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Mizzou's Moe, Gooden, Richardson All Impress At The NFL Combine

T.J. Moe helped himself immensely.

The NFL Combine was this past week, giving the top college players entering this year's draft an opportunity to showcase their talents on a big stage. Players still have their pro days left for a last workout, but the Combine is the only event that is guaranteed to have scouts attending from all 32 NFL teams.

Missouri had three players invited to participate in the combine: wide receiver T.J. Moe, linebacker Zaviar Gooden, and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. All three athletes wowed in their workouts, showing that Mizzou really prepared them for the grind of the NFL.

Moe was a small surprise for an invite to the combine. Moe didn't have a great senior season at Missouri, but the NFL saw enough out of his four years at Missouri to warrant his attendance. With his workout, T.J. proved that he belonged with the top crop of talent for the draft. Of the seven combine workouts, Moe had the top score of all receivers in four of the events.

His most notable achievement was 26 reps in the bench press, making it the second year in a row a Mizzou athlete led for wide receivers (after Jerrell Jackson last season). Moe also has the top receiver score in the 3 cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. His 40 time wasn't great at 4.69, but that isn't a huge deal as he is a possession receiver. On the field, Moe continued to impress with a spectacular one handed catch on a ball that wasn't thrown very well.


Moe's workout was so impressive, NFL AM invited him on the show for an interview and an opportunity to practice his already stellar media skills on a national stage.

Moe has shown the importance of the pre-draft events and what they can do for you. Before, Moe had no chance of being drafted. Now, the all-star game he played in and the NFL Combine have brought his name to the attention of scouts everywhere. Moe has worked his way into a possible draft spot. Look for T.J. to be taken by a team on Day 3 of the draft, probably in Round 6 or 7.

Zaviar Gooden has also done an amazing job with his pre-draft workouts. Gooden impressed throughout the week at the Senior Bowl and continued his hot streak at the NFL Combine. The linebacker bulked up between the two events to fit into the parameters of a typical NFL linebacker. Gooden is small for his position and teams were looking at him as more of safety, but the added weight shows he is dedicated to continuing at the linebacker position if possible.

When Gooden hit the field, he was spectacular, earning a top performer status in six of the seven linebacker events. His most notable event was the most important one: the 40-yard dash. Gooden sped through the drill with a time of 4.47. The time was not only the fastest of all linebackers at this year's combine, but it was also the best time a linebacker has put up in the last six years.

Gooden has skyrocketed up draft board with his pre-draft process. Before, he was a late round pick, but Gooden has cemented himself as a mid round pick and should go somewhere between Round 3 and 4.

Finally, Sheldon Richardson is the top NFL prospect this year from Mizzou. The big defensive tackle is a consensus first round draft pick and could possibly go in the top ten. Richardson didn't really do anything to help or hurt his prospects at the Combine. His 40 time wasn't very good at 5.02, but his 10-yard shuttle was very fast and more critical to his position as lineman need to get off the line fast but don't have to really maintain speed.

Sheldon also got a chance to work on his already famous media skills, as he had a press conference and did an interview for NFL Network. A Sheldon Richardson interview always has something quote-worthy and these were no different. Sheldon claimed that he came to the combine to prove that he should be the number one pick overall in the entire draft.

While it isn't likely Sheldon goes number one overall, anything is possible, especially with the hometown Chiefs holding the first pick. Most likely, Richardson will go somewhere in the middle of the first round. Oakland (3), Tennessee (10), Carolina (14), New Orleans (15), Pittsburgh (17), and Dallas (18) are all in the running for a defensive tackle so look for Sheldon to go to one of those teams.

Sure is nice being a first round draft pick, isn't it? The NFL Draft isn't until the end of April, but for now these three Mizzou athletes have put themselves in a good place for an NFL future.