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Top 10 NFL Combine Takeaways (2024 Fantasy Football)

Top 10 NFL Combine Takeaways (2024 Fantasy Football)

What’s up FantasyPros fam? I’m fantasy football analyst Andrew Erickson, here to break down my top-10 takeaways from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine for fantasy football, dynasty and early 2024 rankings.

The Underwear Olympics did not disappoint from an entertainment perspective but it helped some prospects more than others regarding their draft stock. I’ll hit on my biggest eye-openers from Indianapolis, highlighting some major risers and fallers inside the rookie and dynasty draft rankings. Note, I am limiting this to just 10 across the four positions for fantasy. Players like MarShawn Lloyd (RB – USC), Dillon Johnson (RB – Washington), Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU) and Roman Wilson (WR – Michigan) won’t get their sections as they more or less confirmed their pre-draft rankings. Lloyd, Thomas Jr. (cemented WR4 status) and Wilson all delivered while Johnson underwhelmed and is buried in my rookie RB rankings.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

2024 NFL Combine Takeaways & Surprises

Trey Benson (RB – Florida State)

During the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, Trey Benson ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at 216 pounds. His vertical jump was in the 37th percentile but his broad jump was above the 70th percentile. Overall, the sub-4.4 testing is the main highlight, given it’s at the same time at a similar weight (speed score) to former RB stud combine performers like Breece Hall and Adrian Peterson. Given Jonathan Brooks’ injury status and a one-year sample of production, Benson’s strong outing moves him to my rookie RB1 overall in the class. His 1.52 10-yard split ranked in the 90th percentile.

Jaylen Wright (RB -Tennessee) 

Jaylen Wright never took over a backfield at the college level, settling for an 11% career dominator rating. But his efficiency was off the charts during his final season at Tennessee. He finished first in the class in yards per carry (7.4), averaging the second-most yards after contact per attempt (4.35) with the fifth-highest breakaway run rate. However, it still resulted in just a 14% dominator rating. Wright may struggle to carve out a massive role at the NFL level.

Nevertheless, he has elite athleticism to be productive even in a smaller role. He blew the doors off the NFL Scouting Combine with a 40-yard dash of 4.38 seconds.

He also jumped 38″ in the vertical (87th percentile) and 134″ in the broad jump (first in the class and inside the 98th percentile). No doubt he will rise across draft boards after strong testing at 5-foot-10 1/2 while weighing 210 pounds.

Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas)

Xavier Worthy’s collegiate career at Texas was marked by electric performances and a clear demonstration of NFL-level speed and agility. He has special teams return ability, to boot, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) No.1-graded punt returner in 2023.

The next Tank Dell at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds? Sure looks like it.

Keep in mind Dell was PFF’s No.1-graded punt returner in 2022. When I turned on Worthy’s tape, I immediately thought I was looking at the next version of Marquise Brown.

Except faster.

Case in point, at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, Worthy broke the 40-yard dash time record with a 4.21 time; breaking the record previously held by John Ross.

However, it needs to be noted Worthy weighed in at a much smaller 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. He will rise in rookie rankings/average draft position (ADP) but be mindful to not chase the steam too much. We already knew this guy was fast.

Isaac Guerendo (RB – Louisville)

An underrated addition/invitee to the NFL Combine, Isaac Guerendo was way off the radar until he blazed a 4.33 40-yard dash and jumped a 41.5″ vertical/ 129″ broad jump. His workout-warrior NFL Combine performance alone will get the 6-foot, 221-pounder easily drafted with his size/speed profile.

Diving deeper into Guerendo’s profile, it’s not surprising he was so under the radar even though he was invited to test at the combine.

He never got the opportunity to break out at Wisconsin, sitting behind fellow draft-eligible running back Braelon Allen. His 9% career dominator rating pales in comparison to almost every other RB in the class. His final and lone season at Louisville, however, paints the picture of an RB who might be able to make some noise. He posted a 19% dominator rating with 11 TDs while catching 22 of his 24 targets for 234 yards (10.6 yards per reception). He split touches with incumbent starter Jawhar Jordan at Louisville. But Guerendo was more efficient on fewer carries forcing nearly the same amount of missed tackles despite 50 fewer carries than Jordan. His yards after contact per attempt ranked inside the top 20 in the nation in 2023 and the seventh-best in the class.

Keon Coleman (WR – Florida State)

Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman stands out not just for his impressive stats but for his remarkable journey in college football as a human highlight reel. Coleman’s physicality is undeniable at 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, making him a prototypical outside X receiver. His junior year performance in his first year at Florida State was noteworthy — 50 receptions, 658 receiving yards, 13. 2 yards per reception and 11 touchdowns. Good for a 31% dominator rating.

Coleman’s football career took off in his freshman year at Michigan State in 2021, where he played in seven games, securing seven receptions for 50 yards and one touchdown. But he broke out officially in his sophomore season, which saw him take a significant leap in performance with 58 catches, 798 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games. He hung a 29% dominator rating at just 19 years old.

And this was while he was competing for targets with an older, future NFL star in the making (Jayden Reed). Coleman had more catches, targets, yards and TDs than the future second-round pick despite being three years younger than Reed.

The transfer to Florida State for the 2023 season marked a new chapter for Coleman, where he continued to excel. Coleman’s proactive alpha mentality and skill at contested catches are particularly distinguished. But as we know, they don’t always translate to the next level when it comes to contested catch savants.

Ergo, Coleman’s game is not without areas for improvement. His route sharpness and run-blocking intensity could see enhancements and acceleration concerns might affect his long-speed capabilities. Separation from defensive backs at the next level will be a challenge for him to overcome.

Case in point, Coleman ran a 4.61 40-yard dash (17th percentile) at the NFL Combine, further raising question marks about his ability to separate at the next level. His vertical jump was 38″ (80th percentile) and his broad jump was 127 inches (86th percentile). He’s explosive when he can get the ball in his hands but it’s a matter of him getting the rock first…

Because he has a speed, as he was timed at 20 miles per hour in NFL Next Gen Stats running the gauntlet drill. Probably a better indicator of his true “game speed.”

If rookie dynasty drafts penalize Coleman too drastically for his slow 40 — note it’s the same time as Amon-Ra St. Brown — the other aspects of his profile are worth buying at a discount. If the only narrative surrounding Coleman is the bad 40-time and not the fact he out-produced Reed at Michigan State… I’ll take the latter to the bank.

Audric Estime (RB – Notre Dame)

Unfortunately for Audrice Estime, he ran a snail-like sluggish 40-yard dash at 4.71, not too dissimilar to former Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams‘ 4.65 40-yard dash. The Fighting Irish aren’t keen on prepping their RBs for the 40-yard dash.

However, Estime’s vertical was strong at 38″ (87th percentile) and the broad jump was 10’5″ (89th percentile), showcasing his explosiveness.

The concern with Estime is that his poor 40-yard dash hurts his draft capital. But for his player evaluation, it doesn’t make me downgrade him too substantially. I’ll likely scoop up the dip on Estime with his ADP going down due to the bad 40-time.

Still, the track record of RBs with 4.65-plus 40s is not kind and presents a risk that shouldn’t be taken on until Estime hits rookie flier territory. It would make him an outlier — not something you should bet on. Considering Estime’s draft comp by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein is Jamaal Williams… we are entering close to Estime as true plodder status. Woof.

If only Estime had followed the path of Tyjae Spears — who elected to not run the 40-yard dash last season — opting to rest his laurels on his tape and elite jumping drills.

Bucky Irving (RB – Oregon)

Bucky Irving didn’t test well — 4.55 40-yard dash — which is somewhat concerning given he is on the lighter/smaller size. His jumps were poor — last-place vertical jump at 29.5″ and a mediocre broad jump at 115 inches. His overall Relative Athletic Score (RAS) score was 19th among those who tested. Irving was a souped-up jitterbug RB archetype, which can be successful in the correct NFL systems. Draft capital will be key because the issue is he will have to rise a depth chart most likely.

Ricky Pearsall (WR – Florida) 

Ricky Pearsall turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine with string metrics across the board — 4.41 40-yard dash, 42″ vertical jump (97th percentile), 129″ broad jump, 4.05 20-yard shuttle (89th percentile) and 6.64 3-cone drill (93rd percentile).

Pearsall broke out at Arizona State in his third season with a 28% dominator rating in 2021, tallying 580 yards and four TDs. After transferring to the SEC, the 6-foot-1 and 189-pound WR continued to succeed over the next two years at Florida, with dominator ratings of 25% from 2022-2023, finishing with 963 receiving yards and four TDs in his final season as a Gator.

J.J. McCarthy (QB – Michigan) 

J.J. McCarthy ran an insane 3-cone drill in 6.82 seconds (91st percentile) and he came in much heavier than his listed weight at Michigan at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds. He was measured at 6-foot-2 and 1/2 at a whopping 219 pounds. Thick. McCarthy has asserted himself to be at least the QB4 overall in the class, with some talks that his draft stock has perhaps leaped into top-three consideration.

Ben Sinnott (TE – Kansas State) 

Ben Sinnott has been — by far — the most productive tight end in the class, aside from Brock Bowers. Produced dominator ratings of 17% and 21% the last two seasons at Kansas State, capped off by finishing third in the nation in receiving yards per game among tight ends (56 yards per game).

Sinnott cemented himself in the running for TE2 in the class with elite athleticism to match his strong production.

  • 4.68 40-yard dash (71st percentile)
  • 40″ vertical jump (1st in the class, 92nd percentile)
  • 126″ broad jump (1st in the class, 94th percentile)
  • 6.82 3-cone (1st in the class, 96th percentile)
  • 4.23 short shuttle (81st percentile)

At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Sinnott looks like a solid sleeper tight end in this draft with no “true” standouts behind Brock Bowers. There were other solid tight end NFL combine performances between Florida State’s Jaheim Bell, Penn State’s Theo Johnson and TCU’s Jared Wiley but Sinnott gained the most after his performance.

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