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2019 NFL Combine workouts Day 2 open thread: QB, WR, TE prospects to watch

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the running backs, offensive linemen, and special teamers kicked off proceedings at the 2019 NFL Combine. Today, the attention will focus on three more offensive positions: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends. Day 2 promises to be a very exciting and intriguing day in Indianapolis as many familiar and interesting prospects will be taking part in the combine’s drills and workouts.

The Raiders are (theoretically) set at QB, but with Jon Gruden it’s best to expect the unexpected so we shouldn’t ignore the quarterback drills. The Raiders most certainly have a huge need at wide receiver and, if Jared Cook leaves via free agency, they have a glaring need at tight end as well.

2019 NFL Combine
Location: Indianapolis, IN | Lucas Oil Stadium
Time: 6:00 AM PT
Channel: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com
Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends

Quarterbacks

How the measurable drills translate for Quarterbacks:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.90 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness

225 Bench n/a Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 30″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 9’0″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.30 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle n/a Endurance

3 cone drill 7.25 Agility/COD

Drills to watch for Quarterbacks:

Passing:

  • How the ball is coming out of the QB’s hands.
  • The Quarterbacks footwork
  • 3-Step Drop, 5-Step Drop, 7-Step Drop,

Route Tree:

  • Short, Intermediate, Deep throwing abilities.
  • Velocity, Accuracy, Touch.
  • How fast is the Quarterback’s release? Release Point?

40-Yard Dash

Quarterback Prospects to Watch

Kyler Murray is not likely to be doing quarterback drills or throwing, as the only real concern about him was his height. He measured in at 5’10”, which is still a concern to some scouts but less so than his expected height of 5’9” was. Murray did measure in with the shortest arms ever recorded at the Combine at 28 1/2”, but whether that will actually be a detriment to him as an NFL pro is anyone guess. Here are a few other guys to watch:

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio Steak

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 231

Arms: 33 1/2”

Hands: 9 5/8”

Projected Round: 1

Former Ohio State and NFL cornerback Shawn Springs mentored Haskins as a youth, convincing him to move from New Jersey to Maryland so he could play at the private Bullis School in Potomac. He was the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, received four-star rankings and was named one of the top five pro-style quarterbacks in the country. Haskins originally signed with Maryland before Randy Edsall was fired, then changing his mind to play for Urban Meyer -- a smart move, as it turns out. He redshirted in 2015 while J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott were leading the Buckeyes. Haskins played in eight games the following year, completing 40 of 57 passes (70.2 percent) for 565 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. His biggest accomplishment as a freshman was a comeback victory over Michigan, entering the game in the third quarter and leading the team to the win. Haskins stepped into the national spotlight in 2018, becoming the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and leading the team to a Big Ten title. He was also a third-team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, leading the nation with 4,831 passing yards and 50 touchdown passes (just eight interceptions) in 14 starts, and ranking in the top five in the FBS with a 70.0 percent completion rate (373-533).

Drew Lock, Missouri

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 228

Arms: 32 1/2”

Hands: 9”

Projected Round: 1

Lock could have gone anywhere to lead a college offense as an Elite 11 camp participant and the Kansas City Metro Player of the Year as a senior. Lock decided to move back to his birthplace of Columbia to play college ball, partially because there seemed a good chance he would play right away. That scenario played out, as Lock started the final eight games (played in 12 total) as a freshman, throwing for 1,332 yards, four touchdowns, and eight interceptions (129-263, 49.1 completion pct.). His play improved in his sophomore season, completing 54.6 percent of his passes (237-434) for a SEC-high 3,399 yards, which also ranked tenth in the FBS that year. He threw for 23 touchdowns that year, having just 10 passes intercepted. His strong arm helped him lead the FBS with 44 passing touchdowns in 2017, as well as lead his team to six straight wins at the end of the year to reach a bowl game. He also completed 57.8 percent of his throws (242-519) for 3,964 yards and 13 interceptions. Lock garnered second-team All-SEC honors in 2018 despite throwing for fewer yards (3,498) and touchdowns (28) in his senior season. His completion percentage improved to 62.9 (274-437) while being credited with fewer interceptions (eight) than compared to his junior campaign.

Daniel Jones, Duke

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 221

Arms: 32 1/2”

Hands: 9 3/4”

Projected Round: 1

Coach David Cutcliffe has done an excellent job bringing Duke football back to relevance, but NFL scouts are most interested in the work he’s done with Jones, helping the Charlotte native reach his potential as he did Peyton and Eli Manning while coaching at Tennessee and Ole Miss, respectively. Jones has a similar build to the Mannings but his superior athleticism was evident at Charlotte Latin High School, where he was a record-setting two-time all-state pick in football and a three-year basketball player. In fact, that athleticism runs in the family, as his brother plays basketball at Davidson and his sister played field hockey at that school, as well. Jones stepped into the spotlight at Duke as a redshirt freshman in 2016, starting all 12 games. The team’s Most Valuable Player completed 63.8 percent of his throws for 2,836 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while also producing with his feet (141-486-3.5, seven TD). His numbers dipped a bit in his sophomore campaign (257-453-56.7, 2,691 yards, 14 TD, 11 INT, 161-518-3.2, seven TD), but he finished on a strong note by earning Quick Lane Bowl MVP honors (27-40, 252 yards, two TD) in his team’s win over Northern Illinois. Jones started 11 games in 2018, missing two with a broken clavicle. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes (237-392) for 2,674 yards, 22 touchdowns, and nine interceptions on the year while rushing for 319 yards and three scores. He again starred in the team’s bowl game, throwing for 423 yards and five touchdowns (with two interceptions) in their win over Temple.

Ryan Finley, NC State

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 213

Arms: 32 7/8”

Hands: 9 1/2”

Projected Round: 2-3

Finley was an all-state football and basketball player in the Phoenix area before signing with Boise State for the 2013 season. He redshirted that year and then played in five games as a reserve for the Broncos in 2014 (12-27-44.4, 161 yards, two TD, one INT). He played in three games in 2015 but redshirted with an ankle injury (46-70-65.7, 485 yards, one TD, four INT). Impressively, he earned his degree in just three years at BSU so he decided to transfer as Brett Rypien had taken the starting spot. Finley more than met expectations at N.C. State in 2016, starting all 13 games (243-402-60.4, 3,059 yards, 18 TD, eight INT). He took his game up a notch in 2017, becoming a Johnny Unitas Award finalist and third-team All-ACC pick. The Wolkpack’s Co-MVP (312-479-65.1, 3,518 yards, 17 TD, six INT) as a junior, Finley threw 339 passes without an interception, second in school history to Russell Wilson’s FBS record of 379. Finley was a first-team all-conference selection in 2018, completing 67.4 percent of his throws (326-484) for 3,928 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

Wide Receivers

How the measurable drills translate for wide receivers:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness

225 Bench 12 Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 10’0″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.15 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle 11.4 Endurance

3 cone drill 7.00 Agility/COD

Drills To Watch for Wide Receivers:

The 40 yard dash is perhaps the most important drill for a receiver in the eye’s of scouts and evaluators. The vertical jump is an effective way to measure a prospect’s ability to spring up for those “Jump-Balls” (50/50 balls). A Broad Jump measures explosiveness and physicality evaluators seek in receivers.

40 Yard Dash

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

3 Cone Drill

60 yard shuttle

Wide Receivers to watch:

AJ Brown, Ole Miss

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 226

Arms: 32 7/8”

Hands: 9 3/4”

Bench Press Reps: 19

Projected Round: 1

Arthur “A.J.” Brown, Jr. was a four-star recruit who led Starkville (Miss.) High to a state title, then chose to enroll at rival Ole Miss instead of hometown MSU. He received death threats through social media and insults in person but stuck with his decision. Even when the Rebels were sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations, Brown stayed in Oxford with new coach Matt Luke. He played in in every game with one start as a true freshman (29-412-14.2, two TD). His stock skyrocketed after a stellar sophomore campaign, where he earned third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC honors. He ranked 10th in the FBS with 1,252 receiving yards and led the team with 75 receptions (16.7 average) in 12 starts. Brown finished the 2017 season with a big Egg Bowl win over MSU (7-167-23.9, TD). He was a first-team All-SEC pick again in 2018, starting all 12 games and breaking his own school record with 1,320 yards on 85 catches, scoring six times. Brown was selected as an outfielder in the 19th round of the 2016 amateur draft by the San Diego Padres. He participated in the team’s extended spring practices the past three summers.

DK Metcalf, Ole Miss

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 228

Arms: 34 7/8”

Hands: 9 7/8”

Bench Press Reps: 27

Projected Round: 1

DeKaylin Zecharius “DK” Metcalf decided to leave Ole Miss after his redshirt sophomore season to follow in the footsteps of his father, (former Ole Miss guard Terrance), grandfather (St. Louis Cardinals running back Terry) and uncle (Pro Bowl returner Eric). His final campaign with his hometown Rebels started off fine, catching 26 passes for 569 yards (21.9 average) and five scores in seven starts. However, he missed the rest of the season with a neck injury. Metcalf had already showed scouts quite a bit in those seven starts as well as in the 2017 season. He was a SEC All-Freshman pick that year, starting all 12 games and grabbing 39 passes for 646 yards (16.6 average) and seven touchdowns. Metcalf had intended on playing his true freshman season in 2016, but the four-star recruit broke his foot in the second game of the year. His two catches in those games went for only 13 yards but both were touchdowns. The injury bug hit him again in 2018, as he suffered a season-ending neck injury after looking like a superstar in the first seven games of the season (26-569-21.9, five TD).

Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 227

Arms: 35 1/4”

Hands: 10 3/4”

Bench Press Reps: 18

Projected Round: 2-3

Butler lost his mother to cancer early in his life, then moved to Texas to live with his cousins, who happened to be a couple of top basketball recruits in Kentucky -- twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. He was not a major recruit at Travis High School, and his grades nearly cost him a shot at college football. However, Iowa State offered him a scholarship. Butler was a second-team All-Big 12 pick in 2018, finishing among the nation’s top 10 in receiving yards (1,318) and yards reception (22.0) and leading the Cyclones with 60 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns in 13 starts. League coaches voted him honorable mention all-conference in 2017 for his big-play ability, as he averaged 17 yards per catch (41-697, seven TD) and started 7 of 13 games played. He played 11 games as a reserve his redshirt freshman season, making nine grabs for 134 yards (14.9) and two scores.

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 228

Arms: 33”

Hands: 9 1/2”

Bench Press Reps: 27

Projected Round: 1-3

Harry is a native of the island of Saint Vincent, moving to Arizona with his grandmother when he was very young. It was a national story when he returned to the Caribbean nation for the first time since coming to the United States to see his mother and sister in December 2017. It was a story because Harry had shown himself a future pro during his first two years with the Sun Devils. The top 20 overall high school recruit (2,715 yards, 25 touchdowns in his two years at Chandler High School) became ASU’s go-to weapon as a true freshman, starting all 12 games and leading all freshman nationally with 58 receptions (659 yards, five TD). Harry was a first-team All-Pac-12 choice as a sophomore, leading the conference with 87 receiving yards per game (82-1,142, eight TD) as a 13-game starter. He was a first-team all-conference pick as a junior, as well, covering 1,088 yards and scoring nine times on 73 receptions (14.9 average) in 12 games. He chose not to participate in the team’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Harry and Washington cornerback Byron Murphy have been friends since they both attended Marcos de Niza High School as sophomores.

Tight Ends

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.85 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness

225 Bench 22 Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 32″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 9’6″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.20 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle 11.8 Endurance

3 cone drill 7.30 Agility/COD

Drills To Watch for Tight Ends:

The tight end’s speed is essential in today’s pass-first league, so like with receivers, the 40-yard dash will be one of the more important drills for tight ends. Again, like with receivers, measuring a tight ends vertical abilities and explosiveness will be quite telling in what can potentially translate to game day capabilities, and that’s why the vertical jump and and broad jump are key drills for this position group.

40 Yard Dash

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

Tight Ends to watch:

TJ Hockenson, Iowa

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 251

Arms: 32 1/4”

Hands: 9 1/2”

Bench Press Reps: 17

Projected Round: 1

The Hawkeyes have produced some good NFL tight ends over the past 15 years, from Dallas Clark excelling with the Indianapolis Colts a decade ago to San Francisco breakout star George Kittle. Hockenson and fellow junior Iowa tight end Noah Fant will become the next in line. The Chariton, Iowa, native was a three-time first-team all-state pick in high school and spent his first year on campus growing into a Big Ten tight end’s frame. Iowa’s two-tight end attack allowed him to excel as a redshirt freshman in 2016, making 24 for 320 yards (13.3 average) and three scores in 13 games (12 starts). Even sharing snaps with Fant in 2018, Hockenson won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end and the Big Ten Tight End of the Year award, along with first-team all-conference honors. He started 13 contests in 2018, leading the team with 49 catches for 760 yards (15.5 average) and six touchdowns.

Noah Fant, Iowa

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 249

Arms: 33 1/2”

Hands: 9 3/4”

Bench Press Reps: 20

Projected Round: 1

Thought Fant was a two-time All-Nebraska selection and school record-holder for receptions for Omaha South High School, he decided the University of Iowa would be his best fit. He wanted to be the next Hawkeye tight end to make it to the NFL, and also has interest in becoming an orthopedic surgeon after his playing days are done. Fant is surgical about his ability to beat defenses and showed glimpses of that talent in his true freshman 2016 season (9-70-7.8, one TD in 11 games as a reserve). Coaches got him involved in the offense more regularly in 2017. He responded by earning third-team All-Big Ten accolades after catching 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5 average) and 11 touchdowns, including one in his team’s win over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. Fant increased his production as a junior (39-519-13.3, seven TD) to garner first-team All-Big Ten notice and third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press. He started eight of 12 games played on the year, skipping the Hawkeyes’ bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft after declaring his intention to be an early entrant.

Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 242

Arms: 31 1/2”

Hands: 9 1/2”

Bench Press Reps: 19

Projected Round: 1-2

Smith is the son of former NFL tight end, who played at Notre Dame before entering the NFL as a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1993. He was a Class 5A honorable mention All-Louisiana pick out of New Orleans’ Brother Martin High School before signing with the Tide as a four-star recruit and top 10 tight end prospect nationally. Smith played as a reserve tight end as a true freshman in 2016, but did not catch any passes in nine games. He had more of a role in Alabama’s title-winning 2017 season, starting 4 of 14 games played and catching 14 throws for 128 yards (9.1 average) and three scores. Smith garnered second-team All-SEC honors for his play as a junior, catching 44 passes for 710 yards (16.1 average) and seven touchdowns for the national runner-ups.