There will be heavier focus on other players at the 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis that started on Wednesday, but Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated notes that two Boise State defensive players are among those with the most to gain by playing well in front of NFL scouts and executives this week.
While several players could make major gains on draft boards around the league by thriving in Indianapolis, it may be especially true for two Boise State defenders in safety George Iloka and linebacker Shea McClellin. Here's what Pauline said about Iloka:
In a position group lacking talent, Iloka impressed teams during the Senior Bowl. He's currently the top free safety on draft boards around the league. If Iloka performs as expected (4.50 seconds and 25 reps on the bench at 225 pounds) he'll likely secure a spot in the early part of the second round.
Iloka is a lock to get drafted somewhat early, but he could really establish himself legitimate second-round pick at the Combine. Pauline believes that the same could be true for McClellin, as well:
McClellin has made a steady climb up draft boards. He was a devastating pass rusher at defensive end for Boise State, then made the seamless transition to linebacker at the Senior Bowl. He's another hybrid prospect who will jump up draft boards with good postings in the 40. A time no worse than 4.72 seconds could move him into the late part of the second round.
While neither player is expected to be a first-round pick at this point, there are still weeks before teams will have their draft boards firmly in place. Impressing scouts in Indy this week could be another key step towards that goal.