The 2022 NFL Combine has come and gone and plenty of prospects took advantage of the moment by showing out and raising their individual stock. At the same time, other prospects couldn’t capitalize on their time in Indianapolis and may have left the event with their draft stock in a worse state than they entered the weekend with.
Today, I’m going to talk about a handful of Chargers draft targets that either saw their stock rise or fall in the fashion I touched on above. I’ll discuss why and how their performances hurt their stock while noting what may have changed in the minds of the team’s front office members, as well.
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
Before the combine, there were still some draft analysts who were keeping Davids outside of the first round. ESPN’s Mel Kiper was quite vocal in that Davis going anywhere near the top-15 was too rich for a nose tackle. But after his performance in Indy, Davis is almost a lock to be taken in the top 15-20 picks.
Davis ran a searing 4.78 in the forty, second only to his teammate Devonte Wyatt by 0.01 seconds, and jumped a position-best 10’3” in the broad. That was 11 inches(!!) better than the next best mark. His 32” vertical was also second-best. But remember, all of this came at 341 pounds! If there’s an athletic freak in this draft, Davis may just be that guy.
In the end, Davis showed he’s not just a two-down player. He can wreak havoc in opposing backfields on all three downs and that’s exactly the type of player the Chargers need to improve their defense in 2022.
I don’t like Jordan Davis taking on double teams/two-gapping (poor pad level/technique) - I want him disrupting, using his quickness and blowing up backfields.— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 22, 2022
This is not a plugging NT, IMO but a rangy disruptive presence… pic.twitter.com/SKf3jvgHFW
DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
Joining his teammate Davis on this list, Wyatt posted the only forty-yard dash faster at 4.77 while weighing in at 6’3 and 304 pounds. His 29-inch vertical ranked fifth among the defensive tackles while his broad jump of 9’3” was also good for third.
Wyatt is another disruptive interior presence with plenty of speed and explosiveness that the Chargers need up front to complement their pass rush. His exceptional motor keeps him hustling all over the field to make a play and his get-off makes him one of the best in his class at beating offensive linemen to their spot.
By the end of the draft, the Chargers couldn’t go wrong picking either of these two players who did nothing but solidify their respective first-round statuses.
Far more important to be quick than fast in condensed spaces inside and @GeorgiaFootball DT Devonte Wyatt has the get-off & cross-face suddenness to be a disruptive 3-tech early on. Nice job here synching hands & feet with power to squeeze an edge.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/S9O5PPWwKQ— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 8, 2022
OT/OG Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Kinnard was highly-rated going into this year’s pre-draft process despite an expected transition to the interior from right tackle. He’s built like an old-school mauler but that unfortunately comes with the expected lack of fluidity and athleticism in his game. The Chargers could be in the market for a new right guard or tackle this offseason and Kinnard had an opportunity to show he could fill either of those voids, but his underwhelming performance at the combine could leave his scheme fits fairly limited.
Kinnard’s 25” vertical was tied for 10th worst while his 8’3” broad jump tied for the third lowest mark among offensive linemen. Add in agility scores that both landed in the bottom six times, plus a no-show on the bench press, and you’ve got yourself one on of the worst showings by an offensive lineman at the combine, especially considering his pre-draft buzz.
But at the end of the day, Kinnard was a First-Team All-American and his play backed that up. I like to think I’m usually of the “tape don’t lie” mindset, but the Chargers have always appreciated athleticism with their offensive lineman. Going back to 2017, guys like Rashawn Slater, Trey Pipkins, Forrest Lamp, and Dan Feeney were all some of the best athletes among their respective positions when they came out of college. If those rough thresholds hold true into the Staley era, Kinnard likely isn’t landing in the powder blues next month.
WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Heading into the combine, Burks was ranked as high as the class’ best wideout by some draft analysts. Now? Well, your guess on where he ranks among the wideouts going forward is as good as mine.
When your game tape shows you outrunning the secondary of the Crimson Tide, the expectation is that you’re going to run a fast forty. When you show off elite, gamebreaking agility against the best defenses in the country, you’re probably expected to perform well in the shuttles. But somehow, Burks underwhelmed across the gambit of tests. His 4.55 in the forty was the 22nd-fastest mark among wideouts while his three cone time of 7.28 was 12th-best among the 14 players who performed the drill.
Burks is going to be a tough call for teams who hold a lot of weight in the individual combine performances. But in my opinion, I think those people would be making a mistake. In regards to the Chargers, I don’t think Burks is even in consideration to be their first-round pick after they brought back Mike Williams. After spending a ton of money there, the Bolts will have to really hit on their remaining free agent signings and early on in the this year’s draft.