By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)
Every year, the NFL Combine becomes bigger and bigger. Between the draftniks and NFL fans, there’s already a crowd, but add in the bettors plus the ever-growing dynasty fantasy football community and the NFL Combine has become an event to watch. We’re all glued to our screens looking for who is the fastest in the 40-Yard Dash (even if it doesn’t correlate to on-field success) or we’re listening to who the media is talking about, because oftentimes they are parroting what scouts and executives have said around Indianapolis. At the end of the day, when the 40-yard dash times aren’t as fresh and exciting, who really stood out at the NFL Combine? Who struggled to keep pace with the top of their class? That’s why you’re here!
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
It’s easy to declare a “winner” at this year’s NFL Combine. Richardson was the only quarterback of the top four to participate in the athletic testing drills and he knew what he was doing. With an official 4.43 in the 40-yard dash and a 40.5” vertical jump, Richardson had one of the best combines of any player in draft history. To put up elite testing numbers as a 6’ 4” 244lb player (let alone quarterback) was incredible. Richardson made himself a lot of money in Indianapolis, but for those who have been paying attention, this is validation rather than a revelation. We knew Richardson was going to blow up the combine and it is still impressive for him to come through on that idea, but where is he as a passer? Richardson looked great in the throwing drills right next to C.J. Stroud. Richardson was able to show off his arm strength which often looked like him casually flicking the ball 50+ yards down the field, but it was still apparent that he lacks the consistent accuracy that a player like Stroud boasts. If Richardson secures top five draft capital (which is almost to be expected at this point), it’s going to be hard to pass on his upside once we get into the second half of the first round of Dynasty Owner rookie drafts.
Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
Turn on the tape and Charbonnet will pop off as a big runner with intriguing lateral ability. Measuring in at 6’ 0” 214lbs, one of the big questions surrounding Charbonnet was about his athleticism and if it would be a sticking point in the process. Charbonnet took care of business during the combine and posted a 4.53 40-yard dash and a 37” vertical jump, eliminating any questions about his explosiveness and speed. Charbonnet is a physical runner and to pair that with his ability to create chunk plays and find his way into the second level, he makes an intriguing prospect who will certainly be off the board by the end of Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Charbonnet is a top five running back in this class and I’m looking forward to what NFL team looks to give him an opportunity to take over their backfield.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
The NFL Combine was a bit of a mixed bag for Jahmyr Gibbs. Coming into the weekend as the consensus RB2 in the class, Gibbs measured in at 5’9’ and 199lbs and drew some questions. After being listed at 5’ 11” and 200lbs in college, it’s a bit of a disappointment but not a dealbreaker to me. And what damage he did with his measurements he made up for with his testing. Gibbs had the second fastest time of any running back this year with a 4.36 40-yard dash. He has great acceleration and burst, and with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield at an elite level, any size concerns will be mitigated through his style of play and nose for finding open space. Gibbs cemented his place as the RB2 in this draft class.
Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
It’s been a weird offseason for Boutte. After flip-flopping on his commitment to LSU or the NFL Draft, he eventually got pushed towards the NFL and was invited to the NFL Combine for a chance to move his way into the top tier of wideouts. He did not accomplish that goal. In fact, Boutte looked pretty average with a 4.50 40-yard dash (at 5’ 11” and 195lbs) and a 29” vertical jump. After a underwhelming junior season (48 catches for 538 receiving yards and 2 TDs), Boutte could have really used a springboard into the final stretch of the pre-draft process. He was unable to create that momentum this week and is looking at Day 2 NFL Draft capital with a chance of falling into Day 3 if he can’t start stacking positive workouts. Boutte is going to be a fade for me in just about every draft as I just don’t trust him at this point.
Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
Quietly flying under the radar, Marvin Mims put together an impressive career at Oklahoma but has been met with very little hype from the NFL Draft community. After running a 4.38 40-yard dash and measuring in at 5’ 11” and 183lbs, Mims shouldn’t be so under-the-radar moving forward. His ability to consistently win deep (averaged 19.5 yards per catch over his college career) as well as create yards after the catch on shorter routes gives him great versatility and helps him check a lot of boxes as a prospect. Mims is expected to get Day 2 NFL Draft capital and could quickly have a role as the WR3 on an offense. He’s more than just a field-stretcher though and with comparisons to Brandin Cooks ($19,882,000) already on the internet, there is some exciting upside with Mims. He should be worth a look in the back half of the second round in your Dynasty Owner rookie draft.
Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Despite an impressive attempt from Darnell Washington (Georgia) to take over the TE3 role in this draft class, Musgrave did plenty to maintain his hold on the position. Coming in at 6’ 6” 253lbs, Musgrave ran a 4.61 40-yard dash and posted a 36” vertical jump. Impressive numbers for a big man like Musgrave. His strong athleticism combined with his smoothness on the field sets him up to be one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the league. In the mold of Mike Gesicki ($10,931,000) or Dallas Goedert ($14,250,000) it may take a year or two for Musgrave to reach the heights of the position, but he has a great base to get there and be a playmaker for an NFL offense.