Former Badgers take on the NFL Combine

Your complete Wisconsin Badgers' NFL Combine Guide

The NFL Combine starts Wednesday and seven former Badgers will be in Indianapolis attempting to impress scouts from all 32 NFL teams.

The combine will run through March 1 and you can watch all the action live on the NFL Network. Considering the event is designed to accomodate 335 athletes trying to get drafted, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. To help you follow the Badgers in attendance, here is an NFL Combine guide for the eight Badgers in Indianapolis:

Combine Facts

  • Each player is assigned a group number and a camp number (the number they will wear throughout the combine). Both are listed under each player below.
  • Every player is there for four days.
  • The first groups of players will arrive Wednesday and leave Saturday. The last groups will arrive Saturday and leave Tuesday, March 1.

Combine Schedule (for each player)

Day 1: Travel, Registration, Pre-exam & X-ray, Orientation, Interviews
Day 2: Measurements, Exams, Media, Psych Tests, Interviews
Day 3: NFLPA Meeting, Psych Tests, Interviews
Day 4: Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure

Badgers at the Combine

Niles Brinkley

Defensive back - Group 10 - DB4

Schedule: Saturday - Tuesday

Strengths: Smart, instinctual corner who can make plays on the ball. Good tackler. Rarely beat deep.

Weaknesses: Lacks quickness and struggles in bump-and-run coverage. Gives up short passes as a result.

Combine Outlook: Brinkley must impress in the workout. His last listed 40-time of 4.55 needs improvement.

Projected round: Free agent

Gabe Carimi

Offensive Tackle/Guard - Group 1 - OL8

Schedule: Wednesday - Saturday

Strengths: One of the biggest tackles at the combine. Combination of size and quickness. Rarely beat on outside. Great run blocker.

Weaknesses: Questions remain about footwork. Not a dominant blocker. Rarely pancakes opponents.

Combine Outlook: Speed drills will be important for Carimi. His last 40-time of 5.30 is one of the worst among tackles. Interviews will also serve as an opportunity for Carimi to show his great leadership qualities. His physical will also be important after suffering an ankle injury in Senior Bowl practices, forcing him to miss the game.

Projected round: 1st round

John Clay

Running back - Group 6 - RB8

Schedule: Thursday - Sunday

Strengths: Huge, powerful runner who usually delivers the hit instead of taking it. Always gains yards after contact. Determined runner who can take over drives when asked.

Weaknesses: Lacks breakaway speed. Durability also in question after a banged up junior year.

Combine Outlook: Clay needs to register a better 40-time. His last 40-time of 4.65 will keep him out of early rounds. His physical will also be very important.

Projected round: 4th or 5th round

Lance Kendricks

Tight end - Group 3 - TE8

Schedule: Wednesday - Saturday

Strengths: Great athleticism and quickness for his size. Knows how to get open. Also a powerful blocker who can flatten opponents. Somewhat of a late-bloomer in college, which means there is still upside.

Weaknesses: Still considered a "tweener" at the NFL level. Will get beat from time-to-time on blocks, raising questions about how he will handle NFL defensive ends. Durability also in question after battling injuries during his senior year.

Combine Outlook: Kendricks is widely considered the second best tight end in the draft behind Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph. Strength drills will be important for him at the combine. He must prove he can be a physical tight end at the NFL level.

Projected round: 2nd round

John Moffitt

Offensive guard/center - Group 2 - OL34

Schedule: Wednesday - Saturday

Strengths: Very reliable blocker who rarely gets beat. Can pull and get to the next level more than most guards/centers, which makes his versatility unmatched.

Weaknesses: Scouts have concerns about his arm length and use of his hands. He's also 25 years old already, which will make teams think twice before drafting him.

Combine Outlook: Moffitt is a great teammate and leader with a great personality. He can silence age questions with strong interviews.

Projected round: 2nd round

Scott Tolzien

Quarterback - Group 4 - QB16

Schedule: Thursday- Sunday

Strengths: Accuracy is his biggest strength. Tough quarterback who is not afraid to take a hit. Very durable.

Weaknesses: Very undersized and not neccessarily quick. Lacks arm strength.

Combine Outlook: Tolzien can impress in interviews, but it's going to be hard for him to mask his physical weaknesses. Must show off accuracy in skill drills.

Projected round: 7th round

J.J. Watt

Defensive end - Group 8 - DL52

Schedule: Friday - Monday

Strengths: Combination of size and speed is rare. One of the biggest defensive ends in the draft. Scouts rave about his "non-stop motor".

Weaknesses: Only played the position for two years in college. Bigger than most defensive ends so must continue to show speed.

Combine Outlook: There might not be a player at the combine with as much potential to impress scouts than Watt. His development from the time he was a tight end in the MAC is almost unprecedented. He's been in Arizona working out since the Rose Bowl and could be even better already. Watt can impress scouts with his work ethic both in workouts and in interviews. Watch for Watt to be one of the most talked about players at the combine.

Projected round: 1st round. Could jump from a mid-to-late round pick to a Top 10 pick by the end of the combine.

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