The NFL Scouting Combine makes room for more than 300 draft prospects, but that doesn't mean every highly accomplished college player gets an invitation, and each year, there are quite a few who are selected in the NFL draft without the benefit of combine participation. Last year's list of notable combine absences included draft picks such as Keenan Reynolds and Derek Watt. The full list of 2017 combine participants was released on Wednesday, but below we've assembled a list of some of the top players who didn't receive invitations:
RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
Unquestionably the most highly regarded talent listed here, Mixon rushed for nearly 1,200 yards for the Sooners as a third-year sophomore and is remarkably gifted as a receiver out of the backfield, as well. A year-old NFL conduct policy bars players from the combine based on criminal cases involving violence or sexual offenses. Mixon punched a female student as an OU freshman in 2014, and the case drew additional attention more than two years later when a video of the incident was made public under an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that compelled its release. Mixon wasn't convicted in the case, but the NFL can bar any prospect from the combine after evaluating underlying circumstances involving the player.
QB Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct following a nightclub brawl about two years ago. As of Senior Bowl week, Kelly was looking forward to the combine, so the news that he wasn't invited could have surprised him. Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, threw for 6,800 yards and 50 touchdowns over two seasons at Ole Miss.
LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State
Lee (6-foot-3, 228 pounds) had a spectacular senior season for the Wildcats, leading the team in tackles with 110 (72 of them solos) with 6.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions. He was selected first-team All-Big 12 and entered the NFL draft as a junior. Lee might not have gotten a combine invitation, but look for him to get a draft call.
WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, Ole Miss
Stringfellow was Ole Miss' second-leading receiver with 46 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns for the Rebels last season. He's an impressive receiving threat with soft hands at 6-2, 211 pounds. However, he also will miss the combine based on past conduct. He pleaded guilty to an assault charge in 2014 while a member of the Washington Huskies. He was arrested following a nightclub fight while at Ole Miss, as well.
OL Erik Magnuson, Michigan
One of many Michigan seniors with a chance to be drafted, Magnuson earned first-team All-Big Ten honors while starting at right tackle for the Wolverines. He made 37 career starts and was an East-West Shrine Game participant. The fifth-year senior isn't the only notable absence from the combine along the UM offensive line. Kyle Kalis, who started beside Magnuson at right guard and was a Senior Bowl selection, also wasn't invited.
WR Ishmael Zamora, Baylor
Zamora was charged and cited in an animal abuse case after a police were alerted to a social media video that showed Zamora beating his dog last summer. Zamora caught 63 passes for 809 yards last season for BU. Like Mixon, Zamora (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) entered the draft as a third-year sophomore.
LB Steven Taylor, Houston
Whatever the reason for Taylor's absence, it wasn't his senior-year production. He was all over the field for the Cougars, piling up 12 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks. Taylor (6-1, 225) also came up with a monster performance against Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, posting 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in UH's 36-10 upset.
OT Victor Salako, Oklahoma State
Salako started at UAB as a freshman and sophomore before the Blazers discontinued football. He resumed his career at Oklahoma State and immediately stepped in as a two-year starter for the Cowboys. At 6-foot-6, 335 pounds, he has all the size NFL scouts look for. Salako was a second-team All-Big 12 pick as a senior last year and competed last month in the East-West Shrine Game.
DE Hunter Dimick, Utah
Dimick is Utah's career sacks record holder (29) and rebounded from a 2015 injury to play extremely well as a fifth-year senior. His 14 sacks led the nation, and his 19.5 tackles for loss led the Utes. Dimick (6-3, 272) can bench press 225 pounds 36 times, which would have been the best performance at any position at last year's combine.
OL Alex Kozan, Auburn
Auburn's most effective offensive guard was a first-team All-SEC pick as a senior, and a team captain. Kozan logged 40 career starts despite missing all of 2014 with a back injury. Kozan competed at the East-West Shrine Game in January and could be an attractive third-day draft option for a team looking to add some toughness to its interior offensive line.
S Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State
Sterns, a senior, was a first-team All-Big 12 selection after leading the Cowboys in tackles with 101, along with three interceptions and five pass breakups. Considered more of a box safety than a coverage prospect, Sterns was a Reese's Senior Bowl selection and has leadership skills NFL clubs look for.
RB Shock Linwood, Baylor
Linwood broke former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Walter Abercrombie's school record for career rushing yards last year, and later broke the Bears record for career rushing touchdowns. He posted big seasons as a sophomore (1,252 yards) and a junior (1,329 yards), but drew a suspension from interim coach Jim Grobe as a senior and wasn't as much of a consistent presence in the Bears offense. He later skipped Baylor's bowl game to prepare for the draft.
QB Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
In what is considered to be a down year at the quarterback position, one would have thought room would be made at the combine for Terrell, one of the best passers in the Group of Five conferences. As NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter noted in the fall, he might not be drafted, but he is a sleeper to watch who has a vast depth of college experience as a four-year starter. As a senior, Terrell's TD-INT ratio was 33-4.