It’s Combine Season!

Last week, coaches and fans got a first look at the future of the NFL.

Faith Miller, Staff Writer

From February 28th, to March 6, 319 college football players traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to showcase their potentials at the NFL Combine.

These players have been working throughout their college career for the ultimate goal — hearing their name be called on the draft stage at Union Station in Kansas City.

The Combine helps show NFL coaches, scouts, GMs, and owners the potential of the future rookies.

As much as the physical part of the combine is important, so are the first few days of exams. 

From February 28th to March 1st, the athletes go through many tests and procedures. When they arrive, they are checked in, expected to attend orientation, and do media interviews. Then come the medical exams and meetings with interested teams. Finally, they start the on-field workouts.  

This year, there was a surprisingly small number of candidates invited, the smallest since 2003.

Each year before the combine, top prospects are looked at and assessed on what their draft position might be.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud were the two quarterbacks to watch at the combine, although Bryce Young opted to not throw the rock.

However, an underdog emerged during the combine. University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who was projected to be a late-first or early-second round pick before the combine, absolutely demolished the competition. 

Richardson ran a 4.43 second 40 yard dash, the fastest by a QB this year. He also put up a 40.50” vertical, a record for QBs at the combine. He also broke the record for longest broad jump as a QB with a 10’9” jump. His passing was very impressive, granting that he was throwing to receivers he had never thrown to before. Every long pass he made was very accurate, going as far as 60 yards. He is a monster of a human being, at 6’4” 232 pounds this sophomore has the potential to be a game wrecker in the NFL.

With the amount of NFL teams needing quarterbacks, such as the Jets, Buccaneers, Texans, and Colts, Richardson is now projected to be selected in the top five. We will see if his pro day at Florida changes anything, but for now he seems like a top dog.

Moving to the defensive side of the ball, many players showed up and dazzled scouts. Adetomiwa Adebawore from Northeastern had a very impressive workout. The defensive lineman put up an absurd 40-yard dash time of 4.49 seconds, a vertical of 37.5”, and a 10’5” broad jump. Oh, and he weighs 282 pounds! He absolutely overwhelmed expectations, and his on field workouts caught everyone’s notice. His draft stock is on the rise, and is now projected in the mid/late first round of the draft. 

A familiar face also made his way to the NFL Combine. North Allegheny alumni Joey Porter, Jr. son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, went through the workout. Porter, a cornerback at Penn State, had a good workout. He put up a 4.46 second 40-yard dash, a vertical of 35”, and a broad jump of 10’9”. Porter stands at 6’2 ½” and weighs in at 193. He earned a grade of 6.43 for his performance. He is also projected to be a first round pick, going in the top half of the draft. 

As Combine season has passed, now fans can get ready for pro days and the NFL Draft, the night where players hope and dreams come true. Hopefully, we see these future players stay healthy, so we can see them on the field in 184 days.