Four former Ole Miss players to participate in NFL combine

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Four former Ole Miss players will get their shot to improve their draft stock in front of NFL personnel at this year’s NFL scouting combine.

Defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Breeland Speaks, running back Jordan Wilkins and offensive lineman Rod Taylor will attend this year’s combine after being invited to the league’s premier pre-draft workout. The combine, which is held annually at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, will begin Feb. 27 and run through March 5.

Running backs, offensive linemen and special teams participants will work out on March 2 while defensive linemen and linebackers are scheduled to go through workouts March 4. The combine will be televised by the NFL Network.

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Haynes and Speaks are Ole Miss’ top draft prospects with Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller projecting Haynes as a third-round pick and Speaks to go in the fourth round in his latest mock draft.

Haynes is widely viewed as an ideal fit as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense at the next level. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder had at least seven sacks in each of his four seasons at Ole Miss, including a career-high 10 in 2015, and finished as the Rebels’ all-time sack leader in the modern era (since 1983) with 32. He also holds the school’s modern-era career record for tackles for loss with 47.5.

Speaks bypassed his senior season after a breakout 2017 in which he racked up 67 tackles, eight tackles for loss and seven sacks, second-most on the team. The 6-3, 285-pound Speaks started the final seven games at defensive end after moving from tackle, versatility that could serve him well at the next level.

In his only season as the full-time starting running back, Wilkins rushed for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior, becoming Ole Miss’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2009. The 6-1, 217-pounder averaged 6.5 yards per carry this past season and 6.3 for his career.

Taylor started 23 of the 44 games he played in at Ole Miss, proving to be a versatile option for the Rebels up front. A former five-star recruit, the 6-3, 321-pound Taylor began his career at right guard and started seven games at left tackle as a junior before starting all 12 games at right tackle this past season.

The full list of combine participants can be found here.