The NFL invited upwards of 300 players to this year’s draft combine in Indianapolis, but Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon were not among those on the list. Kelly was not invited to the NFL combine based on off-field issues, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. The same presumably goes for Mixon after video surfaced of him striking a woman.
In accordance with rules passed by the NFL last year, players with felony or misdemeanor convictions are not permitted to attend the combine. All players who wish to participate must submit to a background check. If a player’s background check unearths any conviction involving violence, he is turned away.
After suffering a a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in the fall, it’s not certain that Kelly would have been able to participate in combine drills even if he was invited. If Kelly is healthy enough to work out between now and late April, it’s a good bet that he’ll be able to get interested teams to watch him up close. That will go a long way towards dictating where Kelly might go in the draft. Recently, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller wrote that Kelly is “still an intriguing quarterback prospect in a bad overall class.” Meanwhile, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report heard back in November that the Ole Miss product was being viewed by evaluators as a Day 3 prospect.
We also have conflicting reports on Mixon. One area scout assigned to the Sooners told Albert Breer of The MMQB recently that he’s confident some team will weather the PR storm and draft him. Hours later, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted that Mixon is still undraftable in the eyes of many teams.
Other notable prospects left without invites include Kansas State linebacker Elijah Lee, Ole Miss wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, Michigan offensive linemen Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis, Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora, and Houston linebacker Steven Taylor.
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