326 of the nation’s best college football players
have been invited to participate in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL Combine will be held in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium scheduled to run Feb. 27 – March 5. National championship-winning Alabama will have 14 players attending which is the most from any university in the country.
Dane Cruikshank will be the lone representative from the University of Arizona.
Cruikshank likely projects as a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent, so the combine is a great chance for him to raise his stock before April’s draft. Cruikshank played two seasons with the Wildcats and recorded 134 tackles, five interceptions, and a forced fumble. He moved from cornerback to safety this season and was one of the bright spots on Arizona’s struggling defense. Listed at 6’1” and 206 pounds Cruikshank is a downhill thumper with great tackling ability. He has the height, weight, size, and speed to be drafted on his measurables alone. If he has a good showing at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine it could be the difference between being drafted or becoming an undrafted free agent. Either way some NFL team will most likely give him a shot.
Five players From Arizona State invited to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.
Kalen Ballage (RB) Sam Jones (G) Demario Richard (RB) Christian Sam (ILB) and JoJo Wicker (DE).
Kalen Ballage is a physical running back at 6’2” 227 pounds and has the receiving skills that could allow him to be a three-down weapon at the next level. Ballage can squat over 500 pounds and best known for his impressive eight touchdown game against Texas Tech which tied the NCAA record. A great showing at the NFL Combine could send his stock through the roof. He currently has a 5-6 round grade, don’t be surprised if after the combine his stock starts to climb.
Christian Sam a tackling machine is listed at 6’1” 240 pounds and has earned the reputation as one of the nations best tacklers. He plays with speed and tackles with solid technique, wrapping up well. Solid in coverage, and has been able to show skills in covering both tight ends and smaller backs. Sam is projected to go between rounds 3-5 with a good showing in the NFL Combine.
JoJo Wicker listed at 6’2” 273 pounds played in 38 career games, had 102 tackles, 31.5 for loss, and 12.5 sacks. He also had four pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Wicker is expected to be a late day two pick or early day three. Wicker gets a good push on the offensive line, he uses his power to get through the offensive line in pursuit of the quarterback. Known for his non-stop motor and is in on every play, he was a difference maker on ASU’s defense and showed good instincts and playmaking ability. Wicker believes his versatility should be his biggest skill that will allow him to translate well to the next level. He played end and tackle in the ASU scheme.
Sam Jones a two-year starter at left guard and one of ASU’s team captains is list at 6’5” 290 pounds. He has gained interest from scouts and with a solid combine showing may increase his draft stock. NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Jones rated as his No. 6 draft-eligible offensive guard and most experts project him to be a day three draft pick. Jones has effective athleticism and a great football IQ is exceptional at using angles to gain an advantage on defenders.
Demario Richard eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in a season for the second time during his career and ascended to the No. 4 all-time rusher in the history of the Sun Devil’s program. Listed at 5’8” 220 pounds Richard has a good initial burst, and is lightning fast accelerating through the hole. He has great vision, quick feet and is an elusive runner. He is expected to be a late round pick but with his production at ASU and an impressive showing at the combine he may improve his draft stock.