December 1, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Ray Graham (1) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Scouting Combine: Pitt's Ray Graham gets chance to impress


The NFL Scouting Combine is an opportunity for a player to open eyes and improve one’s draft stock for this spring’s NFL Draft.

Pitt running back Ray Graham is hoping to do exactly that.

November 24, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Ray Graham (1) carries the ball against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Panthers won 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Graham, who finished his college career as the second leading rusher in Pitt history, has been invited to participate in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, held Feb. 23-26 in Indianapolis.

He is the only Panther player selected to join the more than 300 of the nation’s top college players who were invited to take part in the event.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Graham was selected first team All-Big East each of the past two seasons and as a senior he rushed for 1,042 yards and 11 touchdowns on 222 carries (4.7 avg.), also adding 36 receptions for 340 yards (9.4 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns.

Those numbers were most impressive give the fact that Graham was coming off a knee injury that cut short his junior campaign, which really put him on the national map.

Through the first seven games of the 2011 season, he was second in the nation in rushing and rushing yards per game (131.1 ypg).

Graham ranks among the Top 20 backs in this year’s class by almost every rankings outlet and right now projects to be anywhere between a fourth and sixth round pick.

But the guys at NFL.com offer up a raving scouting report on Graham, comparing him to a running back like Ahmad Bradshaw, and feel he could be one of the steals of the draft.

In their opinion, a good showing at the combine could vault Graham into the Top 75 picks of the draft. He is two years removed from ACL surgery, so that explosiveness should be back.

Of course things could go the opposite way as well as Graham could really hurt his draft stock.

Either way, he will be given the opportunity to impress scouts and coaches round the league for a three-day period.

When you are auditioning for the NFL, you can’t ask for much more.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Pittsburgh Panthers Football Ray Graham

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