2020 NFL Scouting Combine Team Thoughts on Workouts

2020 NFL Combine Results - Weigh-Ins and 40 Times:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

2020 NFL Combine Stock Report:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

2020 NFL Scouting Combine Team Thoughts on Workouts



By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Every year at the NFL Scouting Combine, there are some players that the media gets very excited about from a fast 40 time, but often, those aren’t the players that actually impressive team evaluators. For example, last year Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was a combine star and that led to him being projected as a top-20 pick by some in the media, yet in the actual draft, Metcalf almost made it to the third round before getting selected. To get at who actually helped themself in Indianapolis, WalterFootball.com reached out to team sources and did a survey to see what team evaluators thought about the quarterback workout.


Linebackers:

  • The star of the linebackers workout and one of the top stars of the combine at any position was Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who posted a shocking 40 time of 4.39 seconds. At any position on the football field, that is a fast time – even for elite wide receivers or cornerbacks, who are typically the fastest players on the field. For a linebacker to run a time like that while checking in at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds is phenomenal and truly rare. Simmons also showed his explosiveness in the vertical jump and the broad jump. This combine performance improves Simmons chances of going as a top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.


  • If it weren’t for Simmons, Mississippi State’s Willie Gay might be the most discussed. The 6-foot-2, 243-pound Gay had a blistering 40 time of 4.46 seconds. He also had a better broad jump at 11-foot-4 than Simmons did. Team sources said Gay was very impressive, and as he really blazed, his combine will help teams to take a deeper look at Gay.


  • Sources said they were disappointed Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray and LSU linebacker Patrick Queen did not do the field position drills because of minor injuries. Teams are wondering also what their statuses will be for their pro days and how much they are going to see before draft day comes. Murray interviewed really well with teams, and they were eager to see him in drills as he had the potential to rise.





  • Defensive Backs:

  • The combine was a rough day for Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with a fall in the drills that ending his day early. Okudah’s head hit the turf hard, and he was unable to finish the workout. “He looked awful,” said one source before adding in that tightness and stiffness could be seen. Okudah could slide lower in the top 10 if he doesn’t have a bounceback performance at his pro day.


  • Team evaluators said Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson looked like the best defensive back on the field at the combine. Henderson clocked a 4.39-second time in the 40-yard dash, which is an excellent time for a big cornerback like him. The 6-foot-1, 204-pounder has natural cover skills with size and speed, so he could be a riser in the final weeks before the 2020 NFL Draft.


  • Team sources said LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton had a good workout. With a 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds, Fulton showed that he has recovered from a leg injury that he played with during the 2019 season. Fulton needed a good combine to help his first-round hopes, and he came through with clutch performances.

  • Perhaps no defensive back helped himself more in the workout than Clemson safety Tanner Muse. The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder had an electric 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds. That will help teams to look at Muse more and improve his standing. At least with that speed at his size, he should be capable of being a backup safety who is a core special teams player.


  • Two small-school safeties were expected to work out well and they delivered. Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn ripped off a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, while Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger had a 4.50-second time at 6-foot-1, 217 pounds. Dugger and Chinn could both be second-day picks in the 2020 draft.


  • Alabama’s Xavier McKinney is the consensus top safety for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he disappointed with a 4.64-second time in the 40-yard dash. Teams thought McKinney would run significantly faster, so that time hurts him, especially because he is not a large safety, checking in at 6-foot, 201 pounds. McKinney needs a bounceback performance at his pro day.





  • Defensive Linemen:

  • Team sources said they were impressed with the workout from TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. They felt Blacklock looked good in the field work, and that came after he had a fast 40-yard dash of 4.90 seconds with an excellent 10-yard split of 1.70 seconds. Some scouts said they feel Blacklock solidified a spot in the first round with his combine performance.


  • Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is the consensus second-best player in the the 2020 NFL Draft, and teams felt Brown did nothing to change that projection. They felt he looked good in the field drills for a 330-pound defensive tackle. Brown’s power game also doesn’t get illustrated as well in the combine drills. If it weren’t for the quarterback-needy teams, Brown would be a lock for the top five.


  • Brown’s Auburn teammate Marlon Davidson was unable to parts of the workout, and one team source texted this, “we like him but it gets hard to get too excited about him because there is always something wrong with him this offseason.” Davidson got banged up the Senior Bowl as well. Showing good health and completing the workout at his pro day is necessary for Davidson to help his draft stock.


  • Teams said they were mildly disappointed in Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa. “He looked rather average,” said one source. Epenesa had a slow 40 time and was not impressive in the field work. Teams, however, knew Epenesa had some stiffness going into the combine, so it did not take everyone by surprise that he wasn’t a workout warrior.


  • Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos also didn’t wow team sources. He did not run the 40-yard dash and was not impressive in the field drills. Not running the 40-yard dash seems like a missed opportunity and puts more pressure on Gross-Matos to produce a good time at his pro day.



  • Running Backs:

  • Team sources say that the 40 time of 4.60 seconds hurt the first-round chances for LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire (5-7, 207) performed well in the field drills, but for a back of his style, running slower than expected is going to be an issue according to team sources. They say that time will probably be a contributing factor that leads to him being a day-two pick.

  • Other running backs got more media headlines, but Boston College’s A.J. Dillon helped himself, according to team sources. Dillon ran a fast 40 time of 4.53 seconds for a tailback who is 6-foot, 247 pounds. Dillon also showed explosiveness in his jumps, so this workout really helped to address concerns about speed and burst. Dillon was singled out by teams as a player who really helped himself.



  • A number of teams have D’Andre Swift as their top rated running back, and some team sources said that Swift’s workout validated that grade. Swift (5-8, 212) had a fast 40 time of 4.48 seconds and looked very good in in the field drills. Swift helped his first-round chances in Indianapolis.

  • Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor helped himself with an electric 40 time. With a track background, Taylor was expected to run well but his official 40 time of 4.39 seconds was phenomenal for a running back who weighs 226 pounds. Sources say that time will help improve Taylor’s chances of being a first-round pick.

  • Florida State running back Cam Akers was another back who helped himself. He ran fast in the 40 (4.47) and did well in the field drills showing receiving ability. Sources say this workout could help give Akers a boost.


    Offensive Linemen:

  • One of the stars of the workout was Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. As Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said during the NFL Network broadcast, Wirfs posted left tackle numbers even thought entering the combine, Mayock thought he was a guard or right tackle. In speaking to some team sources, some felt that he could move to left tackle and the workout validated that belief. Other team sources said they really liked Wirfs’ workout, but from his game tape, they still feel that he would be better playing guard or right tackle. Wirfs was known to be a good athlete with speed, so his fantastic combine showing met the expectations that teams had entering the week in Indianapolis, but Wirfs answered the bell in impressive fashion.

  • Some scouts are calling Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton “The Mountain” and he set the combine on fire with a 5.10 second time in the 40-yard dash, which is shockingly fast for a 6-foot-7, 357-pounder. Becton didn’t do the other field drills because he tweaked a hamstring on the run, but he ran so well in that 40 he created a massive buzz with teams. Teams were expecting Becton to be a freak athlete, and he proved that. His combine should lock him into the top 12.



  • Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills also had a good workout that confirmed his top-12 status. Wills showed quickness, athleticism and fluidity in the open field. Source said Wills’ workout was a notch below Tristan Wirfs and Mekhi Becton, but still very impressive.



  • Team sources say that Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas could be hurt a little by the combine. They think he did fine in the workout with solid times, but because he wasn’t as impressive as Wirfs, Becton and Wills. Thomas could slide behind some of them with teams that may have had them tied.

  • USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson had a good workout, and team sources say that helps Jackson’s chances of being picked in the back half of the first round. He ran fast in the 40 and posted solid times. There is a lot of upside with Jackson, so he could be a nice value pick in the late portion of the opening night of the draft.


    Wide Receivers:

  • Most team sources said Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb helped himself. Lamb had a good 40 time at 4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and in the field drills, he performed well, showing his good route-running and excellent hands. Evaluators also said that Lamb interviewed well.

  • Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was another wideout who had multiple team sources say impressed them. Aiyuk looked very good in the field drills and had a quality 40 time of 4.50 seconds. Teams say Aiyuk helped himself at the combine.

  • After CeeDee Lamb, the next wideout who had the most independent teams say he helped himself was LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Jefferson ran faster than expected in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.43 seconds. A few different evaluators were raving about him, and team sources also said that Jefferson interviewed well at the combine.

  • Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims had two team sources say that he helped himself. The 6-foot-3, 207-pounder ran much faster than expected with a 40-yard dash time of 4.38 seconds. Mims really helped himself with that time.

  • One team also said that Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs, and Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins helped themselves with their combine workout.


    Quarterbacks:

  • Multiple team sources said Utah State quarterback Jordan Love looked good on the field. Love was expected to be impressive given his arm strength, athleticism and size. As one director of college scouting texted, “Love worked out well, but ultimately quarterback is played from the neck up.”

  • Similarly to Love, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert also did well as expected. For many years, Herbert’s big-time skill set with a powerful arm, good size, and athleticism has been well known. A few team sources said they liked how Herbert threw the ball with some beauties downfield. Herbert’s pro day will probably be a continuation of this kind of workout that helps Herbert to be solidified as a high first-rounder.

  • Florida International quarterback James Morgan was another quarterback multiple team sources said impressed them. Morgan has a live arm, and he did a very good job of throwing the ball accurately with velocity during the field workout at the combine, building on his strong week at the East-West Shrine. Team sources said that Morgan also interviewed well with teams. A number of teams are showing a lot of interest in Morgan, including the Bears, Packers, Buccaneers, Jets, Panthers and Colts.

  • Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts also earned some praise from sources. Hurts has a quality arm, as the ball jumps out of his hand. He also showed good velocity. There is still a lot of development that Hurts needs as a passer, but he showed a NFL arm in Indianapolis, according to scouts.




    Tight Ends:

  • Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet could be the first tight end drafted this April and multiple team sources said he had an impressive workout. The 6-foot-6, 262-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds and he looked good in the field workout. Kmet has some size, strength, quickness and athleticism to become a three-down starter. The strong combine performance could solidify Kmet in the second round.

  • Team sources say that Dayton tight end Adam Trautman had a mixed workout at the combine. On the negative side, Trautman was slower than expected with a disappointing 40-yard dash time of 4.80 seconds. However, Trautman rebounded in the field work, and some evaluators said that Trautman really impressed them with how he looked in drills. Trautman looks like a potential second-day pick.

  • It isn’t surprising that Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was named as a player who impressed, as he an electric 40-yard dash time of 4.49 seconds. Okwuegbunam (6-5, 258) was fast and fluid in the field drills as well, showing that he has mismatch potential as a receiving tight end for the NFL. The field work out was expected to be good for Okwuegbunam, but his interviews were very important as teams have make up concerns about him. Thus, he needed to well there to not get dropped from draft boards.

    Back to the 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Combine Page.





    2020 NFL Combine Results - Weigh-Ins and 40 Times:
    QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

    2020 NFL Combine Stock Report:
    QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

    2020 NFL Scouting Combine Team Thoughts on Workouts






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