This morning the NFL announced the invitees to the NFL Combine held at the end of February. Among the players invited on Kentucky's squad were safety AJ Stamps and inside linebacker Josh Forrest.
Assuming Stamps and Forrest are drafted, that makes 5 defensive players under Stoops. 0 Offensive.— will marshall (@awillmarshall) February 11, 2016
Notably absent, was nosetackle Melvin Lewis:
Nose tackles invited over (injured) Melvin Lewis: Baylor's Billings, UCLA's Clark, PSU's Johnson, Clemson's Reader" https://t.co/uQVIBu90Ty— will marshall (@awillmarshall) February 11, 2016
The fact Forrest and Stamps were invited isn't a surprised based off of 2015 production, and their performances at their respective all-star games. Forrest led the team in tackles for the second straight season, and tossed in two interceptions. Stamps was second in tackles this season, increased his pass break-ups tally relative to 2015, and did all of that while splitting time with Mike Edwards. He had no real competition in his first season.
Forrest and Stamps seemed like near-locks last May, but what of my other, some woeful, predictions? Lewis missed most of this season, and so not being invited in a talented nose tackle class is understandable. A strong Pro Day would go a long way towards helping his draft status; otherwise, signing on as a free agent seems almost certain.
Defensive lineman Farrington Huguenin was invited to the NFL Players Association All-Star game (along with Stamps) which was a promising sign. Stats are hard to come by, but he received "complimentary analysis" likely given his play during the game and practice week. Similar to Lewis, UK's Pro Day will be very important for his future earning potential.
The odds of Fred Tiller and Jordan Swindle being drafted are currently slim. The odds of Patrick Towles leaving early for the NFL Draft are as likely as the existence of gravitational waves, am I right?