Updated: Mar 9
It seems with every passing NFL Combine, the quality just keeps getting better, as the modern day college athlete continues to get bigger, stronger, and faster. This year's Combine was no exception as we saw throughout the course of the week. Whether they came from a power five conference or a small-school prospect, each player pushed themselves to the limit, in hopes of raising their NFL Draft stock.
From the players who participated in this year's Combine, there was a select few who stood above the rest. For these players, they placed themselves in position to gain substantially in this year's draft. These are the player we have listed as the top five overall performers at this weekend's Combine.
1. Isaiah Simmons - Linebacker/Safety - Clemson
It is one thing to be a 6'4, 240 lbs athlete, with a vertical jump of 39 inches and a broad jump of 139 inches; now add to that athlete, the ability to run a 4.39 in 40'. What you have is an
absolute physical specimen of the highest quality. Isaiah Simmons was this year's NFL Combine MVP, and put himself to get paid handsomely, as his draft stock skyrocketed after his Combine performance. Prior to the Combine, many had projected Simmons as a top ten pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Not only did his performance likely vault him into the top five, the argument can now be made as the best defensive player in this year's class over Ohio State's Chase Young.
2. Chase Claypool - Wide Receiver - Notre Dame
In a deep, wide receiver class, Claypool was not on many NFL teams' draft radar prior to the Combine. That being the case, Claypool used it as his stage to make a name for himself; he succeeded in doing so in a big way. At 6'4, 238 lbs, he put together incredible numbers; 40 yard; 4.42s, vertical jump: 40.5 inches, broad jump: 126 inches. Whether he decides to transition as a tight end or stay as a wide receiver, his size and athleticism will make him desirable to any team looking to expand their offensive. For those who did not know about Claypool, got a glimpse of his potential.
3. Jonathan Taylor - Running back - Wisconsin
Taylor came into this year's NFL Combine, as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of college football, becoming the only player to rush for over 6,000 yards in any three-year span. It was only fitting that his performance at the combine was a reflection of his greatness. In addition to running the fastest 40' time among all running backs at the Combine (4.39), he posted a 36-inch vertical jump, and a 3-cone time of 7.01s. If there were any doubts concerning his first-round status, he laid them all to rest.
4. Tristan Wirfs - Offensive tackle - Iowa
The debate leading into this year's NFL Combine, was between Georgia's Andrew Thomas or Wirfs as the top offensive lineman in this year's draft class. Wirfs not only made a strong case for the best offensive lineman, he may possibly be the best overall lineman in this year's class. Not often do we see a 6'5, 320 lbs athlete run a 4.85 in the 40-yard drill, while performing a record-breaking vertical jump for offensive linemen with 36.5 inches. Already deemed as a consensus first-round talent, his performance may have positioned him for top five consideration in the upcoming NFL Draft.
5. Jalen Hurts - Quarterback - Oklahoma
Of all the participants in this year's NFL Combine, perhaps no player was more scrutinized than Jalen Hurts. With questions surrounding his ability to play quarterback, Hurts came with the objective of quieting all doubters. He started by posting the fastest time among quarterbacks (4.59s). Then he proceeded to display his superior athletic ability in the vertical and broad jump. Yet Hurts best showing came during the on-field drills, as he consistently threw the ball to different receivers with desirable accuracy and velocity. All in all, achieved his goal of proving that he is more than capable of playing quarterback at the next level.