The 2023 NFL Draft Combine has ended, and with the end of the combine another major stop on the road through the NFL offseason has been completed. Prospects lined up in front of the most important decision makers in the NFL and showed off their talents in hopes of being drafted.
Here are some NFL Draft prospects who have seen their stock rise, plus a few more that have to answer more questions at their pro day.
West Virginia WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton
Ford-Wheaton came into Indianapolis with a lot of questions after the Shrine Bowl, but physically he dominated the Combine. At 6’4 and 221 pounds, Ford-Wheaton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, had a 41 inch vertical jump, and did the 20-yard shuttle drill in 4.15 seconds, top five in each category. His Relative Athletic Score (RAS) puts him in very, very high territory.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton RAS so far.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2023
Good, but not great agilities sees him fall out of that second spot. Still an incredible athletic performance.https://t.co/udvp4xecp3 #RAS pic.twitter.com/OHtfyFyDfk
Ford-Wheaton came on late as a redshirt Senior at West Virginia, and is great at the catch point, but has some inconsistencies in the in between game as a receiver. Testing like this will get you drafted, however.
Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore
Let’s play a game.
Here is Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore’s Relative Athletic Score as a defensive end.
Here’s his RAS as a defensive tackle, where he’s said he plans on playing in the NFL:
Here’s his RAS...as a WIDE RECEIVER:
Adebawore put on a show at the combine, and has seen his stock rise rapidly since the season ended. He put together an amazing week of practice at the Senior Bowl, and continues to improve. Scouts see a guy who is a ready made run defender, who is rapidly improving as a pass rusher despite his size. He’ll be a name to keep an eye on.
Old Dominion TE Zach Kuntz
After a final season at Old Dominion that ended abruptly due to injury, Kuntz came into Indianapolis hoping to flash the vertical field stretching ability that he did in college. Despite being in the same TE group as Georgia’s Darnell Washington (who also had a dominant combine), Kuntz caught a lot of eyes.
Measuring in at 6’7 and 255 pounds, Kuntz blazed a 4.55 40-yard dash and jumped 40 inches in the vertical jump. His overall RAS of 10 puts him among the best at his position ever.
He’s got a ways to go in the blocking department, but Kuntz being this athletic and testing the way he did will get him a lot of looks from NFL scouts. They don’t make a lot of 6’7 people who run like that.
Chattanooga OL McClendon Curtis
Another guy who has consistently improved his stock since the season ended, McClendon Curtis had a combine that also was impressive. His RAS wasn’t too crazy, but Curtis moved really well in the drills, and might have some positional versatility at the NFL level.
McClendon Curtis is a OG prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 7.78 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 292 out of 1309 OG from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/AmhIBmSwJp #RAS pic.twitter.com/mb28fyD9Vn— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 6, 2023
Curtis is a big, powerful prospect who is strong enough to root out defenders, and in Indianapolis he showed quicker feet than expected. Curtis probably isn’t a round one guy, but his stock is one to keep an eye on.
Illinois Safeties Jartavius Martin and Sydney Brown
Illinois is coming off an extremely impressive season defensively, and even without star DB Devon Witherspoon the Fighting Illini made waves in Indy. Safeties Jartavius Martin and Sydney Brown were extremely impressive in both the athletic testing and the drills. Martin and Brown were in the top five for both the 40-yard dash (and the 10-yard split the came with it), vertical jump and broad jump.
Brown is a Bullet Bill at safety, triggering hard downhill when he sees something unfolding, and always seemed to find himself around the ball. Martin can be a nickel or safety, and has the athletic tools to be a star, but has to put together better performances when it comes to ball tracking.
Both Illini safeties made waves in Indianapolis, and could find themselves drafted on Day Two.
Jartavius Martin backpedal and transition pic.twitter.com/EbbxVsZVrf— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 4, 2023
On the flip side, here are a few prospects who I still have questions about.
LSU WR Kayshon Boutte
LSU WR Kayshon Boutte had an up and down last year with the Tigers. He dealt with drops and inconsistent play from both himself and the QBs, then was removed from the team before the Citrus Bowl. The hope was that Boutte would test well athletically, to make up for the lack of production.
Yeah that’s not great. Boutte testing as a middling athlete as well as lacking production in his last year on top of the off field issues might have knocked him down to late Day Three. Unless he puts together a good Pro Day performance, his draft stock is on the brink.
TCU QB Max Duggan
Let’s highlight the good first: Max Duggan ran a 4.52 40-yard dash, incredibly impressive and shows that the speed he showed off in games was real.
The negative? Well, uh, the throwing session was a bit rough for the Heisman finalist. Duggan was overthrowing and underthrowing receivers by a large amount. He never looked comfortable and overall had a rough day as a passer.
Max Duggan presented without comment pic.twitter.com/jYQiRNKDH1— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) March 4, 2023
Rumors have started to swirl about Duggan’s future as a QB in the NFL, and with this performance, he might be switching positions if he wants to play in the NFL.