The NFL’s annual Scouting Combine took place over the weekend, where professionally eligible college athletes from across the nation all meet up in Indianapolis, Indiana, to show off their skill sets and potentially earn a spot on a professional football roster.
In this column, I’ll cover a few of what I thought were the key or interesting things that happened during the combine.
There were two representatives for Texas Tech football who participated in the Scouting Combine this weekend, according to the NFL website. The first player was linebacker Dakota Allen, who was one of 37 linebackers to receive an invitation. The second Red Raider was wide receiver Antoine Wesley, one of 48 receivers in the nation to earn an invitation to the combine.
Dakota Allen declared for the draft after successful junior and senior campaigns at Tech. Allen’s junior year was more impactful than his senior season, tallying a total of 101 tackles along with six tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, two interceptions, four passes deflected, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, according to the NCAA website.
His senior year was still a solid one despite some infrequent injuries, recording 61 total tackles, five and a half tackles for loss, two pass deflections, two fumbles recovered along with a defensive touchdown.
Antoine Wesley declared for the draft a year early after having a standout junior year, recording 1,410 receiving yards on the season, which ranked third in the nation among Division-1 receivers, according to the NCAA website. Wesley nabbed 88 receptions on the year, which ranked 11th in the entire nation. He also grabbed nine touchdowns on the season while averaging about 16 yards per reception.
When it comes to the athletic events that took place during the combine, both Allen and Wesley posted some respectable numbers, according to the NFL website. Out of 37 linebackers invited to the combine, Allen ranked second in the 20-yard shuttle drill, recording a solid time of 4.04 seconds. Cody Barton of Utah barely beat out Allen by recording a time of 4.03 seconds.
Although only 15 linebackers chose to participate in the three-cone drill, Dakota Allen posted the second best time out of all them, recording a time of 6.88 seconds, according to the NFL website. His other notable performances came during the bench press and broad jump events, with Allen tallying 23 bench reps, which ranked in a tie for 10th out of his position.
He also posted a mark of 116.0 on the broad jump which ranked in a tie for 21st out of all linebackers.
Antoine Wesley notched a few solid numbers during this weekend’s combine events, posting a time of 7.07 seconds in the three-cone drill, which ranked in a tie for 14th amongst all wide receivers, according to the NFL website. Wesley also recorded a vertical jump of 37 inches, ranking in a tie for 16th out of the wide receiver position.
His last notable time from the weekend came during the 20-yard shuttle drill, where he posted a number of 4.26 seconds, ranking 18th out of all receivers.
Following each player’s performance in Indianapolis, the NFL combine website gives each player a specific rating that indicates their potential chances of earning a spot on a NFL roster, according to the NFL website. Dakota Allen was ranked 5.19 on a scale of 1-10, which lists him as having a “better-than-average chance to make NFL roster.”
Antoine Wesley was listed as a 5.62, which seems pretty close to Allen’s rating, but it shows him as having a much higher chance of succeeding in the NFL. The NFL combine website lists Wesley as having a “chance to become a NFL starter.”
The biggest story over the weekend was the appearance of Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Kyler Murray at the NFL combine. While Murray didn’t perform in any of the drills at the combine, he did go through with his much-speculated height entry. Murray has been vocal about being at least 5 foot 10 inches tall, but the media, along with the public, have all been questionable about his true height.
The news was broken the day of, and Murray was registered as being 5 foot 10 inches and one-eighth of an inch, according to the NFL website. The measurement finally quieted all the conspiracies out there about Murray’s actual height. Even though Murray didn’t compete in any drills, the NFL combine website rated him as a 6.24 on the 1-10 scale. The NFL website claims a 6.24 rating indicates the player “should become an instant starter.”
To wrap things up, I’ll go over some of the most impressive results from all players throughout the NFL scouting combine. Defensive back Zedrick Woods of the Ole Miss Rebels ran an event-low in the 40-yard dash, recording a time of 4.29 seconds, according to the NFL website. Woods’ timing is less than a 10th of a second away from the fastest 40-time ever recorded at the combine.
Another defensive back, Juan Thornhill of the Virginia Cavaliers, posted a vertical jump of 44 inches, according to the NFL website. Just to give some sense of comparison, the highest vertical jump ever recorded at the NFL combine is 46 inches, which happened in 2005.
Lastly, there are only two players the NFL combine rating system considers to have a “chance to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player,” according to the NFL website.
The possibly-dominant players are Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, and Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Josh Allen. Both Williams and Allen were given a 6.70 rating out of the 1-10 scale, considerably higher than last year’s first overall pick Baker Mayfield’s rating of 6.04.
I think this new breed of future NFL players is shaping up to be an exciting group. I’m ready to see which players live up to the hype, which players will outperform their expectations and of course, how the former Texas Tech players’ careers are going to work out.