The second day of the 2017 NFL Combine was eventful for many wide receivers — including a record-setting 40-yard dash time. Who improved their stock most?
Honorable mention: DeShone Kizer, QB, ND.
DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson: The former Clemson star continued his momentum on the second day of the combine. Watson was clocked at a 4.66-second 40-time that was better than most expected. His quick-rhythm passing and accuracy will translate seamlessly at the next level. He was impressive on short and intermediate routes, and displayed sound footwork on traditional five-step drops when throwing toward the sidelines. He missed a few throws on go-routes, which was one of the concerns about him coming into the draft. He’ll need to sharpen his deep-ball accuracy to reach his full potential in the NFL.
John Ross, WR, Washington: Ross came into the combine as a borderline first-round pick, but he forced his way into the top 32 after his performance. His jaw-dropping 40-yard dash was record-setting at 4.22. Not only is Ross faster than people originally thought, but he came into the combine with a relatively polished game. This isn’t a case of a small receiver only being able to run a fast 40-time without any other attributes; Ross was already a well-rounded prospect who just added an elite performance to his résumé. Despite Ross being unable to finish the workout due to cramps, he definitely caught scouts' attention with his record-setting run. He’ll have a chance to further showcase his skills at his pro day.
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State: Godwin was a big part of Penn State's success this year, and he showed why on Saturday. He posted a 4.42-second 40-time, which was one of the fastest times amongst wide receivers. He added a strong performance in the pass-catching drills, showing great ball skills and footwork along the sidelines. His tools suggest he can be an effective number one wide receiver for an offense, but he'll need to be more physical in separation on shorter routes against physical corners.
KD Cannon, WR, Baylor: Cannon saw his stock raise after a terrific showing at the combine. He was faster than most scouts thought (4.41 40-time), and achieved a 37-inch vertical. The knock on Cannon is his lack of strength (13 bench reps of 225), and his tendency to use his body instead of hands when catching, but he looked smooth in the receiver drills. He showed scouts he has the ability to pluck the ball out of the air with his hands during the drills, which shows he’s capable of improving contested-catch ability. The speed, athleticism and quickness are there, but if he can put it all together in route running, he’s got a high ceiling.
Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss: Engram has speed and athleticism to create mismatches against most defenders. Engram was viewed as one of the best hybrid tight ends in the 2017 class, and further proved that after an exceptional performance Saturday. After posting an incredible 4.42-second 40-time, he achieved a 36-inch vertical, and displayed a solid performance in the on-field drills --especially with his exceptional route running. Engram is more a receiver than a tight end, and will need to sharpen his blocking and physicality, but he has big-time upside that could cause nightmare for defenses.
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami: The Hurricanes' quarterback did himself a disservice when he chose to sit out the 40-yard dash, as athleticism was already a concern for him. In addition, he lacked consistent velocity on his throws, raising concerns about his arm strength. His timing was excellent, but he missed a few throws on deep routes; emphasizing his deep ball accuracy. Kaaya needed a good combine to boost his stock, but he struggled to impress.
Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech: It wasn’t a great day for many quarterbacks, but Evans failed to impress on any level. He has physical traits that translate, but his combine performance was poor. His 4.80 40-time was a disappointment, his footwork was sloppy and his wind -up release looked more awkward than ever. His accuracy was inconsistent, leading to throws that were low and away on intermediate distance. He’ll need a great pro day to save his stock, or he’ll be fighting for a roster spot in NFL training camp.
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech: The VT star was highly regarded coming into the draft, but he saw his stock drop after his performance at the combine. He ran a disappointing 40-time (4.62) and lacked speed and explosiveness in the on-field drills. His stock continued to drop after a handful of drops that raised questions about pass-catching skills. After a nightmare of a day, he’ll have a chance to redeem himself on his pro day.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington: The small-school star had an impressive career at Eastern Washington, dominating inferior talent. Despite the lack of competition, he proved his talent after his great week at the Senior Bowl, generating buzz headed into the combine. Kupp failed to live up to the hype on Saturday, earning a pedestrian 4.62 40-yard dash. Kupp also lacked explosiveness in the drills, which is concerning for an athlete who depended on quickness and precision.