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!