With the 2020 NFL Combine now in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to examine those prospects whose stock is falling after either not being able to meet certain height/weight/speed thresholds, or an inability to impress at the event due to injury. Below are some of the players who will be hoping to bounce back at their respective pro days.
A.J. Epenesa DE (Iowa)
No one familiar with Epenesa’s tape was expecting him to impress at the combine—his game based much more on technique and strength instead speed or agility. However, no one could foresee how poorly his day would go. It began with the his 40-yard dash (5.04), which is a decent time…for an offensive tackle. Then he followed that up in on-field drills that made him look stiff and rigid for a player who plans to make his hay turning the corner on offensive tackles. After that performance commentators have already begun to declare that his best fit isn’t as a full-time edge rusher, instead it might be as a 3-4 defensive end lined up at the five technique.
Laviska Shenault Jr. WR (Colorado)
This was an event designed to be dominated by players like Laviska Shenault—those players who are unrefined but still drip with massive athletic potential on tape. Unfortunately, things started poorly for Shenault and finished even worse. It began with him measuring only 6’1”, which is a slight disappointment after being listed at 6’2” on his school’s website. Then the very next day, when Shenault ran the 40-yard dash, he put up a lumbering time of 4.58. While it was later revealed that he was injured and nursing a core muscle injury, that doesn’t exactly help his stock, considering he spent most of his final year in college nursing various injuries. It looks like the former junior could see himself selected during the second day of the draft, rather than in the first round.
Colorado WR Laviska Shenault, who has been dealing with core muscle injury and inflammation of the pubic bone, will have surgery that is expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks, per league source. Despite the injury, Shenault ran a 4.55 at the combine. But with no improvement, surgery— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 29, 2020
Jake Fromm QB (Georgia)
Like Epenesa, the Bulldogs’ quarterback wasn’t expected to light Indianapolis on fire with his performance, the former junior is a precision passer who relies on anti-action and accuracy. It was still eye-opening just how weak his arm was after seeing some of the big-armed passers like Jordan Love (Utah State), Justin Herbert (Oregon), and Jacob Eason (Washington) throw the ball all over the field during drills. Combine that with a plodding 5.01-second 40-yard dash—the slowest of the quarterbacks—and it appears as though Fromm is destined to be picked during the third day of the draft.
Trey Adams OT (Washington)
The most important thing for the 6’8”, 306-lb offensive tackle from Washington was his medical checkups after sustaining a torn ACL in 2017 and a back injury in 2018. While there has been no news on those medicals, Adams didn’t help his case much in the testing or the drills. His 5.60 40-yard dash was the slowest of all linemen and he chose not to participate in the bench press at all, an event he should have dominated. There was a time when Adams was considered a lock for the first round, but numerous concerns have him falling to the middle or even late rounds.