University of South Carolina Football
Friday, February 10, 2012
2012 NFL Combine: South Carolina Sends 6 Players
With the upcoming NFL combine, draft-eligible players are preparing themselves mentally and physically to put on a strong showing for the 32 NFL teams that will be in attendance. The South Carolina Gamecocks are filling six of more than 300 vacancies in the combine, one less than they had at last year's combine.
The list for the Gamecocks this year includes three potential first-round picks and other high-quality players for the later rounds: Alshon Jeffery, Melvin Ingram, Stephon Gilmore, Antonio Allen, Rokevious Watkins and Travian Robertson.
Jeffery and Ingram are some of the best prospects at their respected positions and will definitely be drafted in day one of the draft. They are two of the most gifted athletes in this year's draft and they have the opportunity to break some records at this year's combine. The vertical jump for a wide receiver might be in danger when Jeffery steps up for his jump. Also, the 40-yard dash for a defensive lineman might be at risk when Ingram gets set to run.
Gilmore is a curious case since some draft analysts have him going in the middle-to-late first round while others have him going as low as the third round. He is the most physical of the top corners in this year's draft and would be able to contribute in special teams right away. He had some trouble with man coverage this year, but his potential is such that he would be hard to pass up for any team needing secondary help.
Allen has been climbing his way up the draft board with the strong season he put up this year for the Gamecocks as well as his strong showing in the Senior Bowl. This is a weak class of safeties and Allen could surely benefit. He can play either safety spot but many have him being drafted as a strong safety. With a strong performance in the combine, he can solidify himself as a late second-round pick or an early third-round pick.
Watkins is as big a tackle, as you will see. They guy looks unearthly when you stand next to him. Watkins did an excellent job in his stint with the Gamecocks as he played every position in the offensive line except center, and he did it extremely well. He is projected to play at the right tackle position at the next level and will need a good combine to move up the draft boards.
Robertson is one of those guys that is on the verge of being drafted in the sixth or seventh round or going undrafted. He was an integral part of the Gamecocks' historic season and will most likely be given a chance to play in the NFL. Some doubt his talents because he was part of a stacked defensive line, but no one questions his effort and the impact he had for the South Carolina defense. With a strong showing at the combine, he might get himself drafted in the later rounds.