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3 prospects with the most to lose or gain at the NFL Scouting Combine

On Monday’s AP Draft Room podcast, we discussed multiple prospects that could see their draft stock change after the Combine.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Guaranteed Rate Bowl - West Virginia v Minnesota Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the latest episode of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Room podcast, we previewed the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine by looking at a bunch of prospects that could be potential draft picks for the Kansas City Chiefs in April.

(Listen to the podcast above or by clicking here. It is also available on Spotify.)

One of our segments allowed us to highlight a prospect that could see their draft stock rise or lower based on the results of their combine performance.

Here are three of the names we discussed:

Ron: Boye Mafe | Edge rusher | Minnesota

In the preseason of the 2021 college football season, The Athletic writer Bruce Feldman placed Mafe on his annual “college football Freaks List” — and for good reason.

Feldman revealed the incredible, unofficial numbers Mafe has recorded — like a 40.5-inch vertical leap or a 4.57-second 40-yard dash time at the 260 pounds he has weighed in his last few years at Minnesota. The athleticism isn’t necessarily apparent in his game, but the raw power he has did show up in his work as a pass rusher and his presence as a run defender.

It doesn’t matter if the numbers don’t translate to the field; NFL teams will covet the things Mafe is about to do at the combine — so even if he isn’t the most polished player right now, he’ll be valued based on what his athletic profile projects him to be.

It will likely make him only an option at pick 30 for the Chiefs, but don’t be surprised if even that is too late for him to be available. He will be a star of the combine.

Bryan: Tariq Woolen | Cornerback | UTSA

Woolen hovers between 6 feet 3 and 6 feet 4 and weighs 205 pounds, displaying rare length throughout his frame.

After going to college to play wide receiver, he was converted to cornerback just two years ago. Coming out of the University of Texas-San Antonio, requisite NFL athleticism is not in question whatsoever for Woolen. He registered as the fastest player ever at the Senior Bowl (22.45 miles per hour) since they started recording moving speed via the players’ pads in recent years. This indicates that the all-important play speed is there to match what should be impressive running times at the combine.

Woolen is still naturally raw given his inexperience at the position and more willingness as a participant in the run game would be welcomed — however, the sheer athleticism to develop into a very good cover corner does exist in a way that is pretty rare.

With arms that can act as long levers to be disruptive in press coverage and all the recovery speed player evaluators could covet, Woolen is a possible Round 2 target for the Chiefs in the draft.

Talon: Coby Bryant | Cornerback | Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcat cornerback can bring a lot more to Kansas City than just an iconic name. He could provide the Chiefs with another starting-caliber defensive back who has experience playing all types of coverages.

He played zone and man while in college and showed he could press, which he fits in with Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. He is a taller pass defender at 6 feet 2 and is listed at 185 pounds, with the length that is so often associated with effective corners. He played with a loaded collegiate defense, and that may cause him to get lost in all the playmakers on the field, especially in the secondary.

He, along with fellow draft hopefuls CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and S Bryan Cook, made up one of the most talented defensive back rooms in the nation. He has a chance to prove himself more at the combine and positively impact his current draft evaluation.

He is being valued as a third-rounder, but if he can test through the roof and display elite athleticism in front of NFL scouts, he could significantly boost his stock.

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