It’s time for the NFL Combine, and though not as represented as some years, Oklahoma is bringing three players to Indianapolis this time around.
Sooners Illustrated is going to examine the Sooners trio and tell you what you need to watch throughout the event.
Running back Samaje Perine
The story: Can you be a school’s all-time leading rusher and yet somehow be overlooked? If your name is Samaje Perine, then yes, you can. Perine set the mark in OU’s win against Auburn, but it has been clear for a while NFL scouts have valued fellow former OU running back Joe Mixon more than Perine.
Fresh off getting engaged a couple of weeks ago, this will be Perine’s opportunity to show what he can do when not compared to Mixon. This should be a great opportunity for Perine to prove there is little to dislike about his game.
We know his strength. We know his ability to pass protect. But Perine will have a chance to turn some heads with his ability to catch out of the backfield. He’s not just a mauler.
Keep an eye on Perine during the bench press to see if sets some sort of mark for running backs because it’s definitely possible. Perine could move into solid Day 2 conversation.
Workout date: March 3 (Friday)
Wide receiver Dede Westbrook
The story: He’s not a one-year wonder, but he certainly one of the most memorable seasons in recent memory in Norman. Westbrook became the first winner from OU of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.
Not sure what Westbrook can do this weekend to change anybody’s perception of him. We know he’s fast and speed for days. We know he’s not the biggest receiver out there so the knock on him is going to be his strength.
Westbrook has really been working hard on getting under 4.3 seconds for his 40-yard dash time. It would be an incredible feat if he could do it, but you hope he hasn’t spent so much time on the 40 portion that he’s neglected other parts.
It’s hard to envision Westbrook going on the first day and just as hard to see him still there on day three.
Workout date: March 4 (Saturday)
Defensive lineman Charles Walker
The story: One of the more intriguing ones you’re going to find at the combine. Walker said he suffered a concussion against TCU on Oct. 1 and never suited up for the Sooners again. Not only that, he left Norman and started training for the draft even before the OU season was complete.
Walker is going to test out of this world, don’t think anybody is going to be surprised by that. He has that freakish athleticism that you cannot teach. But his heart and desire will be questioned, and he’s going to have to have the right answers to those asking.
Everybody knows Walker’s life has been different since becoming a father. He wants to provide for his daughter, but will his method of doing that actually end up backfiring on him and costing him money in the end?
Walker should excel in Indianapolis during testing. The interview process could determine his fate.
Workout date: March 5 (Sunday)