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2020 NFL Combine: Prospects That Hurt Their Stock the Most

Mar 5, 2020

These types of articles are always the toughest to write. Every prospect is acting based on what they are being advised to do and what they believe will help them look and perform the best in front of decision-makers’ eyes. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t always come to fruition like it was originally planned. The result is a dip in the prospect’s stock.

There are so many ways that a player’s stock can be affected negatively: not partaking in workouts, bad information from agents, underwhelming workouts, and bad interviews or medical checks. These reasons show up in the five prospects ahead. With each player, we will look at their workout numbers — if they had any — and break down why their stock is falling. With only Pro Days and private workouts left to go, most of these players have a good amount of work to do to get back to where they were earlier in the draft cycle.

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Tyler Johnson (WR – Minnesota)
Combine Workout: Did Not Participate. Only on-field drills.

Tyler Johnson has had the roughest draft cycle of 2020. He started it off by pulling out of the East-West Shrine week to prepare for the Combine. Then the Combine came around, and he announced that he wouldn’t be doing any of the athletic testing. At this point, he might as well just tweet out that he is slow or nonathletic. It wouldn’t tell us anything we didn’t know from what he’s communicated through his decisions.

That said, if he does come out at his Pro Day and run a good time on a lot of scouts’ watches, then Johnson is in a spot where he might need to change agents. If he tests athletic at his Pro Day, that tells me he received pretty bad information and should have tested at least at the Combine, and if not the Combine, then the East-West Shrine Week.

Johnson has been on a steady decline in rankings throughout the draft cycle, and it’s gotten to the point where I don’t know if he can even be drafted — he already wasn’t ranked that when he started his slide. I felt he was an early day-three pick back in January. Now he is borderline undraftable based on his film, his handling of this whole process, and the message he’s sent by handling it this way.

Derrick Brown (DT – Auburn)
Combine Workout: Three Cone Drill: 8.22 seconds, 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.79 seconds

Disclaimer: I still believe that Brown is one of the best players in this draft. However, what he displayed at the Combine is worrisome. Brown’s three cone drill is the fourth-worst time in Combine history, and he was only in the 10th percentile in his 20-yard shuttle at 4.79 seconds.

On film, Brown doesn’t have a ton of weaknesses. The biggest one I would say is his agility and quick change of direction. I didn’t expect those traits would test out as some of the worst of all time, though.

The way this hurt his stock is that even though Javon Kinlaw didn’t work out, his decision closed the gap between the two. With that, if Kinlaw has a great Pro Day, I could see several teams moving him over Brown. My biggest worry for Brown is that since he doesn’t have amazing athletic traits, age may hit him harder. When he gets up there and loses some of his great natural strength and dominating power, he may not be as effective since he lacks the athleticism to fall back on.

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Jake Fromm (QB – Georgia)
Combine Workout: 40 Time: 5.01 seconds, Three Cone Drill: 7.27 seconds

Fromm’s issues at the Combine were not related to athletic testing. The film proves that Fromm is one of the lesser-gifted passers athletically, so we knew that coming in. Fromm’s issue was how he performed on the field during positional workouts.

It was evident from the start that Fromm was trying to prove his biggest weakness, arm strength, wrong. Throughout drills, he did not look comfortable because he was trying to throw the ball as hard or as far as he could on every attempt. When Fromm did that, it poorly affected his accuracy. I would have rather watched him embrace who he is and be the most accurate passer on the field that day instead of trying to have the strongest arm.

Post-Combine, it appears that Fromm has dropped behind Eason and Hurts, especially after Hurts had maybe the best performance, and he now sits around QB7 in many rankings. Thanks to the demand at the quarterback position, that should keep him in the second round, but I can see six other quarterbacks getting their name called before him at this point. Hopefully, he goes back to his accurate ways at his Pro Day, and things change for the better for him.

Trey Adams (OT – Washington)
Combine Workout: 40 Time: 5.60 seconds, Broad Jump: 7’8″ Vertical Jump: 24.5″ 

Adams had a ton of questions coming into the combine, related to both his health and athleticism. Unfortunately, medical information doesn’t really come out for the public, but just the sheer number of concerns for Adams when it comes to his health is a red flag. He tore his ACL in 2017 and then missed most of 2018 with a severe back injury.

On the field, Adams demonstrated that he doesn’t have the athletic traits to succeed consistently at the next level. It’s most likely due to his injury history and the tole it’s taken on his body. Overall, Adams had one of the worst days of testing at the Combine ever.

This has been a rough journey for Adams. Coming into 2017, he was viewed as a first-round talent. Then all the injuries came along and really derailed that. At this point, I don’t think Adams is draftable. To me, he is a priority free agent who could maybe work his way back to where he needs to be athletically to have an impact.

Cameron Dantzler (CB – Miss. State)
Combine Workout: 40 Time: 4.64 seconds 

Cameron Dantzler only performed a single timed athletic drill, and it set off alarms and red flags for many scouts and coaches. Dantzler’s Combine week started off with a poor weigh-in. He is blessed with good height and weight, but he came away with a less than impressive arm length measurement for someone his size 30 5/8″. Following that, many expected him to run a 40 in the low 4.5s. That would have been a great time for him, but instead, he finished with the second slowest time among corners at 4.64 seconds.

That is a strange workout after putting out film where he actually did a pretty good job of shutting down some of the best receivers in the SEC. A lot of time, teams would overlook a time that isn’t quite where they want it, but this is such a gap from where he was projected that teams have to take note, and it will most likely result in him slipping pretty far in a loaded corner class.

At this point, Dantzler needs to dominate his Pro Day. He needs to do every drill well and improve on the 40 time he posted at the Combine. Until then, I see Dantzler falling from a for sure second-round pick to a third-round pick at best. Athleticism is key when you are out on an island like corners are, and Dantzler appears to be less athletically gifted than anticipated.

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Mark Johnson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mark, check out his archive and follow him @MJ_NFLDraft.

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