Four former Maryland players were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place from Feb. 23 to Feb. 29 in Indianapolis, the NFL announced Thursday.
Brad Craddock, Sean Davis, Quinton Jefferson and Yannick Ngakoue all accepted invitations and will attempt to boost their draft stock alongside other top college talent.
Craddock, the 2014 Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's best kicker, was 8-for-10 on field goals and 22-for-23 on extra points in 2015. He dislocated his wrist against Wisconsin on Nov. 7 and missed the final three games of the season. As a junior, Craddock was 18-for-19 on field goals, including a school-record 57-yarder, and 44-for-44 on extra points. He finished his Maryland career third all-time in points with 297.
Craddock's NFL.com scouting report bottom line: "Craddock's consistency from intermediate ranges will get the attention of teams as he's put together three solid years from that range. His biggest challenge is trying to improve his kickoffs as teams usually don't like having to carry a kickoff specialist."
Davis is listed as a strong safety on the list of combine participants. He spent the first three seasons of his career as a safety before he was converted to cornerback for his senior season. He struggled at times in coverage -- opponents passed for 614 yards against him, according to NFL.com -- but he continued to burnish his reputation as one of the Big Ten Conference's top tacklers in the secondary. He finished the season with 88 total tackles and had 318 tackles in his career.
Davis has good size at 6 feet 1, 201 pounds and impressed with a big hit in the Senior Bowl.
Davis' NFL.com scouting report bottom line: "Miscast this season as an outside cornerback, Davis battled through adversity and bounced back with ball production, tackles and forced fumbles. Davis has the ability to cover, but his strengths would best be utilized at safety where he has fewer man responsibilities and can be deployed near the line of scrimmage a little more often. Davis is an eventual starter at safety and a big backup at cornerback."
Jefferson declared for the draft on Dec. 18 after a breakout season in which he had 12 1/2 tackles for loss and 6 1/2 sacks at defensive tackle. A lower back injury forced him to miss the Senior Bowl, so the combine is a prime opportunity for Jefferson to impress scouts. He, along with Ngakoue, is considered a bargain by ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
Jefferson's NFL.com scouting report bottom line: "High cut 3-technique with good upper body strength but below average lower body power to take a stand. Jefferson flashes penetration ability and some pass rushing talent, but he needs to be fitted to a 1-gap, upfield defense and will have to make a team as a rotational lineman."
Ngakoue might be the most intriguing pro prospect out of the bunch. A raw pass rushing defensive end at Maryland, he set the program's single-season sack record with 13 1/2 in 2015 before declaring for the draft and forgoing his senior season. The combine participant list has him as an outside linebacker, where he could thrive as a pass-rush specialist. There is no NFL.com scouting report for him yet. Kiper said Ngakoue could be picked between the third and fifth rounds of the draft.[email protected] 410-857-7895 twitter.com/danieljtgallen