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2023 NFL Draft: Ranking 11 Biggest Freak Athletes at This Year's Combine

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Every year, the NFL Combine produces "freaky" athletic testing numbers. This year's combine produced impressive performances in almost every workout.

The offensive line record for the vertical jump was broken, one player ran in the 4.2s during the 40-yard dash and one large tight end dominated the short shuttle. There were also standouts at important positions like quarterback and edge rusher.

To help you catch up on the combine's best performances, The 33rd Team has ranked the 11 best.

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Ranking 11 Biggest Freak Athletes

11. Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 281 | Arm: 30 5/8" | Hand: 9 1/8"

40 Time: 4.67 | Vertical: DNP | Broad: DNP  | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Kancey (scouting report) started the combine with a bang on Thursday, running a 4.67-second 40-yard dash, the best among all competing defensive tackles. His 40-time was the fastest from a defensive tackle in 20 years. Kancey's time was also one-tenth of a second faster than former Pittsburgh Panther, Aaron Donald.

"Kancey was bigger than I expected at 281 pounds," former NFL executive and The 33rd Team contributor Rick Spielman said. "He’s undersized with short arms, but he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash, which makes him very comparable to former Pittsburgh product Aaron Donald, who ran 4.68. Kancey’s 40 time is grabbing people’s attention."

10. DJ Turner II, CB, Michigan

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 178 | Arm: 30 3/4" | Hand: 9 5/8"

40 Time: 4.26 | Vertical: 38.5" | Broad: 10-11 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Turner (scouting report) captured everyone's attention with his 4.26 40-yard dash time, the fastest among all players. He was the only player at the event to run in the 4.2s. He also turned in a 1.47 10-yard split, the fastest of the event.

Turner did not participate in agility drills, but he clocked a 6.29 3-cone last summer according to last fall's Freaks List from The Athletic's Bruce Feldman. The combine record for 3-cone is 6.28. Turner's blazing speed earned him a spot on this list, but his vertical jump and broad jump numbers both ranked inside sixth among cornerbacks.

9. Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 264 | Arm: 34 3/8" | Hand: 11"

40 Time: 4.64 | Vertical: 31" | Broad: 10-2 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: 4.08

Washington's (scouting report) size already made him an outlier, but his athletic testing takes that to another level. Despite being the heaviest tight end at the event, Washington ran the sixth-fastest 40-yard dash time among tight ends. His short-shuttle time of 4.08 is the seventh-fastest time in combine history. Washington also did 21 reps on the bench with 34 3/8-inch arms.

Washington also impressed during on-field drills, including bringing in an impressive one-handed catch. NFL teams who might've been hesitant about Washington's weight affecting his movement skills shouldn't have any questions about that after his performance in Indianapolis.

8. Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 253 | Arm: 32 5/8" | Hand: 10 3/8"

40 Time: 4.61 | Vertical: 36" | Broad: 10-5 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Musgrave (scouting report) was expected to test well and didn't disappoint. He finished fourth among tight ends in the 40-yard dash and the vertical jump. His 10-5 broad jump was good enough for third among all competing tight ends. Musgrave was the fastest tight end at the Senior Bowl, clocking in at 20.05 mph. 

Musgrave also received positive news during his medical checks in Indianapolis. The Oregon State product got full medical clearance on his knee and will do the three-cone drill and short shuttle at his pro day on March 13, NFL Media reported.

7. Blake Freeland, OT, BYU

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 302 | Arm: 33 7/8" | Hand: 10"

40 Time: 4.98 | Vertical: 37" | Broad: 10-0 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Freeland (scouting report) came to the combine and dominated every drill he participated in. His 37-inch vertical is the combine record for an offensive lineman, surpassing Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs' record. Freeland also finished first among offensive linemen in the broad jump and finished tied for second in the 40-yard dash.

Freeland is the 105th overall player and 11th-ranked offensive tackle on The 33rd Team's big board.

6. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 197 | Arm: 32" | Hand: 9 1/2"

40 Time: 4.38 | Vertical: 41.5" | Broad: 11-1  | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Gonzalez (scouting report) has a chance to be the top cornerback off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. All he did was prove the hype was warranted at the combine. Gonzalez's vertical and broad jumps ranked third and fourth among all cornerbacks. His 4.38 40-yard dash time was tied for fifth at his position.

"I think Christian Gonzalez is definitely the No. 1 cornerback in this draft," former NFL defensive back and The 33rd Team analyst Samari Rolle said. "He's got great ball skills and is ultra-competitive ... he's ready to start in the NFL from Day 1."

5. Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 197 | Arm: 31 3/8" | Hand: 9 3/8"

40 Time: 4.35 | Vertical: 42" | Broad: 11-4 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Banks (scouting report) came into the combine looking to separate himself in a crowded, talented cornerback class. His performance should help him stand out when teams stack their draft boards.

While Banks' 4.35 40-yard dash is one of the 10 fastest times at the event, his 42-inch vertical was first among competing cornerbacks. It wasn't a fluke, as Banks' 11-4 broad jump was second among all competing players.

Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

4. Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 255 | Arm: 34" | Hand: 10 1/4"

40 Time: 4.55 | Vertical: 40" | Broad: 10-8  | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Kuntz may be labeled a small-school prospect coming from Old Dominion, but he is a big-time athlete. The former 4-star Penn State recruit put on a show in Indianapolis. Kuntz's 40-inch vertical was the best vertical jump by a player 6-foot-7 or taller since 2003.

The explosion numbers deservedly got all the hype, but flying under the radar was Kuntz throwing up 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench with 34-inch arms. The 23 reps were the most of all tight ends in attendance.

3. Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 282 | Arm: 33 7/8" | Hand: 10 1/2"

40 Time: 4.49 | Vertical: 37.5" | Broad: 10-5  | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

Adebawore's (scouting report) 4.49 40-time was the fastest 40 by a player more than 275 pounds since 2003. The previous record was held by Green Bay Packers edge rusher Rashan Gary, who posted a 4.58 at 277 pounds in 2019. Adebawore is a versatile defender who can line up inside or on the edge.

"He's not as tall as you'd like ... but his almost 34-inch arms makes him feel a lot taller on the field." Spielman said. "When teams go back and evaluate him on tape, he's going to start shooting up draft boards because he's been trending up over the last month. He has the chance to be a unique pass rusher."

2. Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 238 | Arm: 32 5/8" | Hand: 9"

40 Time: 4.39 | Vertical: 41.5" | Broad: 10-8 | 3-Cone: 7.19 | Shuttle: DNP

Smith (scouting report) stole the show on the first day of the combine. His 4.39 40-time was No. 1 among all pass rushers in attendance. His 1.52 10-yard split, 41.5-inch vertical and 10-8 broad jump showed off his lower body explosiveness — part of what makes him one of the draft's premier front-7 defenders.

"Most teams will work him out only as a pass rusher, but I bet a lot of teams will work him out as a stack linebacker to see if he can do that well," Spielman said. "I think Smith has a chance to potentially eke into the first round."

1. Anthony Richardson, QB Florida

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 244 | Arm: 32 3/4" | Hand: 10 1/2"

40 Time: 4.43 | Vertical: 40.5" | Broad: 10-9 | 3-Cone: DNP | Shuttle: DNP

At his podium session, Richardson (scouting report) told reporters he called himself "Cam Jackson" in high school as a reference to being a combination of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson. Richardson certainly lived up to his self-appointed nickname. He weighed in almost identical in size to Newton; but ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, much faster than Newton's time of 4.56.

"Beyond what he showed in the testing portion, he threw the ball exceptionally well, which was important for him," former NFL executive and The 33rd Team contributor Mike Tannenbaum said. "Richardson threw with touch and placement, and I thought he had about as good of a day as he possibly could have."

Richardson's combine performance was so stellar his odds to be the No. 1 pick skyrocketed from +750 heading into the event to +350 coming out.