The NFL revealed their Scouting Combine invitation list on Wednesday morning, with 319 total prospects set to assemble at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.
The week-long event, which starts February 26th with early player arrivals and examinations, and concludes March 6th with the last of the positional workouts, will go a long way in determining the future professional careers of everyone who participates.
The Mid-American Conference will have four representatives this season, down from last season’s seven, with at least two of the invited prospects expected to be Top 100 picks. All four of the invited players from the MAC participated in college all-star games, with Nic Jones and Jose Ramirez playing in the East-West Shrine Bowl, while Sidy Sow played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Thomas Incoom played in the Senior Bowl.
Here is a brief look at all four prospects, listed first in alphabetical order by school, then by last name:
Nic Jones, cornerback, Ball State
Jones has been a fast riser in NFL Draft circles, and his stellar performance at the East-West Shrine Bowl game rose his profile enough to garner an invitation to the Combine.
Part of a loaded Cardinals backfield over his four years in Muncie, Jones had his best season of his career in 2022, finishing with 17 tackles (11 solo), 14 pass break-ups, two interceptions and a blocked kick, earning second-team all-MAC honors.
His 14 pass break-ups were third-most in the MAC, behind only CMU’s Donte Kent and Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell.
Standing at six-feet even and 185 lbs., Jones has positional versatility, with experience at both outside and nickel corner. He projects to be a nickel corner at the professional level at his sie profile, and has shown intriguing coverage skills in both man and zone assignments.
Thomas Incoom, EDGE, Central Michigan
Thomas Incoom put himself on the map at two different levels of NCAA play in four seasons, being a nightmare assignment on the edge for both Division II Valdosta State and at Central Michigan.
Incoom did the rotation-to-star transition at both stops, earning first-team all-Gulf South Conference honors in 2020, then earning first-team all-MAC honors in 2022, his two full seasons as a starter.
The 2022 campaign put Incoom to the forefront of the scouting scene, as he finished with 57 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.
Incoom’s six-foot-four, 260 lb. frame is NFL-ready, with a high motor and excellent bend and leverage consistently on display. Incoom likely ends up as a speed rusher in the professional ranks, but showed some inside versatility as well. He was one of the most productive defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl, where he finished with five tackles, with a half-sack and half-tackle-for-loss.
Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
Jose Ramirez was the breakout defensive star of the Mid-American Conference in 2022, going from a very good edge rusher in 2021 to an unstoppable force, finally converting some of his previous penetration into effective stops and showing off what he could be at his highest potential.
Ramirez took an unconventional path to get to EMU after getting caught in the midst of a regime change at Arizona, transferring to Riverside CC before landing at EMU. Playing immediately in the shadow of former EMU rush end Maxx Crosby, Ramirez picked up the mantle and then some, finishing his career with 155 tackles, including 33 tackles-for-loss and 20.5 sacks.
2022 was a revelatory campaign, as Ramirez picked up MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and All-American nominations from three different publications, after a year where he finished with 19.5 tackles-for-loss, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Ramirez stands at six-foot-two, 251 lbs., which is slightly smaller than you may like for an edge rusher, but his elite burst and toolbox of pass rushing moves were on display at the Shrine Bowl, proving Ramirez’s potential as an exciting player at the pro level.
Sidy Sow, OL, Eastern Michigan
Sidy Sow, the pride of Quebec, came to Eastern Michigan as a relatively unheralded prospect out of Joseph-Hermas Leclerc-Champlain Lennoxville HS in Bromont, but he wound up being one of the most important players for the Eagles over his five years in Ypsilanti.
Sow started all but two of his 57 career appearances for the Eagles, with listed starts at both left tackle, left guard, getting named to the all-MAC postseason team three times in his career, earning back-to-back first-team honors in 2021 and 2022, with a third-team nod in 2020.
Sow is credited with just five sacks and allowed over five seasons, with 28 total pressures over the last two seasons (26 games), proving his effectiveness in both passing and running schemes.
Sow stands at six-foot-five, 326. lbs., making him a likely guard candidate at the professional level— though he could still fill in at tackle in a pinch given his experience. His performance at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl impressed scouts and media on-hand in Pasadena, and likely earned him a chance at the NFL Combine. He’ll also have a shout at the CFL, given his Canadian residency.