Fantasy Football

Performances to Watch at the 2019 NFL Combine

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We’re now just days away from the second main step of the Draft season, the NFL Combine!

Like every year, the anticipation and excitement levels are high. But what, or rather, who should you be looking out for? Don’t you worry, we got you covered. Here’s a breakdown of who you should pay attention to at each skill position.

Follow the NFL combine live on NFL Network from the 26th of February to the 4th of March, every day from 9 AM ET.


Performances to Watch at the 2019 NFL Combine

Quarterbacks

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Kyler Murray

Needless to say, the headliner of the NFL Combine at this position (and in general) is Kyler Murray. The two-sport collegiate athlete is by far the most athletic at quarterback this year. At this point, we won’t be evaluating his athleticism, but watching him go through the drills for sheer entertainment.

However, the most significant aspect of Murray’s evaluation will happen off the football field. The elephant in the room is the questions regarding his measurables. I’m hearing rumors on both sides of 5’10” (hopefully the plus side…). The most striking revelation I’ve been hearing is that he’s could be weighing in at 200 lbs.

My worries about Kyler Murray (outside of his decision making at times) have never really been height, but rather his size. He was listed at 185 lbs during the college season, which is extremely light and raises questions regarding his durability (especially considering his unconservative playing style).

Additionally, teams are likely to probe Murray during the interview process to examine whether he has the makings of a franchise quarterback. His football IQ and personality will be under high scrutiny. He doesn’t strike me as the most outspoken athlete and has rather been a leader by example in Oklahoma. Can he lead a locker room full of grown men in the NFL?

Dwayne Haskins

Another quarterback who will be under the limelight is Dwayne Haskins. We’ve never seen Haskins in a scouting environment, similarly to Murray. Most experts (except Stephen A…) project Haskins as a pure pocket-passer in the NFL.

I believe his athleticism is very underrated. He shows the willingness to tuck it and run when his options are covered on tape. And when he scrambles, he runs hard. He tries to make the defender miss or inflicts the hit, rarely have I seen him slide.

As much as I hate to admit it, Stephen A. Smith isn’t all wrong in highlighting Haskins’ run prowess. However, saying “he’s more of a runner than a passer” is just inaccurate. It’ll be interesting to see how Dwayne Haskins tests athletically at the combine.

Trace McSorley/Nick Fitzgerald

Two names at the quarterback positions that haven’t received much hype so far in the draft process are Trace McSorley and Nick Fitzgerald. While they don’t fit the passing mold present in the NFL, both are very explosive athletes, making the majority of their damage through their running game.

McSorley underwhelmed in his Senior year at Penn State, following a stellar Junior season. He didn’t comfort scouts at the Senior Bowl either. He’ll need to showcase his athleticism at the combine in order to make a team comfortable spending draft capital on him.

Nick Fitzgerald was one of the most explosive quarterbacks in college football last season. While his passing stats are very underwhelming, Fitzgerald rushed 221 times for 1121 yards and 13 touchdowns. I’d expect him to run his 40 in the 4.5s, it should be fun to watch.

Running Backs

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The running back class at the combine is deep and interesting. We’ll get to observe a group of guys with varying skill sets. Unfortunately, Josh Jacobs won’t be one of them. One question mark I had highlighted was his breakaway speed, which made his 40-yard dash very interesting. Nursing an ankle injury, he won’t be participating in the on-field workouts. We’ll have to wait until the Alabama pro-day.

Darrell Henderson

One of the quickest backs in this class is Darrell Henderson. He should be very comfortable in 3-cone and shuttle drills and could time as one of the top running backs at the 40. He should be fun to watch run. It’ll be interesting to watch some of the smaller backs compete this year. Between Trayveon Williams, Justice Hill, Henderson, Singletary who will run best and impress the most.

Elijah Holyfield

Elijah Holyfield has a lot riding at the combine. He shouldn’t have any issue with all the athletic testing drills, but teams will want to examine his receiving ability. He only caught seven passes during his career in Georgia. If he can show scouts he has the ability to be an impact in the passing game, his stock could rise after Indy.

Myles Gaskin

Going relatively unnoticed in this draft class is Washington’s all-time leading rusher Myles Gaskin. Gaskin’s an exceptionally explosive athlete with great quickness and speed. He could be amongst the best running back performances at the Combine. He has the speed to run his 40 in the low 4.4s, and he can cut on a dime, his agility should be on display if he runs the 20 yd shuttle.



Bryce Love

And last but certainly not least, is Bryce Love. Love was named as a Heisman contender coming out of his incredible junior season with Stanford. His final season was nowhere near his 2000 yard effort in 2017, but he was limited by an ACL injury.

Hopefully, he participates in the combine workouts, as it is his shot at moving back up the draft board. Love has incredible speed and is a true candidate to run through these drills extremely well and be a top performer.

Wide Receivers

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N’Keal Harry

This wide receiver class has a lot riding on the NFL Combine. More precisely, our big-bodied receivers, which make up a large portion of the class. This is big for N’Keal Harry.

Harry is at the top of many analysts’ wide receiver rankings, for his size and catch radius, but his athleticism doesn’t strike the eye on tape. He doesn’t create much separation and I haven’t seen him blaze past his corner.

He’ll need to show he has the athletic makings of a featured receiver in the NFL. Guys like Arcega-Whiteside and Hakeem Butler, fall into this category and will be well worth keeping an eye on.

D.K. Metcalf

Another receiver you’ll want to track is Ole Miss product, D.K. Metcalf. You must have seen the picture of him looking like a defensive end, surrounded by miniature football players… He certainly looked like he belonged on the edge.

Metcalf was injured for the whole second half of the college season, and he looks like he spent most of that time in the gym grinding. It’ll be interesting to see how he weighs in (do we really want a 240 lb wide receiver?), and how flexible and fast does he look on the field relative to his size. D.K. Metcalf could come out of these workouts as the unanimous number one receiver on all draft boards.

Andy Isabella

This draft class isn’t composed of only big bodies. We have a good number of smaller size but very dynamic receivers getting a shot to showcase their athleticism in Indy. At the top of my list is Andy Isabella.

If you want a candidate to run the best 40 time, this is the guy. He has a track and field background, and even beat Denzel Ward in a 100 yd dash a couple years back. I predict he can run in the low 4.3s… Not only is Isabella fast, but he is also incredibly quick and agile with his feet and can cut on a dime. He should get a chance to showcase that running his routes and the shuttle and 3-cone drills. He could be a standout combine participant.

Parris Campbell

My other candidates at receiver to run the best 40 include Parris Campbell from Ohio State and Mecole Hardman, out of Georgia. Both have serious juice on film.

Tight Ends

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T.J. Hockerson

The 2019 tight end class is one of the best we’ve seen in years. At the top of that list, I have T.J. Hockenson out of Iowa. When you think Iowa and tight end, you’ll most likely start thinking of George Kittle. That’s a good track record if you ask me, and Iowa has two very talented tight ends coming out this year in Hockenson and Noah Fant.

Hockenson is the cream of the crop when you describe what you’re looking for out of an NFL tight end. He blocks better than any of the other guys in his class and he catches everything thrown his way. He doesn’t strike as particularly fast, but he is quick enough out of his breaks and runs precise routes.

Noah Fant

Noah Fant has a true shot at being the standout tight end out of his group. He is incredibly athletic for his size, and ran an extended route tree at Iowa and has very natural hands. Fant was used as the primary receiving tight end for the Hawks. With his powerful lower body, I’d expect a great vertical jump performance, and an impressive 40 relative to his size.

Dawson Knox

A tight end that will desperately need to catch the scouts’ attention, and should have no issue doing it, is Dawson Knox out of Ole Miss. He played in a crowded offense with the Bulldogs, so his production numbers are not very impressive but he is incredibly athletic.


Conclusion

Overall, it should be a fun week and offer some clarity in a crowded class. It’ll also be the first time we see most of the underclassmen in this year’s draft in a scouting environment. Workouts on Friday with offensive linemen, running backs and specialists.


Check back on Fantasy Six Pack for more offseason Fantasy Football coverage.

About Selyan Lonqueux

Selyan's a football addict (no rehab planned). Winner of countless fantasy football championships. Prospect tape grinder, rookie draft smasher, and re-builder of dynasties. Oh, and also plays wide receiver.

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  1. Pingback: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 – Fantasy Football Links | FantasyRundown.com

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