This is the 2016 NFL Combine Field Drills Recap for the wide receivers. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2016 NFL Combine: Field Drills Recap - Wide Receivers By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
For a point of comparison, here are some of the times of other recent wide receiver prospects:
Sammy Watkins: 4.43
Mike Evans: 4.53, 10-yard split of 1.57
Odell Beckham Jr: 4.43, 10-yard split of 1.50
Brandin Cooks: 4.33, 10-yard split of 1.51
Amari Cooper: 4.42
Kevin White: 4.35
DeVante Parker: 4.45
Phillip Dorsett: 4.33
At the Combine, Notre Dame's Will Fuller was the most impressive player at his position and clearly the most explosive wide receiver. His official 40 time was 4.35 seconds, and he tied for the fastest 10-yard split of 1.52 seconds. The biggest knock on Fuller is dropped passes, but in the field drills, Fuller did well catching the ball and didn't have a single drop. He didn't have any drops in the gauntlet, which is the toughest test on the hands, and had some nice receptions on vertical throws. For Fuller, it was mission accomplished at the Combine, as he confirmed that he is a late first-round to early second-round pick.
Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is the favorite to be the first wide receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Treadwell decided not to run the 40 at the Combine. Some of his other measurements were underwhelming. Treadwell had a broad jump of 9-9 and a vertical jump of 33 inches, which was three inches below average. It illustrates that Treadwell lacks explosion and isn't a fast wideout. However, that is no surprise, as everybody knows that Treadwell is not a speed receiver. Treadwell (6-2, 221) wins with size on 50-50 passes. In the field drills, Treadwell caught the ball well and showed his natural hands. Skipping the Combine run puts more pressure on Treadwell's 40 time at his pro day.
TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson had an impressive Combine performance. He ran faster than expected with an official time of 4.50 in the 40-yard dash. In the field drills, Doctson showed natural hands and was superb in the gauntlet. Doctson (6-2, 202) was a couple of inches shorter than advertised, but he illustrated that he has reliable hands with good technique to be a hands catcher who snatches the ball away from his body. Doctson's Combine should confirm his second-day grade.
Media and even NFL players were commenting on how slow this class of wide receivers were. Having two strong classes in 2014 and 2015 doesn't help the comparison. One of the exceptions was TCU wide receiver Kolby Listenbee. He was expected to run fast, and he did with a 4.35 time in the 40-yard dash. It was the second- fastest 40 time of all the receivers. Listenbee is a bit of a one-trick pony, but he could be very good at that trick with that speed to stretch the field vertically.
Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd quietly had a good day. For months, I've been saying he's similar to Keenan Allen, and he showed that again with a similar Combine performance. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Boyd didn't blow away the 40 with a 4.58 time, but he was a smooth route-runner in the field drills who showed some natural hands. Boyd is just a football player who could be a valuable pick on the second day of the draft.
Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard had a nice day at the Combine. His official 40 time was 4.48 seconds, and Shepard tied for the best vertical jump of 41 inches. In the field drills, Shepard was very good, as his hands were very strong and he looked natural catching the ball. Shepard helped himself in a receiver class that was very underwhelming as a unit.
The Ohio State wide receivers didn't impress in the 40-yard dash. Braxton Miller did the best with a 4.50. It was a solid time, but Michael Thomas (4.57) and Jalin Marshall (4.60) had very disappointing outputs. Both are vertical receivers who were expected to run faster, especially Marshall. Thomas did better in the field work aside from one pass where he never located the ball, but the Combine still was a rough performance that could hurt Thomas' draft grade. Miller's draft grade should stay the same, but the other two could see their stock go down.
Auburn wide receiver Duke Williams has a lot of off-the-field question marks, but now speed will be added to the equation, as he had a terrible 40 time. Williams posted a 4.72 time, which was much slower than expected for Williams. The 6-foot-2, 229-pounder could easily go undrafted.
One of the most impressive wide receivers in terms of hands and route-running in the field work was UMass' Tajae Sharpe. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound Sharpe made some superb catches, including a diving reception downfield. He also had a pretty over-the-shoulder hands catch and was very good running the gauntlet. Sharpe is a sleeper receiver who could be a day-three value.
There are speed concerns for Mississippi State's De'Runnya Wilson, and they verified with a terrible 40-yard dash of 4.85 seconds. Wilson must improve on that at his pro day, but he could be falling to day three rather than being a second-day pick.