Will Campbell's draft hopes still alive despite combine snub
But he won't be at the combine.
Campbell, who is amid a six-week training regimen at St.Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, wasn't among the more than 300 players who were invited to the combine. Denard Robinson will be the Wolverines' only participant.
That's a blow for Campbell's chances of being drafted, and it surprises ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay.
"I like him on tape," McShay said Friday during a conference call with reporters. "I just think he's strong. He's a guy who can take up space and I think fits well in the 3-4, and there's value there.
"So, to me, when you look at it, he didn't get invited to the combine and that surprised me a little bit."
Campbell's combine snub doesn't end his draft chances. Thirty-seven of the 253 players who were drafted last year didn't participate in the combine. But Campbell's task does become more difficult.
Among the 22 defensive tackles selected in last year's draft, just two -- San Diego State's Jerome Long and Ashland's Jeris Pendleton -- did not participate in the combine. Both went in the seventh round.
The combine is the best chance for players to showcase their tools before NFL scouts representing each of the league's team. There are other chances for prospects to show their stuff, namely at team pro days, but the spotlight shines brightest at the combine.
McShay, though, says he likes Campbell and believes he has a future in the NFL.
"I just think he has to continue to improve his hands and do some little things to improve as a player, but he can play at the next level and, at the very least, contribute in a subpackage taking on blocks and helping a team versus the run," he said.
McShay said Campbell is Michigan's best prospect after Robinson, followed by fellow defensive lineman Craig Roh. He also likes safety Jordan Kovacs, a four-year starter for the Wolverines.
"Kovacs obviously has some athletic limitations, but ... he can go down and cover kicks, he's been instinctive and a productive player throughout his career," McShay said. "So even if he doesn't get drafted, I think he's a player that teams will want to bring in as a priority free agent.
"(He could) Help on special teams, and then see during training camp if he can contribute in that area. If he is, it buys him time for a year or two or however long it takes for him to prove he's capable of contributing on the defensive side."
Receiver Roy Roundtree, linebacker Kenny Demens and cornerback J.T. Floyd also have received some NFL attention. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has said Demens could be a late-round pick.
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