The first two days of the NFL Draft Combine have not disappointed. Skill positions have been electric, quarterbacks have been slinging it while proving to be deeper than most think, and not to mention a 25 rep bench press outing by a… PUNTER! Yes, you read that correctly. Arizona State punter, Michael Turk benched 225 pounds, 25 times. To put that into perspective, he out-benched all but one tight end, all 33 wide receivers, and all but one running back. He even out-benched big time NFL stars such as Jadaveon Clowney, Frank Clark, and DeMarcus Lawrence just to name a few. 25 reps was the most reps by a punter since the 2003 combine.
This year’s wide receiver group may be the deepest pass catcher group in recent memory. Not only do we have the big time names such as Henry Ruggs III (Bama), Jerry Jeudy (Bama), CeeDee Lamb (OU), Tee Higgins (Clemson), Justin Jefferson (LSU), etc., but we also have studs that don’t get as much national exposure that could make an NFL roster and produce year one. According to ESPN NFL Draft Insider Mel Kiper Jr., he has 5 wide receivers off the board in round one with ten wide receiver prospects in the big board top 50 according to si.com. This Year will be interesting to see where all of these talented ball hawks land.
After the first two nights, some prospects have solidified where they already stand in NFL circles, some have performed great and increased their stock value, and some disappointed. Below, we will take you through the winners and losers (skill positions and quarterbacks) from days one and two and also some breakout performances.
Day One 2/27 (TE,WR,QB)
Tight Ends winners and losers:
Hunter Bryant (TE, Washington)
Height: 6’2” Weight: 248 lbs
Bench: 23 reps
Hunter Bryant is the second ranked TE in a somewhat light 2020 class at that position, according to NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks. Hunter showcased great footwork, great route running on comeback drill, good hands, and great hips in and out of his breaks. Given his size and athleticism, he has potential to be a match-up nightmare at the next level. Look for teams that need TE such as the Patriots snag him in round 3.
Adam Trautman (TE, Dayton)
Height: 6’5” Weight: 255 lbs
Bench: 18 reps
Every year, we see an athlete that defies all the odds and makes it to the NFL from a Divison II school. This year, we could have a few. Adam Trautment from Dayton comes to mind in this discussion. The prototypical TE size at 6’5” 255 pounds with great footwork and a natural blocking ability. He won’t be a high draft pick but Trautman performed well during the combine. He showed great hands at the on-field workouts and moved the sled as well as any TE that performed. Adam is the 4th ranked TE prospect according to NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks.
Cole Kmet (TE, Notre Dame)
Height: 6’6” Weight: 262 lbs
Cole Kmet is the top ranked TE prospect according to multiple draft analysts. Cole, as anticipated, showed why he is the top ranked at his position as he performed exceptionally well in the on-field workouts. Showed great hands and solidified himself as most likely the first tight end off the board in April, possibly in the second round.
Mitchell Wilcox (TE, South Florida)
Height: 6’3” Weight: 247 lbs
I am projecting Mitchell to be an undrafted special teams guy. He has great size and showed decent blocking ability, however, he struggled catching the football, including a ball right to the cheek on the gauntlet drill and needs to work on his hips and footwork. Wilcox should consider changing positions to fullback and be a red zone threat at that size.
QB and Receivers winners and losers:
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
Height: 6’6” Weight: 236 lbs
Justin Herbert secured his position as a sure fire top 10 quarterback in a draft littered with teams that need quarterbacks. Perfect size for an NFL quarterback at 6’6” and big hands, he has a rocket arm and great footwork in the pocket. He also wowed in the 40, running a sub 4.70. Dont be surprised to see a team move up to get him in the draft or even slide in at #3 with Detroit with Matthew Stafford hinting at trade possibilities.
Jordan Love (QB, Utah State)
Height: 6’4” Weight: 224 lbs
Just like Justin, Love impressed in this combine. Already projected to be a top 10 pick, Jordan Love put the ball on the money all afternoon. Love has natural arm talent as he showcased in the on-field workouts. His deep ball is exceptional and he has surprisingly good footwork for a spread style quarterback. Jordan has, in my opinion, the highest ceiling and most potential of the quarterbacks that participated in workouts. He punched his ticket to the green room as a top ten pick come draft time in April.
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma)
Height: 6’1” Weight: 222 lbs
Hands: 9 ¾”
If a team is willing to take a risk and draft Jalen Hurts in the second or third round, I don’t think they will regret it. Jalen looked sharp in the on-field workouts and has surprisingly good footwork in the pocket. His deep balls were hit in stride and dropped right in the bread basket. He was sharp on the slants and has natural throwing ability. He has to get better with his anticipation on the field against defenses but if a team is willing to develop him, he could be a good backup and potential starter one day.
CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)
Height: 6’2” Weight: 198 lbs
Bench: 11 reps
CeeDee is a tall, physical receiver with great route running coupled with even better hands. One play that will stand out from his workout is on the goal line fade drill where he high pointed the ball with great precision and got up for the snag, coming down inbounds. CeeDee will be a first round draft pick in this very deep wide receiver class.
Jerry Jeudy (WR, Bama)
Height: 6’1” Weight: 193 lbs
Jerry Jeudy is the best route runner in this year’s WR class and maybe the best route runner in the last few years. He impressed with his 40-time, running a sub 4.50. Jeudy has great hands and quickness and will be a top 15 pick in the 2020 draft.
Cole McDonald (QB, Hawaii)
Height: 6’3” Weight: 215 lbs
Hands: 9 ¾”
McDonald was low on most balls and underthrew a multitude of receivers. His on-field workout was decent at best and his throwing mechanics are just not there. Look for Cole to be an undrafted free agent capable of making a practice squad.
Jake Luton (QB, Oregon State)
Height: 6’6” Weight: 224 lbs
Jake performed well in the on-field workout and has the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. He has a solid arm with great accuracy on the deep ball. He has experience playing in an NFL style system at Oregon State. In my opinion, with the workout, he has raised his draft stock and could slide in later in the draft.
Day Two 2/28 (RB,OL,ST)
RB winners and losers:
Jonathon Taylor (RB, Wisconsin)
Height: 5’10” Weight: 226 lbs
Bench: 17 reps
JT is not a shock to be in the winners of the draft combine. The Wisconsin product showed scouts and GM’s that he deserves to be a first round pick and had an impressive on-field workout coupled with an amazing 4.39 second 40 time.
AJ Dillon (RB, Boston College)
Height: 6’0” Weight: 247 lbs
Bench: 23 reps
AJ showcased a combination of size, strength and athleticism. At 247 lbs, he ran a 4.53 40-time and jumped 41” on his vertical. His on-field workout was equally as impressive showing good hands out of the backfield which is essential for running backs in new age football. AJ Dillon’s stock has risen because of this combine workout.
This year’s class of running backs is very deep with multiple talents that will produce in the NFL. I didn’t really see any losers among the running back class and I believed they all helped their stock grow.
Saturday, February 29th, 2020 – Day 3 (Edge, DL, LB)
Sunday, March 1st, 2020 – Day 4 (DB, S)