We are officially half-way through the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, and all done with the offensive players. A day after watching the offensive linemen and running backs, we saw the quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers. This is a deep and talented class for both receiver and tight end position groups and quite a few players helped themselves.
It remains to be seen whether the New York Giants will draft from either of those positions, but the workouts were fun none the less.
Of course, if we are talking about workouts that raised profiles and got people talking, there’s only one place to start and that is with one of the freakiest performances we’ve ever seen.
- D.K. Metcalf (Mississippi) - The Inter-Google has been going nuts over Metcalf for a couple weeks now, with some amazed by his physique, while others sharing concerns that he is too big and would compromise his athleticism. Metcalf confirmed his status as an absolute freak on Saturday, coming in at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds (1.8 percent body fat, apparently), and put up 27 reps on the bench press, jumped 40.5 inches, and turned a 4.33 second 40-yard dash. For comparison, Julio Jones was 6-3, 220 pounds, and recorded 17 reps, 4.39s, and 38.5 inches. Once into the field drills, Metcalf ran solid routes, was sudden out of his breaks, and caught the ball well. The question for him now is how high will he go?
D.K. Metcalf at the 2019 #NFLCombine— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 2, 2019
- Faster than Devin Hester
- Stronger than Trent Williams
- Jumps higher than Odell Beckham Jr.
- More explosive than DeSean Jackson
- Heavier than Jaylon Smith@dkmetcalf14 @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/5ikQTMH7QE
- Hakeem Butler (Iowa State) - It was no secret that Hakeem Butler is a big receiver, and even standing among NFL prospects, Butler’s size stands out. Butler was a cheat code for Iowa State, averaging 22 yards per catch his final year in college. One of the bigger questions for Butler was whether or not he had more options than just sheer size to create separation. He helped answer those questions with a 4.49 second 40-yard dash and a 37-inch vertical leap. He also showed off his hands with a highlight 1-handed catch in field drills.
- N’Keal Harry (Arizona State) - If there were two doubts on Harry, they were about his ability to separate from tight coverage at the next level and whether or not he has speed. Harry couldn’t answer the questions about his ability to shake tight coverage in drills without defensive backs, but he surprised with a 4.54 second 40 when many were expecting him to run anywhere between 4.6 and 4.7 seconds.
- Paris Campbell (Ohio State) - Campbell showed that he was one of the most explosive athletes at the combine, running a 4.31 second 40 yard dash to go with a 40-inch vertical and 11-foot 3 inch broad jump. That wasn’t surprising, but one of the purposes of the combine is to confirm what you see on tape. Campbell showed natural hands extending to catch the ball away from his frame and had a solid showing running routes in the field drills.
- A.J. Brown (Mississippi) - Brown has been Mississippi’s most productive receiver, but is overshadowed by the excitement surrounding Metcalf. Brown was faster than anticipated with a 4.49 second 40 while also coming in bigger than expected at 226 pounds. He showed off good route running and burst out of his breaks, as well as good hands to pluck the ball out of the air.
- Andy Isabella (UMass) - When a receiver produces despite everyone in the stadium knowing that he’s going to get the ball, he’s good. Isabella has been building off of that reputation throughout the draft process, including through the Senior Bowl. Isabella is an undersized receiver at 5-foot-9, 188 pounds, and initially disappointed with a 40-yard dash in the 4.5 second range, however it quickly came out that there was a timing problem and his official time was put at 4.31 seconds. Isabella doesn’t stand out when standing next to the other receivers in Indy, but he could be a great value for some team.
- Tyree Jackson (Buffalo) - Every year it seems that scouts and GMs have their imagination captured by prospects who might not be polished, but are physical specimens. This year that could be Tyree Jackson, who is an enormous quarterback at 6-foot-7, 249 pounds. But unlike some other big QBs, Jackson is also an impressive athlete, running a 4.59 second 40, and broad jumping 10 feet (vertical of 34.5 inches). For the most part he threw the ball well in drills, helping to address concerns that his long frame will make it difficult for him to develop consistent mechanics.
- Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) - We saw on tape that Stidham is a good athlete who throws a pretty ball with generally clean mechanics. Unfortunately, Auburn’s offense didn’t really foster his development as a passer and he didn’t take the next step which many expected of him. He confirmed his athleticism on Saturday and threw the ball well in field drills. He hasn’t worked his way into the top picks, but he has shown teams traits they might want to develop.
- Noah Fant (Iowa) - Everyone knew that Fant would be athletic, but it was a pleasant surprise that he came in to the combine at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds. Making it even better, he maintained his speed at that weight and still turned a 4.5 second 40 yard dash.
- Foster Moreau (LSU) - Moreau gets lost in the shuffle in a talented tight end class. He showed well on the field, weighing in with good size and running well for that size in the 40-yard dash. When it came to the field drills, he caught the ball well in receiving drills and showed his ability as a blocker in those drills as well.
- Dawson Knox (Mississippi) - Knox was used sparingly (at best) by the Ole Miss offense, which made the Combine his chance to show out. While he didn’t blow up the workouts, he routinely showed up, measuring well and navigating the drills smoothly. He is a lump of clay for whichever NFL team drafts him, but he could be a good acquisition with the right development.
- Isaac Nauta (Georgia) - Nauta came into the weekend in my list of top five tight ends due to his blocking and ability as a receiver on vertical routes. But its not good when a player comes in smaller than expected and then runs a 4.9 second 40-yard dash. Nauta looked much faster than that on tape and could be having a bad day at the worst time. But he will have to make up ground at Georgia’s pro day.
- Kelvin Harmon (NC State) - Harmon is a talented receiver with the ability to disregard coverage and come down with high-difficulty catches. He figured highly on most wide receiver depth charts and reminds of DeAndre Hopkins on the field, but never looked particularly fast. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to dispel those questions with his 40 time, running a 4.61 second 40-yard dash. This is a crowded receiving class and Harmon didn’t separate himself as much as he might have wanted.