2020 NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Tight End

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2020 NFL Combine Justin Herbert

The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine is about to get underway in Indianapolis. Prospects will undergo medicals, interviews, and of course, the on-field drills. Leading the way after a change in the format are the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. I’ll be posting these positional previews as they are scheduled to go during the on-field drills. 

QB

1. Justin Herbert 6’6 236 Oregon Senior

-The Combine is the perfect environment for Herbert to show off his physical traits. He has arguably the best arm in the class. He’s a surefire top-ten selection and could lock himself into the QB3 position behind Tua with a great on field performance as he’s a model citizen so the off field part is unquestioned. Reigning William V. Campbell Trophy winner (the academic Heisman). Projected 40: 4.7

2. Jake Fromm 6’1 219 Georgia Junior

– Fromm is what he is at this point, and the hand measurement is a tad concerning as he has even smaller hands (8 7/8″) than Joe Burrow (the newly retired Heisman winner). His biggest weapon is his mental processing. He will be a much better pro than college player due to having an offense that will likely cater to his passing ability instead of being so run dominant in Athens. Projected 40: 4.85

3. Jacob Eason 6’5 231 Washington RS Junior

– The ideal quarterback for John Elway aka tall white guy who can sling it. He isn’t much else at this point in his career. Some team will fall in love with him but the intangibles are not ideal. He struggled to close out the 2019 season and subsequently lost the Pac-12 North race to Oregon as a result. Projected 40: 4.9

4. Jalen Hurts 6’1 222 Oklahoma Senior

– Hurts is an enigma to watch. Some games he’s shown vast improvement fundamentally but others, he shows the same inconsistencies that he showed at Alabama. He’s built like a running back. He has no off the field questions either. A consummate leader and teammate. He has enough arm to make it work at the next level but a coaching staff will need to work with him on the fundamentals before he hits the field. Projected 40: 4.6

5. Jordan Love 6’3 224 Utah State RS Junior

– The clear winner of the Underwear Olympics portion of the Combine as he measured in at a whopping 80″ wingspan and 10.5″ hand size. If the NFL thing doesn’t work out, he can go play in the NBA as a Pat Beverley type of point guard. There are glaring deficiencies as a passer but some team will fall in love with his physical tools. Some comps to Patrick Mahomes are floating out there but I don’t see it. Utah State did him no favors in 2019 with the style of offense nor the weapons around him. Projected 40: 4.7

6. James Morgan 6’4 229 FIU RS Senior

– Morgan has been a riser up the boards this offseason after a solid Shrine Game showing. He’s purely a pocket passer at this point and that doesn’t look to change given his foot speed. He has enough arm to make the prerequisite NFL level throws. In an era Projected 40: 5.1

WR

1. Brandon Aiyuk 5’11 205 Arizona State Senior

– Aiyuk could be the most improved receiver in the class after a monster senior year in 2019. He’s a great route runner and just knows how to get open. He measured in with an insane 80″ wingspan at 5’11. He missed the Senior Bowl due to injury so he will need to test well in Indy. One of the best receivers in the Pac-12 and has ascended up draft boards. Projected 40: 4.5

2. Lynn Bowden Jr. 5’10 204 Kentucky Junior

– Bowden can rest easy as he can focus full-time on the receiver position at the pro level after playing quarterback for the Wildcats in 2019 after an injury to the starter. He’s a really good athlete that can be used as a smaller Mohamed Sanu wildcat QB in certain packages. He often proved to be unstoppable even when the defense knew what was coming in 2019. Projected 40: 4.4

3. Quintez Cephus 6’0 202 Wisconsin RS Junior

– Cephus was the Badgers’ best receiver last season, and his lateral quickness is the name of his game. He does have an off the field issue to answer for as he was acquitted of sexual assault charges so NFL teams will question him about that. Projected 40: 4.42

4. Chase Claypool 6’4 238 Notre Dame Senior

– Claypool was downright dominant in Mobile. I had him projected as a tight end all season and lo and behold, he’s willing to move to a slot tight end role if necessary. The size he came in only reinforces that. I think he would dominate as a move tight end. As of press time, he has been asked to do tight end drills. Projected 40: 4.55

5. Tyrie Cleveland 6’2 209 Florida Senior

– Cleveland is a speed merchant and showed it off in Mobile as a last minute injury addition. He didn’t put up great numbers in a middling Gators offense (hardly anyone did but that’s another story for another day) but showed enough to garner that Senior Bowl invitation with his game. Projected 40: 4.38

6. Quartney Davis 6’1 201 Texas A&M RS Junior

– He had a quiet week in Mobile but his game tape is good. An excellent route runner and actually led the Aggies in receiving in 2019. Just knows how to get open in a pro style offense. He could be a slot monster if used correctly. Davis was eligible for the Senior Bowl as a redshirt junior because he had already graduated. Projected 40: 4.5

7. Devin Duvernay 5’10 200 Texas Senior

– After a somewhat of an afterthought of a career at Texas before his senior season in which he broke out. He finally settled in as a receiver and was used as a running back throughout his career in certain packages. Showed out in Mobile. Lateral quickness is a huge plus, and it should show at the NFL Combine. Projected 40: 4.4

8. Antonio Gibson 6’0 228 Memphis Senior

– Gibson is listed as a receiver even though he was a running back at Memphis. He does have the athleticism to play receiver but I disagree with the listing at receiver rather heavily. We shall see how that works out. He has been asked to the RB drills as of press time. Projected 40: 4.47

9. KJ Hamler 5’8 178 Penn State RS Sophomore

– Hamler is one of the most electrifying weapons in all of college football. He’s on the smaller side of things so it will be strictly a slot position for him in the pros. He should have an impressive NFL Combine. Projected 40: 4.36

10. K.J. Hill 5’11 196 Ohio State RS Senior

– Hill was great in Mobile. He won nearly every single rep he took. Hill plays bigger than his listed size in most games. Projected 40: 4.35

11. Isaiah Hodgins 6’3 210 Oregon State Junior

– Hodgins smartly declared after a great season for the Beavers even with the depth of the class being what it is. A big body at 6’3 and he can run routes very well. A lot quicker than I anticipated. People are finally waking up to his potential after a good rebuilding season for the Beavers. Projected 40: 4.5

12. Van Jefferson 6’1 200 Florida RS Senior

– The son of longtime NFL receivers coach has taken very well to dad’s teachings. He’s one of the best route runners in the class. The other part of the dynamic duo at Florida. He should test very well in Indy. Projected 40: 4.49

13. Jauan Jennings 6’3 215 Tennessee RS Senior

– He plays with a bully ball style of mentality. One of the more physical receivers I’ve seen in a few years. Punishes defenders blocking downfield. Jennings did well on Mobile as well. Projected 40: 4.55

14. Jerry Jeudy 6’1 193 Alabama Junior

– Somewhat controversial comments aside (where he referenced his nickname by wearing a Star of David necklace), there’s not much else to say about the former Biletnikoff winner. He’s that good. Expect a great NFL Combine from the future first-round pick. Projected 40: 4.35

15. CeeDee Lamb 6’1 198 Oklahoma Junior

– Pretty much a lock for a top 15 selection in April. The injury history is a bit worrisome, though. Projected 40: 4.31

16. Denzel Mims 6’2 207 Baylor Senior

– It could be argued that Mims was the best receiver in Mobile overall. He’s an excellent blocker on top of the gratuitous ability. A lot of people have come around on him recently once they watched the tape. Projected 40: 4.45

17. Donovan Peoples-Jones 6’1 212 Michigan Junior

– Surprisingly came out as a junior but I can see it. He’s not the best athlete out there so he will need to test well to prove it. The lack of production is somewhat given the lack of a competent QB. The NFL Combine gives him a chance to show what he can do away from Shea Patterson and the Wolverines’ offense. Projected 40: 4.5

18. Michael Pittman Jr. 6’4 223 USC Senior

– He had an OK week in Mobile. He is what he is at this point. A physical red zone threat with good route running skills. Big catch radius and solid hands. The son of former NFL running back Michael Pittman so he knows what it takes to make it at this level. Projected 40: 4.6

19. Jalen Reagor 5’10 206 TCU Junior

– Reagor coming in at 206 is very good for him especially if he can test well as everyone predicts like he will. He’s much more than a threat on only nine routes. Efficient as a route runner. Steadily rising up the boards during the offseason. Projected 40: 4.3

20. Henry Ruggs III 5’11 188 Alabama Junior

– All I’m going to say is my projection for his 40 at the NFL Combine is: 4.25

21. Laviska Shenault Jr. 6’0 227 Colorado Junior

– Shenault compares to Sammy Watkins in my book. He was the entire Colorado offense at times, though the medical history is a bit scary though. Projected 40: 4.43

TE

1. Harrison Bryant 6’4 243 FAU Senior

– The reigning Mackey Award winner had a good week in Mobile and he’s a top five TE on my board. Projected 40: 4.7

2. Adam Trautman 6’5 255 Dayton RS Senior

– Trautman has been a steady riser up the boards this offseason and had a good week in Mobile to build on that trend. He came in a bit heavier than expected, thus inline tight end might be in his future at some point. Projected 40: 4.8

3. Hunter Bryant 6’2 248 Washington Junior

– Bryant declaring isn’t a surprise as Washington is breaking in a new QB, RB, OL, and a new OC on top of all that. He’s a bigger Devin Funchess with some blocking ability (don’t count onthat skillset though), and can be a pure pass catching tight end at the next level. Projected 40: 4.7

4. Brycen Hopkins 6’3 245 Purdue RS Senior

– Hopkins is the son of former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Brad Hopkins. He’s more of a receiving tight end than inline blocking one. He had a solid week at the Senior Bowl. Projected 40: 4.8

5. Albert Okwuegbunam 6’5 250 Missouri RS Junior

– After much hype that was Albert O for the past couple of years, the 2019 hype has faded after an inconsistent season from him riddled with injury and inconsistency. He will need to recapture some of that prior magic in Indy. Projected 40: 4.9

6. Devin Asiasi 6’3 257 UCLA RS Junior

– Asiasi has been getting a lot of love from the scouting world after largely an indifferent season for the indifferent Bruins. He was frequently their only receiving threat in 2019. One has to wonder if he needs a monster NFL Combine to get on the minds of the NFL teams. Projected 40: 4.85

7. Jared Pinkney 6’4 257 Vanderbilt RS Senior

– Alongside Mr. Vaughn, Pinkney was the only offensive threat that opposing defenses had to respect. He has some medical concerns as he was in and out of the lineup in 2019 with various injuries. He had a relatively OK Senior Bowl effort in my estimation. Projected 40: 4.8

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