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Prospects with High Potential Despite Poor Combine (2020 NFL Draft)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 4, 2020

Don’t let Quintez Cephus’ 40-yard dash turn you off him as a player

Every year, there are players who struggle at the Combine and get knocked down draft boards, only to shine once they get into the NFL. The truth about the Combine is that it’s just a measuring stick for athleticism. There are plenty of athletic individuals who don’t have the mental capacity to fully comprehend and understand the game of football.

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While it’s good to see players alongside their peers, the film you’ve watched up until the Combine should be much more leaned on that what measurements they just provided. The players listed here are those who may have moved down draft boards in order for others to move up. I’m here to remind you not to overreact. They’re still high-potential players that teams may now get at a discount.

Quintez Cephus (WR – Wisconsin)
We knew that Cephus wasn’t going to be a great 40-yard dash prospect, though when he turned in a 4.73-second time, it surely affected his draft stock. It’s reminiscent to Auden Tate two years ago, who ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash and fell into the seventh-round. Because of that, he didn’t get an opportunity to play right away. We saw what he was capable of last year when the injuries mounted. Cephus is still a baller who has high potential to succeed if given the opportunity.

Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
There were a lot of draft analysts disappointed with Reagor’s time of 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but let me ask something: When did we start considering someone with 4.4 speed not fast enough? Reagor put on weight for the Combine and maybe he overdid it, though his burst scores were through the roof as he jumped out of the building with a 42-inch vertical and 138-inch broad jump. He’s still an elite prospect despite the “disappointing” 40 time.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU)
While watching Edwards-Helaire on film, I described him as a running back that absolutely matters, as he’s as elusive as they come. Unfortunately, that didn’t show up in his 40 time. While some teams ignore that and understand why the drill is overrated, some absolutely want to see a back with speed, particularly one who is of the smaller variety, like Edwards-Helaire. If he falls outside the top two rounds of the draft, someone will be stealing a great running back.

Zack Moss (RB – Utah)
When competing with your peers, you don’t want to be the worst at anything. Granted, there are things that may not be your strong suit, but when Moss finished with the fourth-worst 40-time among running backs, the alarms started to sound. Moss is far from a speed player and makes his yardage with perseverance, which has led to injuries throughout his college career. He’s a grinder and one some team will love to bang out yardage while running the clock, though he’s going to come cheaper after the Combine.

Jared Pinkney (TE – Vanderbilt)
This is not a particularly strong tight end class, which means Pinkney may not be shoved down draft boards as much as he would’ve in last year’s class after he ran a 4.96-second 40-yard dash. He was never going to do well in the 40, and though you never want to see a tight end near that five-second mark, Pinkney is still a force to be reckoned with when the ball comes his way. If he finds a team that wants to use him in-line and in the red zone, he could still provide value down the road.

Salvon Ahmed (RB – Washington)
He’s someone who was trying to fight his way up draft boards as someone who could be involved as a timeshare running back and be used specifically on third downs. At 5-foot-11 and 197 pounds, he was surely expected to run much faster than a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, but that doesn’t erase the fact that he can line-up out wide and run routes as a receiver, or that he displays patience in third-and-long scenarios. He should still have an opportunity to find a taker who’ll implement him on third downs.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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