Most Important Wide Receiver Pro Days

With the conclusion of the NFL Scouting Combine, the vast majority of questions about prospects that we had have been answered. As we traditionally do, we’ve learned a lot this week. From the overall athleticism of prospects, to how they interview, to how they look during practice drills and even how fast Rich Eisen is.

But as is the case with every NFL Scouting Combine, some questions still remain. On top of that, some questions have been formulated because of results of athletic testing. Luckily there is one more step during the pre-draft process that will answer many of the remaining questions: Pro Day’s.

Some wide receiver prospects weren’t healthy enough to fully participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, meaning their pro day will be their only chance to prove their athletic testing. Others felt fatigue during the process and sat out drills late in the process, but will be tasked with performing them when they are fresh at their pro day.

Stanford (April 4)

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was weighed and measured at the NFL Scouting Combine, and what a measurement it was. At 6’2 and 225 pounds, Arcega-Whiteside checked in with a wingspan of 79 ⅞ inches, good for the 90th percentile among wide receivers. However, Arcega-Whiteside wouldn’t participate in athletic testing, opting to wait until Stanford’s pro day.

The main concerns around Arcega-Whiteside’s game center around separation, as his top-end speed isn’t dynamic on film. His NFL evaluation may hinge on his 40-yard dash, millions of dollars on the line over a 4 second span. The funny thing is, we’ve heard conflicting reports over Arcega-Whiteside’s 40-yard dash.

From people plugged in at Stanford, we have been told that during college, Arcega-Whiteside out-ran safety Justin Reid during 40-yard dash testing. At the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, Reid blazed to a 4.40 second 40-yard dash. However, we’ve also been told that during training, Arcega-Whiteside’s goal for his 40-yard dash was to get under 4.70s. Likely, his time will fall somewhere in-between. If he’s able to hit 4.55s, his evaluation should hold steady.

Wake Forest (March 20)

Similar to Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Dortch was weighed and measured at the NFL Scouting Combine, but did not test. The difference between them? Dortch is of diminutive stature. Checking in at just a shade over 5’7 and 173 pounds, he’s one of the shortest, smallest and lightest wide receivers to ever show up at the Combine.

This puts an even bigger premium on Dortch’s athletic testing, because he needs to convince NFL teams that he has more than enough athleticism to make up for his lack of size.

Ole Miss (March 29)

You had to know that we weren’t getting through this without mentioning the Ole Miss wide receivers. With all three competing at the NFL Scouting Combine, there are a few narratives to cover.

First, D.K. Metcalf will almost assuredly be re-running his agility tests of the 3-cone drill and the short shuttle after his disappointing times. Improving on these will wildly improve the false narrative surrounding his “tightness.”

A.J. Brown didn’t even compete in those agility tests at the NFL Scouting Combine, after doing the rest of the drills. He’ll likely look to verify his agility at Ole Miss’ pro day.

Damarkus Lodge posted below-average marks in all of his athletic testing. While only his short shuttle was egregiously bad, he could use improvements on each of those marks to better match the athleticism shown on his tape.

Baylor (March 20)

After suffering a knee injury late in the season, Jalen Hurd has now sat out of the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He only felt healthy and prepared enough to do the bench press, which he repped 23 times.

Hurd measured in at nearly 6’5 and 226 pounds. However, teams are still going to want to know about his top speed and explosiveness, to see just how high his potential ceiling is at his new position.

Georgia (March 20)

After a disastrous showing for multiple Georgia athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine, their pro day might draw the most media attention. While their wide receivers didn’t perform as bad as Elijah Holyfield or Isaac Nauta, there were still some disappointments.

Riley Ridley, similar to Damarkus Lodge, was essentially below average across the board. He showed more explosiveness on film than he showing in his athletic testing, and could look to improve his entire workout during his pro day.

Terry Godwin II showed positive marks for his size in the explosiveness and agility tests: 36.5” vertical, 119” broad jump, 6.98s three cone. However, his 40 time was just 4.55 seconds, on the slower side when you consider his light frame. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Godwin II only re-test his 40 yard dash, looking to get under the 4.50 seconds mark.

Mecole Hardman ran a blazing 40 yard dash, but didn’t participate in the short shuttle or three cone drill. We already knew he was fast in a straight-line, but NFL teams will want to see his change of direction.

UC-Davis (March 19)

After a solid showing during the Senior Bowl, intriguing FCS wide receiver Keelan Doss took the Jalen Hurd route and sat out of the athletic testing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He was measured at over 6’2 and 211 pounds, but only posted 8 reps on the bench press. He’ll look to complete all of his athletic testing at his pro day, which could ultimately be the deciding factor in whether or not he gets drafted.

Honorable Mentions

Arizona State - N’Keal Harry (Did not participate in the short shuttle and three cone drill).

Iowa State - Hakeem Butler (Did not participate in the short shuttle and three cone drill).

NC State - Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers (Will be looking to improve on their subpar 40-yard dash times of 4.60s and 4.63s, respectively).

Written By:

Brad Kelly

NFL Draft Analyst

NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Wide Receivers Coach at Salve Regina University. Salve Regina Football ‘15.

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