NFL Combine Day 4 – Winners & Losers

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Running Back

After how impressive the receivers were, the running backs were a bit of a let down.


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Dri Archer, Kent St (5’9, 175) – Pretty good combine for Dri Archer so far. He impressed on day 3 with 20 bench reps and then almost broke the record for the fastest 40-time in combine history on day 4 (4.26). I’d say my dreams of Archer being available for one of the Bears 6th round picks are all but dead.

Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern (5’9, 209) – After easily winning the bench press drill on day 3 (34 reps), McKinnon had the 2nd best 40-time of all the running backs and looked sharp in the drills. McKinnon was a QB in college and looked awkward as a running back at the Senior Bowl. A rumor broke today that teams are considering McKinnon as a defensive back. He is clearly a heck of an athlete, he also finished 2nd in the vertical jump and broad jump, so could conceivably pull off a position change. Whatever position he ends up at, McKinnon is going to be a stand out special teams player and that might be enough to get him drafted in the late rounds.

Charles Sims, West Virginia (6’0, 214) – Sims’ stock continues to rise this off-season after he ran a better than expected 4.48 40-time and looked smooth running routes and catching balls in the drill portion of the day. I think Sims is solidly in the 3rd-5th round range, which is a pretty good jump from his late round / UFA projection at the end of the college season.

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Tyler Gaffney, Stanford (5’11, 220) – Might have been the biggest surprise of the running back group. Gaffney is a big back whose main knock was supposedly lack of burst and top-end speed. Gaffney showed some burst in the 40 with a 4.49 time and should now be considered in the same 3rd-5th round range as Sims. Gaffney is one of the best pass-blocking backs in the draft and is more ready to play as a rookie than most backs due to his blocking and age (23). I could see the Vikings spending a mid round pick on Gaffney as a replacement for free agent Toby Gerhart.

Bishop Sankey, Wshingotn (5’9, 209) – Great weekend for Sankey, he’s now my #1 RB. It’s probably not fair to drop Carlos Hyde’s stock for getting hurt, but Sankey was a close 2nd coming into the combine and checked all the boxes this weekend. Sankey benched more, ran a faster 40 (4.46) and caught passes better in the drills than the other top backs. I think the first back off the board will come down to whether teams are looking for a power back like Hyde or an all-around back like Sankey.


Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona (5’9, 207) – 4.7 is a bad 40-time for a lead back and will definitely drop Carey’s stock to the mid-rounds if he doesn’t have a dominant pro day. Carey has a handful of off-field issues that could hurt his stock as well.

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Andre Williams, Boston College (5’11, 230) – Ran very well in the 40 (4.56) for a 230 pounder, but the biggest question with Williams was whether he could catch the ball since he had ZERO catches last season. Now we know why after seeing Williams struggle through day 4’s pass catching drills. Williams looked stiff running routes, caught a couple with his body, and dropped a few catchable ones. He still has plenty of value as a runner, but has no value as a receiver out of the backfield which hurts his overall draft stock.

Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (5’10, 225) – There were 10 tight ends who ran faster than Andrews 4.82 40-time. That’s fast for a fullback, but too slow for an NFL running back. On tape Andrews look like he has 4.7 speed at worst, so maybe he can run a better time at his pro day. He’ll need to if he wants to get drafted.

De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon (5’8, 174) – For a guy whose value is based around his speed, a 4.50 40-time isn’t very impressive. Thomas is too small for anything but a situational player and return man, and teams can probably find a handful of guys that can run a 4.5 on the waiver wire that are bigger than 5’8. It doesn’t help Thomas’ value that Dri Archer, who has a very similar skill-set (and size), ran a more impressive 4.26. Thomas is another guy who looks much faster on tape and he’ll have a chance to prove it and salvage his draft value at his pro day.

Adam Muema, San Diego St (5’10, 202) – Muema didn’t participate on day 4 of the combine because God told him not to. I wonder if God told him he wasn’t going to be drafted.