2018 NFL Scouting Combine Preview: WRs & TEs

The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine gets underway in full on Friday, March 2nd. Each timed drill or on-field drill means something for each position. Some drills mean more and some mean less.

Today we are going to break down the wide receiver and tight end positions as it relates to the Scouting Combine.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR AT WR & TE?

The athletic testing drills are a very important part of rating these pass catchers.

What drills am I focusing on?

40-YARD DASH – Obviously looking for straight-line speed here. Is the receiver a deep threat or more of a possession-type? Also, check out the 10-yard split on the 40’s.

VERTICAL LEAP & BROAD JUMP – I lump these two together because they both test a player’s lower body explosiveness.

THREE-CONE DRILL – It’s also known as the “L” drill. It tests a player’s lateral agility.

BENCH PRESS – Players do reps of 225 pounds. This is mainly for the tight ends. It measures functional strength. It doesn’t necessarily equate to being a good blocker, but it can show who at least puts in an effort.

The gauntlet drill is a fun one to watch. It will show you who is a natural hands catcher and who lets the ball get into their body. You can also tell who can get into and out of their breaks quickly.

For the players not fortunate enough to play in an All-Star game (mostly underclassmen), official measurements are key. Whether we as fans or analysts like it or not, each of the 32 NFL teams has certain criteria that a player must meet or they will not draft them. Whether it is a height threshold, a weight threshold, or a certain hand size, teams will cross guys off if they don’t meet their numbers.

WHO IS PARTICIPATING THIS YEAR?

WIDE RECEIVERS To Watch

Courtland Sutton, SMU

Calvin Ridley, Alabama

James Washington, Oklahoma State

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

D.J. Moore, Maryland

Auden Tate, Florida State

Dante Pettis, Washington

Anthony Miller, Memphis

Deon Cain, Clemson

Deontay Burnett, Southern Cal

D.J. Chark, LSU

Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame

Korey Robertson, Southern Miss

Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State

Michael Gallup, Colorado State

Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State

Tre’Quan Smith, UCF

Simmie Cobbs, Jr, Indiana

Allen Lazard, Iowa State

DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State

Braxton Berrios, Miami (FL)

Javon Wims, Georgia

Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State

Darren Carrington, Utah

Cedrick Wilson, Boise State

J’Mon Moore, Missouri

Keke Coutee, Texas Tech

Byron Pringle, Kansas State

Jordan Lasley, UCLA

Richie James, Middle Tennessee

Ray Ray McCloud, Clemson

Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh

Trey Quinn, SMU

Ka’Raun White, West Virginia

Davon Grayson, East Carolina

Antonio Callaway, Florida 

Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech

Steven Mitchell, Southern Cal

Jester Weah, Pittsburgh

Marquez Valdez-Scantling, South Florida

Robert Foster, Alabama

Chris Lacy, Oklahoma State

Tavares Martin, Washington State

Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech

There are a lot of questions regarding the top speed for a few of the better players at the position. Courtland Sutton (SMU), James Washington (Oklahoma State), and Auden Tate (Florida State) can ease the concerns by running faster than expected 40’s. I expect Calvin Ridley (Alabama), D.J. Moore (Maryland), and Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) will light up the track.

Antonio Callaway (Florida) could be a top-ten wideout talent wise in this draft but his character concerns are bigger than anyone else in this draft class.

Who Are The TIGHT ENDS To Watch

Mark Andrews, Oklahoma

Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State

Mike Gesicki, Penn State

Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Ryan Izzo, Florida State

Jordan Akins, UCF

Troy Fumigalli, Wisconsin

Chris Herndon, IV, Miami (FL)

Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan

Ian Thomas, Indiana

Dalton Schultz, Stanford

Durham Smythe, Notre Dame

Donnie Ernsberger, Western Michigan

Marcus Baugh, Ohio State

Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State

David Wells, San Diego State

Will Dissly, Washington

The 40 will be key for Mark Andrews (Oklahoma) as he tries to hold onto the top TE spot on my board. Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) is my favorite to run the fastest of this tight end group. David Wells (San Diego State) is who I am predicting will have the most bench press reps.

What WRs and TEs are you most looking forward to seeing take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium? Let us know in the comments below!

A reminder: The Combine and Pro Days are only a small percentage of the evaluation. Game tape is always the number one factor in prospect evaluation.

Next time we will preview the Combine Offensive Line!

 

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Brian Bosarge

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