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2019 NFL Combine Recap

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Feb 20, 2020

Each year, the NFL Scouting Combine seems to garner increased attention. It’s becoming more and more of a spectacle as time goes on, but we (NFL fans) can’t seem to get enough of it.

We love the storylines heading into the NFL Combine and watching these young men compete to elevate their draft stock. There’s seemingly always the players that come out of nowhere and rise up into 1st round mock drafts right away after the event, which makes it so intriguing to guess who that might be…

2019 had some incredible moments and some amazing takeaways were gathered in the wake of the Combine. Before we rush into the 2020 NFL Combine next week, let’s look back together over some of the best and worst performances from 2019.

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40-Yard Dash

Best Performance: Zedrick Woods (Safety)
While Andy Isabella and Mecole Hardman came out and ran blazing 4.31 and 4.33 second 40-yard dashes respectively, the fastest time belongs to Zedrick Woods out of Ole Miss. Woods surprised everyone and ran a 4.29, which was good enough to put him in the Top-15 recorded times at the Combine.

Woods went on to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars after, unfortunately, going undrafted. However, he retired suddenly last offseason and never played in a NFL game.

Honorable Mentions: D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, Darnell Savage

Worst Performance: Nate Herbig (iOL)
Nate Herbig showed up to the Combine weighing in at 335 pounds, which was near the top of the draft class when it comes to weight. While someone like Dexter Lawrence weighed more than Herbig, Lawrence ran a 5.05 40-yard dash…while Herbig ran a 5.41. This was the worst timed 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine. Herbig went on to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles after going undrafted, but has yet to appear in a NFL game.

Honorable Mentions: Greg Little, Andre James, Dalton Risner

Vertical Jump

Best Performance: Juan Thornhill (Safety)
Juan Thornhill showed up to the NFL Combine and put on an athletic show last year. While Emanuel Hall was very close to tying Thornhill’s numbers in the vertical jump, Thornhill edged him out by half an inch. Thornhill ended up jumping 44 inches, which is good enough to put him around the Top-10 for all time Combine records.

Honorable Mentions: Emanuel Hall, Ken Webster, Marvell Tell

Worst Performance: Ross Pierschbacher (OT)
Ross Pierschbacher is a big fellow, weighing at 307 pounds and clocking in at 6’4. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a great performance at the NFL Combine last year as he jumped only 22.5 inches.

This performance is currently ranked as a Top-10 worst in NFL Combine history, but yet still 3.5 inches off of Landon Turner‘s numbers in 2016. And 3 inches off of Orlando Brown‘s horrendous testing numbers in 2018. Pierschbacher ended up being selected in the 5th round by the Washington Redskins, but yet didn’t play a single snap in 2019.

Honorable Mentions: Nate Herbig, Greg Little, Albert Huggins

Bench Press

Best Performance: Dexter Lawrence (iDL)
Dexter Lawrence was an athletic freak last year. As previously mentioned, he ran a 5.05 40-yard dash at 342 pounds and then proceeded to put up 36 reps of 225 in the bench press competition. This was enough for Dave Gettleman to take notice and select Lawrence with the No. 17 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Lawrence certainly was one of the players that came into the Combine and elevated his draft stock.

Honorable Mentions: Albert Huggins, Phil Haynes, Ed Oliver

Worst Performance: Antoine Wesley (WR)
Antoine Wesley had some hype early on in the draft process last year, but that talk quickly went away after the NFL Combine. Wesley was a lean frame type of player, standing at 6’4″ and weighing 186 pounds. One of the biggest questions was whether or not he had the strength to beat defenders off the LOS. With his size, this was going to be a requirement as he was most likely going to be asked to line up as the X-receiver consistently. (The X-receiver in an offense is typically the one lined up out wide and on the line of scrimmage, which means they’re more likely to see press coverage)

Unfortunately, Wesley wasn’t able to elevate his draft stock as he put up a mere 6 reps on the bench press. Wesley signed with the Baltimore Ravens after going undrafted and is currently still on their roster.

Honorable Mentions: Jordan Miller, Hunter Renfrow, Nygwan Murray

Broad Jump

Best Performance: Emanuel Hall/Juan Thornhill (WR/Safety)
As I mentioned in my Greatest Moments in Combine History article that came out yesterday, Thornhill and Hall are tied for 2nd all-time in the broad jump competition. Each of them jumped 141 inches in 2019, which is incredible that both of them did this in the same year.

Hall signed with the Chicago Bears after going undrafted, spent some time in Tampa Bay after being released, and is now a member of the Washington Redskins. Thornhill went on to be drafted in the 2nd round by the Kansas City Chiefs and now has a Super Bowl ring to his name. Those are certainly opposite ends of the spectrum, but both are incredible athletes in their own right.

Honorable Mentions: Marvell Tell, Darius Slayton, D.K. Metcalf

Worst Performance: Nate Herbig (iOL)
Herbig didn’t have a great Combine. We don’t need to pile on anymore…

Three-Cone Drill

Best Performance: David Long (CB)
David Long was drafted in the 3rd round out of Michigan primarily based on his upside from his athletic testing at the 2019 NFL Combine. While he had potential as a CB prospect, it was his testing numbers that elevated his stock.

In the 3-cone drill, Long put up the best time out of any position with a 6.45. The next closest was Marvell Tell at 6.63, so Long had first place by a relatively wide margin.

Honorable Mentions: Alijah Holder, Julian Love, Stanley Morgan

Worst Performance: Erik McCoy (iOL)
Erik McCoy was a great draft prospect in 2019, but unfortunately struggled with the agility drill. McCoy put up a 8.28 time in the three-cone drill, which was enough to put him in last place…

McCoy went on to have a solid rookie campaign, which proves that the athletic testing numbers at the Combine are not the complete summation of a prospect. They’re all part of a puzzle that goes into figuring out each individual player and some numbers are weighted differently for specific positions.

Honorable Mentions: Nate Herbig, Yosh Nijman, Daylon Mack

20-Yard Shuttle

Best Performance: David Long (CB)
David Long finished as the best performer in the three-cone drill, so it’s only appropriate that he’d show up as the best performer in this category as well. Long finished with a 3.97 time.

Honorable Mentions: Taylor Rapp, Marvell Tell, Cody Thompson

Worst Performance: Nate Herbig
This poor man…

Honorable Mentions: Isaiah Prince, Williams Sweet, Daylon Mack

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