NFL Scouting Combine: Wide Receivers

On Saturday, the offensive playmakers took over the on-field drills showcasing their talent as a group of future NFL players at Lucas Oil Stadium. While not as talent-laden as the running backs or defensive backs, the wide receivers have an intriguing list of prospects many of whom broke school and collegiate records. While the Corey Davis was the big name not participating as he recovered from minor ankle surgery, there was still plenty of talent to give us a memorable combine. With a record setting 40 time being the talk of the entire weekend, this group certainly did not disappoint. So who’s stock is rising and who’s stock is falling?

Winners:

John Ross, Washington: With a new combine record in the 40 at 4.22, Ross needed not only one run but one drill on Saturday to firmly cement himself as a round 1 wide receiver. With his record-setting 40 time, Ross has made himself the talk of the entire weekend. The entire NFL community from players to coaches, scouts to GM’s, are talking about Ross and what he can bring to an NFL team. Unfortunately, a leg injury prevented him from completing any further drills. It’s safe to say that nobody has helped their draft value more then Ross has this weekend.

Chris Godwin, Penn State: With an impressive Rose Bowl game, Goodwin was carrying a lot of momentum into Indy and his on the field performance has continued his rise on draft boards. At 6’1″ 209 Goodwin has incredibly strong hands and pass catching ability. His big concern was the ability to get separation at the next level. Running a 4.42 in the 40 and a top performer in the yard shuttle, Goodwin has displayed to scouts that he has the athleticism to gain that separation.  Outside of John Ross, Goodwin might be the biggest riser leaving Indy.

Zay Jones, Eastern Carolina: Zay Jones is another wide receiver who needed to show that he can match up athletically with bigger recruits. Coming in at 6’2″ 201, Jones had a great 40 time 4.45. This combined with his 133″ broad jump displays to scouts and GM’s that he can be that explosive play maker at the next level. He also handled the gauntlet with relative ease and seemed comfortable being in the spotlight. If you weren’t familiar with Jones coming into this weekend, be sure to familiarize yourself with the talented wide out. His stock is on the rise and its not out of the question to see Jones come off the board early on day two in this year’s draft.

Curtis Samuel, Ohio State: Running a 4.31 would usually make you the talk of the combine, but with a new combine record being set, Samuel and his solid performance was put on the back page by most outlets. However, the scouting community took notice and for Samuel that’s all that mattes. His 40 time matches what you see on tape as Samuel is a big play threat every time he catches the ball. He looked much more comfortable catching the ball this weekend then many thought and his dual-threat ability only makes him a more intriguing prospect.

 

Losers:

Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington: Kupp entered this weekend needing to showcase his athletic ability. Playing in the FBS and not seeing the same level of talent week in and week out, scouts were looking for Kupp to alleviate concerns with his speed and burst. Unfortunately, Kupp blended in throughout most of the drills, and a 4.62 40 time did little to quiet the chatter doubting his ability to compete at the next level.

Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech: On tape, Ford flashes with his athleticism and ability to use his long frame to shield defenders from the ball. However, he looked average at best in comparison to the other wide receivers on Saturday. A slow 4.61 forty, 127″ broad jump and 35″ vertical are hardly impressive. Ford needs to put up better numbers at his pro day or he could be seeing his stock fall to later in day 3 come April.

Mike Williams, Clemson: Williams was the number one wide receiver prospect coming into this weekend. While he may still be the top dog, there certainly is and should be a discussion if he should remain there. Williams elected not to run the forty but did participate in the broad and vertical jumps. Unfortunately, Williams’ numbers were not what many scouts were hoping for. He also struggled in some of the pass catching drills and with John Ross being the talk of the weekend, Williams will have to impress at his pro day to cement his position as the top wide receiver.

 

 




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