Draft

What the 9 FSU players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine need to do there

Now that National Signing Day 2018 is behind us and FSU has welcomed in 20-plus new “Doak Boys,” we can shift our attention to those who are trying to extend their careers at the next level.

Florida State had nine players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, tied for the fifth-most of any school.

I get excited every year during the combine, as I own a performance training company. The drills done at the combine are not necessarily indicators of success in the NFL, but they can help explain game film or make scouts go back and re-evaluate film. The drills that most scouts, and fans, look at are the 40-yard dash, the short shuttle, broad jump, vertical jump and bench press, along with myriad on-field position drills.

The combine is a test of one’s physical and mental stamina; the participants are tested and taken through interviews with teams where they question football IQ as well as a player’s ability to handle tough questions.

RELATED: An in-depth look at Florida State’s 2018 recruiting class

The process is tiring but also fun. It’s one of the most important job interviews that any player ever will go through.

The 40 and the short shuttle measure a player’s ability to be fluid. The broad and vertical jumps measure explosiveness. The bench press is a marker of strength. The on-field drills allow coaches to see how well you can simulate movements that coaches deem important to success and development at a particular position on the field.

The nine former ’Noles invited: tight end Ryan Izzo, safety Derwin James, offensive tackle Rick Leonard, cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, linebacker Jacob Pugh, defensive end Josh Sweat, wide receiver Auden Tate and linebacker Matthew Thomas. Here’s a brief rundown of what the offensive skill-position players and defensive players need to show.

RYAN IZZO, by Glenn Beil/USA Today Sports

TE Ryan Izzo

Izzo (6 feet 5, 250 pounds) was a big target who was underutilized in Jimbo Fisher’s scheme. He would have benefited from another year in school, so it will be imperative at the combine that he show off some athleticism. You can see on tape that he was a good blocker, but in a passing league, you have to be able to do more. Currently, he is a third-day projection, but if he runs well, you might see teams that could use a TE2 take a chance on him.

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