Published February 9, 2012 - 9:16am
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Including a host of other potential SEC draft picks, South Carolina’s Antonio Allen, Melvin Ingram, Travian Robertson, Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffery and Rokevious Watkins were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this week, an event held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Feb. 24 through March 1.
The annual job fair for prospective NFL players includes a series of “drills, tests and interviews with more than 600 NFL personnel including head coaches, general managers and scouts.”
Players use the combine to separate themselves from others at their position. Last year, Chris Culliver (6-foot, 199) clocked a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash, good enough for a third-place tie among defensive backs with Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa. Culliver’s wheels impressed San Francisco 49ers scouts enough to select the former Gamecock safety in the third round (80th overall).
As a rookie, Culliver saw action in all 16 games as the team’s third cornerback. The safety-turned corner ranks third in SEC history in kickoff returns (106) and kickoff return yards (2,476).
Added 49ers general manager Trent Baalke: “One of the things we really liked about Chris was the physical attributes of the player. And we like the fact that he’s played both safety and corner. To me, that’s a positive not a negative. That means there’s upside to the position he switched to as a senior, but it also gives you versatility. He’s competitive. He’s got some things he’s going to have to learn as a corner. But every corner who comes into this league has to develop.”