2018 NFL Draft

2016 NFL Combine: Here are seven must-know underrated prospects

2016 NFL Combine: Here are seven must-know underrated prospects

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Evaluating NFL prospects is a year-round undertaking, beginning with a first look at the next class of top projected talent before the wake of a completed NFL Draft has even fully settled.

The process continues through the college football season and countless hours of film review leading into the all-star game circuit. Now 332 of the top prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft class are prepping for their biggest job interview -- next week's scouting combine.

Below are some players who made a strong impression during this year's pre-combine film study grind -- including several under-the-radar prospects who I had previously underrated.

Clicking on the player name will take you to a full profile, which includes a brief overview of the prospect's career along with specific strengths and weaknesses.

Players are listed alphabetically.

Kamalei Correa, OLB/DE, Boise State: Given that he recorded 19 sacks over the past two seasons, Mountain West fans certainly know Correa but most of the country won't learn his name (pronounced KAH-muh-lay / corr-AY-uh) until after the combine, where the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder will create buzz with his athleticism.

Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa:
Like Correa, Garrett's athleticism matches eye-popping production, with the 6-3, 223-pounder simply dominating the American Athletic Conference with his height, speed and body control to the tune of an NCAA-best 1,588 receiving yards in 2015.

Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor: The focus on any Art Briles-coached team is going to be on offense, but don't sleep on the rangy and athletic Howard, a classic press corner I expect to be the Bears' highest-drafted defensive back since the Baltimore Ravens selected Gary Baxter 62nd overall 15 years ago.

The athletic Howard is strong in press coverage and shows good range. (USATSI)

Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin: It will be interesting to see how well the 6-2, 247-pound Schobert performs during the combine, but I really liked him on tape. Instinctive and slippery, he has a knack for slipping blocks and ripping the ball free.

Pearce Slater, OT, San Diego State:
An immediate standout after signing as a JUCO transfer two years ago, the 6-7, 342-pound Slater is the earth-mover his size indicates, while also showing surprising coordination to block on the move.

Clint Van Horn, OT, Marshall: While perhaps not athletic enough to remain outside at right tackle (where he started the past three seasons for the Herd), Van Horn, a former walk-on, has the size (6-5, 310 pounds), strength and brawler mentality to project nicely inside at guard.

D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech: I'm a sucker for players who perform their best under the bright lights, and that kind of poise is exactly what White demonstrated over his career. White may lack ideal size at a shade under 5-11, 189 pounds, but his awareness, competitiveness and knack for producing turnovers project well to the next level.

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