This week and into next, the Kansas City Chiefs will have their braintrust in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, checking out over 300 athletes who are coming out for the NFL Draft this May.
While the Chiefs will only be selecting a handful of them, John Dorsey, Andy Reid and the rest of the front office will be watching each player with a keen eye to determine who is worth some more research. It is expected certain groups will get a much harder look than others, including safeties, wide receivers and defensive linemen.
With those three groups in mind, here are some players to watch at the combine that Dorsey and Reid might be highly interested in, broken down by position:
1. Marqise Lee: The USC standout is not likely to fall to the Chiefs' pick, but he certainly bares watching. The speedy Lee is perhaps the most well-rounded receiver in the draft this side of Sammy Watkins, and could be an option.
2. Mike Evans: The Texas A&M product is a monster at 6'5'' and 225 pounds. Evans had a huge season with Johnny Manziel, catching 69 passes for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns. The question with Evans is does he have enough speed and can he run crisp routes? We'll get an indicator soon.
3. Kelvin Benjamin: Coming off a national title, Benjamin has gotten plenty of play as a first round pick. Benjamin is another big-body at 6'5'' and 235 pounds, with many of the same questions as Evans. Benjamin can really improve his stock with good times in the shuttle and 40-yard dash drills.
4. Odell Beckham Jr.: Many have mocked Beckham Jr. to the Chiefs recently, and on paper he makes a nice fit across from Dwayne Bowe. Beckham also projects as a return man with nice speed, something to monitor.
5. Hasean Clinton-Dix: The Alabama standout isn't likely to make it to the Chiefs at the 23rd pick, but would be an almost no-brainer selection if he does. Clinton-Dix is ranked as the top safety almost universally by most NFL experts. Watch to see how fluid his hips are in drills, always a key for this position.
6. Calvin Pryor: Again, another man to watch his hips in agility drills. Pryor is known as a big-hitter, but does he have stiffness in his hips that could cause him to drop a bit on draft boards? Other than Clinton-Dix, Pryor is the only other consensus first-round safety. Previously: Mike Mayock recently talked about these two players.
7. Jonathan Dowling: The Western Kentucky product is a sleeper but someone to pay attention to. Dowling is thought to be a third-day pick but might rise with an expected 40-time around the 4.5 range. At 6'2'' and 200 pounds, he has ideal size and speed. Previously: AP user citadelchief broke down Dowling's game.
8. Aaron Donald: Donald is coming out of Pittsburgh, so he didn't get the attention of some other players on winning programs. The Panthers star is a physical force who many say will be a 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL. However, his skill set and size (6'1'', 288) makes me believe he can kick outside to a 3-4 end.
9. Timmy Jernigan: The former Seminole had some conditioning issues in college, but the man can flat out play. Jernigan is a shade under 300 pounds and yet has good quickness. It will be interesting to watch him deal with the bags at his feet at the combine, along with the 3-cone drill.
10. Stephon Tuitt: Tuitt is a mountain at 6'6'' and 320 pounds. I have some question as to whether Kansas City would try and convert him into a 3-4 end at that size. It seems he's actually too big, so watching him move around the field in Indianapolis could give us some clarity. Previously: Mel Kiper mocks Tuitt to KC.
Of course, there are plenty of prospects I didn't get around to. In the comments, please pound the table for the guy you want closely watched. Time's yours.