With the NFL Combine now over, I've had a chance to reflect on my biggest pre-Combine questions and see how they were answered.
The Combine doesn’t always give us all the answers we were looking for, but it is another data point for us to analyze the prospects for the upcoming Draft. From height and weight measurements to 40-yard dash times, below you’ll find my takeaways about the things I wanted to see at this year’s Combine
Bryce Young, Alabama — Did he come in at or above 200 pounds? — Young’s weight was the biggest question mark heading into the Combine, and he knew that. He decided to forego on-field drills and instead do them at Alabama’s Pro Day. Young measured 5’10” and 204 pounds. That is more than 10 pounds heavier than his listed weight of 194. We all knew Young was small and one weigh-in doesn’t change that. Rather, I would have preferred Young to show he has arm talent that makes up for his lack of size. While it is good to see him weigh over 200 pounds, I have little faith he will hold onto that weight and be able to perform at the high level we’ve seen him play at in college. He will most likely lose weight and show off his arm talent later in the draft process.
Anthony Richardson, Florida — Is he as athletic as recent QB prospects like Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts? — Richardson was basically Superman at the NFL Combine. He measured at 6’4” and 255 pounds, had a 40.5” vertical jump, and a 4.43 40-yard dash.
How freakish is Anthony Richardson's athleticism?— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) March 4, 2023
Kyle Pitts is the 2nd-most athletic TE in my database. Chase Claypool is the 10th-most athletic WR in my database. And Richardson is more athletic than both of them. pic.twitter.com/eY5kIsjEZb
Richardson’s ceiling is sky-high following the Combine, and the only remaining question for him is if NFL teams think he has a high chance to reach that ceiling.
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State — Will Stroud show off his athleticism? — Stroud made the smart decision not to do any athleticism workouts next to Richardson. It would have been near impossible for his results to impress people after watching Richardson destroy the Combine. However, Stroud did have a very impressive day throwing the ball, according to multiple draft analysts.
As I walk out of Lucas Oil, two workouts are sticking with me:— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 5, 2023
The top-2 performances I saw today were both Buckeyes. And neither was surprising.
- Will Levis, Kentucky — How does Levis look compared to Young and Stroud? — We didn’t get to see Young work out, but Levis probably did not match Stroud’s throwing session. However, Levis did still show plenty of promise and still has an outside chance to be the first QB off the board. At worst, he definitely belongs in the same tier as the top of the class.
- Jake Haener, Fresno State — Can Haener show he belongs in the Tier 2 of QBs of this class? — Haener weighed in quite small at only 6’0” and 207 pounds. and he didn’t really shine throwing the football the way he did at the Senior Bowl. Haener likely doesn’t come off the board before any of the top QBs, including Tanner McKee, but he still will likely be an early Day 3 pick in the draft. He is on track to have a career as an NFL backup.
- Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama — Does Gibbs weigh over 200 pounds and run fast? — Gibbs did not weigh over 200 pounds. He weighed 199 pounds… but he can run. He clocked in with a 4.36 40-yard dash, which ranks second in the class in Speed Score.
2023 RB Leaders by Speed Score— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) March 5, 2023
1. Deneric Prince (114.2)
2. Jahmyr Gibbs (110.1)
3. Chase Brown (108.5)
4. Devon Achane (108.0)
5. Tiyon Evans (107.8)
6. Bijah Robinson (107.7)
7. Evan Hull (104.7)
8. Zach Charbonnet (100.7)
Reminder: 106.0 is the threshold you need to hit pic.twitter.com/zqwBW2NGDX
A workhorse role may not be in the cards for Gibbs at the NFL level, but he is going to be a difference-maker for an offense. We’ve seen backs prove to be fantasy darlings based on efficiency over volume, and Gibbs fits that build.
- Devon Achane, Texas A&M — Does Achane weigh over 190 pounds? — Achane weighed in at 188 pounds at the Combine. That’s three pounds higher than his listed weight of 185 pounds. However, he ran the fastest 40 time among RBs with a 4.32. Similar to Gibbs, Achane likely isn’t a workhorse back in the NFL, but he is going to provide a spark to an offense.
- Tyjae Spears, Tulane — Can Spears continue to put on weight? — We saw Spears put on weight for the Senior Bowl and he continued that trend at the Combine. He weighed in at 201 pounds, which was seven pounds heavier than what he weighed at the Senior Bowl. Spears chose not to run the 40-yard dash, so hopefully he has not lost some speed to put on this weight. 200+ pounds is a solid weight for him at the NFL level, but the elite speed is even more important. We will have to wait to see his 40 time at his pro day.
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA — How fast and explosive is Charbonnet given his larger size? — Charbonnet came in a tad lighter than his listed 220 pounds. He weighed 214 pounds at the Combine, possibly in an effort to get faster. He posted a 1.54 10-yard split, which is awesome to see compared to Bjian Robinson’s 1.52 10-yard split. Charbonnet has good size and good athleticism for that size. He has locked himself as a top-3 back in this class.
- Roschon Johnson, Texas — Can Johnson show he is not the only big-name prospect at running back from Texas? Johnson weighed in at 219 pounds and tied for the third-fastest 10-yard split with Robinson and Gibbs. His 4.58 40-yard time, along with his 31.5” vertical jump and 10’2” broad jump, were all solid given his size. Johnson is one of the bigger RBs in this class and has the athleticism to go with it.
- Sean Tucker, Syracuse — How does he look catching the ball? — Tucker chose not to do any drills at the Combine, so we will have to wait and see what he does at Syracuse’s pro day.
- Tank Bigsby, Auburn — How does Bigsby look catching the ball? — Bigsby looked solid catching the ball at the Combine. He caught the ball well with his hands and ran good-looking routes. If he continues to develop as a pass catcher, he can be a three-down back in the NFL
- Kendre Miller, TCU — Can Miller run well given his larger size? — Miller chose not to do workouts at the Combine. He did measure in at 5’11” and 215 pounds, so a bit lighter than his listed weight. We will have to wait and see if he runs the 40 at TCU’s pro day.
- Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State — How small is Vaughn really? — Vaughn measured in at 5’5” and 179 pounds. That is extremely small and really does limit what he can be at the NFL level. He chose not to run the 40-yard dash, which also likely means he would not run as well as smaller backs like Gibbs and Achane.
Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee — Is Hyatt the faster WR at the Combine? — Hyatt did not run a 40-yard dash as fast as we would have liked. 4.4 is not bad by any means, but on tape he flashes game-breaking speed. Luckily for Hyatt, many of the top WRs struggled to run fast in the 40, so NFL teams may still really value what he can give their team relative to the rest of the class.
Jordan Addison, USC — Can Addison flash elite speed given his smaller size? — Addison had a disappointing Combine considering he was the potential first WR off the board. He measured in at 5’11” and 173 pounds, which is smaller than his listed size and ran a 4.49 40-yard dash time. This does not knock him out of the first round or even remove the chance he is the first WR off the board, but it definitely opens the door for any of the other WR prospects to take the WR1 spot.
Quentin Johnston, TCU — Does Johnston show off his elite size and speed combo — Johnston measured in with the size we wanted at 6’3” and 208 pounds, but he chose not to run the 40-yard dash. With many of the other receivers struggling to run fast, he may have felt it was not worth showing any signs of himself also struggling. Hopefully, he does run the 40 at TCU’s pro day and cements a strong chance to be the WR1 in this class.
Zay Flowers, Boston College — Are drops an issue at the Combine and how big is he? — Flowers has put on some serious mass since the draft process started. He measured 5’9” and 182 pounds, making him heavier than fellow top WR prospect Jordan Addison despite being two inches shorter. Flowers also ran a more impressive 40-yard dash time at 4.42. Drops were also not a problem for Flowers in the gauntlet drill. He dropped one pass, but it was thrown very low and would have been difficult for any receiver to catch.
Josh Downs, North Carolina — Can Downs impress despite his small size? — Downs measured in as expected at 5’9” and 171 pounds. Despite the small size, he had a good Combine overall. Running a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 38.5 vertical jump will keep him in tier 2 of the WR prospects of this class.
Parker Washington, Penn State — How does Washington test given his unique size? — Washington chose not to do drills at the Combine, but he measured in at 5’10” and 204 pounds. That is lighter than his listed weight of 210 and may be a sign of him getting lighter to a more traditional WR size.
Tyler Scott, Cincinnati — Can Scott show off his speed and athleticism at the Combine? — Scott didn’t crush the 40-yard dash, but a 4.44 is nothing to shy away from. He also posted strong vertical jump (39.5) and broad jump (11’1”) numbers making him an above-average athlete. He also had a very nice gauntlet drill showing off his hands.
Charlie Jones, Purdue — Does Jones have the athletic profile to backup his college production? — Other than a fast 40-yard time of 4.43, Jones really didn’t show a strong athletic profile. His vertical and broach jump scores were good, but not impressive enough to make him anything more than a late Day 2/early Day 3 pick.
A.T. Perry, Wake Forest — As one of the bigger WRs in this class, how does he matchup at the Combine? — Perry came in way smaller than his listed 6’5” and 212 pounds. He measured 6’3” and 198 pounds at the Combine. However, he did have strong workout performances even with the smaller-than-expected size. He ran a 4.47 40 and had an 11’1” broad jump. Perry’s size is going to make him stand out in this class of smaller WRs and could give him a bump in this Draft.
Dalton Kincaid, Utah — Kincaid is a bit smaller than a traditional TE. Does that make him impressive athletically? — Kincaid reportedly suffered an injury in his final regular season game at Utah and chose not to participate at the Combine. He did measure in at 6’4” and 246 pounds, which was expected.
Luke Musgrave, Oregon State — Can Musgrave outrun Gronk’s 4.640 time given his massive size? — Musgrave measured in at an expected 6’6” and 253 pounds. He then ran a 4.61 40, showing that he is just as athletic as someone like Gronk. His vertical jump and broad jump were also elite, cementing himself as one of the most athletic tight ends of the class.
Darnell Washington, Georgia — Is Washington as big as he is listed and can he move at that size? — Washington measured at 6’6” and 264 pounds. He then proceeded to run a 4.64 40. That is crazy for Washington to be that fast and that big. He also looked great running the gauntlet. Washington is going to be a favorite of NFL teams because of his size and speed combo, and the fact that he can block well.
Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State — Can Kraft stand out as a small school tight end? — Kraft posted strong scores in the 40-yard dash (4.69), broad jump (10’2”), and shuttle drill (4.29), making him one of the more athletic tight ends of this class. The problem for Kraft is this is such a strong tight-end class. It is hard to gauge what NFL teams will think of him relative to other tight ends. Regardless, Kraft showed the skills to be a useful tight end for an NFL team.
Will Mallory, Miami — Does Mallory show off the athleticism he shows on tape? — Mallory weighed in a 6’4” and 239 pounds, which is smaller for a traditional tight end. However, he did exactly what we wanted to see and showed off in the Combine drills. He posted a 4.54 40 time, 36.5 vertical jump, and 10’01” broad jump. So far, Mallory is showing he can be a good receiving tight end for an NFL team.