NFL Combine Takeaways
Here are Jeff Ratcliffe's key takeaways from the NFL Combine.
Mar 06, 2023, 3:38 PM EST
The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is now in the rearview mirror. All the times and measurements have been recorded in this year’s edition of the underwear Olympics and the dynasty fantasy football landscape continues to evolve. We still have a ways to go before next month’s draft, but there were certainly some eye-opening performances at the Combine.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the Combine.
Anthony Richardson rolls
The Florida quarterback did not disappoint with his on-field performance over the weekend. Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, Richardson ran a jaw dropping 4.43 in the 40-yard dash. That’s the third-fastest time among quarterbacks since 2003. Richardson also jumped out of the gym with a 40.5-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-9 in the broad jump. Those are the best numbers from the quarterback at the combine since 2003.
Of course, we expected freakish athleticism from Richardson, but he also performed well in the throwing drills. At this point, Richardson seems like a lock to go near the top of the board in April’s draft. While he enters the NFL very green, his intangibles make him a mouthwatering prospect. At the same time, dynasty players will have to exercise some patience with Richardson. We could see a similar trajectory as the Chiefs used with Patrick Mahomes where Richardson takes time to develop behind an established veteran.
Bryce Young makes weight
While Young didn’t participate in anything on the field, a lot of attention was paid to his measurements. Young checked in at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds. Yes, that’s small for the position at the pro level, but his numbers were comparable to Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson. While he couldn’t do anything about his height, Young put the work in to get his weight up over 200 pounds. Had he come in under that number, the doubters would have had significantly more ammunition against him. As it stands, Young remains the heavy favorite to be the first quarterback off the board.
Bijan Robinson is what we thought he was
One of the top players in this year’s draft, Robinson went out and tested extremely well over the weekend. He posted a 4.46 40-yard dash time to go along with 37 inches in the vert and 10-foot-4 in the broad. All three were near the top of the board for running backs. Robinson also displayed advanced footwork in the drills and essentially impressed across the board. In this era of the NFL, running backs don’t go early in the first round. Robinson isn’t likely to buck that trend, but regardless of where he’s picked, he’s all but certain to be the top dynasty prospect in this year’s rookie class.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba dazzles in the agility drills
He didn’t run a 40-yard dash, but Smith-Njigba put on a show in the short-shuttle and 3-cone. He was the lone participant to go sub-4.0 in the short-shuttle and also led all participants in the 3-cone at 6.57. That short-area quick bodes especially well for Smith-Njigba out of the slot at the next level. Given his performance, and the somewhat lackluster showing from Jordan Addison, Smith-Njigba could very well be the first wide receiver selected in April’s draft.
Jahmyr Gibbs flashed major speed in the 40-yard dash at 4.36, but his weight came in at just 199 pounds. That isn’t an ideal number for anyone hoping Gibbs would see a feature back workload in the NFL. ... Quentin Johnson didn’t run, but his 40.5-inch vert and 11-foot-2 in the broad were impressive. The big-bodied receiver out of TCU has the ideal profile to be a big time fantasy commodity. ... LSU’s Kayshon Boutte had a forgettable Combine as he was one of just two participating wide receivers who did not top 30 inches in the very. He also ran a lackluster 40 time at just 4.50. Testing numbers aren’t destiny, but his poor athletic showing does have his arrow pointing down as we head into pro day season. ... On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jalin Hyatt. The Tennessee wideout was a top performer in the 40 (4.40), vert (40-inch), and the broad (11-foot-3). Hyatt is a big play waiting to happen and his testing numbers only further supports that idea.