Every year approximately 330 NFL Draft prospects are invited to the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to work out for teams in preparation for the NFL Draft. This year's Combine is scheduled for Feb. 20-26 at Lucas Oil Stadium and will consist of interviews, medical exams and player workouts. And each year there are some surprises as to who is and isn't invited.
The full list of 333 prospects for the 2013 NFL Combine can be found here.
NFL Combine participants are selected by a selection committee made up of the directors of both National and BLESTO scouting services along with anonymous player personnel representatives from several NFL teams. Eligible players are voted on by the committee and the prospects with enough votes are then invited to the combine.
While the goal of the process is to invite every player who will be selected in the NFL Draft, approximately 25-50 prospects are drafted each year who did not receive an invitation. Last season, Miami (Ohio) offensive guard Brandon Brooks was drafted 76th overall in the third round by the Houston Texans, but didn't receive an invitation. Other notable exclusions from last year's list included Eagles running back Bryce Brown, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and Rams running back Daryl Richardson (all three were drafted in April).
And this year isn't any different as there were several surprising omissions from the recently released 2013 Combine invite list, here are the top-10:
10. WR DeVonte Christopher, Utah
Although his 2012 production (22 catches for 301 yards and three touchdowns) suffered due to inconsistent quarterback play, Christopher is a savvy pass catcher with quick hands and natural body control.
9. CB Travis Howard, Ohio State
The All-Big Ten Honorable Mention cornerback has good size (6-0, 198) and length (32 1/4" arms) for the position, and although he had a very up-and-down senior season, his raw skills are intriguing.
8. WR Jasper Collins, Mount Union
As he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts as Purple Raiders in the NFL, Collins won't have the benefit of the combine like Garcon and Shorts before him.
7. CB Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma
Although he has only average size (5-9, 200) and speed, Hurst is an aggressive competitor with good experience, starting 40 games for the Sooners over the past three seasons.
6. ILB Vince Williams, Florida State
A late invite to the Senior Bowl in Mobile a few weeks ago, Williams is a physical thumper with downhill speed, but his lateral quickness and overall range are question marks.
5. DT Anthony Rashad White, Michigan State
Weighing in at 334 pounds, White has some sloppy weight and he appears to wear down too easily, but he is a load to handle in the middle and fits as a zero or one technique tackle in the NFL.
4. TE Zach Sudfeld, Nevada
After missing the 2011 season with a leg injury, Sudfeld led Nevada in touchdown catches (eight) as a senior and brings an intriguing blend of size (6-6, 261) and quickness to the next level.
3. CB Branden Smith, Georgia
While not as instinctive or productive as former cornerback teammate Brandon Boykin, Smith is a similar athlete with the speed and hip fluidity to stick with receivers all over the field.
2. RB Dennis Johnson, Arkansas
Although he didn't receive the same hype as Knile Davis (who did receive an invite), Johnson is a quick-footed runner with the balance and toughness needed for the position and leaves Arkansas as the school and SEC all-time leader in kickoff return yardage.
1. TE Michael Williams, Alabama
Although he plays stiff and will struggle to separate at the next level, Williams is a powerful and physical blocker with the size and strength to stick in the NFL as a No. 2 tight end.
Other notable snubs: DE Wes Horton (USC), DT Omar Hunter (Florida), OLB Cameron Lawrence (Mississippi State), S Rashard Hall (Clemson), S Kenny Tate (Maryland), OT Elvis Fisher (Missouri), C Dalton Freeman (Clemson), RB Curtis McNeal (USC), WR Zach Rogers (Tennessee), OG John Sullen (Auburn), FB Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), DE David King (Oklahoma), DT Anthony McCloud (Florida State), OG Sam Brenner (Utah)