The 2019 NFL Combine starts this Tuesday, Feb. 26, and runs until March 4. During the Combine, players at every position will look to increase their NFL Draft position. Although the draft is heavy on defensive players, skill position players are the ones who could really help their draft positions during the NFL Combine.
Defensive players like Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Ohio State DE Nick Bosa will be drafted in the Top 10, heck, the Top 5, no matter what. They’d have to run a 7.2 40-yard dash to get knocked out of the Top 10.
But, quarterbacks like Dwayne Haskins, another Ohio State product, and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray from Oklahoma can move up in Round 1 and actually grab the top spot. The difference between a signing bonus as a Top 5 pick in Round 1 and just a pick is tremendous.
Check out 3 players at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver who could climb into the Top 5 with a great NFL Combine. And don’t forget to check out the latest NFL Combine odds before placing your bets.
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Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
He’s got something that Kyler Murray doesn’t have, height and pocket passing ability. Haskins is 6’ 3” and weights 220 lbs. He was sensational running Urban Meyer’s last offense at Ohio State University, completing 70% of his passes, throwing for 54 touchdowns, and tossing only 9 picks.
Haskins can play in the pocket. Although quarterbacks like Murray are hot right now, everybody wants the next Russell Wilson, pocket-passers like Haskins are hard to find. On the right team, he could be a successful 15 year starter.
All Haskins needs to do to be the number one pick is prove he can make the NFL throws. He’ll do that at the Combine.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
For the second season in a row an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy. Kyler Murray, who said he was playing baseball with the Oakland Athletics before winning the Heisman, has excellent quarterback skills. However, he’s on the short side, only 5’ 10”, and weighs less than 200 lbs.
Murray’s projected to be anywhere from a Top 10 pick to a pick late in Round 1. He said he’s committed to football. So, that’s great. But, he must not only show he can make all the necessary pro football throws, but unlike Haskins, he must also prove he’s got the ability to see over blockers.
That’s going to be hard to prove at the NFL Combine. Murray must be exceptional to get over the lack of measurables and leapfrog Haskins as the top quarterback in the NFL Draft.
Will Grier, West Virginia
Grier played well in West Virginia’s offense. There are questions regarding his character. While he should have a decent NFL Combine, he must handle himself professionally enough to sneak into Round 1. The guess here is that Grier, who has fight in him like few quarterbacks, should handle himself just fine during interviews.
Will could definitely improve his draft position if he not only makes all the throws, but provides non-rehearsed, natural answers during the interview process.
Josh Jacobs, Alabama
He’s already listed as the top running back prospect on many NFL Draft Boards even though he didn’t start for the Crimson Tide. The reason NFL teams are salivating is because he’s got the perfect combination of speed, power, and cutback ability to run inside or outside. He can also catch the football as well, if not better, than any running back in this year’s Draft.
Jacobs should have a decent NFL Combine. Teams don’t draft running backs first anymore, but he could go second the way Saquon Barkley did in 2018. If he has a bad Combine, he’ll fall into Round 2, or, maybe, even Round 3 because he doesn’t have the breadth of work that Saquon had going into the 2018 NFL Draft.
Elijah Holyfield, Georgia
Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield’s son, Elijah rushed for 1018 yards and scored 7 touchdowns last season. He never got more than 20 carries in any game, though. That shows that he’s got talent. Holyfield is compact, 5’ 11” and 215 lbs. He’s fast as well. Definitely pay attention to his shuttle run during the Combine. If he leaves the Combine with the best shuttle run, he could leapfrog those running backs ahead of him and end up the second RB taken in the Draft after Jacobs.
Damien Harris, Alabama
Bama’s starter on offense this season, Harris isn’t as highly-regarded as Jacobs. He’s been Alabama’s workhorse back 3 years in a row, though. Even against Clemson in the National Championship loss, Harris played well, rushing for 57 yards on 11 carries, a 5.2 per carry average, and scoring 2 touchdowns.
Harris is likely a late Round 2 to mid-Round 3 pick. With a great Combine, he could jump to the early part of Round 2. He’d have to really wow everyone to get into Round 1.
D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
6’ 4” and 230 lbs., Metcalf is this year’s closest version to Calvin Johnson that we’re going to find. He only caught 26 passes in 7 games played for 569 yards and 5 TDs this season. Right now, most feel he’s a 15th to 32nd Round 1 pick. Because he didn’t produce that much his sophomore year at Ole Miss, there’s a chance he could jump into the Top 10 on Draft Day with an awesome NFL Combine performance. If he fails to impress at the Combine, he could fall to Round 2. Just because he’s got the measurables, it doesn’t mean he has what it takes to be a successful wide receiver in the NFL.
He’s faster, stronger, and much bigger than Julian Edelman and Edelman was this year’s Super Bowl MVP. Metcalf has a lot riding on his Combine performance. The prediction here is that he does well.
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Brown’s only 5’ 10, 168. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with sure hands. However, he got hurt in the Big 12 Championship and didn’t play in the College Football Playoff. Brown could move up late in Round 1, where’s he projected to go, to around 10 or 15 with an excellent Combine.
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
Although Metcalf and Brown are ahead of Harry on most boards, the Arizona State wide receiver could leapfrog both those guys and end up he first wide receiver taken in the NFL Draft. All Harry must do is impress during the NFL Combine.
He’s 6’ 4” and weighs 215 lbs. If he shows up to the Combine having gained 10 to 15 pounds, scouts will automatically start to drool. Then, if he catches everything thrown his way, he should become one of the top prospects out of the Combine.
Harry, like Haskins and Jacobs, could improve his NFL Draft position. If he shows his true talents during the NFL Combine, he might move up the board and become the first wide receiver taken.