With Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and an ascending Kenny Golladay, Lions fans were certain the Detroit Lions had one of the best receiving corps in the NFL entering the 2018 season. By the end, Golladay had his breakout, but Golden Tate was traded away and Marvin Jones finished the year injured. Worse, TJ Jones never recaptured his previous success and everyone they tried to fill in Tate’s vacated spot flubbed mightily. Now we’re staring right in the face of a possible eighth overall selection at receiver, or a Day 2 pick, so you can bet I paid close attention to the receivers at the NFL Combine.
Miles Boykin, Notre Dame
Miles Boykin posted one of the top #RAS at the #2019NFLCombine, which would be a top 20 grade out of over 2,000 prospects dating back to 1987. He did so with great size, speed, amazing explosiveness, and agility.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2019
*Splits Projected* pic.twitter.com/ffdNsWylos
Boykin was barely talked about coming into the day, but his name would have been on everyone’s lips as the best performance of the day if not for our robot overlords taking over (see the next guy). I thought it was unfair to let him be overshadowed again, so he’s kicking off the best performances. The former Notre Dame receiver posted excellent numbers across the boards and reportedly cruised through interviews. If teams were unsure about his draft status before, he helped himself immensely.
D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
D.K. Metcalf looks like he was created in a lab. Maybe it’s just because I watched Terminator the other day, but I worry about our world’s safety if our robot overlords take over without question, and guys like Metcalf make me wonder if they’ve already started. One of the biggest receivers at the Combine, Metcalf posted an insane 4.33 40-yard dash and awesome explosion drills before finding his kryptonite in the agility drills.
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
There were a lot of questions about N’Keal Harry’s athleticism coming into the Combine, so walking away with an elite RAS should calm some of those concerns. I was curious to see his speed, but his elite explosion drills shouldn’t really be surprising since he hit over 40” on the vertical in training and on video, but notching a 4.53 at his size should keep some of the detractors from claiming he has speed issues.
Riley Ridley, Georgia
Correction, Riley Ridley did complete the 3-Cone. He posted a below average #RAS at the #2019NFLCombine with okay speed, split explosion, and very poor agility.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2019
*Splits Projected* pic.twitter.com/8gpJvzPGRO
Like his brother, Riley Ridley came into the NFL without any athleticism concerns but leaves with them. Calvin Ridley had similar issues, but was a much higher touted prospect, so it will be interesting to see how Ridley’s draft stock is perceived from here on out. With so many strong slot guys in the draft, where do you rank one who doesn’t run as well?
Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Texas
A late-round sleeper for some, Lil’Jordan Humphrey had the high point of his day when he hit only average numbers in the explosion drills. Running a 4.75 40-yard dash likely puts a nail into his draftability coffin, which is unfortunate since he shows decent enough hands to take a peek on tape. Most likely, he’s looking at finding a camp as a priority free agent rather than hearing his name on Day 3 of the draft.
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
Kelvin Harmon came into the Combine with some saying he deserved to be in the conversation to be the top receiver in the draft. He didn’t leave the Combine that way, as he only managed to hit above average in a single drill, the least important one. The list of bigger receivers who found success despite a lack of athleticism is short, mostly just consisting of Deandre Hopkins, and Harmon isn’t on that level in terms of tape. Harmon did passably in drills and I didn’t hear anything negative about interviews, but if you’re not expected to be fast, be explosive or agile, not neither. You won’t make a living at receiver by just being big.