12 NFL Combine Winners (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Mar 5, 2019

D.K. Metcalf was one of the clear winners of the NFL Combine

Just like that, the 2019 NFL Combine has come and gone. Just as in years’ past, the 2019 Combine proved to be a great source of entertainment and an interesting look at the nation’s top prospects prior to the NFL Draft. The evaluation process will continue, but Big Boards and player outlooks have most assuredly shifted following the Combine. There were measurements that may have turned heads and jaw-dropping performances in the drills that really stood out.

For a full list of measurements and results for each and every participant in this year’s Combine, be sure to check out our handy spreadsheet: NFL Combine Results Per Position.

Which players made the biggest splashes? Which players propelled themselves up Big Boards and improved their draft capital? Here are a few who should hear their name called in the Draft much sooner than previously expected following the Combine.

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D.K. Metcalf (WR – Ole Miss)
Metcalf made headlines when a shirtless photo of him went viral shortly before the Combine. Metcalf’s physique raised concerns among many that he wouldn’t be able to run quickly or fluidly with so much muscle, but those concerns were extinguished after Metcalf burned the competition with a 4.3 40-yard dash time. His other drill results and measurements are eye-popping too. Comparisons to perennial Pro-Bowler Julio Jones seem well-warranted, but Metcalf comes in just a bit stronger and faster with some extra hops. Check out how to the two receivers’ Combines stacked up:

Player Height Weight Hand Arm 40-Time Vertical Jump Broad Jump Bench Press
Julio Jones (2011 – 6th pick) 6’3 220 9 6/8″ 33 6/8″ 4.34 38.5″ 135″ 17
D.K. Metcalf (2019 – ?) 6’3 228 9 7/8″ 34 7/8″ 4.33 40.5″ 134″ 27

 
Metcalf has always been the higher-upside player of he and Ole Miss teammate A.J. Brown, but Brown’s dominant production in college and Metcalf’s injuries overshadowed Metcalf’s pure talent. It now looks like the gap between the two has swung in Metcalf’s favor. Strongly considered a first-rounder already, Metcalf’s Combine may well have vaulted him into the top-10.

Kyler Murray (QB – Oklahoma)
Murray’s biggest question marks heading into the Combine came in regards to his size. Listed between 5’8 – 5’10 and 180-190 lbs. before the Combine, his official measurements came in at 5’10 and 207. I don’t believe that the extra inch or inch and a half makes a world of difference, and there’s absolutely no way Murray comes into camp at 207 much less plays any actual games at that weight. The skill-set is undeniable, but a guy who has played most of his football at 185 lbs. won’t last in the NFL. I’m not an NFL GM, though, and these measurements certainly carried a lot of gravity in Murray’s draft stock. I’ve heard the rumors too many times and from enough sources to believe that Murray being selected first overall by the Cardinals is a real possibility. His selection in the top-10 seems extremely plausible too, and QB-needy teams outside of that range may trade up to grab him. The Murray hype is real.

Quinnen Williams (DT – Alabama)
Williams is widely regarded as the best DT (and for good reason) in this year’s draft class because of his enormous size, relentless motor, and ability to keep his feet moving and plow through blockers at will. At 6’3/302, he ran a 4.83 40 — the fastest time for a player over 300 lbs. since 2012 (Jaye Howard) and the fourth-fastest time for a player of that size in Combine history. Williams’ play in college (71 total tackles, 19.5 TFL, 8.0 sacks in 2018) made the case for him to be deserving of the number-one overall selection in the Draft, and his excellent Combine performance should make him an even stronger candidate for that honor.

Montez Sweat (EDGE – Mississippi State)
Sweat has seen his stock rise rapidly since the close of the 2018 NCAAF season, and his outlook after the Combine is sky-high. Sweat set a Combine record among defensive linemen with a blazing 4.41 40-yard dash time — even more incredible considering his height and weight make him one of the tallest and heaviest edge-rushers in this class. Sweat was a beast at Mississippi State over his final two years with the team, racking up 101.0 total tackles, 30.0 tackles for loss, and 22.5 sacks. With plenty of NFL teams in need of his pass-rushing services, a top-10 selection for Sweat is certainly in play.

Parris Campbell (WR – Ohio State)
Campbell blew past nearly every other player at the Combine, posting a 4.31 40 time — tied with Andy Isabella for the fastest at this year’s event among receivers. Campbell finished out his career with the Buckeyes in style, posting a 90-1,063-12 line in his final season with Ohio State. At 6’0/205, he doesn’t possess elite size for an NFL receiver, but he’s certainly not a shrimp. He’s got the skills to make an impact at the next level, and his unbelievable speed will certainly make GMs give him a second look while going through their evaluation processes.

Andy Isabella (WR – UMass)
Isabella led the nation in receiving in 2018 with 1,698 yards on 102 receptions. His final three years at UMass saw the slot receiver blow up for an incredible 229-3,519-30 line in which he averaged nearly 80 receptions, 1,200 yards, and 10 TDs per season. He’s drawn comparisons to Danny Amendola because of his diminutive stature and quick feet, but Isabella is the much faster player. Slot receivers are a valuable commodity in the NFL today, and Isabella certainly boosted his stock with his awesome 4.31 40 time, which tied Parris Campbell for the Combine lead at the position.

Justice Hill (RB – Oklahoma State)
Hill had a tremendous Combine, pacing all RBs in 40 time (4.41), vertical jump (40″), and broad jump (130″). His size (5’9/198) is still a concern, but Hill’s athleticism is undeniable. Although he cut his Combine short due to a hamstring injury he suffered running the 40, Hill showed enough to boost his stock in April.

Noah Fant (TE – Iowa)
Fant was another player who impressed with his 40 time, running an official 4.50 — fastest among TEs. At 6’4/249, his time was spectacular for a player of his size. He also led the TE group in the vertical and broad jumps at 39.5″ and 127.0″ respectively. Widely considered a first-round selection, Fant most likely solidified his place on opening night of the Draft after participating at the Combine.

Garrett Bradbury (C – N.C. State)
Bradbury had a tremendous Combine, and he’s probably guaranteed himself a selection in the first round of the Draft. A team that jumps immediately to mind for his services is the Carolina Panthers who lost center Ryan Kalil to retirement following the 2018 season. Bradbury ran a 4.92 at the Combine which was the third-fastest among offensive linemen. His three-cone time of 7.41 led offensive lineman, his 4.53 time on the 20-yard shuttle was the fourth-quickest at his position, and his 34 reps on the bench press were second-most. Bradbury possesses unique speed and strength as well as quick footwork and fluid movement, all of which were on display at the Combine. Expect to hear his name called in the first round of this year’s draft.

Tyree Jackson (QB – Buffalo)
Jackson is a physically-unique QB prospect, measuring in at 6’7/249 — the size of many linemen. Jackson also has a rocket arm which he put on display at the Combine, and he has a similar physical makeup to Cam Newton (6’5/245). Despite his size, Jackson is incredibly fast, running a 4.59 40 — second best among QBs. His 34.5″ vertical and 120.0″ broad jump were tops at the position. His awesome physical attributes and impressive Combine performance should add a lot of buzz to his name come Draft time.

Alex Barnes (RB – Kansas State)
Barnes had a productive college career at Kansas State, totaling 2,616 rushing yards and 25 rushing TDs on 5.7 yards per carry. He has not, however, been a highly-touted NFL prospect. His lack of recognition has surely changed after a remarkable Combine in which Barnes put up 34 reps on the bench press, which was the most of any RB. His vertical and broad jumps also ranked in the top five at his position. Barnes’ size (6’0/220) makes him one of the biggest backs in this year’s class, and his strength and speed make him a very interesting prospect. Expect him to have garnered a lot of attention from scouts at the Combine.

Iosua Opeta (OT – Weber State)
Opeta made a name for himself at the Combine after flying largely under-the-radar at Weber State. He ran a 5.02 40, which was fifth-best among offensive lineman, and his 33″ vertical was impressive. His 39 reps on the bench also paced the O-linemen and were the second-most in Combine history at the position. Opeta’s hand size (9 7/8″) and arm length (33 2/8″) will be assets to him at the next level. The relatively unknown Opeta played both guard and tackle in college, and his draft stock is sure to have risen dramatically after the 2019 Combine.

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Zachary Hanshew is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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