By: Chris Trapasso | CBS Sports
Because of limitations due to the COVID-19 outbreak in this country, 2020 NFL Draft prospects who weren’t invited to the combine have had a significantly more difficult time popping on the radar than their recent contemporaries. While we’re likely to see a super-low number of non-combine prospects drafted, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any.
Here’s a look at the non-combine prospects with the best chance to get drafted at the end of this unprecedented pre-draft process.
Zach Sammartino, OG, Dartmouth
Sammartino, a First-Team All-Ivy pick in 2019, was a one-man wrecking ball for the league-champion Big Green at right guard. He plays with a low, methodical style that allows him to stay balanced in pass protection and when executing combination blocks for the run game.
While a little heavy-footed, his initial burst off the snap is of NFL-caliber, and he creates outstanding torque with his upper half when his legs are planted, frequently turning defensive linemen completely out of the play. NFL offensive line coaches will love his through-the-whistle mean streak. Because his equilibrium is so hard to shake, Sammartino can recover against counter moves, and his upward thrusting power removes defensive linemen before they can disrupt.
Oluwole Betiku, EDGE, Illinois
Betiku is firmly on the draft radar despite not getting a combine invite because of his recruiting pedigree. In 2016, he was the No. 1 weak-side defensive end prospect and No. 15 overall recruit in the nation per 247 Sports.
After transferring from USC to Illinois, Betiku was a productive outside rusher for Lovie Smith in 2019 with nine sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He has an NFL body at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds and has impressive juice off the snap. He’s a bit stiff around the corner and has to improve his pass-rush move arsenal, but he’s a moldable ball of clay, the type typically picked on Day 3 of the draft.
Kevin Dotson, OG, Louisiana
Dotson should be on the radar simply because of his position on Louisiana’s line. He manned — and locked down — the right guard spot next to right tackle Robert Hunt, who could be picked as early as the second round in a few weeks. Teams that want to emphasize point-of-attack power over agility for their blockers will be most intrigued by the 6-4, 320-pounder.
He’s a technically sound road-grader in the run game and gets to the second level faster than you’d expect from his girth. In pass protection, Dotson is a brick wall, nearly impossible to bull rush to the quarterback.
Yes, he comes with lateral limitations, but the power pure with which he plays and his anchoring skill as a pass protector make him a draftable talent on the interior of the offensive line with starting potential.
Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah
Huntley doesn’t have a big arm. There, I got that out of the way. The rest of his game is pretty darn polished, especially for a quarterback who wasn’t invited to the combine. At Utah, Huntley was not the focal point of the offense. Far from it. And a good portion of his throws came after the luxuries provided by play-action. But his downfield accuracy was very good. As was his natural ability to keep his head up while being pressured.
There’s some scrambling ability to his game as well, and he rarely puts the ball in dangerous places. All that sounds like a draftable quarterback to me.
Bravvion Roy, DT, Baylor
Nose tackles are going extinct in the NFL, so when you see Roy’s listed size at 6-1 and 333 pounds, that red flag is instantly raised. But his film shows anything but a stationary, space-devouring, run-plugger. In fact, Roy is somewhat of a liability against runs, especially when he’s doubled.
He’s an upfield attacker who registered 5.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss as a senior with the Bears to go along with a more than respectable 61 tackles.
Reid Harrison-Ducros, CB, Duquesne
Duquesne isn’t an NFL factory but any stretch, but Harrison-Ducros began his collegiate career at Boise State before transferring to the small school in Pittsburgh. And, unsurprisingly, he flourished there as an outside cornerback.
Blessed with rapid footwork and smooth change-of-direction capabilities, Harrison-Ducros had four interceptions and nine pass breakups after knocking away five passes in his first season at Duquesne in 2018. He has the athleticism of a slot corner but the tenacity needed to deal with bigger wideouts on the perimeter and has a flair to make the circus interception because of his awareness and physical gifts.
Giovanni Ricci, TE, Western Michigan
Ricci looks like a wide receiver on the field, and he wins like a wide receiver with violent cuts in his routes and explosive off the line and out of his breaks. He hauled in eight touchdowns in 2019 and accounted for 20.7% of Western Michigan’s receiving yards in 2019, a fine figure for a tight end.
He isn’t going to burn down the seam against NFL linebackers but can get open at the short-to-intermediate level and displayed strong hands during his time with the Broncos.
Ron’Dell Carter, EDGE, James Madison
Carter was a force for the Dukes with 23.5 sacks and 48 tackles for loss in his three seasons as a contributor there. As a senior, the rocked-up 6-3, 269-pounder had 12 sacks with a ridiculous 27 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
His pass-rush moves need some sharpening, but there’s no doubting Carter’s NFL-caliber explosiveness and bendy ways around the corner. Plus, at his size, he sets a rock-solid edge.