Defensive players will hit the field first at the NFL Scouting Combine over the course of today and tomorrow. Offensive players will then take us home through the weekend.
Earlier this week I touched on four defensive players that I’m excited to watch at this year’s combine, with some of those players performing today. Today, I bring you four players on the other side of the ball that everyone should be stoked to see perform this week.
Let’s get into it.
RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
Robinson is the bonafide RB1 in this year’s draft class with an elite combination of size, speed, and production. While the Chargers aren’t necessarily in dire need of a new starting running back, that hasn’t stopped some draft analysts from mocking Robinson to the Chargers every now and then. This is mainly due to the Chargers’ lack of rushing production over the past two seasons and some may argue that shortcoming of the offense limited their potential in a season filled with injuries to the wide receiver room.
At 6’0 and 220 pounds, Robinson has the physical makeup of a bruising runner. However, he’s also quite shifty and has the speed to break off a run when given a crease. On top of that, he has the functional athleticism to run routes out of the backfield that range from simple option routes to wheel routes up the sideline.
In a class that doesn’t feature many elite offensive prospects, Robinson is far and away the top prospect on his side of the ball outside of the quarterback position.
Prospect | Bijan Robinson— CFBLIVE247 (@CFBLive247_) January 27, 2023
Position | Running Back
Height | 6’0”
Weight | 220
Positional rank | 1st
Round Grade | 1st round
539 carries | 3,410 rush YD’s | 33 rush TD’s
60 receptions | 805 rec YD’s | 8 rec TD’s
• My highest graded RB prospect since Saquon Barkley. pic.twitter.com/annKdwt9Xt
RB Devon Achane, Texas A&M
The Chargers just spent a pick on a running back from Texas A&M a year ago so chances are they don’t dip back into that pool, but it’s hard not to watch Achane’s tape and fall in love with his explosiveness on both offense and as a returner.
Here’s the catch, however. Achane is small by NFL standards at 5’9 and 185 pounds. At the same time, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com calls him “fearless” as a runner in between the tackles with the creativity and athleticism to make something out of nothing.
At the next level, he’s likely relegated to a scat back role, but there’s been plenty of those types of backs in recent years who have helped their team’s offense immensely. Add in that he can potentially help your special unit as well and it’s tough to think teams won’t value him somewhere around day two.
A great showing at the combine will help ease the minds of scouts and many speculate that Achane could run solidly in the 4.3s. If he does, I’d think he’s a lock as one of the top running backs taken in an otherwise mid-heavy draft class.
DEVON ACHANE PUTTING THE TEAM ON HIS BACK TIE GAME!— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 10, 2022
WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
Flowers made some waves across social media lately with before and after photos showing his physical transformation spanning from the end of his collegiate season and the start of the NFL Combine. Flowers reportedly packed on 13 pounds of muscle and now weighs upwards of 183 pounds on his 5’10 frame. That’s excellent news to those who may have been docking him points on their big board based on his presumed size.
The Chargers need a dynamic threat that can make plays at all three levels of the field and that’s exactly what Flowers can be. I don’t think he’ll break into the 4.3s in the forty, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the low 4.4s on top of jumping very well in both the vertical and broad.
This ROUTE by Zay Flowers— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) February 19, 2023
The Boston College WR is one of the best route runners in this year’s NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/hBsVYMzb8d
TE Darnell Washington, Georgia
Washington could be the single most interesting prospect at the entire combine due to his incredible size of 6’7 and 260+ pounds. Tight ends are usually pretty big dudes, but this is on another level. I mean, he’s a couple quarter pounders with cheese away from being considered a very lean offensive tackle!
We already know how strong he is from the numerous plays showing him blocking defensive backs in to the sun, but now we may finally get to see the numbers behind his incredible athleticism.
For me personally, I cannot wait to see him test in the vertical jump. That will allow us to quantify his catch radius much more precisely and I’m guessing it’s going to be uber impressive.