With the draft looming a few short weeks away, teams are busy figuring out who can make their teams better. Here’s what we saw…and didn’t see from Indianapolis.
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
First the good stuff. Some fears about his size have been allayed, as he “officially” weighed in at 5’10”, 207 lbs. with hands measured at 9.5”. All of that came as some surprise, as his official height from Oklahoma was below that, as was his weight. Some have conjectured that Murray did something sneaky to boost his height, but short of getting stuck in a taffy puller, I’m not sure what could seriously have been done to increase his height. So basically, you’re looking at a Russell Wilson-type frame. Nothing that should scare off a first-round suitor. On tape, the guy looks great. I’ve heard some comparisons to Pat Mahomes, but I’m not sure I like that. He FEELS to me more like a Russell Wilson/Johnny Manziel mashup. But Murray looks more poised and has some cleaner mechanics, so that’s another plus. Here’s what I didn’t like. He didn’t throw at the combine. He waited until his pro day at Oklahoma, which shows me a lack of either competitiveness, or confidence. Yes, he nailed it at his pro day, but he didn’t get measured again (???) Yes, throwing at the combine only stood to deflate his stock after the small win of his measurements, but you’ve got to show me something… Some weird rumors that he didn’t interview well also surfaced but have since been refuted by coaches and G.M.s all around the league. All in all, he kept himself in play for the number one overall pick, and that’s crushing it. He’s be a perfect fit in Arizona, and they pick first…do the math.
Defensive linemen, like, all of them
If you’re in need of versatile, athletic and most of all FAST, defensive linemen, this is the draft class for you. Nick Bosa from Ohio State and Quinnen Williams from Alabama delivered on the pre-draft hype, with the former outperforming his older brother Joey in almost every test. He’s a defensive game changer on day one, as is Williams. But there’s more. Many, many more. Hybrid DE/OLB Josh Allen from Kentucky boosted his stock with an eye-opening 4.63 in the 40. Montez Sweat set the combine ablaze with a crazy 4.41 at 6’6”, 260 lb. That’s Superman stuff right there. Rashan Gary from Michigan surely didn’t hurt his stock either with a 4.58 at 6’4”,
277lb. There’s a lot to like on defense here, and teams all through the first round will have a good chance to strike gold with the right player-scheme fit.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
The enduring image of this combine is surely Ole’ Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf calling to tell his family how he did after the combine. He cried. He literally did so well that he cried. He also very likely made himself a first rounder. He was definitely on some scout’s radar, but when a 6’3” 228lb. wide receiver goes 4.33 and then over 40” in the vertical, eyes start looking closer. When that same guy equals the most bench press reps in a decade for wide receivers at the combine, you know that the guy is just racing up people’s draft boards. I’ve seen a few mock drafts that have him in the middle-to-late first round, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go a bit earlier. If his route running improves in his first few years as a pro, we could have the next Megatron on our hands.
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Before the combine, the general thought was that Fant would fall below his slightly better known TE teammate, Dustin Hockenson. But with a stronger combine (4.5 in the 40, 39.5” vertical), Fant looks ready to jump over (pun intended) his fellow Hawkeye. Fant was probably a fringe first-rounder anyway, but he’s likely to be squarely in the mix for teams focusing on offense.
Image Source: USA Today