Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Four Rebels Hope to Shine at 2018 NFL Combine in Indy

Ole Miss’ Breeland Speaks moves in for a sack on Texas A&M’s Nick Stargel. Photo by Derek Moreton

The National Football League announced its 326 official invitations to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday, and four Ole Miss Rebels were on the list.

Defensive ends Marquis Haynes and Breeland Speaks, offensive lineman Rod Taylor and running back Jordan Wilkins will showcase their skills through the extensive drills, workouts, interviews, testing and measurement in front of league scouts and personnel. In hopes of being selected in the draft in April, this might be their chance to secure a future in the NFL. 

Marquis Haynes. Photo by Steven Gagliano

Haynes led Ole Miss with 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He finished as Ole Miss’ modern-era career leader in both sacks (32.0) and TFLs (47.5). Haynes wrapped up the season with 45 tackles and a team-leading, three forced fumbles.
Speaks, who elected to bypass his senior season to enter the draft, was second on the team in both tackles (67) and sacks (7.0). After spending time at the nose tackle position for the first five games of the season, Speaks started the last seven contests at defensive end. The junior from Jackson, Mississippi, finished the season with eight tackles for loss.
Taylor started all 12 games at right tackle in 2017, helping block for a Rebel offense that led the SEC and ranked 11th nationally with 328.4 passing yards per game. Taylor appeared in 44 games, making 23 starts on the right side of the offensive line for Ole Miss during his four-year career.
Jordan Wilkins, photo by Steven Gagliano

Wilkins rushed for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns. He became just the fifth Rebel to go over the 1,000-yard mark and the first to do so since Dexter McCluster did it in 2010. His 1,011 yards rushing is the fourth-most, all-time on the Ole Miss single-season rushing charts. His 6.52 rushing yards per carry ranked second in the SEC and 14th nationally.
The annual combine will be held from Feb. 27 until March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Fans will be able to see all the combine on the NFL Network.

Adam Brown is the sports editor of He can be reached at