The Super Bowl is over, and to be honest, it's kind of a relief, at least from a St. Louis Rams perspective. Now, we can start talking about free agency and the 2012 NFL Draft. The next big event for draft season is some two weeks away when the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine starts. The league unveiled the official invite list for the Combine on Tuesday.
You'll recognize the top prospects on the list, since we've been talking about those players for months. Having covered the Combine last year, I can tell you that it's the guy lower down the list, the names you'll hear on days two and three, that make for the most interesting stories at the Combine.
Of course, the top names will have a few stories of their own, like Cam Newton's big day or Julio Jones' sub-4.4 forty from last year.
Right now the biggest story are the snubs. Miami (Ohio) offensive guard Brandon Brooks had a really solid outing at the Shrine Game, enough to make him an intriguing third day pick. Boston College cornerback Donnie Fletcher was also left off the list. The Eagles defensive back who is not related to the Rams defensive back with the same last name, had more mixed reviews at the Senior Bowl. However, most felt like he showed more than enough potential to be drafted, though a position change to safety might be in order based on his slower speed.
Of course, Wyoming running back Alvester Alexander should have been on the list, but third day running backs are kind of a dime a dozen these days ... sort of like internet sports writers.
Another name left outside looking in, as pointed out by our own 3k, was Kansas State running back Bryce Brown. A former top high school recruit, Brown shot himself in the foot with commitments and a strange back-and-forth with Tennessee and K-State that limited his college career to just 120 total carries. He has the tools to be a good NFL running back, but teams will question whether or not he has a the head for it.