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 featured the Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends. You can find my recap of the Day 3 groups HERE.
The Combine wraps up on Day 4 with the Offensive Line and Running Back groups. Versatility defines the OL prospects in this year’s class, and the RB group is deep and diverse.
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.
OT Broderick Jones (UGA) was moving on his 4.97 sec. dash. One of the better overall athletes in the OL class.
OT Anton Harrison (Oklahoma) is a big dude, and he ran like a man possessed to the tune of 4.98 secs.
OT Blake Freeland from BYU was maybe the most impressive athlete on the day. 6’8” and 302lbs with a 4.98 40, and even more insane 1.68 10-yd split. Best of the day for the O-Linemen.
OG Jordan McFadden motored to a 4.99 sec 40. The sustained speed of these sub 5-second 40s for the big boys is an intriguing display of athleticism.
Utah’s Braeden Daniels is a smaller OT at 6’4” and 294lbs, but he still looked fast on his 4.99 sec. 40.
RB Devon Achane (Tex A&M) lived up to the hype with his 4.32 sec. dash. Dude moves with easy speed and fluidity.
RB Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama) also met expectations with his 4.36 sec. 40. He’s a solid 200lbs as well. Gonna be a big-time playmaker at the next level.
RB Keaton Mitchell out of East Carolina was flying on his 4.37 sec. dash. A smaller back at only 170lbs, Mitchell will need that elite speed to be effective in the NFL.
Tulsa’s Deneric Prince (4.41), Illinois’ Chase Brown (4.43), Texas’ Bijan Robinson (4.46), and Northwestern’s Evan Hull (4.47) were the other RBs to break 4.50 in the 40. Those are blazing times for RBs and shouldn’t be overlooked because of the exceptional sub 4.40s from the top 3 RB performers.
Blake Freeland tops out the vert list with a humongous 37” leap. Dude is as explosive as they come in this class.
Had to love Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski’s 34.50” vert as well. His fantastic lower body power was evident on his jump.
John Gaines II, an OG out of UCLA, sprung 32.5” on his vertical jump. That’s good explosiveness for one of the few true Guards in the class.
OC Ricky Stromberg from Arkansas had the best vert of any of the Center prospects with his own 32.5” jump.
Chase Brown came to play today and led the RBs with a big-time 40” vert. Much like his brother, Sydney (SAF), He looked explosive in every drill.
Tyjae Spears out of Tulane is lightning in a bottle, as indicated by his 39” vert.
Keaton Mitchell of East Carolina was impressive here as well with a 38” vert.
Eric Gray is a violent, powerful runner, and you saw that power on his impressive 37.5” leap.
Ok, Blake Freeland. Now you’re just showing off. A 10’0” broad jump at that size is unreal.
Skoronski’s back with a 9’7” jump, further proving his athleticism and power.
John Gaines II tied Tennessee OT Darnell Wright with a 9’6” broad jump. That’s extremely impressive for Wright at 6’5”, 333lbs.
OT Jaelyn Duncan out of Maryland had a great jump as well at 9’5”. Duncan is a solid LT prospect that should go on Day 2.
Chase Brown might still be in the air. His 10’7” broad jump paced the RBs. Monster athlete.
Keaton Mitchell can fly as a runner and through the air with his impressive 10’6” broad jump.
Tyjae Spears (10’5” broad) looks so sudden and twitchy as a player, and that was evident in his jumps today as well.
Bijan Robinson had a really impressive day as the Draft’s top RB prospect. His 10’4” broad jump is plenty explosive for the all-world runner.
The OL prospects take part in drills designed to test footwork, agility, and explosiveness, while the RBs test their quick react ability, cuts and footwork, explosiveness, fluidity, and route-running/pass-catching skills. Here’s a list of the drills I saw at this year’s Combine:
OL Position Drills:
Pass Rush Drops
Pass Pro Mirror Drill
RB Position Drills
Blast Read Drill
Duce Staley Drill
Here are the players who stood out in the positional drills:
Broderick Jones - wide base and powerful strides were on display, heavy hands, great extension through the arms
Paris Johnson Jr. - the premier athlete of the top OT prospects, moved with elite fluidity for a big man
Cody Mauch - just attacks every drill with power and aggression, fluid mover as well
McClendon Curtis - great footwork, good bend, stays low throughout drills
Peter Skoronski - initial drive is best in class, athleticism to get out in space is apparent
Blake Freeland - powerful, athletic, most natural athlete of the group
John Michael-Schmitz - strong upper body to control defenders, very smooth in pulling drills
Anton Harrison - powerful kicks and absolute clubs for hands
Matthew Bergeron - 2nd only to Freeland as an athlete, moved with real agility and grace, can he be explosive enough on initial contact?
Darnell Wright - smooth operator, explosive first step
Devon Achane - shot out of a canon, impressive quick react skills
Jahmyr Gibbs - easy 2nd gear, breaks down quickly to avoid tacklers, best accelerator in the class
Bijan Robinson - fluid and powerful movements, easy hands in receiving drills, drives feet in every phase
Tajae Spears - twitchy, really smooth cuts and jukes, you can just see how slippery he is weaving through the bags in drills
Mohamed Ibrahim - another smooth runner, excellent initial burst
Deuce Vaughn - change-of-direction master, easy cuts and acceleration
Roschon Johnson - powerful, upright runner, needs to work pad level, natural pass catcher, subtle agility
Chase Brown - pure athlete, explosive and powerful, strong initial burst, great cuts on receiving routes
Eric Gray - really natural hands, most violent runner of the group, legs drive with purpose even without contact
Did anybody stand out to you when watching the NFL Combine coverage on Sunday? 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.