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6 TCU Horned Frogs Invited to NFL Combine


TCU offensive lineman Andrew Coker walking off the field following a win in the 2022 College Football Playoffs Fiesta Bowl.
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 

The NFL Combine is set to begin this week and will feature 321 prospects looking to boost their stock before the NFL Draft begins on April 25. Despite a down year for the program, six TCU Horned Frogs were invited to participate in the NFL Combine, with four being on the offensive side and two on the defensive side. While none of the Horned Frogs’ with invites are currently expected to be drafted in the first round, multiple players have the potential to make a meaningful impact in their rookie seasons.


 

Emani Bailey - RB - 5-feet-9-inches and 207 pounds


Bailey was the featured back for the Horned Frogs in 2023, collecting 1,209 rushing yards on 223 carries for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He is a dynamic ball carrier who has shown that he can be successful in a variety of sets due to his patience behind blockers. After utilizing his patience and vision to find a gap, Bailey can quickly reach his top speed and outrun defenders.



The biggest concerns for Bailey coming into the draft are largely due to his size. Standing at just 5-feet-9-inches, Bailey is one of the smaller running back prospects. While he is more than willing to assist in pass protection, he did not prove to make a significant difference in that area. Additionally, teams might have concerns about Bailey’s ability to break tackles and pick up extra yards.



Currently, Bailey projects to be an early fifth-round prospect for a team looking to draft an RB3 as insurance in case someone higher on the depth chart goes down due to injury.


Jared Wiley - Tight End - 6-feet-7-inches and 260 pounds


Wiley is one of the most intriguing prospects coming into this year’s NFL Draft due to his combination of size and fluidity at the tight end position. After spending his first three years at Texas, Wiley had the two best seasons of his career at TCU. Wiley earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors with 520 yards and 8 touchdowns in his final season.  



Being the biggest pass-catching prospect in the draft, Wiley has a large catch radius due to his wingspan. Wiley has shown to be most effective when lining up in the slot or boxing out defenders to catch the ball up high. After catching the ball, Wiley’s size makes him adept at picking up yards after the catch with his long strides and ability to see down the field.


Despite being one of the larger tight-end prospects in recent years, Wiley has not shown to be an impact blocker. His size also limits his agility, making route running and separating from quicker defenders a challenge.


Wiley will likely be drafted in the mid-to-late-fifth round but could end up being taken higher by a team looking to utilize his specific skill set.



TCU offensive lineman Brandon Coleman blocks defensive lineman.
© Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports


Brandon Coleman - OL - 6-feet-6-inches and 320 pounds 


Coleman is a three-year starter for the Horned Frogs, spending time at both the guard and tackle positions. 


Coleman thrives in the run game due to his athletic frame which allows him to reach the second level with ease. He performs best when he can quickly attack his man and prevent him from performing multiple moves.


Although Coleman has shown the ability to be productive in the run game, his biggest struggles came during pass protection. Coleman struggles more as the play continues, as defenders with high motors and multiple different counters often cause issues for the lineman. 


Coleman will likely be drafted in the late-sixth to early-seventh round to a team looking for depth on the offensive line. However, some limitations within his game might prevent Coleman from getting significant snaps in his rookie season.


Andrew Coker - OL - 6-feet-7-inches and 315 pounds


Coker is one of the more dynamic tackle prospects coming into the draft combine due to his ability to play on both the left and right sides of the offensive line. After operating almost solely on the right side for the start of his career at TCU, he split time as a right and left tackle during the 2023 season. 


TCU Horned Frogs
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Due to his size, Coker rarely gets knocked off balance by a defender once he is able to get his hands on an opposing player. Coker’s biggest strength is his ability to remain active for the entirety of a play, often blocking and falling on top of a defender to take them completely out of a play. 


While Coker’s strength is his ability to finish plays, his biggest weakness is getting beat off the line of scrimmage by faster defenders. Coker will also have to work on his run blocking and ability to move downfield with the play.



Pro Football Focus currently has Coker ranked as the 214th prospect overall and the 28th ranked tackle, with the current projection having Coker land in the late-sixth or early-seventh round. However, a team looking to draft a swing tackle as insurance could grab Coker earlier than expected, potentially selecting the TCU prospect early in the sixth round.




 

Josh Newton - DB - 6-foot and 190 pounds


Newton was one of the most impactful Horned Frogs during the 2023 season, racking up 33 total tackles to go along with 1 interception.


Newton excels when allowed to play press man and get his hands on the receiver at the line of scrimmage. He can quickly eat up space with his change of direction and has shown to be a good tackler in open spaces.





While Newton has his most success in press man, he often struggles when he gets beat off the line of scrimmage due to a lack of straight-line speed. Faster receivers are able to make catches on Newton due to his lack of top speed, resulting in a tendency to give up explosive plays.


Newton played most of his snaps on the outside, but he also had some experience playing the nickelback role, which is the most likely long-term position for him once in the NFL.


Due partially to the depth in this year’s cornerback class, Newton is currently projected to be drafted in the early- to mid-third round, however, teams looking for an immediate starter at nickel could look to Newton in the late second round.


Millard Bradford - DB - 5-feet-11-inches and 190 pounds


Bradford played five years with the Horned Frogs and was a major component of the team’s National Championship run during the 2022 season. He took a slight step back in 2023 but managed to accumulate 2 interceptions and 54 total tackles.



Bradford performs best when playing downfield due to his ability to track and play the ball in contested situations. While he will not be the fastest player in the draft, Bradford is a high-IQ player who makes smart decisions on the field.


While Bradford has good ball skills in contested catch situations, he struggles to finish plays and often misses tackles that should be made, which is an undesirable trait to have from a player who will be a safety in the NFL.


Many were surprised Bradford received an invitation to the NFL Combine given there is a chance he will go undrafted. However, a team looking for depth may spend a seventh-round draft pick to ensure that Bradford is in their camp to start the year.


 

TCU Horned Frogs At the Next Level


Although no Horned Frogs are projected to land within the first two rounds of the 2024 draft, multiple players could make an immediate impact. Newton is currently projected to be the only TCU player to be selected within the first three rounds, followed by Bailey and Wiley being selected in the fifth round. Further down in the draft, Coleman and Coker are each expected to be drafted in the sixth or seventh round, with the opportunity to make an immediate contribution due to the fluctuation of the team's offensive line. Bradford is projected to land in the seventh round but could go undrafted and sign with a team in preparation for the 2024 season.



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