Getting absolutely ROCKED in the face at the NFL Combine is a good way to see your draft stock plummet
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 07 Temple at USF
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 07: University of South Florida tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89) goes to the sideline after a hard hit during a college football game between the Temple University Owls and the University of South Florida Bulls on November 07, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Unless you went to the University of South Florida, you've probably never heard of Mitchell Wilcox, who started all four years at tight end for the Bulls. Unfortunately, everybody now knows who he is for all the wrong reasons. That's life at the NFL Combine, a place where draft stock goes to die.
To be clear, it's not like Wilcox was going to be one of the first few tight ends off the board and now he's going to fall (CBS Sports has him ranked 13th among tight end prospects), but getting absolutely ROCKED in the face with a pass certainly won't help his stock rise. In a now viral clip, watch as Wilcox turns to catch a pass, fails to get his hands up in time and eats the pigskin for breakfast:
Brutal. As a future NFL player, he probably put on a brave face and got through the pain. But for the rest of us, we all know that feeling of getting hit in the face with a football, basketball, or soccer ball when you weren't ready for it, and all you can do is hold back tears once you get over the shocking part of it. Now, just imagine it happening on television in what's essentially the biggest job interview of your life. We feel for ya, Mitch.
To add insult to injury, someone replied to the tweet with one of NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein's perceived "weaknesses" in Wilcox's game, which now looks prophetic:
People rag on draft analysts all the time, for good reason, but it looks like Zierlein nailed that one. On the bright side, Zierlein also said that Wilcox "blocks and catches with some toughness" and that he is "above-average as a ball tracker." So he's got that going for him. Wilcox wouldn't be the first guy to overcome a poor combine performance. We'll be rooting for him.