2023 NFL Scouting Combine bold predictions: Three tight ends clock under 4.55 in 40, Pitt star shocks, more
The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is here in all its glory, and it’s time to make some bold predictions about the sports trials at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
We are bound to see a long list of amazing performances and history tells us that many of the performances mentioned will be from prospects we didn’t necessarily expect to be as amazing as they ended up being.
So let’s get down to business – the bold predictions for the 2023 NFL Scouting Association are here. And they are specific.
Israel Abanicanda of Pittsburgh runs the second fastest 40-yard run among RBs.
No runner can run 40 faster than Texas A&M’s Devon Achane. Let’s just get this out of the way. Jameer Gibbs of Alabama is one of the favorites for second place. Some like East Carolina’s Keaton Mitchell or even Texan workhorse Bijan Robinson. I like the Pittsburgh running back. Like a real junior, unable to compete in the All-Star Games after the end of the season, Abanikanda calmly enters the combine. He’s not as explosive as Achane or Gibbs, but his film is replete with long episodes that showcase his power on the pitch. He had 38 runs for 10-plus yards (!) in an amazing 2022 campaign.
He is now 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds. At this size, it will not be easy to show a brilliant time in the 40 category. If he gets close to 200 pounds, we will see that he will be the second fastest among the backs, behind Achane, who has world-class speed.
Tyler Scott of Cincinnati ran 40 yards faster than Jalyn Hyatt of Tennessee.
Hailing from the SEC, with a five-time epic win against Alabama on his resume, Hyatt is the speedster that takes center stage heading into this combine. Don’t sleep on Scott, a do-it-yourself burnout with a decorated high school track record. The key to running a ridiculously fast Indy—or determining who gets to set fire to artificial grass on a combine—is to test combinations of height and weight.
John Ross and Henry Ruggs weighed in at 5–11 and 188 pounds. Last year, Baylor cornerback Kalon Barnes… 5-11, 183 lbs. Ran 4.23. Scott is numbered 5-11 and 185 and has many chances to move at a different pace than the defenders around him. He’ll tell the time faster than a promising prospect from Tennessee.
Three tight ends running under 4.55 in a 40-yard dash.
This tight group is complicated. In terms of speed, Oregon’s Luke Musgrave is the headliner. He is set to run under 4.50 at 255 pounds, which will likely seal him in the first round despite being limited to two games in 2022 due to injury. Dalton Kincaid of Utah is a bizarre specimen in his own right. And I’d like to introduce you to Zach Koontz from Old Dominion. On film, he looks more like a wide-shouldered receiver than a tight end, and his weight is listed as a ridiculous 6-8 and 251 lbs, which is actually quite thin for such a tall stature. Long strides make him deceptively fast.
The last time we had three tight ends under 4.55 was in 2017 when Evan Engram, O.J. Howard and George Kittle did it.
Michigan NT Mazi Smith has a tricone rig faster than some LBs
Smith is arguably the best clean athlete in Indianapolis this week, especially considering his size. At 6-3 and weighing almost 340 pounds, he moves like an underdog at times. This means that the combine is ideally suited to significantly increase its draft stock.
Bruce Feldman of Athletic reported before the start of the season in his annual compilation of college football’s most athletic players, The Freak List, that Smith timed three cones under 7.00 in Michigan. This is clearly absurd. Maybe this is not considered a “daring” prediction. , but 330-pound defenders with faster three-cone times than many linebackers would be bananas.
Emmanuel Forbes of Mississippi has the longest long jump of any CB.
Forbes is a long, explosive cornerback, quickly jumping under routes and bringing them home. There are many rumors that Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez is doing an amazing workout. Same goes for Keli Ringo from Georgia, Joey Porter Jr from the University of Pennsylvania – pedigrees! — Tre Hodges-Tomlinson of TCU and Deonte Banks of Maryland.
But at around 6-0 and a fairly light 180 pounds, Forbes is about to jump from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne during a workout at the combine. Okay, not that far. But this year he will have the longest defense of all defensive players.