mock drafts released which seems like daily giving an idea of where potential players may end up. There are for sure first rounders and there are people who could be first rounders but you never know. The combine is a way for athletes to show why they deserve to be drafted and for people who are projected to be between the first or second round to provide that extra push to hopefully get drafted at the end of the first round.

Here are 5 people who helped increase their draft stock after the 2018 NFL Combine.

1. Shaquem Griffin UCF Linebacker

Griffin is one of the best stories in college football, not just because he helped turn UCF’s football program around, but that he had done it with only one hand and was able to play at such a dominant level. Griffin had his left hand amputated as a young child because of amniotic band syndrome, a rare congenital condition that causes excruciating pain. After moving to linebacker in 2016 he recorded 18.5 sacks over the span of two seasons and was named an All American.

At the combine, Griffin showed an insane performance by running 4.38 40-yard dash, which is the best time any linebacker since 2006 and did 20 bench press reps. Griffin was a top performer in the bench press and the broad jump and as of right now is projected to go in the 5th or 6th round.

2. Saquon Barkley Penn St Running Back

While mock drafts already had Barkley as a top draft prospect the success of his combine has pushed him as high as the number 1 pick in the draft. Barkley did more reps on the bench press than Joe Thomas, ran a faster ten-yard split than DeSean Jackson, a faster 40-yard dash than Devin Hester and a higher vertical jump than Julio Jones. What do the athletes he beat all have in common? All were/are pro bowlers and all pro players and Barkley is hoping to add his name to that list. Barkley is a game changer and any team that gets him can either build around him or find a way to implement him into the offense.

3. Mike Gesicki Penn St Tight End

While being overshadowed by Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews who scouts are confident will play on Sundays behind them is Mike Gesicki of Penn State. Gesicki is the same height as All-Pro Rob Gronkowski and is only about ten pounds lighter but that will change in the NFL. While he is projected as a second-round pick he is somewhat undervalued because he isn’t the typical blocking tight end but posting the best vertical and broad jump for tight ends and running a 4.55 (8 seconds behind potential first rounder Minkah Fitzpatrick) could potentially make him the first tight end drafted.

4. Tony Brown/Anthony Averett Alabama Cornerback

You didn’t think I would leave out Alabama players, did you? Both Brown and Averett were overshadowed by 1st rounder Marlon Humphrey and potential 1st rounder Minkah Fitzpatrick but let’s not forget that these two are pretty talented as well. Brown ran a 4.35 in the 40 and Averett ran a 4.36 which is actually fasterr than Fitzpatrick. Both tested very well and with the scheme Alabama runs it will benefit both of these two players depending on where they end up.

5. Josh Allen Wyoming Quarterback

In a very rich quarterback class with two Heisman trophy winners, the one that could stick out the most is the quarterback from Wyoming. Similar in the case of Carson Wentz two years ago Josh Allen had a very impressive combine and put up very impressive stats his last two years of college. Todd McShay believes Allen will defy odds when he comes into the league even though he posted a 56% completion rate in college. In a heavy quarterback draft, I don’t believe he will be the first one off the board but I do believe he is a first-round talent and whether you want him to learn the position or name him the starter from day 1 he could see some success in the NFL.

While there are prospects who did not do as well at the combine they have one more opportunity to showcase their abilities at their college pro day. The amount of hard work put in will be on full display and every prospect needs to be prepared by the draft. Whether you are drafted in the first round or the fifth round you are still accomplishing a dream and that is huge.

Cover Image Credit: bgladding / Flickr

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.


We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are


"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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