Combine Preview: Who Will Rise?

Combine Preview: Who Will Rise?

The annual Scouting Combine gets underway in Indianapolis on Thursday, with 329 players currently invited to go through a battery of medical checks, interviews, strength and conditioning tests and on-field drills. Here's a look at prospects poised to boost their draft stock the most over the next week.

SS Larry Asante, Nebraska: Known as a hard-hitting enforcer, the former receiver will surprise people with his speed at 216 pounds.

DE Hall Davis, Louisiana-Lafayette: The 6-5, 272-pound end could endear himself to 3-4 teams by participating in linebacker drills. After more than holding his own in the Sun Belt, he has the athleticism to perform well on this all-important stage.

RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford: The Heisman Trophy finalist has been a bullish runner for the Cardinal, but will surprise some with his straight-line speed and agility to prove himself a better athlete than most believe.

TE Jimmy Graham, Miami (Fla.): The former "U" basketball player should feel comfortable running and jumping in shorts. Teams will be more comfortable taking him in the late second round if he catches everything thrown his way and runs well in Indy's on-field sessions.

DT Lamarr Houston, Texas: It's surprising how he's flying under the radar a bit despite playing for a high-profile Longhorns squad, but if he runs in the 4.9 range at over 300 pounds and lifts well, teams looking for a penetrating three-technique tackle -- or 3-4 defensive end -- will leave Indianapolis intrigued.

OLB Koa Misi, Utah: Called one of the most athletic Utes by his coaches, Misi's underappreciated agility and speed at 6-3, 244 pounds will put him in the spotlight.

WR Carlton Mitchell, South Florida: The 6-4, 200-pound receiver has better speed and footwork than most have credited him for and, as long as his hands are solid in the gauntlet, look for him to start getting second-round grades.

CB Joshua Moore, Kansas State: Not many paid attention to KSU in 2009. Moore could fly up draft boards if he runs in the 4.4 range, as expected, and displays his fluidity in drills.

OT Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale: Scouts at the Texas vs. the Nation practices saw Veldheer could become an NFL player given with some time to develop. If he runs a sub-5.0 in the 40 and lifts as well as expected, teams will also accept him as an elite athlete worth drafting early.

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