Darrell Daniels, Kevin King, JoJo Mathis and Elijah Qualls have also accepted invitations to the combine.
Potential first-round picks Budda Baker, Sidney Jones and John Ross III are among the seven Washington Huskies who have accepted invitations to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine beginning Feb. 28.
Tight end Darrell Daniels, cornerback Kevin King, outside linebacker JoJo Mathis and defensive lineman Elijah Qualls have also accepted invitations, the NFL announced Wednesday morning. The seven participants are the most UW has had for a single combine.
Baker, Jones, Ross and Qualls all left UW with one season of eligibility remaining.
In all, 330 players are scheduled to participate in the combine — with 256 draft slots available for the draft.
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Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network projects Jones, Ross and Baker to all be selected in the first round of the April 27 draft.
Sports Illustrated’s latest mock draft projects Jones and Baker to go in the first round, with Ross a projected early second-round pick. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projects Jones to go with the 16th overall pick to Baltimore.
NFL.com projects Mathis, King and Qualls as third-round picks. Daniels is a projected late-round selection.
Ross should test as one of the fastest — if not the fastest — players at the combine. He ran a hand-timed 4.25-second 40-yard dash last year at UW, and one NFL scout told The Seattle Times that Ross is the most explosive player in the draft.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network lists Ross as the third-best receiver in the class, behind Western Michigan’s Corey Davis and Clemson’s Mike Williams, and one spot ahead of Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp.
Mayock ranks Jones as the No. 1 cornerback prospect and Baker as the No. 4 safety.
Baker, the Bellevue High School product, was a three-year starter at defensive back for the Huskies, earning first-team all-Pac-12 honors as a sophomore and junior and consensus All-America recognition in helping UW win the Pac-12 title last fall. Baker is listed at 5-feet-10, 192 pounds on the Huskies’ roster, drawing an “undersized” label from NFL scouts. But his speed, instincts and competitiveness are what separate him.
“Baker plays with a competitive desire that leaps off the field when you watch him thanks to elite football character and above-average explosiveness,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “While he is undersized, he makes up for it with his football instincts and plus play speed. Baker has the talent to become a play-making safety with Pro Bowl potential if he can sustain his health.”
Zierlein notes that Ross’ two surgically repaired knees will be of some concern to NFL teams, but adds that the speedy receiver could be “an instant-impact weapon who scored 23 touchdowns in just 112 touches” in three seasons for the Huskies.
During an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle on Wednesday, Ross confirmed he plans to have shoulder surgery after the combine. Ross tore the labrum in a shoulder during UW’s victory over Stanford in September, an injury he said he was unaware of until after the season.
Jones, a former three-star prep recruit from Diamond Bar, Calif., is generally considered the Huskies’ best pro prospect, and NFL.com compares him to former UW cornerback Marcus Peters, an All-Pro with the Kansas City Chiefs this season. According to Pro Football Focus, opponents threw at Jones just 48 times in 14 games last fall.
“Jones has lockdown corner talent,” Zierlein wrote, “but will have to prove he can add muscle without sacrificing speed. His football character and play traits should make him a long-time starter with Pro Bowl potential.”