INDIANAPOLIS — Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends got their chance to participate in on-field workouts on Saturday at the 2023 NFL Combine, where a few exceptional performances stole the show. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the day:
What We Learned on Day 3
- Scouts: Day 3 Winners and Losers
- Richardson Has Historic Performance
- NFL Combine measurements for QBs, WRs, TEs
- Will Bryce Young’s weight be an issue in the NFL?
Day 3 Takeaways
All-Time Great QB Workout
The story of the day, and maybe even the entire combine, was quarterback Anthony Richardson (scouting report) and his incredible workout. He had an all-time great performance. The height, weight and speed are so evident and so unique.
Beyond what he showed in the testing portion, he threw the ball exceptionally well, which was important for him. The ball comes out of his hands with excellent velocity, and he didn’t overthrow it, showing good accuracy. That was important, considering his substandard 54.7 percent career completion percentage at Florida.
Richardson threw with touch and placement, and I thought he had about as good of a day as he possibly could have.
With Saturday’s performance, I think he clearly passed Will Levis (scouting report) as the third quarterback off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s inexperienced and has a lot of room to improve, but there’s an immense amount of talent there. I expect him to be drafted within the top 15 picks.
>> READ: Can Richardson Follow Josh Allen’s Blueprint?
Mid-Round Quarterback Makes His Mark
Aside from Richardson’s all-timer, the quarterback who boosted his stock the most was UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson. It’s not a very deep quarterback class outside of the top names, and Thompson-Robinson’s showing will leave a good, last impression for teams looking to add quarterback depth.
He’s a great athlete and dynamic runner with the football, but his workout also really stood out. He wasn’t perfect, but I liked the way the ball came out of his hands. He had an unheard-of five years as a starter at a Power Five conference due to the extra year of eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic, and he showed some improvement in the late stages of his career that will intrigue teams. He’s an interesting mid-round prospect.
C.J. Stroud Solidifies Stock
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (scouting report) did not participate in the athletic testing portion of the day, but I thought he had an absolutely outstanding workout. I think he will be a good NFL quarterback for a long time because he throws it so easily. In addition, he has great footwork, sound fundamentals and great accuracy.
After three years in college with two as a full-time starter, his experience level is not an issue. He’s one of the more polished quarterback prospects to enter the NFL in the past few years from a fundamentals standpoint, yet he’s also the youngest (he won’t be 22 until October) among the top four first-round caliber guys in this year’s class. He would be an excellent consolation prize for whoever takes him after Bryce Young (scouting report).
Lighter Wide Receivers Take Center Stage
Two years after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith weighed in at only 166 pounds at the combine, several very lean receivers stood out on Saturday.
The three wide receivers who caught my eye the most were all guys who would be considered underweight for the NFL level — Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt (scouting report), Boston College’s Zay Flowers (scouting report), and Houston’s Nathaniel “Tank” Dell (scouting report).
Hyatt (176 pounds) ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, hit a 40-inch vertical, and led the receiver group with an 11-foot-3 broad jump. He’s a smooth, deep-speed player who will add a home-run element to any offense.
Flowers (182 pounds) looked sharp in drills and backed up what I saw on tape with his 4.42 40-yard dash.
The smallest of the bunch, Dell (165 pounds), continued a great pre-draft process after an explosive Senior Bowl showing. He had a really good on-field workout, a 4.49 40-yard dash, and an exceptional 1.49 10-yard split.