The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine is finally here! Things kick off today (February 24) in Indianapolis, but the on-field drills don't start until Thursday (February 27) when the quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends take the field. This is arguably the most important event of the offseason because of all of the information that can be obtained.
The on-field drills draw most of the attention from fans, but teams around the league are more interested in the medical reports and interview process that takes place behind closed doors. Today, I want to take a look at a few prospects with medical red flags the Dallas Cowboys should be monitoring closely.
Former Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will probably be the most publicized prospect as far as medical evaluations go in Indianapolis, but I don't think he's someone the Cowboys will be keeping a close eye on. Don't worry though, there are several others whose medical reports should be of interest to them.
Let's take a look…
K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
K'Lavon Chaisson is arguably one of the most athletically gifted EDGE prospects in the 2020 draft class and will likely test like it at the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. But as impressive as he may be in all of the different drills, his medical evaluation will likely be scrutinized more heavily. He missed all of the 2018 season with an ACL injury and missed time in 2019 with an ankle injury. If any red flags pop up his draft stock could take a huge hit and keep him from being a top 15 selection.
Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Like K'Lavon Chaisson, Terrell Lewis will likely test extremely well at the 2020 NFL Combine. However, his injury history is even worse then Chaisson's and will be monitored closely by teams around the league. Lewis had a fantastic 2019 season, but it doesn't hide the fact he has had season-ending surgeries the past two years on his elbow and knee. I won't matter how well he does in Indianapolis if his medicals end up revealing any red flags.
Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Out of any other player on this list, the Dallas Cowboys could be monitoring Javon Kinlaw's medicals the closest. He is one of the best interior defensive lineman in this year's draft class, but he does have some medical red flags in his past. Not only did he have hip labrum surgery after the 2018 season, but he also had to pullout of the Senior Bowl last month due to knee tendinitis. Any long-term concerns with either of these injuries could knock him out of the top 10 and turn him into a “buyer beware” prospect.
Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Trey Adams is an early round prospect based strictly on talent and production, but multiple season-ending surgeries on his knee and back could prevent that from happening. If any red flags show up in his medicals in Indianapolis he could find himself off a lot of teams boards altogether. The Dallas Cowboys know all too well how difficult it is for offensive tackles to play through back injuries (Tyron Smith) and probably want to avoid such prospects in the future.
Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Lucas Niang is a local prospect the Dallas Cowboys could be keeping a close eye on if they are looking for someone to eventually replace Tyron Smith. He was considered a first-round talent before his 2019 season was cut short after sustaining a torn labrum in his hip. The injury required surgery and his draft stock could depend entirely on whether or not there are any long-term concerns.
Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
Netane Muti was unfortunately injured the majority of his career at Fresno State. He had multiple season-ending injuries to his foot and Achilles tendon, meaning his medical evaluation in Indianapolis could be make or break as far as his NFL career is concerned. He has the talent to play at the next level, but that won't mean much if his medical reports reveal any red flags. It could be the difference in him being on a team's board or not.
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Jaylon Johnson missed only one regular-season game in his career at Utah, but he did have two offseason surgeries on the same shoulder the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL could be monitoring closely. It's a problem that's plagued him since high school and could be a big red flag for teams moving forward. He will undoubtedly test well in Indianapolis at the combine, but the medical check up on his shoulder could be of more interest in evaluating him as a prospect.
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Bryce Hall's medicals at the 2020 NFL Combine could sway the Dallas Cowboys one way or another from targeting him in the NFL Draft. The gruesome ankle injury he sustained against Miami in 2019 will keep him from participating at the combine, so his medical evaluation will be huge for him. For cornerbacks, ankle and foot injuries that require surgery are a pretty big deal because it impacts a players explosiveness and agility. Any red flags could significantly impact his draft stock.
Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Antoine Winfield Jr. is as a safety prospect who has been linked to the Dallas Cowboys on a number of occasions already this offseason. He's arguably one of the most talented safeties in the 2020 draft class, but his medical red flags are often overlooked. It's not often you see a prospect granted two medical redshirt waivers in their career, but that's what happened to the former Minnesota star. He had a season-ending injury in 2017 (hamstring) and 2018 (Lisfranc foot injury), which makes his medical reports at the Combine all the more important.