This year’s wide receiver and tight end class is filled with athletic talents from round one through the late rounds, and they demonstrated their abilities Saturday at the NFL Combine. Multiple players had days to remember, and players billed as elite athletes backed up those words. Here’s who stood out from the day:
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Fant’s day may have been overshadowed by D.K. Metcalf’s forty time, but his performance was more dominant overall. He had a 4.50 forty (first among TEs), 20 bench-press reps (sixth), 39.5” vertical (first), 127” broad jump (first), 6.81 three-cone drill (first), 4.22 short shuttle (third), and 11.49 long shuttle (first). The 6’4” 249 lb tight end is an elite athlete, no doubt about it.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
This year’s wide receiver class features more track stars than we’ve seen in the past three years combined, and the most impressive was the 6’2”, 228 lb Metcalf. He burned up the track with a 4.33 forty-yard dash, and both his broad jump and vertical leap were in elite territory as well. The only downside: a pedestrian three-cone drill and short shuttle, perhaps indicative of a body trained for explosive energy instead of flexibility.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Hockenson had plenty to live up to, with the young man anointed as the top tight end in the class once he declared for the draft. He didn’t reach Fant’s sky-high results, but hung tight with him in many drills. With a 4.70 forty-yard dash (seventh among TEs), 37.5” vertical (second), 123” broad jump (second), 7.02 three-cone drill (second), 4.18 short shuttle (second), and 11.55 long shuttle (second), Hockenson displayed top-tier athleticism in his own right.
Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame
If there was a breakout athlete from this year’s Combine, it may have been Boykin. The senior ran a 4.42 forty-yard dash (ninth among WRs), had an elite 43.5” vertical leap (t-1st), a 140” broad jump (second), a 6.77 three-cone drill (first), and a 4.07 short shuttle (third). He did all this after weighing in at 6’4”, 220 pounds. Boykin doesn’t have much in the way of career production, but that athleticism should make teams stand up and take notice.
Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
The 6’2” 201 lb Hall is one of the best deep threats in this draft class, making Drew Lock better whenever he was on the field. His explosion was in full display on Saturday, with a 4.39 forty-yard dash (t-sixth among WRs), a 43.5” vertical leap (t-1st), and a 141” broad jump (first).
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Anyone who watched Ohio State this year knew how dangerous Campbell could be, and his elite athleticism was one of the highlights of the day. He tied for the fastest forty-yard dash with 4.31 seconds, had a 40” vertical (fifth among receivers), a 135” broad jump (t-third), and a 4.03 short shuttle (t-first).
Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
The senior Moreau wore LSU’s vaunted #18 jersey, but the team criminally underused him on the field. His athleticism was one of the highlights from the tight end group. Moreau had a 4.66 forty-yard dash (sixth among TEs), 22 bench press reps (t-second), a 36.5” vertical (third), a 10’1” broad jump (fourth), a 7.16 three-cone drill (seventh), a 4.11 short shuttle (first), and an 11.81 long shuttle (fourth).