It’s finally NFL Combine week, which means a lot of overreactions to measurements and athletic testing. Always remember — the truth is in the tape. With that being said, the NFL Combine is just behind the Senior Bowl and the actual NFL Draft (checkout my most recent mock draft) for best event of the year. This will be a guide (of sorts) to all of the NFL Combine participants with the positions being split up the same way they are in Indianapolis. Each position group will have a few picks for different categories, followed by my current rankings of those combine participants. The offensive players take the field Friday and Saturday for testing. Part two of the guide, with the defensive players, will be out soon! Checkout the Armchair NFL Draft podcast, Seven Rounds in Heaven.
Friday- Running backs, offensive linemen, and specialists
Saturday- Quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends
Sunday- Defensive linemen, edge rushers, and linebackers
Monday- Cornerbacks and safeties
Most Intriguing: Josh Allen, Wyoming
Most Physically Imposing: Josh Allen, Wyoming
Who Gets on the Radar: Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
Who Makes the Most Money: Josh Allen, Wyoming
Biggest Combine Snub: Brandon Silvers, Troy
- Josh Rosen, UCLA
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
- Sam Darnold, USC
- Lamar Jackson, Louisville
- Josh Allen, Wyoming
- Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
- Kurt Benkert, Virginia
- Mike White, Western Kentucky
- Luke Falk, Washington State
- Chase Litton, Marshall
- Riley Ferguson, Memphis
- Logan Woodside, Toledo
- Tanner Lee, Nebraska
- J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
- Austin Allen, Arkansas
- Quinton Flowers, South Florida
- Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech
- Danny Etling, LSU
- Everyone already knows Josh Allen is going to steal the show. He has the deadly combination of size, athleticism and a rocket-powered arm. The NFL Combine is where guys like Allen thrive and even more people begin throwing his lackluster tape out the window.
- Sam Darnold won’t be throwing, but he will likely dominate the interview process and test well athletically. It’s hard to see the Browns not taking Darnold first overall.
- Among the quarterbacks, interviews will be the most important for Baker Mayfield. He’ll have to confront what some teams may dub an attitude problem. In reality, it’s just Mayfield’s overly competitive nature that rubs some teams the wrong way.
- It’ll be a big week for Josh Rosen, who has the prettiest throwing mechanics, but he likely won’t test well and needs to prove himself in interviews.
- This is the week Lamar Jackson proves the (completely absurd) doubters who think he isn’t a first-round quarterback wrong. Jackson is a freaky athlete with arguably the second-strongest arm in the class. If he can show improved footwork and blow away teams in interviews, he’ll be a top-20 pick.
- Kyle Lauletta, Mason Rudolph, Kurt Benkert and Mike White will be battling for the “Day Two Quarterback of the Future” title.
Who Makes the Most Money: Derrius Guice, LSU
Keep an Eye on: Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State
Biggest Combine Snub: Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi
- Saquon Barkley, Penn State
- Derrius Guice, LSU
- Ronald Jones II, USC
- Sony Michel, Georgia
- Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
- Mark Walton, Miami
- Nick Chubb, Georgia
- Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State
- Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
- Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
- John Kelly, Tennessee
- Josh Adams, Notre Dame
- Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
- Akrum Wadley, Iowa
- Royce Freeman, Oregon
- Justin Crawford, West Virginia
- Chase Edmonds, Fordham
- Ryan Nall, Oregon State
- Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State
- Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma
- Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
- Justin Jackson, Northwestern
- Darrel Williams, LSU
- Kyle Hicks, TCU
- Jeff Wilson, North Texas
- Jordan Wilkins, Ole Miss
- Nick Bawden, San Diego State
- Lavon Coleman, Washington
- Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
- Chris Warren, Texas
- Donnie Ernsberger, Western Michigan
- Demario Richard, Arizona State
- Two of the biggest known freaks at the combine are in the running backs group. Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice are both going to run somewhere in the 4.45-second range in the 40-yard dash at over 220-pounds. Outside of Barkley and Guice, Ronald Jones and Sony Michel also have high expectations for their athletic testing. All four running backs should lock themselves into being top-50 players by the end of the weekend.
- The combine will be big for setting up the second tier of running backs that have starter potential. Rahsaad Penny, Mark Walton, Nick Chubb and Kerryon Johnson fall into that category.
- Players like Nyheim Hines, Kalen Ballage and John Kelly could really make names for themselves this week, while big names like Josh Adams, Bo Scarbrough and Royce Freeman could fall off the radar with poor testing.
- For the new-wave scat back role, guys like Akrum Wadley, Justin Crawford, Chase Edmonds and Roc Thomas will need to impress in testing in order to improve their stock.
Overall Winner: Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Who Gets on the Radar: Trey Quinn, SMU
Who Falls off the Radar: James Washington, Oklahoma State
Keep an Eye on: Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
Needs a Big Week: Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Deontay Burnett, USC
Biggest Combine Snub: Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa
- Calvin Ridley, Alabama
- Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
- Courtland Sutton, SMU
- Deon Cain, Clemson
- D.J. Moore, Maryland
- Auden Tate, Florida State
- D.J. Chark, LSU
- Dante Pettis, Washington
- Deontay Burnett, USC
- Trey Quinn, SMU
- Anthony Miller, Memphis
- Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana
- Michael Gallup, Colorado State
- Tre’Quan Smith, UCF
- Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
- James Washington, Oklahoma State
- Korey Robertson, Southern Mississippi
- Darren Carrington II, Utah
- DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
- Byron Pringle, Kansas State
- Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
- Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State
- Braxton Berrios, Miami
- Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
- Antonio Callaway, Florida
- Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
- J’Mon Moore, Missouri
- Jordan Lasley, UCLA
- Allen Lazard, Iowa State
- Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech
- Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson
- Jester Weah, Pittsburgh
- Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
- Richie James, Middle Tennessee State
- Ka’Raun White, West Virginia
- Chris Lacy, Oklahoma State
- Davon Grayson, East Carolina
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida
- Javon Wims, Georgia
- Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech
- Steven Mitchell Jr., USC
- Robert Foster, Alabama
- Tavares Martin Jr., Washington State
- Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh
- Of all the offensive groups, wide receiver testing might be carrying the most weight this year, because on tape it’s Calvin Ridley and then everyone else.
- The second tier of receivers is just Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton, but a potentially bad 40-yard dash from Sutton could hurt his draft stock.
- There are anywhere from eight to 17 receivers in the third tier, depending on who you ask. Testing is going to be the biggest and easiest way to create separation in this group.
- Deon Cain, Tre’Quan Smith and Equanimeous St. Brown are the height-weight-speed guys who lacked college production but can be day two picks.
- All eyes will be on Biletnikoff winner James Washington, who is built like a running back but was never asked to run a full route-tree in college. He will need to test off the charts to be considered a day two prospect.
- D.J. Moore might not run fast, but his hand strength and build will have teams loving the future stud slot receiver.
- Guys like D.J. Chark, Dante Pettis, Trey Quinn and Anthony Miller could shoot up the boards in Indianapolis. Lesser names with interesting tape that could improve their stock with nice testing are Keke Coutee, J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Most Intriguing: Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
Most Physically Imposing: Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Who Gets on the Radar: Ian Thomas, Indiana
Who Falls off the Radar: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Who Makes the Most Money: Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Keep an Eye on: Durham Smythe, Notre Dame
Needs a Big Week: Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State
Biggest Combine Snub: Adam Breneman, UMass
- Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
- Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
- Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
- Mike Gesicki, Penn State
- Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
- Ian Thomas, Indiana
- Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan
- Durham Smythe, Notre Dame
- Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State
- Christopher Herndon IV, Miami
- Dalton Schultz, Stanford
- Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State
- Jordan Akins, UCF
- Will Dissly, Washington
- Ryan Izzo, Florida State
- Marcus Baugh, Ohio State
- David Wells, San Diego State
- Outside of the top two tight ends, Hayden Hurst and Dallas Goedert, the group is somewhat underwhelming. Basically everyone expects Hurst and Goedert to light up the combine in their battle to determine who is the best. Both are height-weight-speed freaks with some of the most fun tape you’ll see.
- Mike Gesicki has a good chance of locking himself into the third tight end spot. He’s big with a nice catch radius and the former volleyball player is expected to, “jump out of the gym.”
- Mark Andrews needs to put his name back on the map, but a bad week could push him down into day three of the draft.
- It’s almost a guarantee Troy Fumagalli won’t test well, but his tape makes up for it.
- Ian Thomas, Durham Smythe and Chris Herndon will create buzz as potential tier-two tight ends due to their size and athleticism.
- Jaylen Samuels was a hybrid in college, a running back at the Senior Bowl, and he is now testing as a tight end at the combine. Samuels’ performances this week could be the difference between being a third round pick and seventh round pick.
Overall Winner: James Daniels, Iowa
Most Intriguing: Connor Williams, Texas
Most Physically Imposing: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Who Falls off the Radar: Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
Who Makes the Most Money: Braden Smith, Auburn
Keep an Eye on: Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
Needs a Big Week: Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Biggest Combine Snub: Maea Teuhema, SE Louisiana
- Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
- Connor Williams, Texas
- Billy Price, Ohio State
- Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
- Will Hernandez, UTEP
- James Daniels, Iowa
- Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
- Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
- Braden Smith, Auburn
- Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
- Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
- Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
- Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
- Kolton Miller, UCLA
- Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
- Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
- Sean Welsh, Iowa
- Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
- Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
- Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
- Mason Cole, Michigan
- Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
- Sam Jones, Arizona State
- Colby Gossett, Appalachian State
- Austin Corbett, Nevada
- Taylor Hearn, Clemson
- Brian Allen, Michigan State
- Joseph Noteboom, TCU
- Skyler Phillips, Idaho State
- Coleman Shelton, Washington
- Toby Weathersby, LSU
- Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
- Timon Parris, Stony Brook
- K.C. McDermott, Miami
- Geron Christian, Louisville
- Cole Madison, Washington State
- Will Richardson, North Carolina State
- Salesi Uhatafe, Utah
- Brett Toth, Army
- Jamil Demby, Maine
- Greg Senat, Wagner
- Will Clapp, LSU
- David Bright, Stanford
- K.J. Malone, LSU
- Jaryd Jones-Smith, Pittsburgh
- Nick Gates, Nebraska
- Roderick Taylor, Ole Miss
- Rick Leonard, Florida State
- The consensus best offensive lineman is Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson. His tape is dominant to the point that his athletic testing almost doesn’t matter. It’s a guarantee Nelson will look the best physically at the “underwear Olympics.”
- One of the biggest storylines will be around Connor Williams. He has the best tape among offensive tackles, but lack of length has some people questioning if he’s best suited for guard. Testing well in Indy will keep him in the first-round discussion as a left tackle.
- Billy Price, Will Hernandez and Tyrell Crosby probably won’t test all that well, but their tape exceeds their athleticism.
- Mike McGlinchey and Orlando Brown Jr. are big left tackles, but poor testing will hurt them as neither look overly athletic on tape. Brown Jr. is polarizing with his size and mean streak, but his movement skills are below-average at best.
- Due to their strong tape, Isaiah Wynn and James Daniels could make a first-round push if they show off their movement skills Friday.
- Braden Smith, Chukwuma Okorafor, Brian O’Neill and Desmond Harrison are all locks to raise their stock as the most athletic offensive linemen at the combine.