Hometown Report

Five Sacramento-area products invited to NFL combine. How high will they go in draft?

Learn more about the Sacramento-area players invited to the NFL Combine

The Sacramento region has five NFL draft prospects invited to the annual NFL scouting combine. Alabama tackle Jonah Williams and USC linebacker Cameron Smith are among the five.
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The Sacramento region has five NFL draft prospects invited to the annual NFL scouting combine. Alabama tackle Jonah Williams and USC linebacker Cameron Smith are among the five.

The NFL scouting combine looms.

Held Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis, it’s where scores of athletes are trotted out in front of a sea of coaches and executives to engage in a number of strength and agility and running drills.

And then there are the brain-skull sessions, the making of the man. NFL teams figure to shell out untold millions and want to know what they’re getting for their investment.

The invite list is 338 strong, and it includes five with regional connections. This is where players can improve their stock, or tumble with poor times and efforts.

Kolton Miller soared up the NFL draft board projections with his showing last year. The left tackle from UCLA by way of Roseville High School wound up going in the first round to the Raiders and started all 16 games.

A closer look at the five players from the region:

Browning.jpg
Jake Browning passed for 12,296 yards and 94 touchdowns in four years with Washington. Jae C. Hong AP

Jake Browning

Position: Quarterback

College: Washington

High School: Folsom

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 215 pounds

Prep rating: Five-star

Numbers: The winningest quarterback in Pac-12 history and Washington’s only four-year starter at the position, Browning has passed for miles: 16,775 yards and 229 touchdowns in high school and 12,296 yards and 94 TDs in college.

Draft projection: Rounds 6-7

Skinny: A game-film buff who reads defenses, has a good touch and is respected by coaches and players, all of which counters any concerns that his arm isn’t strong enough for the NFL.

Doss.JPG
UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss, a two-time All-American, had 3,744 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in three seasons. Brian Baer Special to The Sacramento Bee

Keelan Doss

Position: Receiver

College: UC Davis

High School: Alameda

Prep Rating: Two-star

Height/Weight: 6 feet, 210 pounds

Numbers: Had 3,744 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in three UCD seasons, was a two-time All-American, a three-time team captain and led best team in program history in 2018.

Draft projection: Rounds 2-4

Skinny: Runs great routes, has good hands and speed, and Doss might be the most gifted player in the 100-year storied history of the Aggies, and his character matches. Dazzled in the Senior Bowl game and practices.

Granderson.jpg
Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson had 173 career tackles, including 35 1/2 for loss, and 16 1/2 sacks as a three-year starter. Andres Leighton AP

Carl Granderson

Position: Defensive end

College: Wyoming

High School: Grant

Prep Rating: Two-star

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 245 pounds

Numbers: Posted 173 career tackles, including 35 1/2 for loss, and 16 1/2 sacks as a three-year starter at Wyoming and overcame a torn ACL in 2016 to remain on the NFL radar.

Draft projection: Rounds 4-7

Skinny: Granderson had NFL eyes on him during the Senior Bowl as an active end, and he will be peppered plenty at the combine by NFL executives about recent charges of third-degree sexual assault and battery.

Smith.jpg
USC linebacker Cameron Smith recorded 354 career tackles, including 26 1/2 for loss, as a four-year starter and two-time team captain. Rick Scuteri AP

Cameron Smith

Position: Linebacker

College: USC

High School: Granite Bay

Prep Rating: Four-star

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 245 pounds

Numbers: Set tackling and weightlifting marks at Granite Bay, then recorded 354 career tackles, including 26 1/2 for loss, as a four-year starter and two-time team captain at USC, ranking him among the greatest linebackers in Trojans history.

Draft projection: Rounds 1-3

Skinny: Physical, relentless, instinctive and deceptively fast, Smith was a projected first-round pick a year ago but wanted to return to USC for his senior season because “I love USC and my teammates,” he said.

Jonah Williams

Position: Left tackle

College: Alabama

High School: Folsom

Prep Rating: Five-star

Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 305 pounds

Numbers: One of the top high school players in Sacramento history and deemed “the best the area has ever seen” by Del Oro assistant coach Bill Sherman, Williams was a dominating three-year starting tackle at Alabama. He would have been a four-year starter had he not declared for the draft.

Draft project: First round, top 10

Skinny: A student of the game who is technically sound, Williams can overwhelm opponents with ferocity and is considered a great teammate. Could play tackle or guard in the NFL. Figures to be Sacramento’s highest-ever drafted NFL player.

Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988 and is award-winning authority on high school sports, specializing in going behind the scenes. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.


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