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Minnesota Football: NFL Combine Preview

Four former Gophers are in Indy trying to improve their draft stock

Penn State v Minnesota Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Four former Minnesota Golden Gophers football stars are in Indianapolis this week for the NFL scouting combine. All four players will be trying to raise their draft stock, but not all will be doing the same thing. Some will be doing the full suite of combine activities including medial tests, interviews and the workouts. Some will just be doing the medical work and the interview process. But in all four cases, what happens this weekend in Indianapolis is just one step in trying to hear their name called in Las Vegas in two months.

Tyler Johnson -WR

Johnson is one of those players who will not do much of the physical testing at the combine. Much has been made about his potential 40-yard dash time determining where he may end up going in the draft. He talked about that earlier this week in media interviews at the combine:

“I’m still learning, still adjusting, to all the different techniques that these types of tests require,” Johnson said Tuesday. “I feel like on March 25 on my Pro Day is when I’m gonna be best, when I’m gonna feel most comfortable. I feel like I’m getting better day in and day out. As long as I’m better than I was yesterday then I’m progressing.”

“[Teams] understand it 100 percent,” he said. “Everyone knows that you shouldn’t feel rushed. You should feel comfortable with yourself, go out and do the best that you can possibly do. I’m not concerned at all. I really just backed out because I felt like it was best for me.”

According to the article Johnson will be thrown to at the Gophers Pro day by St. John’s quarterback Jackson Erdman who just finished his senior year and as a junior in 2018 won the The Gagliardi Trophy as the Division 3 Player of the Year.

Johnson will do the rest of the combine circuit. He was measured in on Monday:

He has been doing the medical testing and interviews earlier this week, and Johnson will participate in the wide receiver drills at the combine which will take place between 3-10 PM on Thursday and will air live on NFL Network.

Carter Coughlin-OLB

Carter Coughlin is one of the Gophers doing the full gamut at the combine. He was measured in on Wednesday:

Coughlin has been going through the medical testing and the interview process this week and will do the full workout circuit and all of the linebacker drills on Saturday from 3-10 PM and will air live on NFL Network.

Kamal Martin -ILB

Martin will be the Gopher that does the least at the combine this weekend. He is still recovering from knee surgery in January and will not do any physical activity in Indy.

He did go through the full measurement portion on Wednesday:

Martin is being evaluated by doctors and will interview with the teams this weekend. The hope is he is healed enough to participate at the Gophers Pro Day on March 25th. If not, his chances of hearing his name called will be pretty small come April.

Antoine Winfield Jr. -DB

Antoine Winfield Jr. has the highest potential draft ceiling of any of the Gophers in Indy this weekend. Some mock drafts have had Winfield sneaking into the back of the first round in the recent past, and a good showing in Indy could help cement him as a first or high second day pick. Winfield will be like Coughlin doing the full run of activities in Indy from the measurements to the physical testing, the DB drills and the medical evaluations and interviews with teams. He has been training in Florida at a camp for the combine. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel caught up with him and has a two minute interview with him HERE. Additionally USA Today did a film session interview with Winfield that is quite interesting. You can check that out here.

Winfield will be measured in with the rest of the defensive backs on Thursday morning and will perform the drills in the final workout period of the combine on Sunday from 1-6 PM on NFL Network.

EDIT—Official Measurements added Thursday AM:

Hopefully all of the Gophers can make an impression this weekend and find their way onto multiple teams draft boards.