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2023 Combine notebook | Wrapping up the weekend in Indy

Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Things are beginning to wrap up at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and over the past few days, the wide receivers, quarterbacks, tight ends, offensive line and running backs all spoke to the media and participated in on-field drills. 

Let's take a look back at all that happened over the weekend. 

-- As was mentioned in the previous notebook, Washington is not necessarily in the hunt for a young quarterback with the team saying that Sam Howell would enter the offseason workout program as "QB1." But since several of them performed so well, their numbers are worth mentioning here. 

Florida signal-caller Anthony Richardson was the clear standout for the position. It was expected that he would put up good numbers, and he did not disappoint. Aside from running a 4.43 40-yard dash, he also set a record for the position with a 40.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-9 broad jump. And on top of that, he was flicking the ball 50-yards downfield with ease. 

Richardson has flown up draft boards recently, and with his recent showing at the Combine, that trend will likely continue.

-- Kentucky's Will Levis made the proclamation that he would throw at the Combine "because I've got a cannon, and I'm gonna show it off." There was a lot of confidence in that statement, and Levis backed it up. He led all quarterbacks with a throw velocity of 59 mph, which was better than Patrick Mahomes (55 mph), Justin Herbert (55 mph) and Lamar Jackson (49 mph).

-- Moving on to receivers, Tennessee's Jalin Hyatt was one of the players who helped his draft stock in Indianapolis. He led his position in the broad jump (11-foot-3), but he also ranked among the top in the 40-yard dash (4.40) and vertical jump (40 inches). Hyatt felt some tightness in his hamstring, so he did not participate in any other on-field drills, but he certainly did enough to get scouts' attention.

-- Boston College's Zay Flowers is smooth. All pass-catchers go through a gauntlet drill, which is designed to let receivers show off their hands and concentration. Part of the drill also requires the receivers to run as straight of a line as possible, and Flowers, who was a two-time First Team All-ACC selection, put together one of the best performances in the drill.

-- Here's a brief note on the tight ends. This year's class is supposed to be one of the best in recent memories, and one of the top players at the position is Georgia's Darnell Washington. At 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds, he is one of the most physically imposing tight ends available. Judging by how easily he moved during sled drills, he knows how to use that size, too.

-- Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence continued to prove that he is one of the offensive linemen worthy of a first-round pick. He showed off his footwork at the Senior Bowl by being able to keep with defensive linemen in pass protection. At the Combine, he looked just as impressive during the wave drill, which requires players to change direction based on their position coach's instructions.

-- The words "speed" will likely never be associated with offensive linemen, so scouts are not going to learn much from 40 times from the position. There is something to be learned from the 10-yard splits, though, because they can be indicators of how explosive players can be at short distances. Here are the best times from the group:

  • Blake Freeland, BYU: 1.68
  • Braeden Daniels, Utah: 1.71
  • Jon Gaines II, UCLA: 1.73
  • Wanya Morris, Oklahoma: 1.73
  • Jordan McFadden, Clemson: 1.74
  • Broderick Jones, Georgia: 1.7
  • Anthony Bradford, LSU: 1.74

-- At running back, Texas' Bijan Robinson was the talk of the Combine with impressive numbers in the 40 (4.46), vertical (37 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-4). But another player who had a strong weekend was Auburn's Tank Bigsby, who had a Pro Football Focus grade of 90.4 in 2022. He showed strong footwork during bag drills, and his ability as a pass-catcher out of the backfield could entice a team to take him early on Day 2 of the draft.

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