NFL SCOUTING COMBINE WR WINNERS AND LOSERS
Calvin Austin III, Memphis
This was an easy call even before the speedy receiver got to the 40-yard dash. In his first two drills of the day, Calvin Austin III recorded a 39-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot-3 broad jump. As of Thursday evening, those were each the third- and second-highest marks, respectively, of anyone who had participated. Then he ran the 40 and put up one of the best numbers of the day: 4.32 seconds. The Memphis product is a small guy—he’s 5-foot-7—so having good numbers in drills was going to be a crucial part of his resume. He more than proved his speed and explosiveness on Thursday.
Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame
Kevin Austin Jr. had a fantastic evening of drills on Thursday. He tied Austin III’s success in the vertical leap with a 39-inch mark, the highest of all participants, and his broad jump measuring 11 feet was second only to Austin III. Right after the Memphis product put up a blazing number in the 40-yard dash, the Notre Dame receiver followed it up with an incredible 4.43-second performance. Austin Jr. isn’t small either; he’s putting up those numbers at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.
Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
Alec Pierce nearly jumped out of the gym, setting the high for wide receivers in the vertical leap this year with a 40.5-inch jump. He also cracked the top 10 of receivers’ broad jumps with a 10-foot-9 effort, then ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds. Doing all of that at 6-foot-3 and weighing 211 pounds is a seriously impressive feat. The Cincinnati product’s draft stock will rise plenty with the day he had today.
Christian Watson, North Dakota State
After hearing comparisons for Christian Watson in the form of Randy Moss this winter, while he has a long way to go before reaching the level of one of the all-time greats, Watson put together one of the most electric performances at the wide receiver position that the NFL Combine has seen in its 40-year history. Primed to produce just the second 10.0 RAS (relative athletic score) ever recorded (Calvin Johnson), Watson made himself a ton of money Thursday night, and it won’t surprise me to hear his name come off the board on night one as a do-it-all pass-catcher. At 6-foot-4, Watson posted a 4.36 in the 40, a 38.5-inch vertical, and an 11-foot-4 broad jump (tops among WRs). He was unbelievable.
David Bell, Purdue
Yikes. A wideout whose film will remain his calling card, David Bell was underwhelming all day long in all three tests. While Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp ran a similar time (4.61) compared to Bells’ 4.65 at the combine back in 2017, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While he was looked upon as a guy that could come off the board early in the second round, Bell disappointed today and his stock could take a hefty hit.
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