Rotoworld’s NFL Draft team will be coming at you with content galore around the NFL Scouting Combine, with recaps of every day in Indianapolis, giving you the lowdown on the good, the bad and the in-between from the annual evaluating showcase. Testing proper won’t start until Friday, but there’s already plenty to parse between player measurements and cryptic team-speak.
On Thursday, quarterbacks and wide receivers weighed in. Below, the most interesting headlines of the day:
We know how tall Kyler Murray is!
Whether you like it or not, the height/weight portion of the combine is a big deal. Teams like to make comps, and outside of the extremely lazy race comparisons, the easiest way to make comps is to make comparisons based on, you guessed it, height and weight.
For no prospect were the measurements bigger -- no pun intended -- than Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. And if it's possible to "win" something like this. He did just that.
Murray came in at 5-foot-10 1/8-inch and 207 pounds in his measurements. That makes him the smallest quarterback in this class, but there were concerns that Murray was going to measure in the 5-foot-9 (or lower) range, and the 207-pound weight is well-above what many were expecting; at least until a report from Peter King that suggested he'd come in at 206.
For comparison's sake, Russell Wilson came in at 5-foot-10 5/8-inch, 204-pounds when he showed up to his combine in 2012. Wilson's hands were measured at a ridiculous 10 1/4" and while Murray didn't hit that mark, his 9 1/2" mark is certainly good enough.
Long story short, the questions about whether or not Kyler Murray is tall enough or big enough to play quarterback shouldn't have been there in the first place, but this all but destroys that argument. If you want to argue that Russell Wilson is an exception to the rule, by all means, but there's no reason that Murray can't be one of those exceptions, too. No one should be shocked if this is the first quarterback -- maybe even first player -- off the board in April.
But we may not see Murray throw the football
We now know Murray's height/weight/wingspan/favorite mammal (okay not the last one), but it sounds like we're not going to see much of him at the combine.
Multiple outlets are reporting that Murray probably will not throw at the NFL Scouting Combine, something we've heard for the past several weeks.
This is far from new information, but it's also far from a precedent. We've seen several quarterbacks decide to not throw at the event, and this writer can't think of a time where it hurt the quarterbacks' draft stock. He also can't think of a time where the quarterback throwing really hurt his stock, either, but that's not the point. The most important thing for the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner was to show he has the build to handle the rigors of the quarterback position (check) and to nail the interviews (in progress). The tape -- and his pro day -- will show how well Murray throws the football.
Lock ties for smallest hands among signal-callers
While Murray "won" -- it's a silly term, we know -- with his measurements, Missouri QB Drew Lock raised a bit of concern with his. His height/weight were in line with what was expected at 6-foot-3 3/4-inches and 228-pounds, but Lock also measured with 9" hands, which tied for the smallest hand measurement among quarterbacks with Washington's Jake Browning.
This shouldn't be an issue. Last year Sam Darnold had the same hand-measurement and was the third pick in the draft. That being said, we know that folks love to nitpick Lock -- he's a victim of his own success and a quarterback who makes silly throws that make it easy -- and this could be another one. Again, the tape is going to matter more here, but we don't have tape to talk about right now. He still projects as a mid-first round selection.
Other quarterbacks were measured, too
Believe it or not, there were other quarterbacks who took part in the weigh-ins. Unsurprisingly, Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson was the tallest quarterback at 6-foot-7 and had the biggest mitts with a 10 1/4" hand measurement. What was a shock, however, is that Jackson came in at a rather svelte 216-pounds, down from the 245-pounds he was listed at with the Bulls. We'll see if that helps Jackson's mobility; because of his arm strength, he's one of the most interesting -- but polarizing -- quarterbacks in the class.
With Jackson's weight loss, Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins is the heaviest quarterback in the group at 231-pounds from his 6-foot-3 3/8-inch height. He looks the part. Duke's Daniel Jones came in a pound heavier than his Senior Bowl weigh in at 6-foot-5 1/8 -inches and 221-pounds. He also looks the part. The lightest quarterback, if you were curious, was Penn State's Trace McSorley at 6-foot 1/8-inches and 201-pounds. He does not look the part.
Alex Barnes is stronger than you
Barnes was a power-rusher who excelled between the tackles in Manhattan, so it wasn't a surprise to see him lead all running backs in bench press reps on Thursday. But saying he led is an understatement. In fact, no running back has ever put up more than the 34 bench press reps that Barnes (6'0/226) put up; as he broke the record previously set by Jerick McKinnon. Not only was this a record for the RB group, it was also would have tied for second in the OFFENSIVE LINEMAN group with Garrett Bradbury, with Weber State's Iosua Upeta leading everyone with 39. Assuming he doesn't completely blow the 40-yard dash and quickness drills, we would have to say that Barnes improved his draft stock from this performance.
Barnes wasn't the only running back who performed well on Friday. Appalachian State's Jalin Moore -- who may not be able to participate in anything else in Indianapolis because of a leg injury -- came in second, with Georgia's Elijah Holyfield (260) Oklahoma's Rodney Anderson (25) and Washington's Myles Gaskin (24) rounding out the top five. Again, the agility drills are going to matter so much more than the bench press for these fellows, but it certainly doesn't sure that that you have upper-body strength like this. On the contrary.
Ford has shoulder tightness during bench press
It wasn't all good news from the bench press. Oklahoma T Cody Ford was only able to get 19 reps up before having to stop with what his agent is calling "shoulder tightness. Considering Ford is 6-foot-3, 329-pounds and considered one of the best run-blockers in the class, we're inclined to believe he's capable of more. In fact, we apparently will get a chance to see him do just that, as he's going to take part in the bench press again during Oklahoma's Pro Day on March 13. Here's hoping Ford is healthy enough to take part in the other drills.
D.K. Metcalf is DEFINITELY in better shape than you
Ole Miss wideout D.K. Metcalf set social media on fire with this picture, and everyone who saw that picture had to be curious what he was going to weigh-in at. He didn't disappoint. Metcalf came in at 6-foot-3 3/8-inches and a statuesque 228-pounds. He also had the second biggest hands of any wideout measured at 9 3/4" inches (Riley Ridley of Georgia led with 10 1/4" measurements), and his massive wingspan of 82 7/8" inches was easily -- by more than three inches -- the biggest in the group. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that Metcalf has just 1.6 percent body fat, and to be honest, I feel like that's about 1.6 percent too high. Metcalf has a real chance to be a top 10 pick, and if he runs the way we expect him to in the 40-yard dash, it just might cement it. Whew.