While workouts don’t start until Friday morning, the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is in full swing. Players began arriving Wednesday and teams wasted little time getting down to business. We already have the numbers from the first round of measurements, which include offensive linemen and quarterbacks.
The New York Giants tend to like bigger players, so these numbers — as well as the private meetings which will be going on throughout the week — are important. And with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some players who might have helped boost their draft stock, and some who might need to do more work.
- As we’ve already mentioned, Kyler Murray might have helped himself the most in the first round of weigh-ins. Coming in bigger than anticipated on every front is important for him. There is still work to be done in the process, but he has started answering questions
- Dwayne Haskins helped himself, too, by confirming his size and hand span.
- Greg Little (OT, Mississippi) - We all knew that Little has the type of tools the NFL wants from an offensive tackle. Little confirmed that by weighing in at 6-foot 5 inches, 310 pounds, with 35 1⁄4 inch arms. His test will be in the field drills to show that he can consistently move and bend how an offensive tackle needs in the NFL.
- Oklahoma tackle Cody Ford and Kansas State’s Dalton Risner gave teams reason to keep them at offensive tackle by measuring in with 34-inch arms. Neither has the prototypical height, but they have the length the NFL usually looks for.
- Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor has been steadily rising up draft boards the more people have looked at him. He checked the size boxes, coming in at 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, with 35 1/8 inch arms and 10-inch hands.
- Iowa TE Noah Fant helped the case that he can be a “complete” tight end, weighing in at 6-foot 4 1/8 inches, 249 pounds, and with 9 3⁄4 inch hands. There was the thought that he would be more of a big receiver than a tight end, but coming in at nearly 250 pounds will put teams’ minds at ease.
- Josh Jacobs was the top running back coming in to the weekend, and the tale of the tape gave him good news. Weighing in at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds and with 10 1/8 inch hands, he looks the part of a workhorse running back.
- This is quietly a very good class of wide receivers, and players are going to have to do something to set themselves apart. Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler did that at weigh-ins. Coming in at 6-foot 5 3/8 inches and 227 pounds, and with 35 1⁄4 inch arms and 10 3⁄4 inch hands, he qualifies as a “big” wideout with a massive catch radius. Those measurements practically guarantee that he will have scouts’ attention when he takes the field Saturday.
- Drew Lock came in fine on everything but hand size. His hands measured 9 inches, which might be below thresholds for some teams. There will be concerns about ball security, as well as the ability to throw with accuracy and touch (which requires gripping the ball with just the finger tips), particularly in inclement weather.
- Alabama OT Jonah Williams has faced questions regarding his position in the NFL for months now. He is a technician with good movement skills and the ability to generate power. However, his weigh-in did nothing to quash those questions. The he more size-conscious believe that 6-foot-4 1⁄2 inch, 302-pound frame is more suited to guard at the next level.
- Bad news for Mark Schofiel’s guy, Brett Rypien — not unexpected news, but still bad. While Murray added to his buzz with his measurements, Rypien confirmed his unassuming stature at 6-foot-1 5/8 inches, 210 pounds, and with 9-inch hands. The same questions as with Lock will come up, but Rypien doesn’t have the same arm strength to get scouts excited.
- Irv Smith might have confirmed his status as an “H-back” in the NFL by coming in at 6-foot-2 3/8 inches and 242 pounds. Those are fullback numbers, and while he is a talented player, not every team uses a fullback or H-back in their offense, and that could limit his appeal.
Tight end Jason Witten is reportedly coming out of retirement to play a 16th season in 2019. So while this isn’t a “winners and losers” post, I’d like to add that the Giants — and Giants’ fans — are the losers here, as they will probably have to watch their linebackers lose track of a geriatric (in football years) former broadcaster.
I have long admitted admiration that a player as slow as Witten (particularly in the last few years) has been able to consistently find voids and create separation against just about every team, and not just the Giants. I have a feeling the $5 million he is receiving to come out of retirement will go toward an updated cloaking device (probably).