If you didn't hear anything else about this year's Combine, you probably heard that wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is a superhero in spandex. Wait ... don't most superheroes wear spandex? Never mind. Anyway, the Ole Miss wideout opened eyes with his action figure physique. Then he dropped jaws with his athletic testing in Indianapolis.
It's forced people to take a deeper look at Metcalf's overall game. The numbers in his collegiate career weren't special, though some of it can be explained by a neck injury that caused him to miss much of his 2018 season in Oxford. There was also some concern over a MockDraftable chart that looked a little ... Pac-Mannish. Nonetheless, Metcalf has become the standout in a deep receiver draft class and he will be an intriguing early pick in lots of dynasty rookie drafts.
Did I mention that this was a deep receiver class? Because, yeah. Thanks to Metcalf's 4.33 in the 40, we sorta ignored a lot of the other ridiculous speed numbers coming out of Indy. UMass's Andy Isabella and Ohio State's Parris Campbell both hit 4.31 (Campbell was one of three Buckeye receivers at 4.41 or better) and Iowa State's Hakeem Butler clocked in a 4.48 ... all 6-feet-5 inches of him. As any draftnik will gladly tell you, it's best not to put too much stock into 40 times but it did add a feather in the cap of a draft class that is starting to earn some buzz.
This is where we all breathe into a paper bag and remind ourselves that the Combine is just a small part of the overall draft process and frequently doesn't impact scouts' opinions of players. That might not be a good thing for this group of running backs. It was already being considered a lackluster group and the week in Indianapolis didn't change many minds. Alas, all is not lost with this batch of backs. With the role of the position changing and so many teams using multiple backs, there's definitely room for any of the runners in this group to find an offense that fits their skill sets and ultimately make them productive players. In short, what we learned about this year's running backs is that we still need to learn a whole lot more.
It wasn't all bad news for the running backs. We did see Justice Hill flash a little speed. Unfortunately, he injured himself during his second run and sat out the remainder of the drills. But it did remind us that there are some wildcards in this running back group. We didn't see Alabama's Josh Jacobs (groin) participate in the drills and we're not sure if we'll see Stanford's Bryce Love (ACL) perform at all before the draft. When healthy, both Jacobs and Love figure to be among the top five backs selected. If Love can't workout for scouts before everyone heads to Nashville, he'll likely fall on NFL draft boards but shouldn't be overlooked on fantasy draft boards.
Quarterbacks hadn't hit the field before rumors began to circulate that Kyler Murray was a lock for the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. We wait to see if that is true but it does seem certain that it's a two-horse race between Murray and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins to be the first signal-caller selected. It does beg the question why Haskins risked injury (and his draft standing) by going through all the drills. But for our fantasy purposes, that matters not.
What does matter is the perception that Murray stays at the top of this class ... and going to the Arizona Cardinals. The idea of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and dual-threat quarterback playing in Kliff Kingsbury's offense is tantalizing. That's not to suggest that Haskins couldn't succeed there but it's not quite a great a fit. If Arizona trades out of that spot or falls out of love with Murray then we'll have plenty to think about. But if the whispers are to be believed (always dangerous this time of year), then we have the makings of a nice rookie pickup for late in redrafts.