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UNC football: North Carolina sending seven players to NFL Combine

The Heels take Indianapolis

NCAA Football: North Carolina vs Georgia Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft might still be a few months away, but the NFL Scouting Combine will be here before you know it. The Combine is a week-long showcase that takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana and will take place this year from February 28 through March 8.

The event allows scouts the opportunity to evaluate talent for the upcoming draft. Players must be invited, and they will undergo a series of tests, drills, and evaluations. They will perform a 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, broad jump, vertical jump, and bench press, to name a few. Players will also be interviewed, measured, examined, and given a drug screen.

The Tar Heels will have seven representatives in attendance this year, a group that made up much of the team’s 2016 roster.

Mitch Trubisky is universally expected to go in the first round and is considered to be the top quarterback in the draft. Even after just one season as a starting QB, many teams seem to be convinced that he very well could be a franchise player. He will be joined by much of his offense.

Wide receivers Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard, and Mack Hollins are all attending. Switzer, possibly the program’s best receiver ever, is expected to be a fourth or fifth-round pick. Howard and Hollins are said to be sixth and seventh-round guys. Howard will likely see some attention thanks to several impressive catches over the season. Hollins is a known quantity, but a broken collarbone certainly hurt his draft stock.

Running backs Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan will join them as well. Hood may have had a down year thanks to a troublesome concussion, but he is still expected to go in the third of fourth round. Logan, on the other hand, was not previously ranked, however, thanks to a strong 2016 season, there will surely be teams interested in him. A strong showing at the Combine could do wonders for him.

Lastly, defensive tackle Nazair Jones will also be there. After a strong season on the line, he is expected to be drafted in the fourth of fifth round this year.

Other UNC players who are eligible for the draft who were not extended invitations are offensive tackle John Heck, center Lucas Crowley, cornerback Des Lawrence, and offensive guard Caleb Peterson.