It’s time for the 2020 NFL Combine’s first set of on-field workouts! Today we’ll see wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks performing athleticism tests and on-field skill drills. New this year is a schedule change, pushing the events to start closer to prime time. Here are the leading headlines for the prospects working out today:
The top story for the day is a battle for the fastest receiver in the arena. The betting favorite is Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, a speedster who’s aiming to approach John Ross’s Combine record.
His main challenger? TCU’s Jalen Reagor, who also boasts a sub-4.3 40-yard dash and notched two punt-return touchdowns this year.
That’s not to say that others couldn’t surprise and claim the crown. Other contenders include Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State), Quartney Davis (Texas A&M), and Jerry Jeudy (Alabama).
Separating the tall targets
Every year we stand in awe at the tantalizing tallness of the “catch radius” receivers in the draft—only to see many of those players fizzle into practice-squad candidates when their athletic limitations are made apparent.
The Combine is one locale where the great sort takes place. Out of the 6’4” receivers, who will look like a pro athlete, and who will look like a tight end conversion project?
Tee Higgins (Clemson) leads the pack, hoping to prove he should be the first receiver taken in the draft. But other draft contenders include Michael Pittman Jr. (USC), Collin Johnson (Texas), Denzel Mims (Baylor), Jauan Jennings (Tennessee), Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty), Juwan Johnson (Oregon), and Chase Claypool (Notre Dame)—who’s already open to a TE transition.
Joe Burrow (LSU) plans to sit out the on-field drills and Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) should be expected to do the same, recovering from hip surgery. That opens the door for a series of second-tier quarterbacks to show their skills to team officials. Justin Herbert (Oregon) leads that group, but Jacob Eason (Washington), Jordan Love (Utah State), and Jake Fromm (Georgia) should each have opportunities to show off their athleticism and throwing range.
Tight end tiers
After last year’s strong tight end class, led by first rounders T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, this year’s group feels a bit disappointing. But the Combine is a suitable place for any of them to stand out and make a case for an early selection. Who do you think will separate from the pack? Brycen Hopkins (Purdue)? Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)? Cole Kmet (Notre Dame)?
The workouts begin at 4:00 pm EST, and are televised exclusively on the NFL Network. They can also be viewed through the NFL and NFL Network apps and through NFL.com, but you may need to sign into your TV provider’s account to watch.
For anyone tuned into the workouts, consider this your open thread to discuss the events or NFL Draft prospects as a whole. Fire away!