Who Has the Most to Win at the NFL Combine?
A few players could bump their draft stock with a standout performance.
The combine is basically a multi-day interview for prospective NFL players. Franchises place a high value on the information they get out of medical checks, interviews, and on-field drills that all the players have to go through. Unless a player performs incredibly poorly compared to his peers, the physical tests, like his 40 time or vertical jump scores, aren’t likely to make or break the game. But, that being said, the players who truly stand out in the athletic testing portion of the event can dramatically boost their stock going into the draft. For example, during last year’s combine, Washington receiver John Ross shattered the all-time NFL combine 40-yard dash mark by running it 4.22 seconds, which helped turn him into a top 10 pick. The Ringer put together a few names to keep in mind of who has the most to win from the combine.
QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville: He is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound playmaker and the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. He has the potential to be one of the best athletes the combine’s ever seen at quarterback.
RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State: The hype around the Penn State running back could be amplified this week if he performs as expected in a few of the tests. He looks like a top five pick and measured in at 6 feet, 233 pounds on Wednesday.
RB Derrius Guice, LSU: He got injured in 2017, but was hand-timed at 4.32 at 219 pounds back in 2014 and has been reportedly running in the low 4.4s of late. Most recent mock drafts have him going somewhere late in the first round, but if he could break into the 4.3s this week, he could jump his stock.
RB Nyheim Hines, NC State: He’s already caught the attention of scouts with a combination of explosive cuts and vision. The Ringer says you shouldn’t be surprised if the “5-foot-8, 198-pound former NC State star who ran for 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017 breaks the 4.40 mark in the 40.”
RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State: “Mark this down,” an NFC director of college scouting recently told NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, “Nobody will be talking about [Ballage] until he gets to the combine, where he will lift well, run well and jump out of the stadium. Then, he’ll be the hot name.”
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