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.

On-Field Dates

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


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Overall Winner: Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Most Intriguing: Josh Allen, Wyoming

Most Physically Imposing: Josh Allen, Wyoming

Who Gets on the Radar: Kyle Lauletta, Richmond

Who Falls off the Radar: Luke Falk, Washington State

Who Makes the Most Money: Josh Allen, Wyoming

Keep an Eye on: Kurt Benkert, Virginia

Needs a Big Week: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Josh Rosen, UCLA

Biggest Combine Snub: Brandon Silvers, Troy

  1. Josh Rosen, UCLA
  2. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
  3. Sam Darnold, USC
  4. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
  5. Josh Allen, Wyoming
  6. Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
  7. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  8. Kurt Benkert, Virginia
  9. Mike White, Western Kentucky
  10. Luke Falk, Washington State
  11. Chase Litton, Marshall
  12. Riley Ferguson, Memphis
  13. Logan Woodside, Toledo
  14. Tanner Lee, Nebraska
  15. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
  16. Austin Allen, Arkansas
  17. Quinton Flowers, South Florida
  18. Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech
  19. 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.

Running Backs

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Overall Winner: Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Most Intriguing: Kalen Ballage, Arizona State

Most Physically Imposing: Derrius Guice, LSU

Who Gets on the Radar: Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State

Who Falls off the Radar: Royce Freeman, Oregon

Who Makes the Most Money: Derrius Guice, LSU

Keep an Eye on: Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State

Needs a Big Week: Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Nick Chubb, Georgia

Biggest Combine Snub: Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi

  1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  2. Derrius Guice, LSU
  3. Ronald Jones II, USC
  4. Sony Michel, Georgia
  5. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
  6. Mark Walton, Miami
  7. Nick Chubb, Georgia
  8. Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State
  9. Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
  10. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
  11. John Kelly, Tennessee
  12. Josh Adams, Notre Dame
  13. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
  14. Akrum Wadley, Iowa
  15. Royce Freeman, Oregon
  16. Justin Crawford, West Virginia
  17. Chase Edmonds, Fordham
  18. Ryan Nall, Oregon State
  19. Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State
  20. Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma
  21. Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
  22. Justin Jackson, Northwestern
  23. Darrel Williams, LSU
  24. Kyle Hicks, TCU
  25. Jeff Wilson, North Texas
  26. Jordan Wilkins, Ole Miss
  27. Nick Bawden, San Diego State
  28. Lavon Coleman, Washington
  29. Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
  30. Chris Warren, Texas
  31. Donnie Ernsberger, Western Michigan
  32. 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.

Wide Receivers

Overall Winner: Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Most Intriguing: Auden Tate, Florida State

Most Physically Imposing: D.J. Moore, Maryland

Who Gets on the Radar: Trey Quinn, SMU

Who Falls off the Radar: James Washington, Oklahoma State

Who Makes the Most Money: Deon Cain, Clemson

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

  1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
  2. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
  3. Courtland Sutton, SMU
  4. Deon Cain, Clemson
  5. D.J. Moore, Maryland
  6. Auden Tate, Florida State
  7. D.J. Chark, LSU
  8. Dante Pettis, Washington
  9. Deontay Burnett, USC
  10. Trey Quinn, SMU
  11. Anthony Miller, Memphis
  12. Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana
  13. Michael Gallup, Colorado State
  14. Tre’Quan Smith, UCF
  15. Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
  16. James Washington, Oklahoma State
  17. Korey Robertson, Southern Mississippi
  18. Darren Carrington II, Utah
  19. DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
  20. Byron Pringle, Kansas State
  21. Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State
  22. Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State
  23. Braxton Berrios, Miami
  24. Cedrick Wilson, Boise State
  25. Antonio Callaway, Florida
  26. Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
  27. J’Mon Moore, Missouri
  28. Jordan Lasley, UCLA
  29. Allen Lazard, Iowa State
  30. Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech
  31. Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson
  32. Jester Weah, Pittsburgh
  33. Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
  34. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State
  35. Ka’Raun White, West Virginia
  36. Chris Lacy, Oklahoma State
  37. Davon Grayson, East Carolina
  38. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida
  39. Javon Wims, Georgia
  40. Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech
  41. Steven Mitchell Jr., USC
  42. Robert Foster, Alabama
  43. Tavares Martin Jr., Washington State
  44. 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.

Tight Ends

Overall Winner: Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

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

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin

Biggest Combine Snub: Adam Breneman, UMass

  1. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
  2. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  3. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
  4. Mike Gesicki, Penn State
  5. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
  6. Ian Thomas, Indiana
  7. Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan
  8. Durham Smythe, Notre Dame
  9. Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State
  10. Christopher Herndon IV, Miami
  11. Dalton Schultz, Stanford
  12. Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State
  13. Jordan Akins, UCF
  14. Will Dissly, Washington
  15. Ryan Izzo, Florida State
  16. Marcus Baugh, Ohio State
  17. 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.

Offensive Linemen

Overall Winner: James Daniels, Iowa

Most Intriguing: Connor Williams, Texas

Most Physically Imposing: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

Who Gets on the Radar: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas

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

  1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
  2. Connor Williams, Texas
  3. Billy Price, Ohio State
  4. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
  5. Will Hernandez, UTEP
  6. James Daniels, Iowa
  7. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
  8. Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
  9. Braden Smith, Auburn
  10. Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
  11. Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
  12. Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
  13. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
  14. Kolton Miller, UCLA
  15. Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
  16. Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
  17. Sean Welsh, Iowa
  18. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
  19. Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
  20. Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
  21. Mason Cole, Michigan
  22. Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
  23. Sam Jones, Arizona State
  24. Colby Gossett, Appalachian State
  25. Austin Corbett, Nevada
  26. Taylor Hearn, Clemson
  27. Brian Allen, Michigan State
  28. Joseph Noteboom, TCU
  29. Skyler Phillips, Idaho State
  30. Coleman Shelton, Washington
  31. Toby Weathersby, LSU
  32. Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
  33. Timon Parris, Stony Brook
  34. K.C. McDermott, Miami
  35. Geron Christian, Louisville
  36. Cole Madison, Washington State
  37. Will Richardson, North Carolina State
  38. Salesi Uhatafe, Utah
  39. Brett Toth, Army
  40. Jamil Demby, Maine
  41. Greg Senat, Wagner
  42. Will Clapp, LSU
  43. David Bright, Stanford
  44. K.J. Malone, LSU
  45. Jaryd Jones-Smith, Pittsburgh
  46. Nick Gates, Nebraska
  47. Roderick Taylor, Ole Miss
  48. 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.

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Author Details
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.


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