My word this receiver group is fast. That's the general sentiment everyone took away from Day 1 of the 2022 NFL combine. For a long while, we thought we had a new 40-yard dash record holder, and while that ultimately wasn't the case -- when official numbers were posted -- there were still eight wideouts with a time under 4.40 seconds. That's scooting.
The tight ends weren't as spectacular. But that group was collectively large. Ironically, the smallest tight end -- someone I would never call "small" to his face -- ran the fastest 40.
Notable WR workouts
Velus Jones Jr.
Kevin Austin Jr.
Christian Watson, North Dakota State: Watson won the day at the receiver position. He's 6-4 and 210 pounds, one of the most sizable receivers in this class. He ran 4.36 with a 38.5-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot, four-inch broad jump, one of the longest in combine history.
Alec Pierce, Cincinnati: Pierce is a "won the day" candidate too. He's as big a dynamic receiver prospect, that we know. At 6-3 and 211 pounds, he ran 4.41 with a 40.5-inch vertical and a broad jump close to 11 feet. He's long and limber.
Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame: No one saw this coming, and everyone, including myself, will be scrambling to get back to the Notre Dame film to watch Austin after his effort on Thursday in Indianapolis. High-end size, high-end athlete.
Calvin Austin, Memphis: At 170 pounds with an illustrious collegiate track background, Austin had to work out well, and he certainly did. Austin finished top 5 in the 40, vertical, and broad jump. He's probably not a first-round selection, but with his now officially documented explosiveness, he feels like a Round 2 lock.
Garrett Wilson, Ohio State: When the official times finally came in, it was Wilson who was the fastest Ohio State receiver. The rest of his workout wasn't spectacular, but across the board, he tested like a better athlete than Olave.
Bo Melton, Rutgers: Melton looks fast on film. And he confirmed his high-end speed with an official 4.34 time. Importantly too, he crushed the broad jump, vertical, and the three cone. Sure, the Rutgers receiver was just under 190 pounds, but at 5-11, he has adequate size for today's NFL. And we now know Melton is a complete athlete.
Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee: Based on his height and weight -- 6-0 and 204 pounds -- Jones' 4.31 was the most impressive speed performance from last night. Given that he has YAC abilities and now we know there's elite speed to his game, Jones has entered the Day 2 conversation.
David Bell, Purdue: Bell wasn't expected to rock his combine workout. But seeing the numbers gave disappointing vibes. Running 4.65 is far from ideal. As is a vertical under 35 inches and a broad jump that didn't hit the 10-foot mark. Bell wins with precise routes and elite ball-tracking skills. He's a lower-level athlete by NFL standards at the receiver spot.
Treylon Burks, Arkansas: Let me be clear with Burks' 40. Running 4.55 at just north of 6-2 and 225 pounds is not horrible. I wouldn't even consider it "bad." But there were many Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown comparisons for Burks before the combine, but the Arkansas star simply isn't as explosive or fast as either of the two star professionals.
Charleston Rambo, Miami: At over 6-0 and 177 pounds, Rambo had the height-weight combination to test through the roof. Unfortunately that didn't happen. A time close to 4.60 in the 40 and less-than-stellar the jumps will move him down boards across the league.
Notable TE workouts
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland: No tight end turned more heads than Okonkwo even though he was the smallest tight end at this year's combine. Running 4.52 with a spring 35.5-inch vertical at a stocky 6-2 and 238 pounds was damn impressive.
Jelani Woods, Virginia: Woods was one of the monstrous tight end in this intimidatingly big class, and he scorched in the 40 with that 4.61 time. Don't be surprised if he goes before the start of the fourth round.
Cole Turner, Nevada: This one I don't understand. Turner looked like an athletic basketball player on film with the back-shoulder catches and fades in the end zone. At the combine, he only had a vertical of 27 inches
Peyton Hendershot, Indiana: Hendershot looks like a more-than-capable athlete on film. To run 4.80 won't impress anyone in NFL front offices, and his 32.5-inch vertical was one of the lowest of the tight end group.