By Michael Stewart @golferbad
Introduction: The 2020 NFL combine is now completed and there was a lot of impressive performance and also some disappointed ones from some of the highly touted prospects. The New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge were in attendance and should have come away with some interesting footnotes as they go back to their draft board and prepare to update it. Here’s a look at the top winners at each position.
Quarterback: Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) 6’2/210: Hurts showed why in his workout as he ran a 4.54 in the 40, the fastest at the position. His footwork and delivery looked polished during the workout portion..
Wide Receiver: Chase Claypool (Notre Dame) 6’4/238:Claypool was the talk of Day 1. He improved his stock by running a 4.42 on his second 40-yard dash to go with 19 reps in the bench press and a 40.5-inch vertical jump
Running Back:Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) 5’10/226: Taylor is not labeled as the best running back in this year’s draft, but Taylor put together a very impressive combine that saw him run a 4.39 40 yard dash; which was the fastest among all the running backs.
Tight End: Cole Kmet (Notre Dame) 6’5/262:Kmet, had a solid overall combine displaying the athleticism and strength that has many scouts comparing him to Rob Gronkowski.
Offensive Linemen: Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) 6’5/320: Wirfs beats out Mekhi Becton to gains honors as the best performance by an offensive linemen at the combine. Wirfs ran a 4.85 in the 40-yard dash and also led all linemen in the vertical jump (36.5); while adding 24 reps on the bench.
OLB/ILB Linebackers: Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) 6’4/238: Most of the NFL teams, sports writers and fans expected Simmons to put on a show at the combine and he didn’t disappoint anyone. Simmons edges out Willie Gay Jr as he ran a 4.39 forty (only the 3rd time an OLB cracked 4.4) and had a 39 inch vertical jump and 11 feet on the broad jump.
Defensive Ends: James Smith-Williams (North Carolina State) 6’4/265: Smith-Williams produced an impressive forty yard dash (4.60) and respectable numbers in the other drills. This is what the combine is all about as unknown prospects have a chance to shine.
Defensive Tackles: Khalil Davis (Nebraska) 6’5/308: Khalil edges out his brother Carlos and Neville Gallimore for top honors among Defensive tackles at the combine with a 4.75 forty and with a 99 athleticism score.
Cornerback:Jeff Okudah (Ohio State) 6’2/190: Okudah was projected the 1st cornerback off the board before the combine, now after the combine it’s official. Okudah broad jump (11’3) and vertical leap (41’) were tops among cornerbacks and his forty yard dash (4.48) wasn’t too shabby.
Safeties:Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinios) 6’3/219:Chinn has been on my radar for awhile and I have him in my upcoming mock draft prior to the combine drafted in round 6. After his performance at the combine; 11’6 in the broad, 41’ in the vertical jump and a 4.46 forty, Chinn has propelled himself into Day 2 of the draft.
Final Thoughts: As expected, the 2020 NFL combine provided many eye-popping performances from several prospects that will likely enhance their draft stock. The Giants Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge will have tough decisions to make with who they will eventually pick with the 4th overall pick or perhaps trade back for additional picks as they have many needs on the roster. Next article: Top losers at each position.