While it may not make or break your draft day fate, the NFL combine can help determine where a prospect is ultimately selected during the draft. This year was no different, as several prospects that took part in this year's combine (and a few that didn't) saw a significant jump in their prospect ranking heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Currently No. 37 | Previously No. 74
While he wasn't the most prolific college cornerback (he picked off just one pass in three seasons at Auburn), Igbinoghene tested extremely well at last month's combine. Despite being part one arguably the deepest position class in the 2020 draft, Igbinoghene was among the top performers at the cornerback position in the 40-yard dash (tied for 12th with a 4.48), the bench press (ninth with 15 reps at 225 pounds) and in the vertical jump (seventh with a 37-inch jump) and broad jump (seventh with a 10-feet-8 inch jump). Igbinoghene is currently tabbed as the draft's seventh best cornerback prospect by CBS Sports.
Ezra Cleveland, OL, Boise State
Currently No. 49 | Previously No. 98
Currently tabbed by CBS Sports as the draft's seventh best offensive lineman prospect, Cleveland led his position in the 3-cone drill with a time of 7.26 seconds. He was one of three linemen to run a sub 5.0 in the 40-yard dash, coming in with a time of 4.93 seconds. Cleveland also finished fifth with 33 bench press reps, 10th with a nine-foot-three inch broad jump and a 30-inch vertical jump. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Cleveland finished his college career as a two-time First Team All-Mountain West performer.
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Currently No. 55 | Previously No. 89
Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor is the only running back that arguably had a better combine performance than Akers, who out-performed No. 1 RB prospect D'Andre Swift during his time in Indianapolis. Akers, who rushed for 14 touchdowns while averaging 5.0 yards per carry during his final season at Florida State, finished fifth in the combine in the 40-yard dash (4.47 seconds), tied for ninth in the bench press (20 reps), and tied for 14th in the broad jump (10-feet-2 inches) and the vertical jump (35.5 inches). He is now the fourth-ranked running back on CBS Sports' prospect rankings, behind Swift, Taylor, and Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins.
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Currently No. 65 | Previously No. 97
The reigning Cliff Harris Award recipient (the award given annually to the nation's best Div. II defensive player), Dugger shined at the combine, leading his peers with a 42-inch vertical jump. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound defensive back also finished second in the broad jump (11-feet-2 inches), sixth in the 40-yard dash (4.49 seconds) and tied for 11th in the bench press (17 reps). Along with his ability as a safety, Duggar also stood out special teams during his time with the Bears, earning National Special Teams Player of the Week after returning two punts for scores during a game last fall.
Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
Currently No. 79 | Previously No. 125
While he's still outside of the top-10 cornerback prospects in the draft, Pride's combine performance may help him get selected a day earlier in next month's draft. During the combine, Pride proved that he is among the fastest defensive players in this year's draft, placing fourth among his position in the 40-yard dash (4.40 seconds) and in the 3-cone drill (6.94 seconds). Pride was also seventh in the 20-yard shuffle (4.26 seconds) and tied for 13th with 13 bench press reps at 225 pounds. Pride's solid yet unspectacular performances in the vertical and broad jumps and during his on-field work deprived him of moving even further up on the prospect list.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Currently No. 80 | Previously No. 128
Despite a stellar 2019 season that saw him rush for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns (while also catching 55 passes for 453 yards) in helping lead the Tigers to a national title, Edwards-Helaire found himself projected as a Day 3 projection prior to the combine. It's safe to say that he has significantly elevated his draft stock following a combine performance that saw him tie for third at his position in the vertical jump (39.5 inches) and tied for ninth in the broad jump (10-feet-3 inches). Edwards-Helaire was also impressive during his on-field work that included several solid catches during passing drills.
Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
Currently No. 86 | Previously No. 157
How do you move up 71 spots in the prospect rankings? By doing exactly what Chinn did at the combine. During his time in Indianapolis, Chinn, a 2019 Football Championship Subdivision All-American, paced the safety position with an 11-feet-6 inch broad jump. He also finished second in the vertical jump (41 inches), tied for third in the 40-yard dash (4.45 seconds) and tied for fourth in the bench press with 20 reps. Also helping Chinn's draft stock is the fact that he was recently named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star team and MVFC All-Academic team with a 3.55 GPA, according to Southern Illinois' athletic website.
Matt Hennessy, OL, Temple
Currently No. 90 | Previously No. 129
Hennessy, one of the top centers in this year's draft, was one of the top performances amongst offensive linemen during the combine. He finished second in the 3-cone drill (7.45 seconds) and in the 20-yard shuffle (4.60 seconds). Hennessy also finished 11th in the vertical jump (30 inches) and broad jump (9-feet-2 inches). A three-year starter at Temple, Hennessy was tabbed as a third-team Associated Press All-American in 2019 and was one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top center.
Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
Currently No. 97 | Previously No. 126
Despite not participating in the combine after discovering a fracture in his foot that requires surgery, Jefferson, a speedy slot receiver, saw his prospect ranking improve heading into the draft. While he wasn't an active participant, Jefferson was still at the combine and took part in various interviews that reportedly included one with the Steelers, who are looking to add another weapon to their offense. Jefferson started his college career at Ole Miss before finishing at Florida, catching 84 passes and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Gators. Jefferson is the son of former NFL receiver Shawn Jefferson, who enjoyed a productive 13-year career that included a Super Bowl run with the Patriots in 1996.
Matt Peart, OL, Connecticut
Currently No. 99 | Previously No. 146
A native of Jamaica who moved to New York City at four-years-old, the 6-foot-7, 318-pound Peart has the ideal frame for an NFL offensive tackle. He also, apparently, has the right quickness, too, placing eighth among OL at the combine with a time of 5.06 seconds. Peart also finished ninth in the broad jump (jumping 9-feet-5 inches) and 11th in the vertical jump (30 inches). Peart met with several teams at the combine that included a visit with the Patriots, who are looking to add several parts to their offensive line over the next few months.
Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa
Currently No. 103 | Previously No. 139
A 2019 Second Team All-Big 10 selection, Ojemudia turned heads at the combine, finishing second in his position in the 3-cone drill (6.87 seconds), sixth in the 20 second shuffle (4.21 seconds), ninth in the 40-yard dash (4.45 seconds) and 11th in the vertical jump (37 inches). A member of the team's 2019 leadership group, Ojemudia tallied six interceptions and 15 passes defensed during his final two seasons with the Hawkeyes.
Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Currently No. 111 | Previously No. 155
Robertson, who is still receiving from surgery to repair a groin injury sustained during the 2019 season, rose in the rankings despite not being an active participant at the combine. Robertson was still in Indianapolis, however, taking part in formal and informal interviews with NFL teams that reportedly included an informal interview with the Jets. Robertson, who plans to participate in Louisiana Tech's pro day, enjoyed a solid 2019 season that saw him record five interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Ben Bartch, OL, St. John's
Currently No. 112 I Previously No. 152
A Division III product, Bartch initially came to St. John's as a tight end before moving to tackle before his junior season. Bartch quickly got acclimated to his new position, allowing just four pressures in 315 pass-blocking snaps in 2019, according to Cleveland.com. Bartch, who is looking to be the first player drafted from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since 2003, showed that he can have success against some of the nation's best defenders at the Senior Bowl. While he didn't participate in on-field work at the combine, Bartch will be working out during Minnesota's pro day on March 25.
K'Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Currently No. 113 | Previously No. 160
A Third Team All-ACC selection in 2019, Wallace showcased his versatility and athleticism at the combine. He finished first amongst safeties in the 3-cone drill with a time of 6.76 seconds. He also finished third in the 20-second shuffle (4.15 seconds) and in the broad jump (11-feet-1 inch). Wallace also placed fourth in the vertical jump (38 inches), and ninth in the bench press (18 reps) and in the 40-yard dash (4.53 seconds). Wallace enjoyed a solid final season at Clemson, returning one of his two interceptions for scores while recording 72 tackles, two sacks and 10 passes defensed.
Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
Currently No. 116 | Previously No. 145
The son of former Bills' running back Darick Holmes, Darnay Holmes raised eyebrows after running a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He also, according to CBS Sports draft analyst Josh Edwards, lookedduring his on-field drills. A PAC-12 conference Honorable Mention performer last season, Holmes recorded eight interceptions, 17 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in three seasons with the Bruins.
Biggest late-round risers: Geno Stone, S, Iowa; Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte; A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College; Nevelle Clarke, CB, UCF; John Hightower, WR, Boise State; Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State; Khaleke Hudson, LB, Michigan; Derrek Tuszka, EDGE, North Dakota State; Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis; Reggie Robinson II, CB, Tulsa