The list of players invited to this year’s NFL Draft Combine was released this morning, and it included former Rebels Marquis Haynes, Rod Taylor, Breeland Speaks, and Jordan Wilkins. This year’s combine will once again take place February 27-March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Haynes, a defensive end who is the Rebels’ modern-era career sacks leader and a second-team All-SEC performer, is projected as a third- or fourth-round pick. Scouts like his speed and energy, but are concerned that he is not physical enough to handle the power of NFL run games, which will limit his on-field time to obvious passing downs. He’ll look to boost his stock even more after an excellent showing at the Senior Bowl.
Speaks, a defensive tackle, is also projected as a third-round pick. He was second-team All-SEC in 2017 after racking up 67 tackles and seven sacks. He came up especially big in the Egg Bowl, finishing with 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery that led to one of the greatest GIFs of all time.
Wilkins, the Rebels’ starting running back in 2017, was also a second-team All-SEC selection after rushing for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns. The 1,011 yards were fifth-most in a single season in Ole Miss history, and he averaged 6.5 yards per carry, good for second in the SEC. He’s currently projected to be an undrafted free agent, but a good showing at the Combine and Ole Miss’ pro day could push him into the late rounds.
Taylor, a versatile offensive lineman who played three different positions during his time as a Rebel, is projected as a sixth-round pick. He started all 12 games at right tackle for Ole Miss in 2017.
You can catch all the combine action from Friday to Monday on the NFL Network. Best of luck to the former Rebs and here’s to hoping they go to an NFL that you enjoy watching on Sunday (PLEASE NOT THE BROWNS).