The NFL Combine is officially in the rear-view mirror, and with it came a fair share of winners and losers. Some NFL hopefuls solidified their spot in the draft, while others hurt their stock. The NFL Combine isn’t everything when it comes to evaluating prospects, but it still does matter. Let’s take a look at the best and worst from the weeklong event.
2020 NFL Combine Winners and Losers
Justin Herbert, QB
Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovalioa seem destined to be the first two quarterbacks off the board, but Justin Herbert made a strong case for being the QB3 in this draft. Herbert is an impressive physical specimen with a rocket arm, so the combine easily plays to his strengths. With this performance fresh on everyone’s mind, Herbert has essentially solidified himself as a top-10 selection and could even go in the top five.
Denzel Mims, WR
Denzel Mims has always been an athletic freak, but he put the world on notice during the NFL Combine. The Baylor product tested in the 84th percentile or better in the three-cone, broad jump, vertical jump, and 40-yard dash. Based on his tape, Mims is a physical beast who excels at winning contested catches but doesn’t run a full route tree and struggles to gain separation. While I still trust the tape, some teams who heavily value combine measurements will probably move him up their board.
Jonathan Taylor, RB
Jonathan Taylor probably earned the spot as the consensus RB1 in this draft class. This isn’t a knock against De’Andre Swift, but Taylor just put up a fantastic performance when given the spotlight. The Wisconsin product led all draft-eligible running backs with a 4.39 40-yard dash, and he managed to do it at 226 pounds. He has everything you need to be a successful runner in the NFL, and he looked good in the pass-catching drills. He might not go in the first round due to the devaluation of his position, but he should be the first running back off the board.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE
Who knew Albert Okwuegbunam could run like that? At 6’-5” and 258 pounds, Okwuegbunam managed to run what might be the most impressive 40-yard dash of the entire combine at 4.49 seconds. This definitely doesn’t match his tape, but his athletic traits are intriguing, to say the least. Mockdraftable’s closest comparison is Travis Kelce, and other successful players like Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Todd Heap have similar profiles. There is no way Okwuegbunam climbs into the first round, but he could easily be a second-round pick in a weak tight end class.
Tristan Wirfs, OT
The offensive tackle class is very top-heavy, and Tristian Wirfs just established himself as one of the true elite prospects at the position. Blessed with experience at both right and left tackle, Wirfs lit up the workouts and individual tests during the NFL Combine. He did literally everything at an elite level, posting a 36.5” vertical jump, 10’-1” broad jump, and a 4.85 40-yard dash. The man is a great athlete with experience at both tackle positions. He should be a top-10 pick come April.
Isaiah Simmons, Everything
Everyone knew Isaiah Simmons was a freak, but it’s still crazy to watch. The linebacker/safety/defensive lineman put on an absolute clinic, running a 4.39 40-yard dash while recording a 39” vertical jump and an 11’ broad jump. He’s now a lock to be a top-10 pick and could be the first defensive player not named Chase Young taken off the board.
Jake Fromm, QB
Jake Fromm made it this far based on his brain, rather than his physical gifts. It’s not surprising that the Georgia product didn’t impress during an event which, to the public, solely exists to demonstrate physical gifts. The film shows Fromm has a questionable arm, and the combine did nothing to change that assessment. Fromm typically wins before the snap using his mind, so it’s entirely possible he impressed teams during private meetings. However, Fromm is probably looking like a second-round quarterback prospect as of this posting.
Jalen Reagor, WR
Jalen Reagor had one of the more interesting combines among the wide receivers. While he posted some phenomenal numbers during the broad jump and vertical jump, he was shockingly bad in the three-cone (7.31 seconds) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.46 seconds). These tests don’t match Reagor’s film, as he possesses elite change of direction skill when on the field. However, this poor showing will scare scouts and could cause his draft stock to fall if he can’t improve during his Pro Day.
Zack Moss, RB
The battle for RB1 in this class is very much in the air, but Zack Moss fell far behind the pack during the combine. Today’s NFL values speed more than anything, and Moss’ 4.65 40-yard dash simply isn’t good enough to justify a high-round draft pick. In an era where running backs are continuously getting devalued, don’t be surprised if Moss doesn’t come off the board until the third or fourth round.
Harrison Bryant, TE
The upcoming tight end class is relatively weak, and Harrison Bryant had a chance to establish himself as the best tight end in the group. However, the Florida Atlantic product did not test well during the Combine. The NFL hopeful only recorded 13 bench press reps, had the lowest arm length of any tight end, and left a lot to be desired in the three-cone drill and broad jump. Based on nothing but his athletic measurables, Bryant projects as a pseudo-wide receiver at the next level, and run-heavy teams won’t like that.
Trey Adams, OT
Poor Trey Adams. The offensive tackle out of Washington has enough good tape to be interesting to NFL teams, but he has major red flag when it comes to health. Adams suffered an ACL injury in 2017 and underwent back surgery in 2018, so teams aren’t going to invest significant draft capital unless he came out firing on all cylinders. He didn’t quite do that, as his 40-yard dash and overall testing left a lot be desired. He probably won’t be off the board until Day 3 unless he has an absurd Pro Day.
A.J. Epenesa, EDGE
You need to just trust the tape when it comes to A.J. Epenesa. While he obviously no Chase Young, the Iowa product was in the running for the second-best edge defender in the draft. That dream probably died this weekend, as Epenesa dramatically underperformed in a few of his drills. For a guy who has serious athleticism questions, his 5.04 40-yard dash and overall lack of explosiveness is a major red flag. Once projected as a top-15 pick, Epenesa will probably end up as a late-first selection.
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