INDIANAPOLIS -- In a draft loaded with pass-rushing talents, Florida State's Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, believe it or not, might stand as the most promising prospect.
No one can say for sure at the moment because, currently, Carradine cannot run.
The 6-foot-4, 276 pound Carradine registered 16.5 sacks (including 11 in 2012) over the past two seasons. But an ACL tear entered his senior season in November, and Carradine continues to walk the long road back from that injury.
He was not expected to participate in drills at the combine. The goal, for now: a full workout for NFL teams, approximately a week before the 2013 draft.
"I expect to be 100 percent in April," Carradine said. "So before the draft, I’m gonna do everything they did at the combine -- run the 40, do position drills at my Pro Day."
Florida State's Pro Day is scheduled for March 19, but Carradine plans to hold his own event about a month later.
He also said that he believes he'll be able to start running on Monday, four months and one day after he injured his knee against Florida. Even in a sport that continues to make incredible strides bringing players back from major knee injuries (see: Peterson, Adrian), Carradine is working his way back at an impressive clip.
"My knee feels good," Carradine said. "I'm like a month ahead of schedule."
Carradine was part of a Florida State defensive line that also included end Bjoern Werner, a near-lock to come off the board in Round 1 of the draft -- possibly even in the top five or 10 picks. But when Carradine was healthy, there was not much separating the two teammates, and that may play out at the draft.
"I got doubled a lot, and also our other DE Bjorn Werner got doubled a lot," Carradine said. "It all came in place. It was kind of a lot but nothing I couldn’t handle." And so long as he continues to handle his rehab, too, Carradine could parlay that April Pro Day into a massive -- and, by all indications, deserved -- jump up draft boards.