During each NFL draft cycle following the scouting combine, there are several prospects who see their stocks rise.
Whether it’s how they did in the interview rooms or on the field in the testing drills, the combine is arguably the biggest chance for prospects to get on the radar.
However, now one week removed from the event, many prospects who had standout performances are still not being talked about enough in their respective position classes. Here are a few who deserve more hype for what they did in Indianapolis.
REGGIE ROBINSON II, CB, TULSA
After measuring in bigger than most cornerbacks in this class at 6-foot 1-inch and 205 pounds, Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson II proceeded to post great numbers in the combine testing drills: a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical jump and 132-inch broad jump. His performance in Indianapolis followed up the standout week he had in Mobile, Alabama, at the Senior Bowl, where he was consistently one of the best cornerbacks in the one-on-one drills.
He put up four interceptions and 13 pass deflections in his senior season for the Golden Hurricanes, and now that he has the testing numbers to match his coverage production, Robinson cemented himself in the top 100 of this draft class. This cornerback group falls off a bit in the late Day 2 range, but don’t be surprised if Robinson’s combination of solid tape and testing puts him above several prospects that have been receiving more hype.
MATTHEW PEART, OT, CONNECTICUT
I’ve been singing the praises of Connecticut left tackle Matthew Peart since the start of this draft process, and even after a strong Senior Bowl performance, many had serious questions about him as a top-100 prospect. Peart then went to the combine and was lights out.
He measured in at 6-foot 7-inches and 318 pounds with 37-inch arms. What’s even better than those numbers is his athleticism at that size. He clocked a 5.06-second 40-yard dash (87th percentile) and recorded a 30-inch vertical jump (75th percentile) and 113-inch broad jump (94th percentile).
Before his performance in Indianapolis, Peart was ranked just inside the top 30 on my 2020 Big Board. After what he showed, reportedly in the interview rooms as well as the athletic testing drills, I just can’t see how a player of his physical gifts and year-to-year improvement on tape falls out of the second round.
DERREK TUSZKA, EDGE, NORTH DAKOTA STATE
One of the biggest disappointments from the combine was the lack of participation from top pass rushers. Many either pulled out due to injury or just declined to test on the field. As a result, it gave a player like North Dakota State’s Derrek Tuszka the opportunity and platform to shine.
At 6-foot 4-inches and 251 pounds with just 31-inch arms, Tuszka projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker with intriguing pass rush potential. He finished his career with FCS defensive player of the year honors, racking up 29 sacks over three years as a starter. His college production speaks for itself, but the biggest concern with Tuszka was whether or not his athleticism translated to the pro game.
He answered those questions right away with a strong performance in Indianapolis: a 6.87-second 3-cone drill (95th percentile), 4.34-second short shuttle (70th percentile), 120-inch broad jump (76th percentile), 4.79-second 40-yard dash (58th percentile) and 33.5-inch vertical jump (56th percentile).
Tuszka opened eyes with his standout week at the Shrine Bowl. But now that he has the strong athletic testing numbers to match his elite college production as a pass rusher, I expect his stock to rise exponentially in this edge defender class.