The 2012 NFL Combine gets underway this week, and it's a crucial time of year for NFL draft hopefuls. Big-name prospects like Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin III and Matt Kalil will be trying to prove they are worthy of top-10 selections, while others will be out to impress enough scouts to move themselves up draft boards, which can make a big difference financially.
Related: 2012 NFL Combine: Schedule And Preview
There are several invitees from area schools, including first round hopefuls Whitney Mercilus and Michael Floyd. The Chicago Bears in particular will be keeping an eye on Floyd, since wide receiver is one of the team's primary needs.
A full list of invitees is available here, and this is the rundown of invitees from local schools:
OL Jeff Allen (Illinois)
PK Derek Dimke (Illinois)
WR A.J. Jenkins (Illinois)
DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)
QB Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois)
CB Robert Blanton (Notre Dame)
OL Taylor Dever (Notre Dame)
LB Darius Fleming (Notre Dame)
WR Michael Floyd (Notre Dame)
RB Jonas Gray (Notre Dame)
S Harrison Smith (Notre Dame)
For more on the NFL Combine and the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation's NFL hub and Mocking The Draft, as well as and our dedicated 2012 NFL Draft section.