We’re right in the middle of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine as the weekend begins. The defensive side of the ball has already put on a show for NFL scouts and coaches. Next up, it’s the offense’s chance to turn heads.
Each year at the combine, NFL Draft hopefuls display their strengths in a variety of workouts such as the fan-favorite 40-yard dash, and bench press. Even if a prospect has a subpar collegiate season, a dominant performance at the combine could increase their stock in an instant. With so much on the line for players who haven’t even made it to the NFL yet, let’s pivot and take a look at some Buffalo Bills players who set some impressive marks during their turn at the combine.
In 2019, defensive tackle Ed Oliver ranked ninth overall in the bench press, completing 32 reps. Each week in the NFL, Oliver puts that strength on display when rushing opposing quarterbacks or trying to plug gaps to stop teams’ rushing attack. Another player for Buffalo who was equally impressive in the bench press was linebacker Matt Milano, who ranked third among all linebackers in the 2017 NFL Draft with 24 reps on the bar. Since he entered the league, Milano has exceeded expectations, and he was just rewarded with his first All-Pro selection this past season.
Switching now to the speed portion of the combine — The 10-yard split measures how fast a prospect can cover the first 10-yards of the 40-yard dash. Some scouts consider this metric very important because it has the potential to show how fast a player can get off the line of scrimmage. During the 2015 combine, wide receiver Stefon Diggs was among the best in this category. He placed fifth among all receivers with a split time of 1.53 seconds. We’ve seen Diggs countless times cook a cornerback right off the line of scrimmage, which is surely possible due to his 10-yard split time. We can’t have a discussion about speed without talking about wide receiver John Brown. After all, he is called “Smoke” for a reason. During the 2014 combine, Smoke ranked third among all prospects with a 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds.
Quarterback Josh Allen had an impressive performance at the 2018 combine. Of course when he was throwing for everyone, his arm strength was the biggest takeaway. However, when it came to the other quarterbacks there, he tested well. He finished second among QBs in the 40-yard dash, and he placed first in the broad jump and the vertical jump — what was the first chance for many to observe the athleticism he uses on the field every week.
This stroll down memory lane wouldn’t be complete without talking about cornerback Taron Johnson. This comes out of a place of love and because Taron is considered one of the best nickel corners in the league. But Johnson is most likely remember for something that he couldn’t avoid. You may recall in 2018 when Johnson got drilled in the head by a football while doing a drill. Clearly, he recovered well en route to the NFL.