5 Players Who Need a Big NFL Combine to Become a First-Round Pick

Max Staley
Jordan Love drops back to pass against LSU.
Jordan Love drops back to pass against LSU. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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The NFL Combine can make or break a player's draft stock. We've seen big-name players like Oklahoma's Orlando Brown, once thought to be a surefire first-round selection, drop to the third round because of a weak performance.

Of course, the reverse is often true as well. Just last year, Devin Bush, Noah Fant and Montez Sweat shot up draft boards after they tore up the 2019 NFL Combine. So let's take a look at five players who need a huge performance at this year's NFL Combine to become first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

1. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State Aggies

Jordan Love moves around the pocket against UNLV.
Jordan Love moves around the pocket against UNLV. / Sam Wasson/Getty Images

One of the most physically gifted passers in this year's class, Jordan Love's stock took a hit thanks to some erratic play in 2019. He threw for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns, but his 17 interceptions (most in NCAA) obviously raised some red flags. Still, with a 6-foot-3-inch frame and a strong arm, Love has a tantalizing skillset that could cause some teams to fall in love with him at the combine.

2. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado Buffaloes

Laviska Shenault Jr. runs with the ball.
Laviska Shenault Jr. runs with the ball. / Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Laviska Shenault Jr. is one of the most versatile receivers in the draft. He's obviously dangerous as a pass-catcher, but he separates himself because he's so dangerous with the ball in his hands, having scored a combined 7 rushing TDs over the past two seasons. There are concerns about his durability though, missing at least one game in three consecutive seasons, for a combined total of nine missed games during that span. However, he's got a chance to put his explosive athleticism on display at the combine, and that could make him an intriguing option for a WR-needy team toward the end of the first round.

3. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU Horned Frogs

Jalen Reagor had a bit of a down season in 2019.
Jalen Reagor had a bit of a down season in 2019. / John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Jalen Reagor was a monster as a sophomore in 2018, but he regressed in his junior campaign. After racking up 1,061 receiving yards and 9 TDs in 2018, Reagor recorded just 611 yards and 5 TDs this past season. Reagor is a flat-out burner though and he's got a real chance to blow teams away with his speed. If he has a monster 40-yard dash, that could help stave off any concerns about his regression in 2019.

4. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes

J.K. Dobbins runs the ball against the Clemson Tigers.
J.K. Dobbins runs the ball against the Clemson Tigers. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the way that the running back position has been devalued lately, it's tough to imagine three RBs going in the first round. And as Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins is the third-ranked RB on most boards, he'll likely need a huge combine to convince teams he's worth it. That's something he's more than capable of doing, though, as evidenced by his incredible 2,003-yard, 23-TD campaign in 2019. If Dobbins performs well at the NFL Combine, he's got a real chance to separate himself from Jonathan Taylor and D'Andre Swift.

5. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU Tigers

Patrick Queen celebrates against Clemson.
Patrick Queen celebrates against Clemson. / Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

This was Patrick Queen's first season playing impactful snaps for LSU, but he performed quite well. He had 85 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 1 INT and 12 tackles for loss. And anyone who watched Queen in the CFP National Championship knows just how disruptive he can be, as he was all over the field, tallying 8 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and 0.5 sacks. The concerns around his lack of experience could hurt his stock, but he can erase some of that doubt if he shows off his rare sideline-to-sideline speed at the NFL Combine.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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