2023 NFL Combine: Preview, Schedule, How To Watch
Mountain West football prospects have plenty on the line when the NFL Combine begins later this week. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
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The biggest stop on the road to the NFL Draft is in Indianapolis.
2023 NFL Combine
WHEN: Thursday, March 2 to Monday, March 6
WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium; Indianapolis, Indiana
TV/STREAMING: NFL Network
College football’s postseason all-star games are in the rear view and the NFL Draft is still over a month away, but the NFL Combine gets underway this week and the seven Mountain West players invited to the proceedings have plenty to prove.
Who stands to gain the most with a strong showing in interviews and testing throughout the rest of the week? Who could go tumbling down draft boards with a lackluster showing? Here’s a quick breakdown of the questions facing many of the conference’s top prospects in Indianapolis.
Group 1 – Defensive Linemen and Linebackers
Thursday, March 2, beginning at 12:00 PM Pacific/1:00 PM Mountain
San Jose State defensive end Viliami Fehoko didn’t get a chance to contribute on the practice field at the Shrine Bowl because he still needed to recover from an injury, meaning that the combine will be the Mountain West defensive player of the year’s first best chance to demonstrate the power and explosiveness he can bring to their trenches. He’s already received some heat as a potential NFL Draft sleeper, so all that’s left is to justify that hype.
Group 2 – Defensive Backs and Specialists
Friday, March 3, beginning at 12:00 PM Pacific/1:00 PM Mountain
This will be Boise State’s time to shine. Tyreque Jones will take the field for workouts after making his mark with the Broncos thanks to versatility, having played safety and nickelback in his years with the team, but JL Skinner will miss out after tearing a pectoral muscle in the days leading up to the event.
Unfortunate yes. We’ll be back better than ever. Im still one of the best in the class. God just gave me more motivation. https://t.co/P4l4eHFJwW
— JL Skinner (@JlJlskinner) February 27, 2023
Skinner’s hard hits and propensity to get hands on the football helped him build quite a highlight reel in college, but chances are he’ll be able to leave a lasting impact on NFL front offices ahead of the draft by demonstrating his football savvy in conversations with them.
Group 3 – Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends
Saturday, March 4, beginning at 10:00 AM Pacific/11:00 AM Mountain
Though only three Mountain West players will be part of this group, Fresno State’s Jake Haener and Jalen Moreno-Cropper, as well as Air Force tight end Kyle Patterson, comprise the conference’s largest cohort at this year’s combine.
Haener, fresh off of earning the Senior Bowl’s MVP honor, will look to raise his overall stock in a quarterback class that features a couple of surefire high-first-round prospects and a bevy of others at the position with at least one serious question about them. Moreno-Cropper, meanwhile, will look to put his speed, agility, and hands on display to stand out in another deep wide receiver class. Lastly, Patterson will look to prove that he can be an inline difference maker with a clean bill of health, overcoming questions about the injuries which erased most of his last two seasons at the Academy.
Group 4 – Offensive linemen and Running backs
Sunday, March 5, beginning at 10:00 AM Pacific/11:00 AM Mountain
Boise State offensive tackle John Ojukwu stands alone in this group and will look to bring all of his experience to bear and become the first Broncos lineman drafted since 2020. He has the prototypical size to stay outside and contribute at the next level, but flashing strength and agile footwork will be critical to those hopes.