Another Regional Combine was held today in Minnesota that featured approximately 150 prospects who did not get invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week or appeared at the three other Regional Combines in Houston, Arizona or Baltimore last month.
Of all the players on NFL rosters and practice squads approximately two dozen came from Regional Combines in 2015. The odds aren’t good that Regional Combine participants will play on Sunday but it is still possible. The next step for the prospects is the NFL Draft next month. If they aren’t drafted they could sign with a team as an undrafted free agent. Players that aren’t offered free agent contracts could be invited to rookie mini camps held after the draft in hopes of catching a team’s eye and earning a rookie free agent contract.
One player who did the most with his opportunity was Wendell Williams. Williams broke and NFL Regional Combine record Saturday running the 40 in 4.19 seconds. Chris Johnson set the NFL Combine 40 record in 2008 with a 4.24. Williams also had the best vertical jump of 45 inches. The Senior receiver from the University of the Cumberlands was a five time All-American in track and field in 2015. Had he been at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week Williams would’ve been #1 in both the 40 and vertical jump. Williams averaged over 30 yards per catch last season unfortunately at 5’10 and 180 pounds he will have to put on some weight if he wants a legitimate chance at playing on Sunday.
Willams was the talk of the Combine and did well in just about every drill he participated in. After his impressive 40 he interviewed with the Chiefs, Packers, Panthers, and Vikings.
— Janel Klein (@JanelKlein) March 5, 2016
Aaron Karlen ran a 4.63 in the 40 at the Combine, which would’ve tied for second at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week. Karlen from from UW-Stevens Point tied the school record last year with 11 sacks. He also finished First Team All-WIAC after a monster year for the Pointers.
South Dakota linebacker Keyen Lage had a great day with the best 40 time among all linebackers in attendance. Running a 4.65 in 40 would’ve been good enough for 8th at the NFL Combine. His vertical jump, 39 inches, would’ve been good enough for third.
Michgan Tech defensive end Brandon Hutchinson had the highest vertical jump of all defensive linemen at the Combine at 36 inches. Central Washington safety Anthony Beaver Jr had a vertical jump and Kentucky State corner Eric Rawls led all defensive backs with 39 inches
Eastern Illinois safety Kamu Grugier-Hill led everyone at his position in the 40 with a 4.47 time. South Dakota corner Micheal Lilly also ran it in 4.47 as well. Butler QB Matthew Shiltz had the fastest time at his position at 4.60. Running back DeJuan Wright from Wisconsin-Stevens Point ran it in 4.63. Dartmouth lineman Jacob Flores was the fastest hog molly at 5.11.
Minnesota safety Antonio Johnson was also present at the Regional Combine but didn’t do all the drills since his Pro Day is Monday.
There are a lot of other notable players present in Minnesota today.
Former Alabama QB Phillip Ely who transferred to Toledo is also at the Regional Combine. Ely led to a 10-2 record last season with wins over Arkansas and Temple. He threw for 2,965 yards, 23 TDs and only 10 interceptions.
Washington State linebacker Jeremiah Allison is also trying to get scouts to take notice. Allison is an inspirational player who has a good story. After losing his mother in 2012 he had the widow of former Washington State President and his linebacker’s coach escort him onto the field for Senior Day. Dr. Elson Floyd passed away last summer and was a mentor to Allison. He had 65 tackles last year for the Cougars and was the team’s leading tackler last year. At 6’2, 230 he has decent size but will still have to likely go the undrafted free agent route or attend a rookie mini camp.
Glenville State running back Rahmann Lee is only 6′ 180 pounds but he blistered division two defenses and was named All-MEC First Team last season. Lee had 1,023 yards rushing in 2015.
Nathan Theus long-snapper was one of the best in the SEC last year at Georgia. He participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January. Only one long-snapper was selected last year so Theus will have to earn his shot as an undrafted free agent or at a rookie mini camp.
Defensive End Denzel Philip had 4.5 sacks DE from Eastern New Mexico. At 6’2, 240 pounds he lacks the size to play DE in the NFL and playing at a smaller program will make it harder for him to get to the NFL. He plays fast and gets to the ball pretty quick.
Another defensive end trying to turn scout’s heads was AJ Page from Southwest Minnesota State. He was the team’s MVP on defense and led the squad with 3 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He did miss two games with injury and durability could be an issue.
Dartmouth defensive back Troy Donahue was all Ivy-League as a senior. Donahue was tied for first on team with four interceptions on the year.
Full list of Minnesotate Regional Combine participants below
Brady Bolles Northwest Missouri State
Dominic Bona Albion
Phillip Ely Toledo
Brandon McCormick Crown, Minnesota
Dante Nania Slippery Rock
Ayrton Scott Augsburg
Matthew Shiltz Butler
De’Auntre Smiley Prairie View
Austin Duncan Hamline
Benjamin Hutchins Grand Valley State
Tyrell Martin Augsburg
Adriell Mayes Merrimack
Derick Milton McNeese State
Colin Parks Albion College
Braxton Shelton, Saint Joseph’s College
Kirk Spencer Grand Valley State
Michael Thomas Charleston, W. Va.
Ledell White St. Cloud State
DeJuan Wright Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Justin Berger Wyoming
Tyrell Blanks Coastal Carolina
Matthew Boyce Gustavus Adolphus
Dalton Boyd Shepherd
Anthony Bricker Presentation College
DeMarrion Buford, South Alabama
Greg Coble Lindenwood
Christian Collis, Middle Tennessee
Tracey Coppedge Elon
Lamar Daniels II Minnesota-Crookston
Imani Davis Akron
Ilir Emini Knox
Michael Esiobu Lakeland
Alexander Hulme Salve Regina
Larves Jones South Dakota State
Ben Knake Cornell, Iowa
Fredi Knighten Arkansas State
Rahmann Lee Glenville State
Sheldon Magee St. Francis
Jerome Mayfield Presentation College
Chris McCall Albion
Christian Morgan Southern Utah
Franky Okafor Southeastern Oklahoma
Andre Sims Georgia Southern
Joey Sonnenfeld Augsburg
Terrance Stocker Northwood, Mich.
Porter Sturm, Minot State
Jeremy Watters Northwestern, Iowa
Wendall Williams University of the Cumberlands
James Barnes Missouri State
Samuel Eickhoff Washburn
CJ Ham Augustana, S.D.
Patrick Poetsch William Penn
Jacob Skarhus Hamline
D’Marco Smith Tabor
James (JJ) Strnad St. Olaf
Charlie Dowdle University of St. Thomas
Bryce Duncan Minn. State-Mankato
Harry Innis El Camino CC
Johnathan Powell Ouachita Baptist
John Quazza Colgate
David Reeves Duke
Dillon Turk Trinity International
Jonathon Witt Sioux Falls
Michael Baird University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Ryan Bubulka Upper Iowa
Nicholas Coy Minn. State-Mankato
Cody Dingeldey Ferris State
Sean McEwen Calgary
Jacob Flores Dartmouth
Aaron Johnson Mayville State
Marvis Kidd Concordia, Mi.
Amadou Konte Benedictine, Kan.
Anthony Latina John Carroll
Zachary Mitchell Marian
Lucas Powell Ohio University
Sheldon Saddler Shaw
Kyle Steuck Northern Michigan
Frank Vruwink Michigan Tech
Lawrence Walker Minn. State-Mankato
Nathan Theus Georgia
Anthony Beaver Jr Central Washington
Byron Benson Eastern Oregon
William Bodden Jr Ohio Northern
Tevin Brinson Southwest Baptist
Justin Browley Bacone
Arthur Brown Dakota Wesleyan
David Clark Sioux Falls
Cody Culbertson Ohio Dominican
Troy Donahue Dartmouth
Derrick Fiore California, Pa.
Darion Fletcher University of Minnesota-Duluth
Mike Ford American International
Rumeal Harris Minn. State-Mankato
Clay Harris II Western Ontario
Brett Gervais Michigan Tech
Kamu Grugier-Hill Eastern Illinois
Antonio Johnson Minnesota
Brandon Justin Central Methodist
John Lamour Mayville State
Vashon Landers Missouri State
Micheal Lilly South Dakota
Laquan Middleton Northern Michigan
Jimmy Mireri Concordia, St. Paul
Terry Pegues Hamline
Eric Rawls Kentucky State
Jamyl Scott Saint Joseph’s College
Wallace Scott McNeese State
Armand Stricklin Knox
Dino Teague Pittsburg State
Trayvon Toney Hobart
Chris Tyler University of South Dakota
Tony Williams IV North Carolina Central
John Wingo Presentation College
Donovan Woods Southwest Minnesota State
Wes Worthen University of Jamestown
Jeremiah Allison Washington State
Adam Brandt Southern Illinois
Tyler Drake Pennsylvania
Jahphet Grant Concordia
Mykar Groves Augsburg
Jordan Halverson Concordia
Tyler Henderson Minn. State-Mankato
John Hugunin Drake
Adedayo Idowu North Dakota
Aaron James Minot State
Keyen Lage University of South Dakota
Jarelle Miller University of Jamestown
Zachary Schleuger Morningside
DeVante Strickland Kent State
Joel Wimbley St. Joseph’s
Matthew Zakrzewski New Haven
Ryan Aelker Bluffton
Kwame Bell Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Desmond Gantt West Georgia
Joshua Gordon Minn. State-Mankato
Jermaine Hill Jr Missouri State
Dante Holmes Northern Michigan
Brandon Hutchison Michigan Tech
Aaron Karlen University Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Hunter Little Columbia
Forrest Mason, Robert Morris, Pa.
Aaron Page Southwest Minnesota State
Tanner Agen Michigan Tech
Tremaine Berry Rockford
Virgilio Burgo Concordia
Zachary Hauser Macalester
Keland McElrath Texas Tech
Adrian Ming Lindenwood
Marion (Todd) Peat Texas A&M-Commerce
Jevell Rollins Upper Iowa
Roger Stewart Hillsdale College
Joshua Caver Southwest Baptist
Dinsdale Jackson Tennessee State
Kaleb Wendricks Minnesota State-Mankato