Welcome back to the next installment of the series highlighting the 2019 Scouting combine. Last time we looked at running backs, this edition will focus on Wide Receivers. A few of the top-ranked receivers were unable to participate due to injury, but there’s plenty of talent available in this year’s crop of players at the wide receiver position. Let’s dive into some players that stood out in Indianapolis at the combine.
The former High school track star flew into Indianapolis and left with the fastest 40 yard dash time among wide receivers. The 4.31 time tied for the best time of the day. Parris Campbell, 1st team all-Big 10 in 2018, performed very well at the combine ranking among the top 5 in nearly every category. Campbell was a late bloomer to the wide receiver position at Ohio State. He spent time behind Michael Thomas and Curtis Samuel during his freshman and sophomore year. He played primarily as a kick returner during that time. Campbell introduced himself in 2017 leading the team in yards per catch.
2018 was the year for Campbell. He played out of his mind! He broke school records in receptions and touchdowns while compiling 1,263 yards receiving in his senior season. Campbell’s limited experience at the wide receiver position could hinder his immediate production at the pro level. He’ll need to improve his route running and work on his hands. However, Parris Campbell is an athlete above all else and can be a solid contributor to any NFL team. Campbell has dangerous speed and does a tremendous job with change of direction in open space. Campbell will be a package specific player but could be utilized anywhere in an offensive formation. Expect to hear the name Parris Campbell early on draft day!
The 6’2, 228lb wideout from Arizona State University opened some eyes at the combine. The strength was expected to be there, and it showed by benching 27 times at 225lbs, 1st among wide receivers. However, the 40 yard dash time is what caught the attention of coaches and scouts. He ran the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.53 seconds. Although he didn’t finish near the top of the rankings, the quickness displayed at his size was impressive. N’Keal Harry, a 1st team All Pac 12 this year, brings to the draft a good work ethic and displays excellent character. He’s coming off back to back 1,000-yard seasons at ASU. There’s concern among scouts that he’ll have trouble creating separation from defenders. However, what he lacks in speed is made up in physicality. N’Keal Harry could hear his name called in the first few rounds of the 2019 draft.
Holy Batman! This kid showed up and made an impact. It all started with a photo pre-combine displaying his freakish physique and culminated on the field during his performance at Lucas Oil Stadium. DK (DeKaylin Zecharius) Metcalf, the redshirt Sophomore from Ole Miss, wowed the scouts with his on-field performance in several categories. Metcalf measured in at 6’3, 228lbs, and only 1.6% body fat! The biggest eye-popping moment of the day came early during the 40-yard dash. He finished with a time of 4.33 seconds! The only competitors finishing above him were Parris Campbell, Andy Isabella, and MeCole Hardman.
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The difference between him and other competitors is their stature. Metcalf weighs at least 30 lbs more than his peers. He became the fastest runner at 225lbs+ ever at the combine. While all the boxes check off for Metcalf as a successful pro, there are a few concerns. He does have limited experience playing in college. He suffered injuries in 2 seasons at Ole Miss, a broken foot in 2016, and suffered a neck injury this season. In limited action, he recorded 26 receptions for 569 yards and 5 TDs. Most expect DK Metcalf to be the first wide receiver off the board in April. The Metcalf’s have a strong NFL pedigree as his father, grandfather, and uncle have all logged time in the NFL. If all goes well, Metcalf will follow in his family’s footsteps as a successful player at the NFL level.
The 2018 Citrus Bowl MVP continued his hot streak in Indianapolis at the combine. Miles Boykin is the only wide receiver to rank in the top ten across every category. The vertical jump reached 43.5 inches, which is the 2nd highest in combine history. He also placed 1st in the 3 cone drill (6.77 seconds), recorded the 2nd best Broad jump (140), and the 2nd fastest 20-yard shuttle (4.07). Boykin finished his senior season at Notre Dame with 59 receptions for 879 yards and 8 touchdowns. His limited production at the collegiate level could affect his immediate impact in the NFL. Boykin definitely needs to work on his route running. His freakish athleticism could make up for his lack of production. The impressive performance at the combine is rising his stock and could see his name called on day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Andy Isabella, a 2018 Biletnikoff award finalist, took his quickness to the combine, or did he? The first 40 yard dash time registered at 4.56 seconds, or did it? The lasers on the field recorded him at 4.56. However, scouts using stopwatches recorded him at a much better time, 4.27 seconds! So, which was the correct time? After speculation, they realized the lasers on the field weren’t working, and he recorded a time of 4.31 seconds. This time tied him for 1st place among receivers, with Parris Campbell of Ohio State.
The 2nd team AP All-American from UMass exploded on the scene in his senior season. He finished with 102 receptions for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns! He led the FBS with 141 yards per game. Obviously, he didn’t play with the best of the best considering the conference in which he played. However, Isabella had a huge game against nationally ranked Georgia Bulldogs. He recorded 15 receptions for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. Isabella may not bring size with him to the wide receiver position, but his quickness could very well make up for it. Isabella does lack some consistency in pass catching, letting the ball come into his body occasionally. He’s been working with Randy Moss recently, and hopefully, that’ll catapult his way up the draft boards and onto an NFL team at the draft!
The 6’2, 201lb senior from Missouri left an impression with the scouts in Indianapolis. Emmanuel Hall recorded the 2nd best broad jump score in combine history, best among wide receivers. He also tied for 1st place in the vertical jump. Hall blazed down the sideline with a 4.39-second 40-yard dash.
He recorded excellent scores in each category, all while dealing with a lingering groin injury. Hall was unable to perform any on-field activities, but he left an imprint in the minds of the scouts and coaches in attendance. The speed Hall displays on the field are enough to take the top off a defense. However, his inconsistencies start when the ball reaches his hands. He has a tendency to bobble the football, resulting in some ugly catches. Despite the knock on his hands, he recorded 828 yards with 8 touchdowns this year in only 8 games. Furthermore, if Emmanuel Hall can work out the inconsistencies with his hands, he’ll be an excellent deep threat on any NFL team.
The wide receivers in the draft class of 2019 is a talented group of football players. They all display extraordinary skills that’ll help a team at the next level. Obviously, some are better than others. If a team misses out on the top tier of talents such as DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Marquise Brown, or N’Keal Harry, they can still draft excellent players deep into this draft. Players such as Miles Boykin and Andy Isabella could be valuable assets to an NFL team in the future.