The 2017 NFL combine's biggest snubs
1. Zach Terrell, QB, Western Michigan
One of several notable quarterbacks left off the combine list—Penn’s Alek Torgersen and Tiffin’s Antonio Pipkin also missed out, while Chad Kelly’s off-field record likely kept him from an invite—Terrell finished 2016 with 33 TDs to just four INTs, then participated in the East-West Shrine Game.
2. Joe Yearby, RB, Miami
Given the depth of this year’s RB class, it was inevitable a few names would be squeezed out of the combine. Yearby, Baylor’s Shock Linwood and Middle Tennessee State’s I’Tavius Mathers are among the draftable talents missing. The Miami product rushed for 1,000 yards in 2015, then averaged 6.0 yards per carry in more of a part-time role this past season.
3. Austin Carr, WR, Northwestern
The Big Ten’s Receiver of the Year will not be in Indianapolis, despite a 90-catch, 1,247-yard season. His absence may not hurt him in the long run—he probably would not have tested off the charts; he’s more technician than eye-popping athlete. He’ll be in an NFL camp even if the league didn’t want him for the combine.
4. Josiah Price, TE, Michigan State
He’s not the mismatch-creating tight end that others at his position are, but Price still caught 21 career touchdown passes for the Spartans. He’s also well-versed as a blocker, which should help draw him NFL looks.
5. Storm Norton, OT, Toledo
A two-year starter and first-team All-MAC honoree, Norton stands 6' 8", making him among the tallest players available in this year’s draft. (William & Mary's Jerry Ugokwe, 6' 9", will be at the combine.) Norton uses that length to get out in front as a run blocker—just ask Toledo RB and fellow ’17 draft hopeful Kareem Hunt, who piled up a lot of yards thanks to Norton’s work.
6. Hunter Dimick, DL, Utah
Dimick ranked third in the country and first in the Pac-12 with 13.5 sacks this season. He had 28.5 (and 42.5 tackles for loss) during his four-year Utah career. Dimick is a high-motor player who was among the best prospects invited to this season’s Shrine Game. Given the level of competition, his production alone makes it a surprise Dimick didn’t get a combine invite.
7. Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State
Arguably the most glaring combine snub. Lee bypassed his final season of eligibility after racking up 110 tackles in 2016, but he’ll have to prove his worth without a stop in Indianapolis. His speed, both in run defense and coverage, would seem to make him a good fit for the modern NFL.
8. Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee State
It’s possible this was injury-related—Cutrer had to sit out the Shrine Game, reportedly due to foot surgery. Still, the combine always includes a long list of players unable to participate in all drills due to lingering health concerns, so Cutrer easily could have made the trip anyway. He’s a tall, lanky CB (6’ 2”, 170 pounds) with a nose for the ball (22 combined pass breakups in 2015–16).
9. Fish Smithson, S, Kansas
There is safety talent to be had beyond those who will be at the combine—Smithson, Oklahoma State’s Jordan Stearns and Air Force’s Weston Steelhammer, for starters, all deserve NFL looks. Smithson is a better player than he is an athlete, with the game to help either in deep coverage or pulled up in the box.
10. Nick Weiler, K, North Carolina
Hey, kickers can be snubs! You might remember Weiler for his tomahawk chop celebration after drilling a 54-yarder to beat Florida State. He did not build on that moment with a great season (15 of 21 on field goals), but he was 7 of 10 from beyond 40 yards (3 of 5 from 50-plus). Four kickers, five punters and two long snappers are headed to the combine.