With Day 3 of the NFL’s Scouting Combine almost in the books, quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends have completed their medical testing, on-the-field drills and media availability; while there are still meetings with teams happening throughout the weekend and a lot of combine evaluations should be taken with a grain of salt, some conclusions can be drawn even from the small corner of the puzzle that is starting to be put together to determine where these prospects will be drafted come April. So what can be gleaned from the offensive linemen’s performances in Indianapolis? Let’s take a look at a few players who may have moved the needle for themselves, some in the right direction with positive performances, and a couple who may have hurt their draft position as they came up short.
Movin’ On Up
DJ Chark 40 time: 4.34 (!!) pic.twitter.com/7qatrSSqrW
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) March 3, 2018
DJ Chark, LSU
Yesterday, we asked the LSU wideout what he thought that his Madden speed rating would be when he enters the league next year; he thought about it for a second and answered that it would have to be in the nineties. And he wasn’t wrong. Blazing to the fastest 40-yard dash of any player at the Combine thus far (4.34) answered any questions about whether the 6-foot-4 Chark had true breakaway speed. Add in a 40-inch vertical and a 129-inch broad jump, and he may have ran/jumped his way into the second round of the draft.
DJ Moore, Maryland
After Moore weighed in at 6′ tall and 210 pounds, slightly taller and heavier expected than expected, it would have made sense for some of his speed and agility scores to come in slightly lower than estimated. But what actually ended up happening was a 4.42 40, the best broad jump of the wide receivers, the second-best vertical, and the third-best finish in both shuttles. Once thought to be perhaps the fifth-best wide receiver on the board, he may have jumped as high as the second behind Calvin Ridley; even that race is now closer than once thought. DJ Moore is now almost certainly a first-round pick.
Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech
The 6’3″, 227-pound Texas Tech wideout had the third-best vertical (38.5), second-best broad jump (130) and the fastest time at all three shuttle drills. Once thought to be a fringe seventh-round pick, this catch-in-traffic specialist may have moved himself as far up the list as the fourth round, and could climb even higher with great visits and pro days. The last wide receiver who weighed more than 220 pounds and run a faster short shuttle drill? Allen Robinson.
Picked A Bad Day to Have a Bad Day
Auden Tate, never known for speed. pic.twitter.com/GOvdQWtgBm
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) March 3, 2018
James Washington, Oklahoma
Considered to be the second or third-best (depending on who you asked) wide receiver prospect in the draft, Washington didn’t necessarily perform poorly, he just didn’t live up to expectations; a 4.54 40 is fine, but he had the slowest three-cone time of any wide receiver under six feet tall and mediocre performances in all of the shuttle drills. It wasn’t necessarily his bad performance, but DJ Moore’s great performance who may have put Washington’s first-round grade in jeopardy. A bad day to have a bad day? Maybe not, but certainly a bad day to have a mediocre day.
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Similar to Washington, Kirk didn’t have a terrible day at the Combine by any means: his 40 time was good and he looked effortless and natural catching the ball, but his 20 and 60-yard shuttle scores were in the bottom three out of 26 and he had the sixth-worst three cone. For a player who appeared destined to be a fairly undersized slot receiver, these scores, which can indicate quality change of direction, were not impressive. With Moore moving up the board, someone has to fall, and while Kirk has been mocked to the Panthers at 24, he will need to show out at his pro day and in workouts to make that pick worth it.
Auden Tate, Florida State
A six-foot-five receiver can be forgiven for not running a sub-4.4 40, but a 4.68 (second-shortest) time really hurt the former Seminole, who didn’t complete any of the shuttle drills and had bottom three scores in both the vertical and broad jump. That’s not surprising, because the jumps are truly just tests of body control and lower body strength, and Tate is clearly lacking in that area. Tall receivers like Tate can be red zone weapons and matchup nightmares, but Tate hurt his draft stock significantly here.