With the Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, and Quarterbacks heading off to test on Saturday, the NFL was ready to watch some freaks test out from strong classes at Tight End and Wide Receiver, and they got all of what they wanted and then some.
The freakish numbers we saw on Saturday have not been for some time with regards to some unbelievable numbers, thus, here are the winners and losers from Saturday.
Winner: Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf
I...have no words. 4.33 40 yard dash at his size and suddenly Metcalf is in the same territory as Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson. Metcalf was likely the best WR prospect since Julio Jones based on film, but this combine performance was one of the best we have seen from anyone ever really. It was a joy to watch Metcalf go off and then make the drills look so easy.
Metcalf made the WR gauntlet look like it was child’s play at full speed. Full on, natural hands with no body involved, Metcalf looked like a natural WR as well as an athletic specimen out there.
In terms of pure athletic performance, I don’t think we have seen anyone like Metcalf since Julio Jones, so that is a comparison that is lining up well. The Steelers met with him, but I have a feeling that Metcalf doesn’t make it out of the Top 10, and could go as high as second overall to San Francisco.
Reminder, Ole Miss WR DK Metcalf is 6-3, 228 pounds, can vert 40.5”, runs a 4.33 40, and can do this...— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) March 2, 2019
Loser: Georgia TE Isaac Nauta
Man, for a TE as touted as Nauta to run a 4.92 40 is just brutal. His 7.45 3 cone didn’t exactly inspire that much confidence either.
Nauta had a terrible day outside of actually catching the ball, where he looked much more at home. From a pure athleticism standpoint, Nauta had a terrible day. He showed he was not quick nor fast, and in fact, he was stiff and slow.
4.9 is a land where dead men go as TEs and they often do not come back out of it. I hope Nauta bounces back because his film was good, but these athletic numbers are simply putrid.
Georgia TE Isaac Nauta really is a pretty impressive TE, albeit there are some concerns. When you can run routes and go snag balls out of your frame like you’re a wide receiver though you’re always gonna have a fan in me. Impressive stuff from Nauta this year. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/txmV2WuxV2— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 5, 2019
Winner: Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown
He ran a 4.49 40 yard dash and boy am I happy he did. Brown was never going to be the most explosive, but he sure did need to show that he could have decent speed in the open field, and that is what he did.
It now proves that he has the vertical speed and ability to win on the outside as well as in the slot, which will obviously be a huge boon to his draft stock. Brown met with the Steelers and will be a typical possession receiver who is just straight up solid. He is going to be good and the athletic numbers to back it up is a great add, the guy is just silky smooth and showcased that on Saturday.
AJ Brown isn’t just a slot guy. He should be used primarily from there, but his releases and ability to make combat catches on the sideline still allow him that versatility. Awesome play here. pic.twitter.com/mQJSFdfxOr— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 15, 2019
Loser: Georgia WR Riley Ridley
4.6 40 is not what I wanted to see from Riley Ridley. His 3 cone and agility tests were so much better because of his foot speed, but in terms of raw speed and long speed in the open field, he just doesn’t have any.
At best, it is mediocre and it seriously limits his big play ability at the next level in combination with the fact that he cannot create for himself in the open field. Ridley’s game is predicated more so on precision and accuracy in the route running game, but confirming a limitation we knew, and a serious one at that, is never good.
The good news? Ridley looked extremely natural in the on-field drills, so we have averted total disaster.
Good at Football: A Riley Ridley Storypic.twitter.com/YPPAg7aSWk— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 30, 2019
Winner: Iowa TE Noah Fant
Wow. Just wow. You thought Metcalf was crazy, but if we are being honest, Fant’s might have been more insane at TE.
He ran a 4.51 40 and then a 6.81 3 cone, both of which are in the 100th percentile for TEs, and he would even have been near elite testing for a WR. He moved so well in space that this isn’t all that shocking, but those numbers are absolutely insane.
No TE outworked Fant athletically or even in drills, where Fant look fluid, natural, and strong as a whole. It was a great day for Fant who might have just cemented his status as the first TE taken in the draft with that unreal performance.
Noah Fant moved so well in space we knew he'd test well, and his numbers are a testament to that. He is a stud.pic.twitter.com/MZx27zHC06— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) March 2, 2019
Loser: Texas WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey
Humphrey ran a 4.75, looked stiff, and came together with some rather concerning agility times. Humphrey proved that he was a limited athlete and then some. It was clear by the tape that he was absolutely limited athletically and was more of a Day 3 jump ball guy that you could take a shot on, but he certainly was not a guy who you loved to see bomb the combine here.
He didn’t looked comfortable in the receiving drills either, as he caught with his body too much for my liking. He was also a body catcher on film, so again, I am worried about things. Not a great day for a guy who really needed to improve his stock.
More often we're seeing big WRs in the slot to create mismatches. Texas took note, throwing 6'3 WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey in the slot, where his size & catch radius were obvious advantages. The result was the third most receiving yards in Texas history. More:https://t.co/S1DSOIREx8 pic.twitter.com/vBTY5CnHr3— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) March 2, 2019