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Saturday, March 2, 2019

NFL Combine Day Two: Speed Demons

By Steven Weldon

After the first day of the NFL Combine gave us a glimpse of the players attempting the ground-and-pound meat of a pro offense, the second day brought us the money-makers. Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends were set to show off their talents, and *phew* did they ever.

The most impressive athlete of the day was wide receiver DK Metcalf, of Ole Miss. Metcalf posted top-five numbers for the entire day in the 40-yard dash, posting a 4.33 second time. He also tied for the top spot in the bench press, with 27 repetitions, and his vertical leap measured 40.5 inches. This speed, combined with his strength and the ability to jump over a child only cements his status as Mel Kiper Jr.'s number 2 overall wide receiver.

A wide receiver that I have been watching this past college season was N'Keal Harry, of Arizona State. I was impressed with his size and ability to make tough catches from a reasonably inconsistent quarterback on a very inconsistent (albeit above average) squad. Harry displayed his strength, tying Metcalf with 27 repetitions on the bench, but he does not have the speed comparable to Metcalf. He is still a starting-quality receiver, and on some mock drafts, he is as high as the 16th pick.

No wide receiver is anything without a quarterback, and we got to see what the next class has to offer.
Kyler Murray, of Oklahomaelected to not work out and may do a pro day at Oklahoma to display his abilities, but as we found out from his interview a month ago on The Dan Patrick Show, he doesn't even know when that will be. One of the projected top-ten picks, Dwayne Haskins, of Ohio State, participated in the combine. His 40-yard dash time of 5.04 was unimpressive, but he has the physical tools to succeed at the next level. A fast quarterback is a nice bonus to have, but it's not the main focus of their skill. Trace McSorely, of Penn State, was the fastest quarterback at a 4.57 40-time, but his physical frame and other scouting points have him pegged as a possible backup.

An excellent offense isn't much without a talented tight end, and it seems this draft has a few. Iowa products T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant displayed excellent metrics, both running 40-times under 4.7 seconds, and both able to vertically jump at least 37 inches. Fant had more to prove, as he is not projected to be selected in the first round, as Hockenson could go as high as the mid-20s in the first round.

There are two more days to go of the NFL Combine with the most talented players who have declared set to participate. The 2019 NFL Draft's strength is in the defensive side of the ball, with edge rushers/defensive ends being the most talented. They will test their athleticism on Sunday with other defensive linemen and linebackers.

Also, special note; I will likely be posting a video of myself going through the combine activities as soon as I can.

Watch the NFL Combine on NFL Network, Sunday at 7 AM PST.

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