2019 NFL Combine: WR Winners, Losers, and Risers

What a thrilling day for wide receivers in general. Wow!

It was so hard to pick three winners; so tricky to identify three guys who lost. I did my best; I'm sure you disagree. All-in-all, what a fun position group that was erroneously criticized for so much of the season.

Winners

D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

How could he not make the list? Metcalf came in at 228 pounds, tied for the highest number in the bench (27 reps) despite having arms almost 35" long, jumped 40.5" in the vertical jump, 11'2" in the broad, and -- oh, what was it - RAN A 40-YARD DASH IN 4.33 SECONDS.

Yes, he had poor agility times with a 4.5 short shuttle and a 7.38 3-cone. That's not great, but it's not a problem at all -- Metcalf doesn't need to be the snappiest guy through angles, we knew he wasn't on film, and with his mass, it shouldn't surprise us that his change-of-direction isn't great. Metcalf is still clearly an elite physical specimen, a stupid-silly player. Big W.

Emanuel Hall, Missouri

Tough to deny that a guy SETTING RECORDS on the jumps is a big winner of the day. 43.5" in the vert is just Top-3 all time, a bit disappointing of course -- Hall expected to beat out the historical field of wideouts, just as he did with his 11'9 broad jump. That easy explosiveness is reflected in a 4.39 40-yard dash and his routes at Missouri -- and he was one of the best deep threats in all of college football with the Tigers.

I was disappointed to see that he didn't run the agilities -- I think those woulda been sick -- but as a deep threat Hall solidified his ideal athletic profile.

Terry McLaurin, Ohio State

Big day for Ohio State in general -- they had 3 of the Top-10 WRs in terms of 40 time. While Parris Campbell may have had the best day testing of the three, I think he was about where we expected on a lot of stuff, while McLaurin's numbers were more surprising to me. Disagree with whatever you want, Campbell was awesome. I'm picking McLaurin.

Comfortably sub 4.4 with a 4.35 40-yard dash, explosive with a 37.5" vert and 10'5 broad, and shifty as all nothing with a 7.01 3-cone and 4.15 short-shuttle. At 208, with such a well-rounded athletic profile and his special-teams history, I don't know how teams aren't drooling over McLaurin as a potential steal at WR.

Losers

Riley Ridley, Georgia

Tough to ignore a weird day of testing for the much-maligned and oft-scrutinized powder keg that is Riley Ridley. Remember his brother Calvin's bad day? Riley actually had a better short-shuttle at 4.25, better broad jump at 10'4, and a comparable vertical at 30.5". The main difference was the 40-yard dash, wherein Calvin ran a 4.43 and Riley only hit a 4.58 (unofficial).

Now obviously, it isn't just how he measures relative to Calvin that's important. Ridley's athleticism was still average to below average generally. In some aspects, he still compares favorably to Davante Adams -- my comp for him as a player -- but Adams out-jumped him significantly. Ridley is still a fine prospect on tape and worthy of a Day 2 draft selection, but there are a lot of data points fighting against his eval.

Kelvin Harmon, NC State

I don't think Harmon so much fell objectively, but he may have fallen relatively. It's a thick WR class, and DK Metcalf, Hakeem Butler, N'Keal Harry, Deebo Samuel -- all of these guys met their expectations handily.

Harmon, on the other hand, introduced more question into his on-field evaluation than we would have liked to have seen. Everyone knew he wasn't a great athlete, but we would have hoped to sneak in below 4.60 -- he hit that flat. Again, I would have loved to have seen some time shaved off of an average 3-cone (7.15), short shuttle (4.32), and some distance added to weak explosiveness scores in the broad (9'9) and vert (32.5").

Harmon wins without ideal athleticism on-field, and that's totally fine. He won't fall too far in terms of what was expected from him, but compared to some other top WRs, he did less for his stock.

KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State

Johnson, like Harmon, didn't do nearly as much of his winning with athleticism as he did with his route-running savvy, catch radius, and toughness. Accordingly, it's not as if an aspect of his on-field evaluation is in question here -- it's just easier to see his ceiling, given the athletic limitations.

Again like Harmon, Johnson only hit a 9'9 broad and a 4.6 forty, though Johnson's time is still an unofficial listing. But Johnson was even worst in the vertical jump at 30", and did all of this at 20 pounds lighter than Harmon. He's a low-ceiling player for sure.

Risers

Miles Boykin, Notre Dame

Boykin is an immediate "check the tape!" prospect after his performance today -- I'm already 1.5 games into it. I saw him have a productive day against Stanford early in the season, but I didn't see a 4.42 athlete. His fluidity impresses, and was reflected in a 4.07 short shuttle and class-leading 6.77 3-cone.

But what really stands out are the jumps: Boykin's 43.5" vertical and 11'8 broad would have been unquestionably tops in the class if not for Emanuel Hall's performance. As it stands, they are T-3rd and 2nd marks among all WRs in MockDraftable's database. You can find that explosiveness when he releases, and it will help him get drafted as a developmental WR.

Also, this: so much fun!



Gary Jennings, West Virginia

A favorite of Jon Ledyard's and a strong Senior Bowl participant, Jennings has built on a strong pre-Draft process that honestly began at the end of the season, with a wildly productive game against Oklahoma to close out his 2018 campaign. Jennings' 4.42 (unofficial) in the 40-yard dash is objectively fast, even though it barely scrapes the Top-10 in this class. Top on 10'7 broad and 4.15 short shuttle, and we've got one of the better all-around performances today.

Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska

Not really a surprise riser (a surpriser, if you will), if you've been following some of TDN's content -- but still a great day for Morgan that deserves recognition. Because he didn't run a wild 40 -- 4.53 -- the Twitterverse didn't cover his next results as closely. 38.5" vertical jump; 10'5 broad jump; 4.13 short shuttle; and a KILLAH! 6.78 3-cone. Those are all excellent times for the shifty route-runner who has a clear path to an NFL role in the slot.



Written By:

Benjamin Solak

Director of Special Projects

Director of Special Projects and Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast. The 3-Wide Raven.

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