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2017 NFL Combine: Winners, losers from Saturday in Indianapolis

John Ross. Chris Godwin. Evan Engram. Cooper Kupp.

What a day at the 2017 NFL Combine. John Ross broke a record in the most high-profile event, but it wasn’t the only awesome aspect of Saturday in Indy.

Here are the winners and losers.


John Ross, WR, Washington

#NFLTwitter erupted when John Ross broke the 40-yard dash record by running an official 4.22. Outrageous speed. If Will Fuller — who ran a 4.31 last year — can go No. 21 overall, John Ross can go Top 15.

Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

Godwin had a good season at Penn State, highlighted by an enormous nine-grab, 187-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl against USC. The former Nittany Lion wasn’t expected to blow away the competition athletically, but he did. At 6’1” and 209 pounds, he ran an 4.42 in the 40, had a solid 36” vertical, and his 4.00 time in the short shuttle drill was the fastest among all wide receivers. Stock up for Godwin.

Evan Engram, TE / WR, Ole Miss

Engram played tight end at Ole Miss, and was listed as a tight end for the combine... yet he might actually be more of a wide receiver in the NFL. He certainly has the athleticism for it. At 6’3” and 234 pounds, Engram zoomed to a 4.42 in the 40 — the best in the tight end group — and had the fourth-best vertical leap of 36”. He’ll start to get first-round buzz.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The reigning national champion quarterback had the second-fastest 40-yard-dash (4.66), and had the best day throwing to wide receivers. Everything seemed effortless for the former Clemson signal-caller.

Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Hooker recently had labrum and hernia surgery, and won’t workout tomorrow. However, he’ll leave Indianapolis happy after his weigh-in. Billed as the top free-safety prospect in this class due to his immense range, teams will love his length. At 6’1” with 33 1/4” arms, Hooker is superbly long.

Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina

Jones measured in an inch taller and 16 pounds heavier than he was listed during the season, so his on-field work would be vital. At 201 pounds, he flew to a 4.45 in the 40. His 133” broad jump was tied for the second-best among all the wideouts, and his 4.01 in the short shuttle was also the second-best at his position. Jones is a unique slot receiver prospect — he’s big but has twitchy athleticism and will enter the NFL after a super-productive collegiate career.

Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M

Is Knight bound to make a switch from quarterback to receiver in the NFL. He worked out better than many wideouts in Indy at 6’1” and 219 pounds. Knight ran 4.54 in the 40, had a 35 1/2” vertical, a 125” broad, and quick 4.14 in the short shuttle.

Jamal Adams, S, LSU

To many, Adam is the premier defensive back in this class, an almost unfairly versatile safety who covers slot receivers with ease. He wowed at his weigh-in by tipping the scales at 214 pounds. At 5’11 6/8” with 33 3/8” arms, Adams has great size and length for the safety spot.

Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado

Talk about length, Witherspoon has it in spades. With 33” arms at 6’2 6/8”, he’s similarly sized to Richard Sherman with longer arms. Teams will be interested in him as outside corner in zone schemes.

George Kittle, TE, Iowa

A sleeper in this ridiculously good tight end class, Kittle went toe-to-toe with the supremely hyped David Njoku on the field. At one pound heavier, the Iowa standout ran a faster 40-yard-dash (4.52), had a vertical just 2 1/2” inches lower and a broad jump of 132” to Njoku’s 133”.

Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP

Jones ran for 1,773 yards at a staggering 7.7 yards per carry in 2016, and he shined in Indianapolis. His 4.56 at 209 pounds wasn’t eye-popping, but the rest of his workout was exceptional. Jones had the second-fastest three-cone time of 6.82 and the third-fastest short shuttle time of 4.20. The buzz will pick up for this efficient runner.


Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

Even as a small-school guy, Kupp received a fair amount of buzz leading into the combine after a strong career at Eastern Washington. Running 4.62 with a 31” vertical at 204 pounds didn’t do him any favors.

Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech

Ford was supposed to showcase his explosiveness and speed on Saturday. Those two traits simply weren’t there. At 194, he ran 4.61. His 35 1/2” vertical wasn’t that bad though.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

While Cook’s film is among the best in the running back class, he’ll leave Indy disappointed in his workout. Many running backs decided to not participate in the three-cone or short shuttle drills. Cook did. Only two of the 16 backs to do the short shuttle had a slower time than his 4.53. The same goes for his 7.27 in the three-cone.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Kizer seemed uncomfortable during throwing sessions, misfiring on a few short throws. Beyond that, his 4.83 in the 40 wasn’t fantastic, especially for a quarterback who hit some longer runs in his collegiate career. It won’t ruin his draft stock yet he looked a tier below Watson in Indy.