2023 NFL Scouting Combine: Five Players with Plenty to Gain
The NFL Scouting Combine, or at least the physical testing and workouts, begin tomorrow at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Thursday will feature five hours of action featuring the defensive linemen and linebackers invited to the annual scouting event. Here’s a look at the day-by-day schedule:
- March 2 (2 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT): DL, LB
- March 3 (2 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT): DB, PK/ST
- March 4 (12 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT): QB, WR, TE
- March 5 (12 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT): OL, RB
Here are some players to keep an eye on in Indianapolis this weekend. These players have a draft stock that doesn’t necessarily match their skills and profile. However, they’ve also got a chance to see their draft stock rise or fall, depending on how they perform in Indianapolis.
TCU’s Quentin Johnston has as much to gain out of the NFL Scouting Combine as anyone in the 2023 wide receiver class.
Johnston owns freaky size and athleticism. However, drops are a big concern for the big-bodied TCU wide receiver. The same goes for his ability to create separation. These reasons have Johnston somewhere near the end of the first round, if not the second.
Many consider USC’s Jordan Addison and Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt the first two receivers to come off the board at the NFL Draft. Still, if he can dazzle on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf, he may be able to boost his stock.
Kelee Ringo enters the draft fresh off of back-to-back national titles with Georgia. Ringo has an elite physical profile with his size, play strength, and reactive athleticism to make plays in coverage.
Still, his struggles to anticipate have him behind the likes of fellow cornerbacks Christian Gonzalez (Oregon), Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State), Devon Witherspoon (Illinois), and Deonte Banks (Maryland) on many big boards.
A strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine could ensure that Ringo is taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Andre Carter II & Isaiah Land
We’ve heard plenty about Alabama’s EDGE rusher Will Anderson Jr. and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson. But the 2023 draft class talent at the EDGE rusher position doesn’t stop there.
Army senior Andre Carter II burst on the scene in 2021 with 15.5 sacks during a breakout junior season. Unfortunately, Anderson’s senior year in the box score department wasn’t as fulfilling. However, Anderson dealt with an injury, and constant double-teams when he was healthy.
If Carter displays his unique skills with a spectacular workout, the long, rangy pass rusher could boost his draft stock and emerge as one of the stories of draft weekend.
Land won the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS’s top defensive player) on the strength of seven sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Land also had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl last month. Another strong showing of his athleticism and movement skills this week could do wonders for his draft stock.
Josh Downs hauled in 195 catches for 2,364 yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons at North Carolina. Still, Downs isn’t seen as a first-round pick
Most mock drafts and big boards have Jordan Addison (USC), Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee), Quentin Johnston (TCU), and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) ahead of downs in some order. The Atheltic’s Dane Brugler has Downs at 45 on his lastest big board.
Downs size is what has kept him out of the first-round conversation. But a strong showing of his speed and change of direction skills at the combine may change that conversation.