By Shehan Jeyarajah
Six Baylor football players have been invited to the 2014 NFL Draft Combine from Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis, Ind. The six hope to join 10 other former Bears currently in the NFL by being selected in May’s 2014 NFL Draft in New York City. Baylor’s graduating class features two All-Americans and five All-Big 12 team members.
Cyril Richardson, OG
The redshirt senior capped off a strong career at Baylor by being named a consensus All-American and finalist for the Outland Trophy, an award given to the top interior lineman in the nation.
Richardson was listed as a first round pick early in the season, but fell off when left tackle Spencer Drango went down with injury. CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout both have Richardson projected as a second or third round pick in April’s draft.
To move up draft boards at the combine, Richardson will need to show off his strength and prove that he can hold his own against faster defensive lineman.
Lache Seastrunk, RB The former five-star running back and Oregon transfer opted to forego his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. Seastrunk’s stock has been inconsistent all season after suffering a groin injury against Oklahoma in November, but he likely possesses the best breakaway ability out of any running back in the Big 12 this season. CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout both project Seastrunk as a third round pick. To move up draft boards, Seastrunk has to show off his speed and athleticism relative to other players. A slow 40-yard dash time could push him up down a round or two.
Ahmad Dixon, S
The four-year letterman from Waco enters the draft fresh off of being named an All-American by multiple publications after his performance during his senior season. Dixon is rated as the fourth-best safety in the class, but is projected as a fourth round pick by CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout. Dixon needs to try and win teams over during the interview process with his character. Throughout the season, he earned a reputation as a hothead, including getting suspended from the first half of the Texas game after a targeting penalty. The physical skills are there for Dixon, but he still must prove that he can be a leader of an NFL defense.
Jordan Najvar, TE
After originally signing on to play at Stanford, Najvar transferred to Baylor before ever playing a game. The third-year starter was twice named All-Big 12. Najvar, a projected seventh round pick, will have an opportunity to show off his hands and strength at the combine.
Baylor’s system uses the tight end as a blocker rather than a receiver, but the NFL is moving in the direction of receiving tight ends. For Najvar to find a spot in the league, he will have to exemplify a strong catching ability during the receiving drills.
Tevin Reese, WR
The former Rivals two-star wide receiver broke onto the scene as a key cog of Baylor’s offense. Before dislocating his wrist, Reese averaged 25.0 yards per catch and scored eight touchdowns in only eight games for Baylor. Both CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout have Reese as a seventh round pick, but he will have an opportunity to turn heads. Reese is one of the fastest players in college football, and the combine will be a place for him to prove it. To move up draft boards, Reese will need to post an impressive 40-yard dash time.
Demetri Goodson, DB
Perhaps no player needs the NFL Draft Combine more than Goodson. He comes in as a former basketball player who only played football fully during his senior year. Goodson has all sorts of athletic ability, and he will need to show it all off for him to even get a look. He played well as a cover-corner at Baylor, but he still must demonstrate improvement during his position drills at the combine.