Dynasty Watch: Post-Combine Rookie Top 36
Dynasty Watch: Post-Combine Rookie Top 36

This article is part of our Dynasty Watch series.

Alright. The quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends are done running at the combine. Here is my initial adjustment in response.

1. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi* (6-3, 228)

What was Metcalf thinking running the three-cone and 20-yard shuttle? If he had just skipped them you would have Cardinals fans screaming for him at the first overall pick. Since he ran them and logged a truly brutal 7.38 three cone and 4.5-second 20-yard shuttle, though, he significantly undermined the otherwise insane 4.33-second 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical, and 134-broad jump he posted. Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon, and Mike Williams are recent examples of big wideouts who skipped agility testing entirely, and you have to figure on some level they skipped them because it wasn't in their interest to run them. Good times in those tests would be in their interest, though. If Metcalf skips those tests not a single person is questioning him right now, so I think I have to acknowledge the concern it invites while otherwise deferring to his speed and explosion tests since we have a proven precedent of size/speed freak wideouts leaving their agility variables blank and dominating the NFL anyway. With that said, I can't blame anyone for looking at the bad agility testing and N/A on his college production and fearing outcomes like Jonathan Baldwin or Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Projected round: 1 (Top 15)
Comparison: Josh Gordon


2. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi* (6-1, 226)

Brown's combine numbers don't stand out, and I still think he'd help himself by dropping a few pounds, but a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 226 pounds is more than good enough, which goes the same for his vertical jump (36.5 inches) and broad jump (120 inches). When you have production great as his, those numbers are good enough to tie everything up. I'm still a tad unnerved by the fact that I can't find a comparison I feel comfortable with – I don't see the Anquan Boldin comparison that is understandably popular with him – but by now I'm mostly willing to accept that Brown might just be the first of his type.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: Quincy Enunwa


3. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State* (6-2, 228)

Harry checked in 15 pounds heavier than expected and then posted numbers that would be adequate or even strong at the prior listed weight, finishing with a 4.53-second 40, 38.5-inch vertical, and 122-inch broad jump. We're officially past the point of Don't Overthink It with Harry – he's good.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: Allen Robinson


4. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama (5-10, 216)

I generally think Harris is a bit overlooked, and while a 4.57-second 40-yard dash won't change that any I think it checks the box, especially since it comes with a 37-inch vertical and 121-inch broad jump.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: Sony Michel


5. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama* (5-10, 220)

Jacobs didn't participate in combine testing, and after how badly the rest of the class tested he could probably go in the third round even if he doesn't run at all. But he'll presumably do fine for himself at his pro day workout.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: N/A


6. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 205)

Campbell's production is killer but I didn't see much on tape in the way of varied skill set – they pretty much handed him the ball on primitive short routes and that 4.31 speed did the rest. Despite that reservation, I think you have to defer to athletic tools like these so long as the prospect in question isn't over-aged, and even as a fifth-year senior Campbell is not yet 22. He reminds me of D.J. Moore in that sense, though Moore's exact playing style is surely different. I think there's risk here in the sense that Campbell might be underdeveloped, but if you're young enough and athletic enough you're more likely to make those developmental gains. If you're a Campbell skeptic you can still sell yourself that he's the next Chad Jackson or some such thing, but Campbell is objectively dissimilar from most failed prospects just on the basis of that 4.31, 40-inch vertical, 135-inch broad jump, and 4.03-second 20-yard shuttle.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: N/A


7. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri (6-2, 201)

I so badly wanted to rank all of Hall, Arcega-Whiteside, and Hardman ahead of Campbell just because I see in them past successful NFL players while I still can't think of a comparison for Campbell, but I let Campbell's unmatched athleticism serve as the tiebreaker for now. With that said, Hall is a freak in his own right and I might get the courage to rank him higher closer to the draft.

With a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, 43.5-inch vertical, and a combine wide receiver record 141-inch broad jump, Hall is barely comparable himself, and unlike Campbell, Hall has a history of running downfield routes with success. Hall never got much mainstream hype and people will mistakenly call him a workout warrior, probably comparing him to Chris Conley, but that would be a mistake. Hall is much more similar to someone like Mike Wallace or Will Fuller.

Projected round: 2
Comparison: Mike Wallace


8. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford (6-2, 225)

Arcega-Whiteside didn't participate in combine testing, but his tape and production are brilliant and I'll defer to those for now.

Projected round: 2
Comparison: T.J. Houshmandzadeh


9. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia* (5-10, 187)

I'm so glad me and John didn't let the haters get to us. Hardman is looking great after running a 4.33-second 40-yard dash.

Projected round: 2
Comparison: Percy Harvin


10. Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts (5-9, 186)

Isabella beat Denzel Ward in a 200m dash in high school and matched his exact time with a 4.31-second 40, giving him a safe projection as an NFL receiver who can pose a dangerous downfield threat from the slot. It's reasonable to compare him to T.Y. Hilton at this point.

Projected round: 2
Comparison: T.Y. Hilton


11. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma* (5-10, 207)

News cycles move so fast these days. We barely got five minutes out of Murray turning out to be over 5-foot-10.

For the record, for the time being I don't believe the rumors that the Cardinals have decided on Murray with the first pick. The rumor came on too strong and from too many sources. Fair or not, I'm much more likely to believe a rumor if it is only reported by someone like Jay Glazer or Benjamin Allbright. When every blog is on it I get suspicious. Strikes me as chum, and that the feeding was eager doesn't dissuade me any. The Cardinals would need to burn their Rosen pick and eat a bunch of dead cap just to clear up a selection for Murray, and that the leak has gone wild means Rosen's value is already fully tanked beyond repair. I think more lowly of NFL front offices than pretty much anyone, but I really struggle to imagine that the people running the Cardinals are the drooling apes they'd need to be to get got like this.

Projected round: 1 (Top 15)
Comparison: Russell Wilson


12. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis* (5-8, 208)

I still defer to 8.9 yards per carry over two years, but Henderson could have done a little better with his athletic testing. The 4.49-second 40-yard dash is satisfactory enough, you'd just prefer to see a guy with a 4.40 game run a 4.40. But it's nitpicking – if Henderson had run a 4.40 then we might be hyping him as a first-round pick instead of one in the mid or late second round.

Projected round: 2-3
Comparison: Aaron Jones


13. Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State* (6-4, 210)

Williams was not invited to the combine but I assume he will torch his pro day.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Martavis Bryant


14. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State* (5-10, 198)

I'm struggling to decide what I think about Hill. His production was underwhelming to me – I'd like to see more than 5.6 yards per carry and his receiving production was distinctly poor – but we know now that he's a killer athlete (4.40 40, 40-inch vertical, 130-inch broad jump). I'd prefer that he be 5-foot-9 or less if he's going to weigh under 200 pounds, but then I feel silly for fussing over 5/8 of an inch (Hill was technically 5-foot-9 and 5/8). I'm trying to focus on Hill's excellent tangible athletic traits and the fact that he started over Chris Carson as a true freshman. It also speaks well to Hill's projection that he added nearly 30 pounds of muscle over the last three years without losing his standout athleticism.

Projected round: 2-3
Comparison: Ronnie Hillman


15. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma* (6-0, 224)

Anderson (knee) could not test at the combine. If he can't run before the draft then I'll need to lower him in my rankings but in the meantime I'm willing to bet he would have ranked near Jacobs and Harris if he had been healthy.

Projected round: 4-5
Comparison: Knile Davis


16. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State* (6-5, 227)

Butler has an insane wingspan with a combine record 83 and 7/8 inches, which when combined with his height, speed (4.48 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (128-inch broad jump) presents a profound downfield threat. I'm still worried about his hands and his application on routes other than posts or fly routes, and specifically I'm paranoid that he might be another Darren Waller, but as a Waller Truther I'm willing to err toward optimism.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Darren Waller


17. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa* (6-5, 251)

You'd like to see a better 40 than a 4.70 from a first-round tight end prospect, but it's an adequate number particularly when factoring in his 37.5-inch vertical, 123-broad jump, and 11.2 agility score. I'm not on board with the top-15 hype for Hockenson – I think he's in a tier similar to past prospects like Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson – but I also probably would rate him higher than those two particular players.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: Todd Heap


18. Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame (5-11, 212)

If not Henderson, then Williams would arguably claim the most explosive recent history among this year's running back class. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry over his last 197 carries, and after running a sufficient 4.57-second 40-yard dash he added a 36-inch vertical and 130-inch broad jump. His 11.16 agility score is totally decent, too.

Projected round: 3-4
Comparison: Marlon Mack


19. Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State (6-0, 226)

Along with Hill and Williams, Barnes is a running back who really helped himself in an otherwise weak class. His 4.59-second 40 was unremarkable but good for his weight, and his marks in all of the vertical (38.5 inches), broad jump (126 inches), and agility drills (11.05) were good even before adjusting for weight. John is the only person in the world who was a fan before the combine, by the way.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Zach Zenner


20. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma* (5-9, 166)

The wide receivers were better than expected at the combine, which compounds the already bad news that Brown faces in light of his Lisfranc surgery. A lot of receivers gained ground while he was stuck in place, and honestly I'm concerned that I'm ranking him too high even here. I would have complete confidence that he'll pay off if it were guaranteed he returns to full health, but that probably can't be assumed in the meantime.

Projected round: 3-4
Comparison: Aldrick Robinson (worst-case)


21. Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame* (6-4, 220)

I'm guilty of totally overlooking Boykin before the combine, but after his remarkable workout Saturday I'm definitely intrigued. His production doesn't stand out but it seems safely above the level of someone like Ricardo Louis, one instance of a size/speed specimen with disappointing production. As a redshirt junior he caught 59 of 100 targets for 872 yards and eight touchdowns this year in an offense that completed 64.1 percent of its passes at 8.0 YPA. Adding a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, 43.5-inch vertical, 140-inch broad jump, and 10.84 agility score makes it very easy to accept whatever limitations his production might show. I have to evaluate Boykin some more and don't know yet for sure what I think, but since he produced reasonably well at Notre Dame I'm not worried about him sliding down the board like otherwise comparable athletes like Robert Davis and Moritz Boehringer did.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Donte Moncrief


22. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina (5-10, 214)

I can't figure out what exactly I think about Samuel. His age (turns 24 in January) cheapens the value of his otherwise solid production a bit, but that concern is offset at least a little by the promising workout metrics from the combine. To run a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at 214 pounds is a good mark for size-adjusted speed, as are his marks for explosiveness (39-inch vertical, 122-inch broad jump). Mockdraftable.com's top comp for Samuel is Ty Montgomery, and I think that checks out pretty well.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Ty Montgomery


23. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa* (6-4, 249)

I don't think I'm as high on Fant as some people. His athleticism is unambiguously great – a 4.5 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical, 127-inch broad jump, and 11.03 agility score are plainly excellent, even at only 249 pounds – but his production is a bit concerning to me (56.6 percent catch rate, 8.3 YPT over the last two years) and I didn't like his tape. I was a big George Kittle fan coming out of Iowa even though the Hawkeyes barely used him as a receiver, yet I can't sell myself easily on the ostensible Freak Athlete Iowa Tight End narrative that Fant understandably attracts. That he was specifically outproduced by Hockenson in the same offense I can't really get over. Additionally, there is a lengthy history of freak athlete tight ends who ended up doing nothing in the NFL, including guys who were similarly productive to Fant. Dorin Dickerson and Chris Gragg specifically come to mind.

Projected round: 1-2
Comparison: Jared Cook


24. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State* (5-11, 211)

Sanders' fumbling concerns weren't addressed by it and it's not clear how that might still factor into his draft stock, but his athletic testing was very promising. By finishing with a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical, 124-inch broad jump, and 11.08 agility score Sanders demonstrated plus athleticism across the board between speed, quickness, and explosiveness. It all checks out on tape. As a pure runner he's pretty convincing.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Delone Carter


25. Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo* (6-7, 249)

I didn't have any particular opinion of Jackson before the combine other than that he was interesting for his arm strength as an otherwise successful MAC quarterback. After he ran a 4.59-second 40 along with a 120-inch broad jump and 11.37 agility score, though, I struggle to see how he's different from Josh Allen. Jackson can hit almost any part of the field as a passer, and he's more athletic than Allen, who proved a menace on the ground last year in large part because his arm strength forced the defense to concede so much cushion.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Josh Allen


26. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State* (6-3, 231)

Haskins' 5.04-second 40 isn't interesting, but his selling point as a prospect was always his projection as a passer. He profiles as a top-10 pick, so.

Projected round: 1 (Top 15)
Comparison: Eh, some first-round quarterback who's good at throwing


27. Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor (6-5, 226)

Tennessee played Hurd at running back ahead of Alvin Kamara even though he's 6-foot-5 with the athleticism to easily project at receiver. Hurd wasn't able to run at the combine but should put up nice marks at the Baylor pro day March 20.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Mario Fannin


28. Irv Smith, TE, Alabama* (6-3, 242)

I can't tell whether I lowered Smith too much or too little. His combine testing was plainly not good for his low weight, his decent 4.63-second 40 undermined by poor marks in the vertical (32.5 inches), broad jump (110 inches), and agility score (11.65). Smith was very productive and looks good on tape but I'm paranoid that he's another Nick O'Leary or something. Jordan Reed is the best-case, and Smith does better his marks for weight-adjusted 40 time, but it's anyone's guess whether Reed would post such disappointing jump and agility numbers. My faith is rattled.

Projected round: 2-4
Comparison: Jonnu Smith


29. Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 208)

I'm a little perplexed by McLaurin's advanced age and intermittent role at Ohio State, but after even WR3 Johnnie Dixon posted big numbers at the combine I guess I need to accept that there is only so much pie to go around. McLaurin's 4.35-second 40, 37.5-inch vertical, and 125-inch broad jump add compelling athletic metrics to his already compellingly efficient production, so it's probably time to stop overthinking.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Bethel Johnson


30. Travis Homer, RB, Miami (FL)* (5-11, 201)

I liked Homer's production and tape enough but probably didn't give him enough credit before the combine, where he logged a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical, and 130-inch broad jump. He's pretty light but he's also young, not turning 21 until August, so he could still develop further athletically.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Kerryon Johnson


31. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford* (5-9, 200)

Whereas Marquise Brown lost ground by sitting out a big day for the wide receivers, Love benefits by sitting out a day where the other running backs mostly just hurt themselves. Love's ACL tear doesn't scare you as much when the alternatives get scratched off the list.

Projected round: 3-5
Comparison: Dri Archer


32. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State*, (5-10, 222)

Some people really love Montgomery and as long as that's the case in the NFL as well, then that's all it will take for him to go off the board at a draft slot beneficial to his opportunity projection. I'm still agnostic as to whether that happens, but I don't think his mediocre combine showing (4.63-second 40, 28.5-inch vertical, 121-inch broad jump) should matter if you liked him initially. His selling point was never his athleticism.

Projected round: 3-6
Comparison: Marcel Shipp


33. Jazz Ferguson, WR, Northwestern State (6-5, 227)

I can't tell how the league evaluates Ferguson, but his showings in speed and explosiveness tests were excellent (4.45-second 40, 37-inch vertical, 123-inch broad jump). His agility score was disastrous (11.84) and I'm still grappling with the significance of that, but the former LSU recruit offers traits similar to Hakeem Butler.

Projected round: 3-6
Comparison: Marquez North


34. Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State* (5-10, 211)

Weber's 4.47-second 40-yard dash was reassuring but not exactly impressive, so for now his profile leans otherwise on his strong production at Ohio State. He got a lot of reps in passing situations with the Buckeyes, and his stock is solidified a bit by Elijah Holyfield's collapse.

Projected round: 4-6
Comparison: Tashard Choice


35. Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn* (6-1, 190)

Slayton weighed in lighter than I'd hoped but his testing was otherwise excellent with a 4.39-second 40, 40.5-inch vertical, and 135-inch broad jump. The Auburn scheme didn't afford him varied reps and so he's probably not polished, but there's so much explosiveness to work with here.

Projected round: 3-6
Comparison: Tiquan Underwood


36. Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State* (6-3, 221)

In a day where the wide receivers generally dominated expectations, Harmon was an easily overlooked but still massive disappointment. He ran a 4.6 40 to go with a 32.5-inch vertical and 117-inch broad jump – not good for a guy whose whole selling point was winning deep on the sidelines. Maybe I'm knocking him too much – a bad combine showing doesn't negate his excellent production of course – but we have substantial reason to believe he doesn't have the tools for the skills to translate at the next level.

Comparison: Shay Hodge
Projected round: 4-6

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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