Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room. Why didn’t he just wear Adidas, instead of Nike, to win his own private island? You know who I’m talking about. The NFL Scouting Combine concluded on March 6th with very impressive performances from highly touted prospects. There was even a record-breaking performance from the University of Washington wide receiver, John Ross, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.22) ever recorded at the Combine. Here are my top five prospects who raised or cemented their draft stock after their performances in Indianapolis.
John Ross, WR, University of Washington
40-yard dash – 4.22 Vertical Jump – 37″ Broad jump – 133″
Already a blue chip prospect, Ross was projected to go in the first round of the draft. Now he is expected to go in the first round and more specifically in the top 15 range. Teams are head over heals for wide receivers who have the ability to stretch the field and score anytime and anywhere. Ross is being compared to, Desean Jackson, a top playmaker at his position who has put fear in the eyes of defensive backs for years. No island for Ross but he did earn himself a few million dollars.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson University
40-yard dash – 4.66 Vertical Jump – 32.5″ Broad jump – 119″
Desean Watson solidified himself as the top quarterback prospect in the draft. He was an elite performer in most of the categories that were tested at the combine and his official height, weight and hand size all met expectations as there was speculation that he was undersized. Not just an athlete, Watson also proved he was an accurate pocket passer during the passing drills. He checked every box and answered all doubts about his size, game, and leadership. It is hard to imagine the Clemson alumnus not being the first quarterback drafted.
Jordan Willis, DL, Kansas State University
40-yard dash – 4.53 Vertical Jump – 39″ Broad jump – 125″ Bench – 24 reps
Now we know what Willis was talking about. His Combine performance said everything we needed to know about him. He turned in the top performances amongst all edge rushers in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. As a three-year starter at Kansas State, Willis recorded a total of 29.5 sacks, 39.5 tackles for loss, and 113 tackles. Don’t be surprised if sneaks into the first round of the draft but a more realistic range is in the 2nd-3rd round.
Josh Jones, S, North Carolina State University
40-yard dash – 4.41 Vertical Jump – 37.5″ Broad jump – 132″ Bench – 20 reps
Jones sees every ball carrier as a nail — he’s the hammer. He possesses power, size, and athleticism. Not only did he flash all those traits on film but he also backed them up in the Speedo Olympics in Indianapolis. Pay attention to Jones as his stock will continue to rise through April 27th.
Evan Engram, TE, University of Mississipi
40-yard dash – 4.42 Vertical Jump – 36″ Broad jump – 125″ Bench – 19 reps
Tight ends are not supposed to run that fast. Chatters broke out about Engram switching to wide receiver when he posted an extremely fast 40-yard dash time. To put it into perspective, only three wide receivers ran a faster 40 than Engram and the closest tight end ran a 4.51. He is a pure pass-catching tight end and his skill set to attack the ball in midair and make tough adjustments to the ball, makes him a desirable target especially in the red zone. Evan Engram made himself some money and could possibly be off the board by day two in the second round.