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NFL Combine Day 1 Results: Surprises, Winners and Losers

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
March 4, 2022 at 8:00 am ET

NFL Combine Day 1 Results: Surprises, Winners and Losers(PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Mar 04, 2022 08:00
🕑 Read Time: 4 minutes

Combine Day 1

Biggest Surprise

Kevin Austin WR Notre Dame – 6’2”, 200, 4.43 40 (12th),  6.71 3-cone (first),  4.15 short shuttle (second), 39-inch vert (fifth), 11-foot broad jump (fifth).  In 2021 he had 48 catches for 888 yards, 7 TDs.  Before 2021 he did nothing for the Irish.  At the combine, he blows it up with his athleticism.  That’s the kind of performance that will make the scouts go back and take a second look.  Austin may turn into another David Givens type of receiver.  If you remember, in the 2002 draft, the Patriots defaulted on their 7th round selection, a compensation pick, and selected David Givens with the next pick #253.  Givens did nothing his senior year at Notre Dame under Bob Davies but helped lead the Pats to a win in Super Bowl 39.  That was a great draft as they selected TE Daniel Graham at #21, WR Deion Branch in the 2nd round, and Givens late in the 7th.

Winners

Skyy Moore WR Western Michigan – 5’10” 195 4.39(U), 4.42 (O).  Moore ran the best routes of all the receivers at the combine.  I said in my pre-combine article if Moore runs under 4.4, he legitimizes his ranking in the top 50 players.  PFF has him ranked 43.  If the Patriots are interested in Moore they might have to move up to get him.  I have been on Moore since January and this is the 1st time fans really got a chance to see Moore in the flesh.  Western Michigan didn’t get any national coverage and since Moore is a junior he didn’t get invited to any of the Senior all-star games.

Bo Melton WR Rutgers – 5’11” 189, 4.39 and 4.32 unofficially, 4.34 officially.  Melton was fast and smooth in his route running

Christian Watson WR North Dakota St – 6’ 4” 208 lbs, 4.38 40, 11’ 4” BJ, 38.5” VJ.  He was a star of the Senior Bowl week and he followed that up with superb numbers here in Indy.  That 4.38 40 at his size is Calvin Johnson-like.  He also could move into the top 50.

Chris Olave WR Ohio St. 4.39 40 impressed more than his 32-inch vertical and 10-4 broad jump.  We knew he was fast but not that fast.  I think both he and teammate Garrett Wilson have elevated themselves in front of where the Patriots are picking at #21.

Malik Willis QB Liberty – 6’ 1” 219, didn’t run 40, He should have run on the fast track at Indy.  We all know he is fast from his game videotape.  His passes were all on point and everything he threw was excellent, especially the deep throws.

Chig Okonkwo TE Maryland – 6’ 3” 238 lbs 4,52 40.  Okonkwo performed very well at the East-West Shrine game and followed that up with a blazing time at the combine.

Jelani Woods TE Virginia Tech – 6’7” 253 lbs 4.61 40, 24 reps Bench Press.  He excelled in the Blocking drills, driving the one-man sled (named Fred) down the field with ease.  His route running was smooth and caught the ball with his hands.

Losers

David Bell WR Purdue a 4.6 40 yard dash versus all the other great times posted at the combine should drop Bell into a day three pick.

Trevon Burks WR Arkansas – 6’5” 228 lbs, 4.45 40.  His straight-line speed was good for a player his size.  He will forever be compared to N’Keal Harry in the minds of Patriots fans.  He was awful in the field drills with bad footwork, coming out of his cuts slow, and just plain old dropping passes.

Other Notes

Kenny Pickett QB Pitt – Generally thought of as the Number 1 ranked QB finally had his hand measured.  We can now confirm what everyone had suspected is that Pickett has small hands.  He ducked the measurement at the Senior Bowl but couldn’t here in Indy.  His hand measured at 8.5 inches.  No current NFL QB has hand measurement under 9″.  The reason his hand measurement is so small is that he has double-jointed thumbs.  Will that affect his throwing and gripping of the ball and is it enough to scare off NFL teams from drafting him?

The top Wide Receivers from the combine are much smaller than projected.  Calvin Austin (blazing speed and explosive Vertical and Broad jump) is only 170 lbs.  Jameson Williams Alabama, Jahan Dotson Penn State and Wandale Robinson Kentucky were all under 180 lbs.  The two Ohio State Wideouts were under 185.

Local draft prospect EJ Perry QB Brown (Andover, MA) ran a 4.62 40 for 2nd behind Desmond Ridder.  Perry also made just enough throws to get him drafted late on Day three.  His hand measurement was under 9″ also.

Only two Wide Receivers ran the 3-cone drill under 7.0, the magic number the Patriots like to see.  Evan Lazar theorized the poor performances were due to the fact the 3-cone drill is run last when the players are most fatigued.  A lot of the WRs did not do the 3-cone drill and will wait to perform that at their Pro-Day.  This doesn’t make any sense when comparing the numbers to the speed of the 40-yard dash results.  Only two under 7?

Jameson Williams and John Metchie WRs, Alabama didn’t run or perform any drills.  They are recovering from injuries.  Williams hopes to be ready by the start of the new season.  Many think he is going to need the whole year to recover.  Metchie seems far ahead of Williams.  I wouldn’t draft either of them due to injuries, especially Metchie.  Indiana’s Ty Fryfogle pulled a hamstring running the 40 and backed out of all other field drills.

Slade Bolden WR Alabama seems a lock for the Patriots, but his poor performance probably assures him of not getting drafted.  He ran a 4.66 unofficially, the slowest of all Wide Receivers.  He will probably be a UDFA because of his close relationship with Mac Jones.  They roomed together at Alabama.

READ NEXT:
NFL Combine Day 2: Official 40 Times Controversy

About Mark Morse

Merrimack Valley native and lifelong fan of the New England Patriots. My earliest memories of the Patriots were attending as a child with my dad, the off-season practice at Phillips Academy. I was at the Patriots game at Harvard Stadium in 1970 where Bob “Harpo” Gladieux was called out of the stands by the stadium announcer over the PA to play in the game. Analyzing the draft since ESPN first started to televise it in 1980 and former writer for the Lowell Sun Newspaper.


Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Draft

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