The NFL scouting combine is the ultimate look-ahead event in sports. College football stars descend on Indianapolis hoping to improve their position for the NFL draft in April while pro personnel evaluators assess each player's value for the next five to 10 years.
If you're curious about this year's combine, which begins this week at Lucas Oil Stadium, there's no shortage of information available. But this story isn't about the 2019 combine. It's about the 2020 combine. That's right, we're looking ahead to next year's look-ahead event.
Here are some names you'll likely be hearing a lot about before the 2020 draft:
The QB conversation starts with: Oregon's Justin Herbert
Herbert actually appeared on last year's look-ahead story, as just about everyone expected him to be in Indianapolis this week. But after a solid-but-not-spectacular 2018 campaign, Herbert opted to remain in his hometown for a final season with the Ducks. He should enter the fall as the most-discussed quarterback prospect in the draft, as he boasts the frame (6-foot-6, 233 pounds) and varied skill set to project well at the next level. He must improve his accuracy (59.4 percent in 2018) and should get more help from a wide receiver group that underperformed last fall. ESPN's Mel Kiper already has noted Herbert will be at the top of the 2020 draft class. Kiper had Herbert at No. 1 on his list of 2019 draft-eligible quarterbacks (and No. 6 overall on his Big Board) before Herbert announced his decision.