2015 NFL Scouting Combine
(Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

NFL Scouting Combine: Wide Receiver Recap

Last years draft featured a deep receiver group including Odell Beckham Jr, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Evans. This year feels eerily similar. As many as 8 receivers could potentially become first round picks come April 30th. UAB’s J.J. Nelson ran the fastest 40 yard dash time with a 4.28. Chris Johnson’s record of 4.24 will hold up for yet another year. Below are my thoughts on what I saw from the group.

STOCK RISING:

1. Kevin White (West Virginia)

White had the best day of any wide out. My biggest question was his top end speed. Not only did White answer the question, he obliterated it. A 4.35 40 time is a ridiculous time ranking 3rd behind two players much smaller. White’s bench press also ranked 2nd (23 reps) showing off his commitment to the weight room. I originally didn’t deserve his first round grade after coming from a shaky offense and being a one year wonder. I believe White will fall some where in between the Julio Jones and Cordarelle Paterson spectrum. The Raiders seem to be a likely destination unless Leonard Williams somehow falls to them.

2. Chris Conley (Georgia)

Conley was a bit of an unknown to most people before his extraordinary day. As an avid college football viewer, Conley was hurt by poor quarterback which obviously affected his numbers. A 45′ Vertical jump and 139′ Broad jump ranked first among all receivers. Conley has now successfully put himself on the map and could be looking at a mid round selection.

This video shows a short recap of his performance

STOCK FALLING:

1. Devin Funchess (Michigan)

Funchess wanted to prove he was the next Kelvin Benjamin when in reality he made it clear he is a tight end. A 4.70 40 time mirrors the tight end expected time. By comparison Benjamin ran a 4.53 40 time last year. Funchess likely slipped to round two with an unclear role on his future. The Patriots have been a rumored landing spot to be Rob Gronkowski’s partner in crime.

Diamond in the rough?

  • Justin Hardy (East Carolina)

Hardy is by far the best route runner in the draft class and nobody really knows who he is. Don’t believe me, his 3 cone time tells the story (6.63). By comparison Alabama’s Amari Cooper ran a 7.23 and is the top overall receiver. Hardy could be the next Antonio Brown is he continues to develop his craft.

Defpen Wide Receiver Rankings

  1. Amari Cooper (Alabama)
  2. Kevin White (West Virginia)
  3. Jaelen Strong (Arizona State)
  4. Devante Parker (Louisville)
  5. Justin Hardy (East Carolina)