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2023 NFL combine: 5 freak workouts we want to see

Will we see any records broken at this year’s Combine?

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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL combine on-field workouts begin Thursday. While there’s plenty of intrigue surrounding how the workouts will affect the New York Giants’ potential draft targets, there’s also something thrilling in the simplicity of the event. The sport’s best draft prospects will be at the same place at the same time, showing off the mind-blowing physical traits that make them special to watch.

Every year, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic publishes the college football “Freaks List”: power rankings based solely on the excitement generated by a prospect’s athleticism and physical characteristics. In that vein, here are five “freak” athletes we here at Big Blue View are looking forward to watching at this year’s Combine.

Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)

Hyatt is the 2022 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner and a potential first-round target for the Giants. He’s a playmaker who averaged 18.9 yards per catch last year, and he’ll be able to show off his elite speed and acceleration at the Combine. Hyatt reportedly expects to have the fastest 40-yard dash time at this year’s Combine.

Devon Achane (RB, Texas A&M)

Achane is just 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, but he’s one of the fastest runners in college football. He’s also a former All-American in track and field. His speed has translated well to the gridiron thus far — he averaged 33.4 yards per kick return in 2021 and eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in 2022.

Achane is known for a 96-yard kick return against Alabama, during which he reached a top speed of 22.2 miles per hour. That’s comparable to the 22.6 mph D.K. Metcalf famously reached while chasing down safety Budda Baker, and faster than any NFL player reached in 2022. Could Achane turn heads with the 40-yard dash at the Combine?

Myles Murphy (EDGE, Clemson)

Murphy has an impressive blend of strength and agility that should set him up for an impressive all-around performance at the Combine.

Here’s what Feldman had to say:

Murphy made 43 tackles, a team-high 14.0 tackles for loss, and a team-best seven sacks in 2021. The 6-5, 275-pound junior is viewed by NFL scouts as a “significantly better player” than former Tiger Clelin Ferrell, who went fourth overall in the 2019 draft. Murphy bench-presses 405 pounds, power-cleans 335 and deadlifts 505. He also has vertical-jumped 35 inches, broad-jumped 10 feet and consistently clocked in the high 4.5s in the 40, according to Clemson coaches.

There are some concerns with his film, but Murphy is still one of the top prospects in the class based on those metrics.

Trey Palmer (WR, Nebraska)

Palmer’s 1,043 receiving yards and 71 catches last year were both program records for a wideout. He’s not at the top of most draft boards, but he’s another fast vertical threat who should light up the speed and agility drills.

Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia)

Feldman compares Kelee Ringo to Patrick Peterson, and it’s easy to see why. As a high schooler in Arizona, Ringo took home state titles in several sprinting events. And at 215 pounds, he has the physicality to grab interceptions on contested catches. Social media has reports of him unofficially reaching speeds of 23 mph.