Indianapolis is a-buzz once again for the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Over the next few days, 300+ college prospects will give their all to prove their athletic prowess on the field.
The so-called “Underwear Olympics” are these players’ best opportunity to impress all 32 NFL teams in person before the Draft.
Day 1 featured Defensive Line, Linebacker, and EDGE prospects. You can find my recap of Day 1 HERE.
Day 2 was all about the Defensive Backs. You can find my recap of the Corners and Safeties from Friday HERE.
Day 3 highlights the high-profile offensive skill positions, including Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends. The TE group is one of the deepest position groups in the Draft, and the QB class is one of the more intriguing groups in recent memory. There are some good WRs in this class, but most believe the overall group to be a little more underwhelming than the last few drafts.
Each day, I’ll compile my notes and observations of the on-field workouts into a recap of the day’s activities. I’ll break it down by workout and highlight the most intriguing performances of the day. Let’s dive in!
NOTE: The following observations are from the live coverage of the Combine on the NFL Network. Any results posted outside of that coverage are not included in this piece.
Nebraska WR Trey Palmer blew me away with an effortlessly fast 4.33 sec. dash. True speed from the 6’0”, 200lb wideout.
WRs Matt Landers out of Arkansas (4.37) and Bryce Ford-Wheaton from West Virginia (4.38) are big, long receivers at 6’4” and 200+lbs. They ran like 5’10”, 180lb players. Smooth speed.
Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims Jr. flew through the 40 to the tune of 4.38 secs. That speed translates to the field on tape.
From Florida, Anthony Richardson’s 4.43 sec. 40 was insane for a 6’4”, 244lb monster at QB. Such a smooth athlete. Made it look easy.
QB Max Duggan out of TCU ran an uber impressive 40 at 4.52 secs. Easily his best performance of the day, as he really struggled in the throwing session.
Malik Cunningham from Louisville (4.53) and Dorian Thompson-Robinson from UCLA (4.56) are two dual-threat QBs that will intrigue teams late in the draft. Running sub-4.6 40s was a good start for these two guys.
TE Will Mallory out of Miami was booking it, running a group-best 4.54 dash. Looked smooth doing it as well.
At 6’8” and 255lbs, TE Zack Kuntz from Old Dominion rolled to a 4.55 40. He’s one of the bigger TEs in the class.
Sam LaPorta, another really good TE from Iowa, ran a nice 4.59 dash. Start of a really nice day for him.
Have to talk about behemoth TE Darnell Washington out of UGA. Dude ran a 4.64 40 at 6’7” and 264 lbs. So smooth for such a massive man.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton had a day, with a big time vert of 41”. Fantastic athlete.
WR Rashee Rice out of SMU posted a 41” vert himself. He’s got some explosiveness, no doubt. Also ran well for a big slot receiver.
TCU WR Quentin Johnston bounced high (40.5”) and showed that leaping ability that makes him enticing as a playmaking boundary receiver.
A big vert of 40” for WR Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee. His athleticism pops in every drill.
Anthony Richardson set a Combine record for QBs with his vertical leap of 40.5”. Best overall athlete in the draft class. He’ll climb draft boards after his workout today.
Zack Kuntz continued his monster day with a 40” vert. That’s a big dude getting up 40” off the ground.
Clemson’s Davis Allen (TE) jumped out the gym too, posting a 38.5” leap at 6’6” and 245lbs. Really solid athlete, but has elite initial explosiveness.
Whoa, Jalin Hyatt! Big time 11’3” broad jump. Shows you how he can hit another gear on go balls with that type of burst.
Demario Douglas, WR out of Liberty, had a fine day, highlighted by his silver medal in the broad jump for WRs. 11’2” is a fantastic leap for the diminutive dynamo.
Quentin Johnston posted a big time 11’2” leap himself. Of the upper-tier WRs in this class, he’s easily the most explosive.
It’s time I mentioned WR Tyler Scott out of Cincinnati. Really, really solid day for him, highlighted by his 11’1” broad jump. Scott’s athleticism was evident all day.
The other two guys to post 11’1” broad jumps were Louisiana’s Michael Jefferson and Wake Forest’s A.T. Perry. Neither necessarily stood out in position drills, but you can see the explosiveness in these leaps.
Anthony Richardson... It just isn’t fair, man. Another Combine record for a QB with a 10’9” broad jump.
Impressed by QB Will Levis’s 10’4” broad jump. He’s as advertised athletically.
Zack Kuntz tops another TE leaderboard with his 10’8” broad jump. Making himself some money today.
Michigan TE Luke Schoonmaker laid out an impressive broad jump of 10’7”. Could be a decent TE2 fairly early in his career.
Luke Musgrave and Davis Allen tied with 10’5” broads. Good number for both guys.
Gotta talk about Brenton Strange a little here. The Penn State TE might be a fringe Day 2 pick now after showing off really solid athleticism and movement skills all day, including his 10’4” broad jump. Great day for Strange.
The QB, WR, and TE prospects take part in a variety of route drills to test the receivers’ route-running and catching abilities, and the passers’ timing, anticipation, accuracy, touch, and arm strength. Here’s a list of the drills I saw at this year’s Combine:
Over the Shoulder Drill (WR/TE)
Gauntlet Drill (WR/TE)
Out Routes (QB/WR)
Dig Routes (QB/WR)
Corner Routes (QB/WR)
Strike Routes (QB/WR)
Sail Routes (QB/WR)
Curl Routes (QB/WR)
Go Routes (QB/WR)
Comeback Routes (QB/WR)
Post-Corner Routes (QB/WR)
Endzone Fade Routes (QB/WR)
Block Explosion Drill (TE)
Wheel Routes (TE)
Here are the players who stood out in the positional drills:
Stetson Bennett - fantastic timing thrower, anticipation off the charts, 60-yard dimes on the go balls, 2nd best throwing session of the day
Will Levis - master of the dig routes, ball jumps out of his hand, lacks touch on go routes
Jaren Hall - live arm in passing drills, fantastic ball placement on corner routes
CJ Stroud - best throwing session I’ve ever seen from a Combine QB, strong arm (65 yard bomb on one go route), easy accuracy, displayed ability to layer the ball on corner and dig routes, drives ball with excellent pace when necessary, pristine footwork
Anthony Richardson - arm strength evident, best deep ball of all the QBs, struggled with accuracy and touch on throws to the outside (outs, corners, comebacks)
Jordan Addison - fluid mover, easy hands, shows impressive catch radius for his size
Tank Dell - quickness, attacks his routes
Josh Downs - fluidity and agility visible on short routes, easy acceleration out of breaks
Zay Flowers - straightest line on the gauntlet drill, nice hands, gets hands up late in the catch (prevents defenders from playing the catch as easily if they can’t see the ball)
Jadon Haselwood - smooth route runner and decisively snatches the ball out of the air
Andrei Iosavis - easy speed and fluidity on routes, runs top speed through the entire route, had one of the more impressive total workouts of the day
Jaxon Smith-Njigba - best mover of the group by far, smoothest in and out of breaks, no wasted movement on cuts, best feet and hips of the WRs, his 3-cone time (6.57 sec.) was .3 secs. better than any other WR’s
Matt Landers - extremely fluid for a big receiver, great hands, one of the better over-the-shoulder ball trackers of the group
Bryce Ford-Wheaton - see Landers above, add an absolutely chiseled frame
Tyler Scott - as quick as they come, violent cuts when running routes, fluid hips in and out of breaks
Darnell Washington - smoothest mover of the group at 6’7”, 260lbs. incredible hands. not an explosive blocker, but can overpower with shear strength
Luke Musgrave - fluid hips and natural hands, best route runner
Tucker Kraft - maybe best route runner of the group. natural hands
Will Mallory - smooth mover, really good hands; plucks the ball out of the air.
Michael Mayer - threw the sled around, great hands, smooth route runner
Brenton Strange - strongest blocker of the group in explosion blocking drill. snatches the ball with strong hands. tight cuts on routes
Sam LaPorta - extremely fluid, really quick in and out of breaks
Did anybody stand out to you when watching the NFL Combine coverage on Saturday? Let us know in the comments. For a complete list of 2023 NFL Scouting Combine workouts and results, visit nfl.com/combine/tracker/live-results.