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Draft 412 analysts, Joe 412 and John Toth, spent the past weekend in Indianapolis for the 2023 NFL Combine. Though there were some disappointments. For example, Alabama’s Bryce Young did not work out and measured in a shade over 5’10”, no running back or receiver ran a sub-4.3, etc. Some players used the weekend to bolster their draft stock.
Draft 412 looks at those who we believe helped themselves and those who have more work to do.
Let’s start with the winners of the combine:
Pitt Defensive Tackle, Calijah Kancey: Kancey was already riding a nice wave up the draft boards before his weekend in Indy, but a 4.67 in the 40 now has Kancey going as high as the top 10. With his 40-time along with the Jalen Carter issues, Kancey is a fast riser on many draft boards.
Florida Quarterback, Anthony Richardson: The darling of the 2023 NFL Draft Combine, Richardson, at 6’4”, 244 lbs., ran a 4.44 in the 40 and showed off his arm talent by completing a set of deep passes. To everyone’s surprise, he looked comfortable throwing the ball to all route trees. Richardson will undoubtedly be rated by draft experts as “QB-1” after his combine performance. Draft 412, however, is still leery, as just a week ago, the same guy struggled to show the same confidence on the field on game tapes. We watched a quarterback who only completed 53.8% of his passes and looked lost at times. Every year, a player rises based on what he does in shorts. Congratulations, Anthony.
Oregon Cornerback, Christian Gonzalez: Gonzalez came in with a first round grade, but after watching him, Draft 412 believes he could be the first corner taken in the draft. Christian ran a 4.38, and all his drills were done to near perfection. Gonzalez is fluid in and out of breaks and has above average hands. Draft 412 believes Gonzalez is going to be a star for years in the NFL.
Georgia Tight End, Darnell Washington: Darnell Washington was an afterthought most times when you sat down and watched a Georgia football game. Sophomore phenom, Brock Bowers, is the best tight end in college football and would have been the #1 tight end taken in 2023 if he was eligible. Washington however, showed up and showed out at Indy, proving his is more than just a big body (6’7”). Washington ran an impressive 4.64 in the 40-yard dash and had a 1.57 in his 10-yard split. He could now be an early second day pick who can really add a weapon to an NFL team that uses him the right way.
Alabama Quarterback, Bryce Young: Young came into the combine as the most likely candidate to be QB-1 and a chance to be the first overall pick. This still may be possible, but Young’s weekend started out with the arrow pointing down when he measured in at only a shade over 5’10” and 204 lbs. Young also decided to not participate in the combine, putting the spotlight on CJ Stroud (Ohio State), Will Levis (Kentucky) and Anthony Richardson (Florida), allowing them to showcase their talents in front of the scouts. Young will run and throw at his Pro Day, but with Stroud, Richardson, and Levis making some noise, he will have to excel and prove his height will not be a problem.
Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia: Carter had a bad weekend and it did not have anything to do with the combine. Carter’s pending legal issues surfaced with an outstanding arrest warrant stemming from the January 15th fatal accident that took the lives of two members of the Georgia football team. Carter faces misdemeanor charges on reckless driving and racing and has an arraignment April 18th. With pending charges, Carter has diminished his chances to be the first overall pick. There were open talks among some scouts that he could freefall as far as the mid-to-late first round.
Jordan Addison, Wide Receiver, USC: Addison had a chance to solidify his first-round draft grade with a solid combine. He started with mixed results in his 40-yard, posting a 4.55 time on his first sprint, then followed that up with a more respectable 4.49 second run. Addison, at 5’11” 173 lbs., makes for a difficult decision for NFL GMs with his size and his lack of top end speed. Addison also quit the workouts early with a back injury, but all early reports say it was precautionary. Draft 412 predicts Addison coming off the board anywhere from mid-first to late second in this talented WR class.
Kenny McIntosh, Running Back, Georgia: In a better than average running back class, it is essential for running backs to show some unique skill whether it be speed, power, or ability to be a third down back. McIntosh failed this weekend to distinguish himself, running a disappointing 4.62 in his 40-yard dash. Even though he showcased his pass catching skills well, it may be hard to overcome his lack of speed, forcing teams to consider him alongside faster running backs like Chase Brown of Illinois. McIntosh may have cost himself some money, perhaps sliding himself into a Day 3 pick.