The NFL Scouting Combine came and went, and like all things in America, some made money while others lost money.
Who were the B1G prospects who made themselves some money? Who were the B1G prospects who might’ve lost themselves some money?
I’m glad you asked.
And even if you didn’t, here they are:
1. D.J. Moore, Maryland WR
I really am just a broken record at this point. I’ve been a big fan of Moore’s game for three years now, and it’s nice to see that others are finally coming around to him. His rising stock went to new heights after he balled in Indianapolis.
The former Terp ran a blistering 4.42-second 40-yard dash, which surprised many. As I wrote when I predicted he was a candidate to break John Ross’ 40-yard dash record, Moore is faster than he looks on tape.
He’s also taller than he looks on tape. After being listed at 5-11 his whole career, Moore measured in at 6-0. That, for some stupid reason, matters.
Moore’s tape was already some of the best of any wideout in the draft, and he did that without even an average quarterback. The fact that not only did he measure at 6-0, but that he performed well in the 40 and in the jumps was huge. He might even be the second receiver selected in the draft, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah:
— ’03 Kliff Kingsbury (@fearthe_beard11) March 3, 2018
Somehow, the NFL’s College Advisory Committee told Moore to stay in school…that’s laughable. So is anyone who thinks this guy is anything less than a second-round pick.
2. Mike Gesicki, Penn State TE
Gesicki is a household name, but seniors often get tagged as “not as athletic” and they get picked apart. Some might pick apart Gesicki for his blocking, but in terms of just his freakish abilities, those are off the charts.
No tight end had a better weekend than Gesicki. That wasn’t much of a surprise considering how good he was in his final 2 seasons at Penn State, but it was a good reminder of why the former basketball/volleyball player is a different kind of talented.
Look at these numbers compared to his fellow tight ends:
- 40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds (T-1st)
- Vertical: 41.5 inches (1st)
- Broad jump: 129 inches (1st)
- 3-cone drill: 6.76 seconds (1st)
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.1 seconds (1st)
- 60-yard shuttle: 11.33 seconds (1st)
- 22 bench press reps (2nd)
Yes, Gesicki was a bench press rep short of SWEEPING the entire combine for the tight ends group. That’s a big-time performance from a guy who had some high expectations coming in.
Will Gesicki be the first tight end off the board? That remains to be seen. Whoever picks him is getting easily the most athletic tight end in the class.
3. Justin Jackson, Northwestern RB
There were a lot of feel-good stories of the weekend in Indianapolis. Jackson was one of them. The former Northwestern star left school as the No. 3 rusher in B1G history, yet he got a grade as a late Day-3 option. Obviously Jackson isn’t Saquon Barkley as a prospect, but he had a pretty low bar to clear in Indy.
It’s safe to say he cleared that bar.
Jackson ripped off a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, which was fifth among running backs. He also had the fifth-best vertical (38.5 inches), the second-best 3-cone drill time (6.81 seconds), he tied for the best 20-yard shuttle time, and he was first in the 60-yard shuttle.
— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) March 3, 2018
Is Jackson’s stock rising? It should be.
And one thing on Saquon Barkley…
OK, NOW CAN WE PLEASE STOP LEAVING THIS GUY OUT OF THE TOP 5 IN MOCK DRAFTS?!?!?
1. Maurice Hurst, Michigan DT
I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate saying that Hurst “lost” this weekend. Usually a combine “loser” is someone who underperforms. Sometimes it’s that a guy gets injured or that he says something he shouldn’t have. It’s rarely ever that a guy can’t perform because of a discovered heart condition.
There’s no other way to say it. That sucks. That’s a flat out bummer for a guy who could’ve left school early but came back and dominated as a senior. Hurst was ready to cash in after proving he was one of the nation’s best defensive linemen. Now, it’s uncertain what his future holds.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that one doctor compared the condition to Nick Fairley’s, which might’ve ended his career after it was discovered last year. Here’s hoping that’s not the case and that Hurst is able to move past what had to be some of the worst news of his life.
2. Billy Price, Ohio State C
Again, not every “combine loser” is on here because of poor performance. Price made this list because of torn pec he suffered during the bench press portion of the combine.
It was a brutal development for a guy many believed would be picked in the back end of the first round. How that shakes out now is anyone’s guess. Price said that if surgery is required, he’ll be out 4 months, which would mean that he’d still be back in time for camp. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that this is the time when a player’s draft stock is in its most fragile state. An injury at this time could bump Price down into the Day 2 picture at the very least. He’s considered an immediate impact player, and if was going to be drafted in the first round, that’s what he’d be asked to do.
But guys even with rumored injuries have been known to free-fall out of the first round. Having an injury on a big stage like that will be the first topic of conversation in all of Price’s meetings moving forward.
At the very least, though, he’s still in good spirits:
Billy Price on overcoming his pectoral injury: “You’re going to have to really put a bullet between us Ohio State guys’ eyes to put us down."
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) March 2, 2018
3. Josey Jewell, Iowa LB
Jewell was never going to be a freakish prospect. Nobody was going to be shocked if he didn’t run a 4.55-second 40.
But a 4.83? That didn’t exactly break down those Iowa linebacker stereotypes.
Jewell has plenty of tape looking like an All-American linebacker. For those who want to watch the tape, they’ll see a 3-year starter who plays fast, and almost too fast at times. For those who want to judge him based on his 40 time, Jewell will have some people to sell.
Despite the fact that Jewell actually performed well in the 3-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle, the lack of straight-line speed might’ve cemented him as a Day-3 prospect, according to Pro Football Focus’ Josh Liskiewitz.
Still, Jewell will probably make that money back when he plays a decade in the NFL and racks up 1,000 tackles.