NFL combine: D.K. Metcalf blazes path to top 10 of draft and how WR, TE, QB workouts affect first round
Metcalf flies, Drew Lock makes case for a top-10 pick, and Noah Fant is the most athletic TE in this class
INDIANAPOLIS -- The skill positions were featured on Saturday, and any concerns about the lack of playmakers were. That's how long it took Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to blaze the 40-yard dash and in the process leave just about everyone in Indianapolis picking their jaws up off the floor.
Tight ends and quarterbacks also went through the on-field drills today. And while the tight ends were also impressive, the quarterbacks were decidedly less so, which only bolsters the reality that this draft class won't have nearly the depth of the 2018 group, when five passers went in Round 1.
Here are the five first-round talents who helped -- or possibly hurt -- themselves on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
- Draft range: Top 10
Metcalf arrived in Indy as our No. 1 wide receiver and he'll likely leave as a top-10 talent. He blew the doors off ... well, everything this week: 27 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, the aforementioned 4.33 40-yard time (unofficial), and, most importantly, he looked smooth in pass-catching drills.
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
- Draft range: Late Round 1
Everyone knew Parris Campell was fast but no one expected him to run a 4.31 40 time. The Ohio State standout was considered a Day 2 pick when he arrived at the combine but he leaves with a chance to sneak into the first round. Campbell played in the slot for the Buckeyes and while he rarely used his speed to beat defenders deep, he's a shifty underneath player who is a threat to take it to the house every time the ball is in his hands.
That's game-changing speed.
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
- Draft range: Top 15-32
If you're looking for a traditional inline tight end, this isn't it. But if you're enamored by Evan Engram's playmaking athleticism then we'd like to introduce you to Noah Fant. He ran a 4.50 40 and posted a 39 1/2-inch vertical leap and a 6.81 three-cone drill (all tops among tight ends). His Iowa teammate, T.J. Hockenson, is considered one of the most complete players in this draft class but Fant is more athletic -- and in the right system he can be a game-changer. If he's still on the board at the bottom of the first round, Fant would make a lot of sense in Green Bay and New England.
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
- Draft range: Top 5
Kyler Murray chose not to work out but the other quarterbacks did. And Haskins, who is our No. 1 quarterback, looked ... like he was moving through the passing drills at about 75 percent. He was accurate with his passes, but there wasn't a moment that left you thinking he was the unquestioned best passer in this class. Haskins ran a 5.04 40, but he's a traditional pocket passer so that time matters little. None of this changes his 2018 season, where he completed 70 percent of his passes and threw 50 touchdowns. And he'll remain a logical fit for the Giants and Jaguars, who have the No. 6 and No. 7 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
- Draft range: Top 15
Haskins and Murray are QB1 and QB2, Drew Lock is our No. 3 quarterback. He was, and he looked the part in Indy this week too.
Lock reminds us of Jay Cutler -- both in terms of arm strength, athleticism, and sometimes-suspect decision making -- but he played well over the final month of his college season and in a league built around franchise passers, there's every reason to believe that a quarterback-desperate team will talk themselves into trading up -- maybe even into the top 10 -- to take Lock. John Elway is reportedly smitten with Lock and after whiffing on Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and most recently Case Keenum, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that he could aggressively pursue his next face of the franchise. That story will unfold over the next two months but for now Lock continues to look like a first-round talent.
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