The drills are done, the interviews have finished, and the hundreds of NFL prospects who descended upon Indianapolis have now departed to await their pro days.
So who stood out? Whose career will be made by a great workout? Who peaked this weekend and will forever be labeled a disappointment because they couldn’t replicate their success after Indy?
Here’s who caught our eyes.
Shawn Wagner: Jachai Polite - EDGE - Florida
In search of a pass rusher, Florida’s Polite has been a frequent name mocked to Green Bay with the 12th pick. However, after a rough Combine performance on the field and in interviews, Polite may be lucky to be the Packers’ choice at number 30.
While the transcript made it look worse than the actual vocal response, the Packers’ interview with Polite did not appear to go overly well when the pass rusher was asked about it. A player with mixed opinions already due to his frame and minimal positional versatility, Polite was praised for his high effort on the field. Yet, in interviews, Polite came across as a prospect that does not meticulously watch film of himself and shies away from criticism. That did not assist him after running a 4.84 forty, a low mark for a pass rusher predicated on speed. Many draftniks claimed Polite fell out of first-round circles.
In a relatively deep first-round pool of pass rushers, Polite may have cost himself quite a bit of money at the Combine. And for a player that I was already not as high on as many others, the showing probably cost him a spot on my board of potential new Packers.
Paul Noonan: Montez Sweat - EDGE - Mississippi State
I view the combine as more of a variety show than anything else, and it’s hard not to be impressed by a guy running a 4.41 40-yard dash at 260 pounds. I have no idea if Sweat will be any good, and I’ve never ever watched his college tape, but that was quite a show for a big man, and made me curious as to how he would do at TE or WR.
In any case, that was pretty neat, and my original assumption was that the stopwatch malfunctioned. Having someone that big and that fast run at you sounds absolutely terrifying.
Jon Meerdink: Tyree Jackson - QB - Buffalo
I am with Paul in that I think the Combine is best consumed as something resembling a circus sideshow. At this year’s combine, nobody better embodied that spirit than Tyree Jackson.
“Come see the incredible nine-foot quarterback!” you can imagine a carnival barker screaming on some county fair midway. “He can tear a football in half! He once threw a pass straight through a brick wall!”
I have no idea if Jackson will be a good NFL quarterback. The odds suggest he probably won’t, but who cares? He was fun to watch this weekend and really, that’s the entire point.
Evan “Tex” Western: Noah Fant - TE - Iowa
While the momentum in recent weeks has trended towards the “other” Iowa tight end, T.J. Hockenson, Fant put the NFL on notice this weekend that teams cannot forget about him as a bona fide first-round prospect. Yes, Hockenson is the prototypical in-line tight end, and he also had a very, very good workout. Yes, Fant is the move tight end who was likely to be the best-performing tight end in Indy. But it was the separation between Fant and literally every other player at the position that blew me away.
6-foot-4, 250-pounders don’t run in 4.50 often. They also don’t jump out of the gym and post wideout-like agility numbers like Fant’s 6.81-second cone time. While the Packers already have a highly-paid tight end who can’t block in Jimmy Graham, I would love to see them draft Fant at 30 if he’s still available and Hockenson is gone.