Top fantasy takeaways from the NFL combine
Last week, I previewed the NFL Combine and discussed my rookie rankings. While pro days are still to come, the combine is the only time we will see these players perform on an even playing field with more than just stopwatches timing them. I don’t take it is gospel, but as a dynasty owner you would be doing yourself a disservice to ignore all the statistical, visual and auditory nuggets from such a significant event in the draft process. Below, I go over my five biggest takeaways as I begin to marinate on the results from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette trending in opposite directions
There were seemingly more questions surrounding Fournette than Cook heading into last week, but the exact opposite is true after Indianapolis. Fournette ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at 240 pounds, which is an excellent time at his weight. This was despite that weight initially raising eyebrows, leading to a much-maligned comment about “water weight.” I’d imagine Fournette will be playing lighter after some time in an NFL training/nutrition program. Having also looked smooth in receiving drills, he remains destined for a slot in the top half of the first round. Cook, on the other hand, showed well in the 40-yard dash (4.49) and bench press (22 reps), but was abysmal in acceleration/agility drills given his 210-pound weight. His weight-adjusted 30.5-inch vertical, 9-foot-8-inch broad jump, 7.27 3-cone, and 4.53 20-yard shuttle all were not just poor compared to the rest of this class, but on a historical level as well. It’s not ideal for a player many (including myself) had as their top dynasty rookie prospect. All eyes will be on him at Florida State’s pro day.
The hype for this TE class is justified
Heading into last week, buzz was already growing that this was the best tight end class in years, highlighted by O.J. Howard, David Njoku and Evan Engram. They did not disappoint. Howard ran a 4.51 40-yard dash with a ridiculous 6.85 3-cone drill at a rocked-up 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, Engram led the position with a 4.42 40 at 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, and Njoku showed elite leaping ability with a 37.5-inch vertical and a 11-foot-1-inch broad jump at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds. Howard and Njoku are bigger and better blockers, but Engram makes up for it by fitting the Jordan Reed “move” tight end role as well as any prospect in recent memory. It is well within the realm of possibility that all three come off the board in the first round of the NFL draft. At 6-foot-6, 257 pounds, Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges also had an excellent day with the top scores at the position in the vertical (39 inches) and broad jump (11-feet-2-inches).