The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine was a sight to see, with plenty of young talent in preparation for the Las Vegas NFL Draft at the end of the upcoming April. To some, the combine is a tool to evaluate movement or catching skills, which can mean the difference between a Day Three prospect and a first-rounder.
Moreover, in a race to improve their draft stock, many players chose to display their talents while others decided not to participate. That said, here are my winners and losers over the four days in the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The 6′ 4″, 238 pound Clemson product shocked everyone with his excellent performance. Numbers like a 4.39 40-yard dash, 39″ vertical, and 11′ broad jump not only boost his stock immensely, but also complement an otherwise brave transition from safety to one of the best linebacker blue-chip prospects.
Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
Wirfs shocked everyone with his record-breaking performance at the combine with a 36.5″ vertical jump (new record for OL), 10′ 1″ broad jump (tied record for OL), and 4.85 40-yard dash. This freakish performance is in line with one of the best combine performances from an offensive lineman. It is safe to say he could be in the running for a top-10 pick in April.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor is the definition of a snowball rolling down a hill; he’s only getting mightier and more robust as he goes. The one-cut running back put on a show in Indy with a 4.39 40 yard dash, which led the position group, as well as other notable results, like a 4.24 20 yard shuttle, 36″ vertical jump, and 10′ 3″ broad jump.
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Graded as a year one starter, Mekhi Becton is the player to watch coming in the draft, at the height of 6′ 7″ and weighing in at 364 pounds. The reliable tackle started 11 games at left tackle his junior year, garnering first-team All-ACC honors. Most notable, however, was his 40 yard dash time, accomplishing a 5.10, only a second slower than Jake Fromm. Weighing in as one of the most massive players at the combine, you better believe Becton is on many teams’ radars.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
As one of the biggest stock risers in the draft, Denzel Mims showed an impressive skillset at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, tying for second in the 40-yard dash with a 4.38, as well as finishing first in the three-cone drill with a 6.66. Numbers like these not only put Mims as a player to watch, but enough to get first-round buzz.
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
As a limited small school prospect, Kyle Dugger dominated at his respective position. The versatile and scheme friendly safety weighed in at 217 pounds with a 4.49 40 yard dash and 42 inch vertical, enough to garner comparisons to Derwin James. His range and toughness to play in the box should be sufficient to turn a few heads come draft day.
Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Although Cole McDonald could potentially be an undrafted free agent coming the new season, I could not help but recognize his excellent performance on the combine drills. Finishing first both in the 40-yard dash (4.58) and vertical jump (36.0), second in the three-cone exercise (7.13), and fourth in the broad jump (10′ 1″), McDonald impressed many including myself at the combine.
Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt
Jared Pinkney is a talented player with great size and athleticism; however, he is not a next-level prospect most teams would be keen on choosing. After his sluggish 4.96 40 yard dash, ranked worst among all tight ends, Pinkney did not make matters better for him after reports of a wonky answer given to a Patriots reporter, giving off the impression of a “loser’s mentality.”
Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Trey Adams is an excellent example of what a severe injury could do for your career. The 6’8 product out of Washington posted the worst 40 yard dash time in the combine at 5.60. With a sub-par grade in his agility workouts and a severe injury record, Adams will most likely not find a team to deal with these shortcomings.
Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee
In a deep wide receiver class, Jauan Jennings did not impress scouts, racking in a 4.72 40 yard dash and 29″ vertical, both second to last at his position. With numbers like these, it’s essential to question whether he has what it takes to be elite at the next level, however, with his disconcerting athletic profile, this might keep him from reaching the draft.