The absence of an NFL combine invite is not a death sentence for potential players. Several that did not participate have gone on to have successful careers. For example, look no further than the recent Super Bowl, where Chiefs running back Darwin Thompson and 49ers fullback Kyle Juszcyk played despite not being invited to the event. Other notable exclusions include former Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler.
The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine will run from Feb. 23-March 2 in Indianapolis. Barring a last minute change of heart, the next step for each of these players would be their respective pro days, which will occur between the conclusion of the NFL combine and the 2020 NFL Draft.
Here are some of the notable names missing from this year’s combine invite list:
Oluwole Betiku, EDGE, Illinois
Betiku is a really interesting prospect. He has essentially one year of production. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, he signed with USC out of high school. As a high school recruit, he was regarded as a top-10 prospect overall by 247Sports before transferring to Illinois to finish out his career. His 2019 campaign ended with nine sacks.
Kevin Dotson, OL, Louisiana-Lafayette
He will never be classified as the most athletic player, but Dotson is strong and blocks with good leverage. Dotson has been a very productive player on a good team. The Louisiana native is quick enough in a phone booth. In the run game, he continues to churn his feet and create ground. It would not be a surprise if he slipped into Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Breiden Fehoko, DL, LSU
Fehoko has never provided much sack production but he really stood out against Texas. He showed some positional flexibility in that game playing on the edge and inside. Teams will look at him for depth in the class. There is a lot to be said for a player that started two years in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have so much talent on that side of the ball yet he occupied the same role.
Bryce Huff, EDGE, Memphis
Huff is best suited as 4-3 rush end but is probably a little small to play the position. Scouts will place the tweener tag on him but that will not preclude him from having an NFL career. Over the past two years, Huff accumulated 16 sacks. Fans in Memphis will not have to look far for a comparison: former Tiger Genard Avery. Huff uses his hands well and does a good job setting the edge.
Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah
Huntley is a bit on the small side by traditional standards, but that has been less of an issue in the modern NFL. He completes a high percentage of his passes and tends to refrain from throwing into coverage. He is a pocket passer first but is also able to get some yardage with his legs. The Utes were very successful this season, and Huntley’s leadership was a big reason.
Joey Magnifico, TE, Memphis
It is not as surprising to see Magnifico left off the list now as it would have been at the beginning of the season. He began the year on several watch lists, but his senior season was uninspiring. He is not overly fast and looks a bit smaller than listed. Memphis primarily used him as an inline blocker or in the backfield rather than sending him out for catches. There were moments that he made or nearly made some pretty spectacular plays.
Zach Shackelford, OL, Texas
Shackelford is another lineman that was noticeably absent. There is Day 2 potential in his game. He snaps into his stance quickly and blocks with good leverage. His anchor rarely drags. There are times where he roams a bit too far out of his gap on combo blocks, which leaves him vulnerable to pressure on stunts. When unattached, he looks for work.
Isaiah Wright, WR, Temple
Wright has his strong supporters who are willing to overlook the inconsistencies for his speed and athleticism. He has struggled with some drops and fumbles. The Owls used him in a variety of manners that included inside handoffs and screens. His footwork looks good but he is not overly physical, which often means he is knocked off his route.