All three Division I Washington schools will have a representative at the 2013 NFL Combine, and each will be looking to improve their stock and move up draft boards. The event takes place from Saturday, Feb. 23 through Tuesday, Feb. 26. Two of those days will feature local stars trying to impress professional scouts.
Each day will include a different set of positions, with tight ends, offensive linemen, and specialists getting the event started on Saturday. Sunday will feature quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, while Monday sees defensive linemen and linebackers. Defensive backs cap the event off on Tuesday.
There will be local interests on Sunday and Tuesday, with a pair of prolific wide receivers looking to perform on Sunday.
Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs
Washington State and Eastern Washington faced each other on the field back in September, and two of those players will be attempting to display their pass-catching prowess at the NFL Combine.
EWU's Brandon Kaufman put up big numbers in a pass-happy Eagles offense, and he has the size at 6'5, 215 to make plays on the outside in the NFL. He earned a grade of 68.0, according to NFL.com, which places him in the middle of the pack among the receivers invited. If Kaufman can impress, he could become the second Eagle in three years to be selected in the draft, joining running back Taiwan Jones.
Kaufman's grade actually tops that of WSU's Marquess Wilson, who was pegged with a 67.1. It's likely that was affected by Wilson's issues in Pullman, where he left the team and eventually accused the coaching staff of abuse. In the end, Wilson came off to many as someone who is unwilling to work hard. If it wasn't for that issue, he likely would have been among the most highly regarded WR prospects in the 2013 draft.
Wilson needs a solid performance at the Combine, as he won't receive the benefit of a Pro Day at WSU. He will impress with his skills, but the interview room is where he will need to shine in Indianapolis.
Even with some of the character concerns, it seems that Wilson is just too talented a receiver to pass up, and he should become the first Washington State Cougar to be drafted since offensive lineman Zack Williams in 2011.
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive backs
Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant is a sure bet to go in the early rounds of the draft, as he is rated as the fourth-best corner at the Combine. Trufant has good size at 6'0, but his footwork and coverage technique will likely be under a microscope.
If Trufant can impress in workouts and the classroom, he has a real shot to move himself into the first round. Even if he doesn't, he is still sure to join his brother, Marcus, in the league and has a bright NFL future.
Fans of Wilson, Kaufman, and Trufant, or fans of 40-yard dashes, can watch their favorite players live on NFL Network all weekend.