The NFL Combine has come and gone, and we can now all hurry home to piece together what we saw. Every year there are a handful of players who significantly raise their draft stock with a strong performance (see Byron Jones and Chris Johnson). There are also those whose combine numbers have the reverse effect, too (see Maurice Clarett and Vontaze Burfict).
Here are 2017’s winners and losers from the combine, and the odds they go in the first-round of the NFL Draft.
Biggest Post-Combine Risers
John Ross, WR (Washington)
Entering the combine, John Ross was a borderline first-round prospect. His 5’11, 190-pound frame had teams worried that he wouldn’t be able to withstand the heavy contact of the NFL. But speed kills.
The former Husky broke the 40-yard dash record, posting a scorching time of 4.22. Although he wasn’t able to finish the workout due to cramps, his record-breaking performance will be enough to send him rocketing up draft boards.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 1/5
Gareon Conley, CB (Ohio State)
Ohio State’s second corner spent the lead-up to the combine in Marshon Lattimore’s shadow. It was extremely rare to see a mock that had him coming off the board the first night. Conley may still be the second-best Buckeye corner, but he used the combine to ensure everyone learned his name.
Scouts were happy to see Conley measure in at 6’0″ and 195 pounds with 33″ arms. He then grabbed headlines when he ran a 4.44 second 40-yard dash, and looked incredibly smooth during the on-field drills. This helps, too …
— Mekka Don (@MekkaDonMusic) March 6, 2017
Conley’s combination of length, speed, strength, and fluid movements has him leap-frogging a number of corners on draft boards.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 3/5
Haason Reddick, LB (Temple)
After a very strong performance at the Senior Bowl, where he was asked to play a foreign position, Reddick found himself in the first-round discussion. The former Owl spent basically his entire college career with his hand in the dirt. But after displaying supreme athleticism, and a bit of a lighter frame, Reddick is being viewed as either a Will in a 4-3 or an ILB in a 3-4.
The combine further encouraged teams that Reddick could potentially change positions, as he had an impressive 40-yard dash (4.52), vertical (36.5 inches), and broad jump (11’1″). This is the type of athleticism every team covets in their linebacking corps.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 1/4
Evan Engram, TE (Ole Miss)
There were two tight ends everyone was talking about entering the combine: OJ Howard and David Njoku. Things have changed now.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) March 4, 2017
Engram ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, showed off a 36″ vertical, and displayed great hands and concentration in the gauntlet drill. Oh right, he’s also 6’3″ and 234 pounds. Whether he can block or not is no longer an issue; Engram is going to be a matchup nightmare.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 1/2
Obi Melifonwu, S/CB (Connecticut)
Raise your hand if you knew who Obi Melifonwu was before the NFL Combine. (No you didn’t, put your hand down!) The safety position is top-heavy with the likes of Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, and Jabrill Peppers garnering the majority of the attention. And those three will continue to enjoy the spotlight at safety, because the biggest standout at the position is unlikely to remain a safety.
Melifonwu measured in at 6’4″, 224 pounds with 32.5″ arms. But what caught everyone’s attention were his test scores: a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, 44″ vertical, and an insane 11’9″ broad jump. The former Husky is going to be asked to play corner, and has Brandon Browner 2.0 written all over him.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 1/1
Biggest Post-Combine Stumblers
Teez Tabor, CB (Florida)
There was chatter entering the combine that Tabor feared receivers with the speed to take him deep; after the combine, everyone knows the former Gator fears receivers with any bit of speed. Tabor tied for the slowest 40 time among corners (4.62 seconds), and didn’t make up for it anywhere else.
The Florida product was in need of a good showing at the combine to make teams overlook his off-field issues. The only thing Tabor did was ensure he won’t be taken on the first night. I’m even going to start calling him by his real name now … Jalen.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 2/1
Jonathan Allen, DL (Alabama)
Not many lost as much money as Jonathan Allen did at the combine. The big defensive tackle was believed to be the second-best player on the board, and projected to go in the first three picks. But after testing near the bottom in just about every category among defensive linemen, including a measly 21 reps on the bench, Allen is free-falling.
If the numbers weren’t bad enough, news came out that Allen has arthritic shoulders, raising even more concern. He’s still likely to go in the first-round, but may have fallen out of the top-ten.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 3/7
Reuben Foster, LB (Alabama)
Foster was not expected to participate in any physical drills due to recent surgery on his rotator cuff, but the top-ranked ILB was supposed to partake in the team meetings and psychological testing. That didn’t happen, however. Thanks to a heated incident with a doctor, Foster was sent home.
An NFL Combine doctor could pull out a glove, slap me across the face, challenge me to a duel, and I would just smile and say thank you. There are millions of dollars on the line here, and Foster just gave every team a good look at his true character.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 2/3
Zach Cunningham, LB (Vanderbilt)
The former Commodore was labelled the most athletic linebacker in the draft heading into the combine. But Cunningham’s numbers certainly did not show that. A 4.67-second 40-yard dash was not what scouts wanted to see, and a 7.03-second three-cone drill isn’t overly impressive, either.
The one bright spot for Cunningham comes from the fact that he wasn’t asked to leave …
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 7/3
DeShone Kizer, QB (Notre Dame)
The upper trio of quarterbacks is no more. After showing sloppy footwork and missing on multiple throws, DeShone Kizer is now firmly behind Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky. The Notre Dame product has likely fallen below Patrick Mahomes, too, after his poor showing.
Odds to be selected in the first-round: 5/2
Let's have fun and keep it civil.