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Nebraska Football: Four Huskers Invited To The 2016 NFL Scouting Combine

If you want to improve your stock or the NFL Draft, this is where you do it.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The list of invitees for the NFL Scouting Combine came out on Thursday, and four Nebraska Cornhuskers were invited to come to Indianapolis in the last week of February.

The Huskers will be represented by Offensive Tackle Alex Lewis, Fullback Andy Janovich, and Defensive Tackles Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins.

Those four Huskers will be part of 58 names that have been invited to the Combine. 14 of those invites alone belong to Ohio State players itself.

Here is what the NFL site says about three of the four Nebraska players. There was no listed scouting report on Valentine.

Alex Lewis:

STRENGTHS Has some toughness to his game and will meet a physical challenge. Has a clean, balanced set­up in pass protection and keeps his head back and hands punch­-ready. Generally uses well-­timed punch with inside hand coming first. Understands his physical limitations and sets out on defensive ends quickly to counter. Able to generate some play at the tackle spot.

WEAKNESSES Plodding feet limit him. Slow to step into angle blocks and has issues operating consistently on outside zone plays. Not quick enough to be counted on for reach blocks. Pad level too high to unlock hips for maximum leverage and pop in run game. Needs to get better at sinking hips as bull rush mounts. Play strength is very average and leads to balance issues. Will lunge rather than working feet into position. Punch needs to be more crisp and quick.

BOTTOM LINE Lewis has enough frame and length to stay at tackle, but will need to move over to the right side even though he may be able to offer average value as a swing tackle. Run blocking in space will always be a concern and his foot quickness could cause issues for him against NFL speed off the edge. There is enough there to work with Lewis as a backup tackle

Andy Janovich:

STRENGTHS Rare running fullback with short-area wiggle to make defenders miss. Grinds through contact and can break tackles en route to grinding out additional yardage. Might have value as short yardage runner in pros. Runs feet through downhill contact on iso blocks. Can help as blocker in pass pro. Special teams cover specialist with 13 tackles this season. Can play elephant in pros and cover kickoffs. Weight room warrior.

WEAKNESSES Could be limited by scheme fit. Doesn't have girth teams look for in hammer-­head lead blocker. More of a positional blocker than kick-­out blocker against edge setters. Has habit of ducking head into blocks. Limited experience in passing attack.

SOURCES TELL US "He's a dude! Loves to bang weights and hunt. My kind of guy. They didn't ask him to catch the ball much, but I think he can do it." -- Big Ten scout


BOTTOM LINE Undersized H-back with the ability to give teams a carry here and there and do enough as a blocker to warrant consideration on the roster. Janovich was an extremely productive special teamer this season and if he can prove himself to be an adequate pass­ catcher, he could find his way onto a roster and get some snaps. Fullbacks and H-backs have limited draft value, but Janovich has a good shot at making a roster once he gets into camp.

Maliek Collins:

STRENGTHS Explosive get­-off with good pad level. Has exceptional lateral movement and overall athleticism for the position. Moved around defensive line as rusher and allowed to stand to maximize athleticism as twister. Good coordination between hands and feet. Strong jump­ step and club move inside is his go-­to rush. Flashes an impressive ceiling when it's clicking for him. Initial quickness opens door for disruption. Plus motor with active hands.

WEAKNESSES Has very little scheme or position flexibility. Ends up on the ground all the time. Impact production doesn't match the athletic ability and talent. Square rusher missing hip swivel and upper body turn to improve penetration. Comes flying in as pass rusher on twists, but doesn't have workable counter­attack ready. Unable to stack and anchor against double teams. Doesn’t have play strength to fight back against redirect blocks.


BOTTOM LINE Three­-technique with impressive athleticism and movement skills, but a lack of play strength to hold up at the point of attack. Collins needs to play for a defense that allows him to play up the field and should benefit from pass rush work with NFL coaching and teammates. Collins should test well which could push him way up the draft board, but his floor is lower than many of the defensive tackles in this draft.

All four players are vying to get picked during the 2016 NFL Draft in Chicago, April 28-30th.