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Five Intriguing 2017 NFL Combine Invites For Cowboys To Consider Drafting

With the Combine coming up, here are five guys that should be interesting to watch.

Mississippi v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you aren’t already aware, the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, or if you prefer the Underwear Olympics, begins this week which is a helpful tool in the process of seeing who the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to draft this year. For one reason or the other, the Combine has become an important event and is now nationally televised. Folks just can’t get enough of the draft process and it’s even winning in the ratings each year beating out some other professional sports.

It’s also extremely important for the young guys that are participating in it. For some, their draft stock will be heavily weighed not only on how they perform in these drills and various tests but in the interview process with the various NFL franchises. This is the beginning of the job interview for these former collegiate athletes. So, with that said, here are a few interesting names to keep in mind as this process unfolds.

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami

The interview process is going to be huge for this outstanding prospect out of Miami on the verge of not being drafted at all. He was suspended for the 2014 season after an altercation occurred following the spring game. He was eventually dismissed from the program entirely for his involvement with a teammate of his in receiving benefits from a local luxury car rental business.

Throughout his time with the Hurricanes, he jumped off the stat sheet even as a true freshman where he had two sacks and eight tackles in a reserve role. He led the Canes in 2015 with 54 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and five sacks. Muhammad has explosion to him and is built well though he could gain a little weight (most guys have to). He’s got experience in both the 4-3 and 3-4 alignments and he’s got a tremendous power to speed combination. He’ll need to show that he can be mature enough to warrant a draft pick.

CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State

Conley has been garnering some praise as a potential first-round pick over the past several weeks. He was someone that was entrenched behind the standout guy in Marshon Lattimore but if he tests well, Conley could very well have his dream come true. Conley is a true press corner with top end speed to cover guys downfield. He only allowed a 37% completion rate this past season and showed the ball skills to defend all types of passes.

For a team like Dallas, who loves long cornerbacks, Conley fits the bill as a fighter who can get back up and keep punching. Over the past two years, Conley has started every game for the Buckeyes as he welcomed the challenges of types of receivers. If he shows the length and speed in the Combine, he’s going to be a sharp riser.

DE Carl Lawson, Auburn

Lawson is an intriguing prospect and has all the traits you would want is a guy setting the edge. His issues stem from the fact that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s an NFL bloodline type of player who finally was able to reach potential this season. He was named First-Team All-SEC with 13.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks this past season. He’s an explosive athletic powerhouse that flashes from the jump. He’s got defined muscle toned and is one violent dude at the point of attack.

All his issues stem from being able to trust that he’s put his injury past behind him. He torn his ACL in 2014 and then came back to be named a captain only miss nine games with a hip issue. He’s got a lot to love and if he tests well, he could possibly be taken in the first round.

S John Johnson, Boston College

Johnson is one of those guys that could be turning heads his way; he’s supremely athletic and has a lot of versatility. He’s started at both safety position and at cornerback. He was last seen putting a beating on his hometown Maryland team’s receivers with 12 total tackles. In 2016, Johnson had 77 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and nine pass breakups.

What impresses you most about him is his awareness and winning ability to go take the ball away from receivers. He can contort his body like a receiver and pluck balls out of thin air. He could use improvement in tackling though his numbers would say he’s just fine at that. Johnson could be an early starter in the league and is sort of a hidden gem right now, he warrants a higher pick than the fifth-round he’s currently sitting in.

WR Greg Ward Jr., Houston

He’s a former quarterback with off the charts intelligence and is a great character guy. He started his collegiate career and was moved to quarterback then back to a receiver. If he can show off his skills at the Combine, he’ll warrant a day three selection. He’s the bead of consistency as he always found ways to help his team win no matter how difficult the task. He’s got great feet and separation abilities with the soft hands to match.

He’s a very fluid athlete and coaches rave about his toughness and willingness to help anywhere he’s asked. He’s got some skills as a return man and his intelligence for the game in unmatched. Being a former quarterback, he reads the field well and can identify all sorts of coverages.

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