The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine results were finalized this week. The annual Indianapolis showcase allowed for the best collegiate football players to work out and interview in front of various teams and media. Which NFL Draft prospects helped or hurt their status over the week-long event?
Teez Tabor, Reuben Foster, Jaleel Johnson, John Ross, Christian McCaffrey, and DeShaun Watson all made headlines during the week-long scouting event. Some of them made news for good performances, while others hurt themselves with bad results at the 2017 NFL Combine. Read more below.
2017 NFL Combine Risers
Receiver John Ross, Washington
Chris Johnson vs John Ross in the 40 yard dash. Two fastest 40 yard dashes in #NFLCombine history.
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) March 6, 2017
Washington receiver John Ross captured everyone’s attention in Indy after he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds. It was a brand new NFL Combine record, and many people say he could have run it faster.
Ross’ time is especially amazing when you consider the surgeries he has since high school. The Washington receiver did not finish his combine workout due to cramps.
Nonetheless, NFL website’s Bucky Brooks says Ross can save that energy to continue building draft moment during his pro day on March 11. Brooks expects Ross to continue climbing up boards due to his speed in Indianapolis and production at Washington.
Running back Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey has a legitimate argument to be the top back in this draft class, according to Rotoworld‘s Josh Norris. McCaffrey helped his status by going through passing drills, per Norris.
Meanwhile, other top backs like FSU’s Dalvin Cook hurt their status with questionable results across the athletic drills. LSU’s Leonard Fournette also slightly hurt his stock by being a little heavy and registering a bad vertical jump. Texas runner D’Onta Foreman also hurt his stock by not performing at the 2017 NFL combine due to a foot injury.
All of this could mean good for McCaffrey’s draft value, as he made the most of Indianapolis.
Quarterback DeShaun Watson, Clemson
"Winners win and losers lose. He’s a winner."
— NFL (@NFL) March 6, 2017
Bleacher Report‘s Brad Gagnon listed Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson as one of the players who raised their stock at the NFL Scouting Combine. He cites that Watson might have won the day on Saturday as he put on a show during positional drills and Watson ranked in the top five at his position for several of the athletic tests.
Hence, Watson finds himself among several quarterbacks fighting for the top spot in the NFL Draft class. Furthermore, Gagnon shares that Watson’s combine performance proves that the Clemson quarterback does not back down from high-pressure moments. This is something we already knew as he played well in the last two National Championship games versus Alabama.
2017 NFL Combine Fallers
Corner Teez Tabor, Florida
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) March 6, 2017
Florida corner Teez Tabor could fall out of the first round after his combine results, according to Norris. Tabor registered a bad athletic profile while competing with a corner class that has size, speed, and agility. Norris called it bad timing for Tabor, as many had him among the elite corners in this draft class.
Norris said that he would be surprised if Tabor gets drafted in the first round. Tabor’s 4.63 40-yard dash and other results peril in comparison to similar players in the corner draft class.
Linebacker Reuben Foster, Alabama
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster hurt his draft stock by getting dismissed from the 2017 NFL Combine. Foster left Indianapolis early due to a verbal altercation while waiting for a medical exam. The Alabama linebacker has since apologized for arguing with a hospital worker, and he called it a misunderstanding.
However, NFL teams could already question his character. Brooks writes that Foster was expected to go among the top 20 picks, but these questions could hurt his status. Foster has a ton of great film, but this incident shows a lack of emotional control and professionalism, per Brooks. Either way, Foster can address these issues at his pro day.
Defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) March 5, 2017
Gagnon listed Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson as one player that decreased his stock during the Scouting Combine.
Despite raising his stock during the Senior Bowl, Johnson hurt his draft hype with a poor performance in Indy. Johnson registered the second-worst broad jump and 40-time of any player at his position. His three-cone drill, shuttle, and bench press were also underwhelming.
Thus, Gagnon said that Johnson’s athletic tests are concerning because he just started rising up draft boards a few weeks ago after the Senior Bowl.
At the end of the day, most team executives and scouts rely on prospects’ actual game time to evaluate them as players. Hence, the 2017 NFL Combine serves as exclamation points or question marks to these collegiate players’ full body of work.
Not to mention, the Scouting Combine is not the last chance for players to revise their draft stocks. NFL Draft prospects can still hurt or help their status via college pro days and individual team workouts. Therefore, you will have to keep your eye on these prospects as they continue to build on the 2017 Scouting Combine results before April’s NFL Draft.
Check out the full 2017 NFL Scouting Combine results here, via the NFL website.
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]