With the NFL Scouting Combine in rearview, the focus on the new class of players will turn to their pro days and the Draft itself. Some players got a major boost in their stocks after performing well at the Combine. Here are a few to keep an eye on.
Saquon Barkley: RB, Penn St.
We all know Barkley is good at football. His combine results showed that he is a freak athlete, possibly the best in this draft class. He was among the leaders in the 40 yard dash (4.40s), vertical jump (41″) and bench press (29 reps). Expect this performance to shake up our next mock draft. Be sure to check back.
Mike Gesicki: TE, Penn St.
He probably isn’t the next Rob Gronkowski, but Gesicki has the size and athleticism that makes scouts drool. He led tight ends by a significant margin in every drill except the bench press, where he was only one rep behind the leader. He’s fast, strong and can catch. The importance of Gesicki’s pro day decreased after his stellar Combine performance.
Kalen Ballage: RB, Arizona St.
Ballage’s stock fell a good bit before the combine after he lost his starting job during the season. Our staff thought he would be a late round pick for sign as and undrafted free agent. After finishing in the top five among running backs in the 40 yard dash (4.46s) and broad jump (10′ 2″), a good pro day could propel Ballage to a middle round pick.
Shaquem Griffin: LB, UCF
Griffin is a very talented player, but there were concerns about his physical limitations. Those concerns should be no more, as he proved he could perform with the best. He set a position record in the 40 yard dash (4.38s, faster than Saquon Barkley), and put up more reps (20) than projected first round pick Tremaine Edmunds. Griffin will likely still be a middle round pick, but there are definitely more teams interested in him.
Marcus Davenport: DL, UTSA
After flying under the radar for most of the season, a good Senior Bowl and a better Combine made Davenport one of the best defensive lineman in the draft. He had the fourth-best vertical jump (33.5″), second-best broad jump (10′ 4″) and fastest 40 time (4.58s) among defensive linemen. He’s sneaky good, look for someone to take a chance on him fairly early.