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10:30pmET: To wrap up this day one (and we’ll be back at it like this tomorrow, but not SAT-SUN) of the Combine drills and times, here are some ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ from my perspective.
See you back at it 4pmET tomorrow.
Henry Ruggs – confirming he’s a 4.2s runner matches the TV show hype all day/week. It’s funny, they show Ruggs among the fastest guys of all time on the TV graphics…and the all-time list contains a bunch of suck-ass WRs who never did much or anything in the NFL. Welcome to the list, Henry!!
Chase Claypool – the scouts and TV people don’t get it now/yet, but the analytics people are going to go crazy for him. He’s going to be the poster child for the analytics crowd, and that will drag the traditional scouts to move him up higher. Not high enough. He didn’t go to Alabama or LSU or Clemson or Ohio State or Oklahoma…so that’s a problem.
Justin Jefferson – everyone loved him ONLY after the final two CFB playoff games. He’s good but was getting a real ride from doing well in games on TV that lazy analysts watched (but didn’t watch him otherwise most of the season). He ran lows 4.4s to confirm it’s OK to love him.
Jalen Hurts – Finally started getting talked up as a legit starter and ran a 4.59 40-time to help push his story. Looked good in passing drills. People are starting to wake up here.
The entire TE group except Albert Okwuegbunam flopped, mostly -- Cole Kmet had a bad three-cone with a weak/OK 40-time. Adam Trautman had a nice three-cone but was hitting a terrible 4.80 40-times. Jared Pinkney with a 4.96 40-time is basically done.
Laviska Shenault – Came in shorter than expected. Ran slower than expected. Ran his 40 in a baggy t-shirt, which was a bad look…and then he got hurt or something because he didn’t run a 2nd-time or do drills.
WR K.J. Hill – Not a sleeper, a fading away late-round Ohio State charity draft pick.
WR Jauan Johnson – ran in the 4.7s, has ACLs on his record. He’s going to fall hard now.
9:54pmET = I can’t even with the group two WR catching drills…
CeeDee Lamb may be great, but the emotional component of scouting has him oversold and sucking all the oxygen out of the room. The very first drill, a simple deep throw and catch and it elicits 2-5 minutes of discussion of how great it was and how great he is – while we see several other WRs doing the same exact thing in the background. It’s not fair to the other guys, but it is what it is and has been for 10+ years of me doing this.
People (scouts, teams, analysts, fans) make up their mind going in and they see what they want to see at the Combine in the most basic of drills.
The other WRs cannot get noticed because of all the Lamb and Ruggs talk. It’s a shame.
9:31pmET: The unofficial 40-times from WR group two
Jefferson Van Florida x x
Jennings Jauan Tennessee 4.73 4.73
Jeudy Jerry Alabama 4.46 4.52
Johnson Collin Texas x x
Johnson Juwan Oregon 4.59 4.62
Johnson Tyler Minnesota x x
Lamb CeeDee Oklahoma 4.51 4.51
Lipscomb Kalija Vanderbilt 4.58 4.58
Mack Austin Ohio St. 4.62 4.6
Mims Denzel Baylor 4.4 4.39
Mooney Darnell Tulane 4.38 4.43
Osborn K.J. Miami 4.48 4.49
Parker Aaron Rhode Island 4.57 4.62
Patmon Dezmon Washington St. 4.51 4.49
Peoples-Jones Donovan Michigan 4.56 4.48
Perry Malcolm Navy 4.63 4.65
Pittman Michael USC 4.52 4.54
Proche James SMU x x
Reagor Jalen TCU 4.47 4.5
Reed Joe Virginia 4.51 4.47
Rogers Kendrick Texas A&M 4.52 4.57
Ruggs III Henry Alabama 4.28 4.31
Shenault Jr. Laviska Colorado 4.59 x
Stewart Darrell Michigan St. x x
Swain Freddie Florida 4.46 4.5
Thomas Jeff Miami 4.46 4.51
Victor Ben Ohio St. 4.63 4.61
Watkins Quez Southern Miss 4.36 4.38
White Cody Michigan St. 4.7 4.67
9:17pmET: Not doing anything good or bad in the 40-time to help/hurt their cause in group two…
CeeDee Lamb 4.51
Jerry Jeudy 4.46
Michael Pittman 4.52
Not helping, starting to take a dive some…
Laviska Shenault 4.59
9:15pmET = Dayton TE Adam Trautman was the only TE to go sub-7.00 three cone at 6.78. That pulls him back into the top TE discussion for sure.
9:10pmET = Ruggs lived up to some hype with a 4.28 (un)40-time. He was effortless.
Claypool running 4.43 at exactly 50 pounds bigger than Ruggs should be the story, but it isn’t.
8:49pmET: Via Charley Casserly's hand-eye coordination skills, Cole McDonald ran a 4.54 40-time...the best among QBs. It means it was likely a 4.6+. We'll see when they get the official times. I want that info because I'm a little smitten with him as a deep sleeper QB prospect.
Can we get Amazon's stupid AWS machine to fix the recording devices for the Combine? Every year there is an issue. AWS can go crazy about the low odds great throws by QBs, but the lowest odds event in the NFL is the percentage chance the NFL can run the Combine without the recording device breaking down.
8:45pmET: The 40-time machine is broke down, AGAIN. Every year...
How much revenue does the NFL squeeze from us? How many commercials have I seen during this event...and we don't have a backup machine to electronic time the players IN PRIME TIME?
I don't care about freaking Charley Casserly's old hand time from the stands, they are always .05-.10 too fast.
8:29pmET: Top three official 40-times for the WRs...
4.39 = Duvernay, Gibson
4.42 = Claypool
4.43 = J Jefferson, Hightower
8:10pmET: Nice stat from NFL Network...the only Combine WR's at 6'4"+, 235+, and ran a 4.45 or better...
1) Chase Claypool
2) Calvin Johnson
Let's see if I can go 2-for-2...my top WRs in this class coming into today: (1b) Claypool, (1a) USC Michael Pittman.
Pittman will be a bit smaller, but could be faster. Let's see if he gets lit in group two. But Claypool's size with that speed, I'm likely putting Claypool back ahead of Pittman. I've been jostling them back and forth all 2020...never had Lamb-Higgins-Ruggs-Jeudy close to them.
Group One QBs and WRs still going...another 20+ minutes 'til Group Two runs.
7:53pmET: The first QB and WR group is about done. Second group should be on in 15-20 or so minutes and all their times in by 9pmET and then they'll do the drills, and day one of drills will be over.
Have I mentioned the AWS commercials with the low probability plays with calculations flying and that annoying voice over guy -- have I mentioned they are the worst? How do I know how you/AWS calculated whether a pass was 7% likely to happen/connect? What does it even mean? I see a great play and I don't wonder what the undefined percentages are of the play happening were -- I can see it was great. Please no more of these with the over-hyped, dopey voice over.
7:44pmET: Chase Claypool only jumped a 40.5" vertical...
...but he's an obvious tight end to every scout...not me.
7:33pmET: Just to be a jerk...
Where you want to see WRs bench press = 14-18 reps or better.
CeeDee Lamb = 11 bench reps
Chase Claypool = 19 bench reps
7:28pmET: WR catching drills recap...they can all catch these undefended passes well.
7:04pmET: The unofficial WR times...
4.5 4.53 Aiyuk, Brandon Arizona State
4.62 4.68 Bayless, Omar Arkansas State
x x Bowden, Lynn Kentucky
4.68 4.66 Brown, Tony Colorado
x x Cager, Lawrence Georgia
4.63 4.56 Callaway, Marquez Tennessee
4.73 4.74 Cephus, Quintez Wisconsin
4.45 4.43 Claypool, Chase Notre Dame
4.47 4.51 Cleveland, Tyrie Florida
4.46 4.46 Coulter, Isaiah Rhode Island
4.54 4.55 Davis, Gabriel Central Florida
4.55 4.55 Davis, Quartney Texas A&M
4.4 4.46 Duvernay, Devin Texas
x x Edwards, Bryan South Carolina
4.57 4.64 Finke, Chris Notre Dame
4.64 4.59 Fuller, Aaron Washington
4.6 4.62 Gandy-Golden, Antonio Liberty
4.4 4.43 Gibson, Antonio Memphis
4.48 4.48 Guidry, Stephen Mississippi St.
x x Hamler, KJ Penn St.
x x Higgins, Tee Clemson
4.44 4.53 Hightower, John Boise St.
4.6 4.62 Hill, K.J. Ohio St. (stock is falling fast)
4.61 Hodgins, Isaiah Oregon St.
4.52 Jackson, Trishton Syracuse
4.44 Jefferson, Justin LSU
6:53pmET: Antonio Gandy-Golden looks terrible off the jump on his 40-times. I am way out on him. Loved him at first look in January, but the more I've watched the more I have fallen away.
6:47pmET = I do a lot of work, and I am not perfect...but humor me, because I take this very seriously and spend a lot of time at it...
Listening to the analysts baffled at Chase Claypool because all the scouts they talked to prior (and I heard the same from people) said he was a tight end, a guy who would run 4.6+ -- now, they are like 'what was that' on Claypool running 4.43 and 4.45 times at his size. And I am like a snob thinking..."What were you looking at on Claypool before this? How could you not see he's a great WR a la Mike Evans and better?" I saw it before they ALL did. I'm not special, I'm just enjoying a job well done here.
AND THEY ARE STILL going to have Higgins, Lamb, Jeudy, and Ruggs ahead of him. Not me. Not ever this preseason.
6:40pmET = Unreal...the analysts are all talking about Justin Jefferson at 4.44 and wondering how fast Henry Ruggs is going to run...as total freak show Chase Claypool ran a 4.45 at 238 pounds and RB/WR Antonio Gibson went 4.40 flat at 220+ pounds and no one hardly blinked...all in a hurry to get back to chirping about what 188 pound soaking wet Ruggs might run. We've been doing the Combine as a major event for years now...and the coverage doesn't get any better. Thank God, or I wouldn't have a chance to have a voice in this industry.
6:25pmET = Well, I tried to keep Chase Claypool a secret...but a 4.45 40-time at 238 pounds -- secret no more. I don't care if Ruggs runs a 4.25...what Claypool did at 238 pounds is like I said = he's a freak show.
6:13pmET = QB running (1st half of QB group, the 1st half of WR group goes next...2nd groups by alphabetical cut off go later tonight)
Jalen Hurts hit 4.59 on his 2nd-attempt (4.64 on his 1st)...silly but critical for some that he keeps that 4.59 as official when they announce it.
Herbert hit 4.69 on his 2nd-attempt (4.71 on 1st)
6:00pmET = QBs about to run.
I can't wait to see Jalen Hurts...he runs 4.5s or better, he starts to have a chance to be drafted as a starter.
My sleeper runner for a 4.65 or better...Cole McDonald...I'm hoping better. If he beats 4.6, he's my next deeper QB scouting report. He's more talented than he's being given credit.
5:40pmET = Looks like the TEs are done. Albert O. is your new 'buzz' TE. I made some Noah Fant comps last year but I didn't think he was as fast. Albert O. 'wins' and Cole Kmet held serve with the people already in love with him.
5:27pmET = I can tell no one cares about the TE catching drills because everyone is turned away talking to other people, and the TV coverage goes to Tom Brady free agent talk. There's a lot of Tom Brady talk in Indy. I think there is a hysteria about Brady to Tennessee that is fun to discuss but I hold to the Patriots not letting him go/Brady not leaving.
If Brady does go, it means the Patriots didn't try...which means Belichick was moving on, on purpose -- and that takes a lot of ___ to do. I also cannot believe Jarrett Stidham is going to be the Week 1 starter...but then who wants to be the QB to follow Brady, among free agents?
5:13pmET: Official top three 40-times for TEs...
4.49 = Albert O.
4.66 = Brycen Hopkins
4.66 = Stv. Sullivan
5:05pmET = The catching gauntlet drills, some observations (for what it is worth...not much in this drill)
Stephen Sullivan is drawing intrigue as a WR/TE type, but he gaffed the last three throws at him. His hands did not 'impress' first go round but clean the second go round.
Albert O. looked graceful and didn't drop anything both times through. He has WON the TE group going away.
Mitchell Wilcox looked so bad in the gauntlet his agent should call the XFL right now and BEG. Probably the worst gauntlet drill I've ever seen from anyone in my 10 years.
4:52pmET = Watching new drills for the TEs...
-- Over-the-shoulder deep ball catching...really not 'telling'
-- Blocking up against a high-tech sled and not a person with a bag. Good to see some core strength, I guess...or more guys who can't move the sled or someone who blows it back like it's not there.
TE 40-times, 1st and 2nd attempts/unofficial...
Asiasi, Devin UCLA 4.80 4.74
Breeland, Jacob Oregon
Bryant, Harrison Florida Atlantic 4.74
Bryant, Hunter Washington 4.75 4.77
Deguara, Josiah Cincinnati 4.73 4.74
Hopkins, Brycen Purdue 4.67 4.75
Keene, Dalton Virginia Tech 4.73 4.72
Kmet, Cole Notre Dame 4.70 4.71
McKeon, Sean Michigan
Moss, Thaddeus LSU
O’Grady, C.J. Arkansas 4.81 4.83
Okwuegbunam, Albert Missouri 4.49 4.5
Parkinson, Colby Stanford 4.78 4.84
Pinkney, Jared Vanderbilt 5.00 4.96
Sullivan, Stephen LSU 4.66 4.67
Taumoepeau, Charlie Portland St. 4.75 4.79
Trautman, Adam Dayton 4.79 4.8
Wilcox, Mitchell South Florida 4.88 4.95
Woerner, Charlie Georgia 4.79 4.81
Wood-Anderson, Dom Tennessee 4.94 4.92
4:31pmET = Albert Okwuegbunam ran a 4.50 on his 2nd run following up a 4.49...he's made huge money here, and now goes on to fight Cole Kmet for the consensus top TE in 2020. He was already my #1...so, I'm all good.
Winning TEs from the 40-time...Okwuegbunam, Brycen Hopkins and Kmet
Losers from 40-time...Jared Pinkney died, big-time. C.J. O'Grady with two 4.8+'s lost his 'sleeper' hopes. I think Thaddeus Moss is hiding because he'd get exposed here and Team Moss knows this better than any, so he is skipping out on everything (correction: he has a slightly broken foot, my bad)
4:22pmET = I wonder what the record is for NFL Network commercials interrupting these guys running their 40 times? Whatever it is...2020 breaks the record already. We see 3-4-5 guys run...and then commercials for the next 10 runners. It's ridiculous.
4:17pmET: One of my top TEs just launched and the other died...
Albert Okwuegbunam -- 4.49 40-time, unofficial...if true/holds or close...he's a HUGE winner today.
Jared Pinkney -- 5.00 flat, good bye.
4:08pmET: Tight ends getting ready to run...