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Players whose stock is rising, falling after NFL combine

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Michigan linebacker Devin Bush ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash this week at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis — Now that the NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up, let's take a look at some of the winners and losers from the event. 


Stock up: Drew Lock, Missouri

Already in the conversation as a first-round choice, Lock solidified his case with a strong week in Indianapolis. He showcased elite athleticism for his position, including top-tier marks in the 40-yard dash and the agility drills. He then backed up his 10 out of 10 assessment of his own accuracy with a solid day throwing the ball. 

Stock down: Trace McSorley, Penn State

Athletically, McSorley checked off all the boxes, with an elite time in the 40 and a strong positional showing in the short shuttle and broad jumps. But his performance in the on-field drills leaves plenty to be desired. Many don't believe he's a quarterback at the next level and at least one team asked him to work out as a defensive back, which he ultimately declined. 

Running back

Stock up: Alex Barnes, Kansas Sate

Former Kansas State running back Alex Barnes showed both power and explosiveness at the NFL combine.

On a day when many running backs were average in their athletic testing, the 6-foot, 226-pound Barnes showcased above-average measurables, especially for his size. Putting the power in power back, he lifted the bar 34 times on the bench and complemented his strength with elite explosion numbers in the broad and vertical jumps and good agility in the short shuttle and 3-cone drills. That's pretty good for the back that averaged 5.7 yards per carry during his college career. 

Stock down: Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic

Known for his elusiveness in college, Singletary's athletic profile didn't match what he's put on film. Already needing to overcome his 5-foot-7 frame, he posted below-average times in the 40 and the agility drills, while putting up just 15 reps on the bench. Maybe this is just a case of a better football player than athlete, but fewer teams are going to want to roll the dice after this showing. 

Wide receiver

Stock up: Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

While the world was raving about a freakish showing by D.K. Metcalf, some of the luster from his day wore off due to atrocious agility measurements, which raise valid concerns about how his route running would be limited by his struggles to change directions quickly. The 6-foot-6 Butler, who flourished in the slot and after the catch at Iowa State, didn't do the agility drills, but scored well above average in speed, strength and explosion.  

Stock down: Riley Ridley, Georgia

A number of Georgia athletes didn't test well, and Ridley was no exception. The brother of 2018 first-round pick Calvin Ridley, Riley, at 6-foot-1, posted below-average speed and agility numbers and a highly disappointing vertical. 

Noah Fant was one of two former Iowa tight ends who performed well at the NFL combine.

Tight end 

Stock up: Noah Fant, Iowa

Fant validated his status as a first-round talent with one of the best on-field performances in combine history for the tight end position. He posted elite numbers in the speed, explosion and agility drills, supplemented by an adequate 20 reps in the bench press. Teammate T.J. Hockenson wasn't far behind, and while the latter might be the better overall player, Fant clearly has the edge in raw athleticism. 

Stock down: Kaden Smith, Stanford

In a deep tight end class, where a number of the prospects tested well at the combine, Smith's performance lagged behind the group. He measured below-average in nearly every drill, with his 4.92-second 40, 15 reps on the bench press and 9-foot broad jump the most disappointing. Smith caught 47 passes for Stanford last season, but will he be athletic enough to win matchups again NFL linebackers?

Offensive line

Stock up: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

Former Mississippi offensive lineman Greg Little posted a sluggish time in the 40-yard dash.

Lindstrom came into the event with an established resume and good film, making him a strong Day 2 candidate. He only bolstered his stock with an outstanding showing in the drills. Weighing in at an healthy 308 pounds, he ran a sub-5.0 40 and posted explosion and agility numbers at or near the top of the class. Any team that likes to put their guards on the move, whether pulling or shooting into the second level, had to love what they saw. 

Stock down: Greg Little, Ole Miss

Little, on the other hand, came in slightly under his weight expectations and ran a sluggish 5.33-second 40, with a projected 1.84-second split at the 10-yard mark. He also skipped the bench press. None of that disqualifies him from being one of the best tackle prospects in the class, but you'd prefer a little more athleticism at the position. 

Edge defender

Stock up: Brian Burns, Florida

There were so many incredible performances by edge defenders, from Montez Sweat's record-breaking 40-yard dash, to Michigan's Rashan Gary eye-popping marks you rarely see from a nearly 280-pound man, but Burns set himself apart by maintaining his rare athleticism after transforming his body the past few months. Weighing in at 249 pounds, 21 heavier than his final game at Florida State, Burns showcased elite speed, change of direction and explosion, making a strong case to be a top-15 choice in April.  

Stock down: Jachai Polite, Florida

It was a rough week for Polite, who reportedly struggled through the interview process, ran a disappointing 4.84-second 40 and ended up not finishing out the drills due to a hamstring injury. In the mix to be a first-round pick coming into the combine, that seems highly unlikely leaving Indianapolis. 

Interior defensive lineman

Stock up: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Lawrence also suffered a hamstring injury at the combine, but not before running an impressive 5.05-second 40 at 347 pounds. He also confirmed the power many opposing offensive linemen rave about, hoisting 225 pounds 36 times on the bench press. He looks every bit the part of a dominant NFL nose tackle. 

Stock down: Isaiah Buggs, Alabama

A four- or five-star recruit coming into college, depending on the source, Buggs recorded 9.5 sacks for the Tide last season. But his combine performance showed why he's not mentioned in the same breath as some of his college teammates, namely projected top-5 pick Quinnen Williams. Buggs bombed his athletic testing, finishing with below-average marks in every category, and well below in the strength, explosion and agility departments. 

Former Alabama defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs runs a drill during the NFL combine Sunday in Indianapolis.


Stock up: Devin Bush, Michigan

Both Bush and Devin White did nothing to shake their standing as the two best linebackers in this class. As expected, Bush measured in at 5-foot-11, which might be the only knock on him as a prospect. He flew through the 40 in 4.44 seconds and posted elite numbers in the explosion and agility drills. The NFL has a need for better athletes at the linebacker position to handle tight ends in coverage. Bush should fit nicely. 

More: Michigan's Bush posts top vertical among linebackers at combine

Stock down: Joe Giles-Harris, Duke

A highly productive tackler the past three seasons, Giles-Harris doesn't appear to have the necessary athleticism to start at the next level. Weighing in at 234, he ran his 40 in 4.76 seconds, with disappointing showings in the bench and jumping drills before skipping the agility measurements. 

Former Boston College defensive back Will Harris appears to have solidified his status as a mid- to late-round NFL pick in the draft.


Stock up: Will Harris, Boston College

Unheralded coming into his final college season, a strong campaign earned Harris a Senior Bowl invite, and his athletic testing will having NFL teams taking an even longer look at the potential mid- to late-round option. Posting well-above-average numbers in nearly every drill, Harris' 4.41-second 40 and 4.12-second short shuttle stand out.  

Stock down: Mike Bell, Fresno State

Bell's size is the draw. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, NFL teams are going to be naturally curious. But the odds we're looking at the next Kam Chancellor seem unlikely. Bell plodded through the 40, crossing the line in 4.84 seconds. He also had a dismal showing on the bench, struggling to hit double digits during his lift. 


Stock up: Isaiah Johnson, Houston

Johnson's size merited attention. His athleticism will have NFL teams considering him on Day 2. At 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, with 33-inch arms, he fits the mold for the modern, big-bodied corner. After running a 4.4-second 40 and showing excellent agility and leaping ability, plenty of teams are going to be salivating at this prospect's ceiling. 

Stock down: Blace Brown, Troy

Sure, we can make too much of 40 times, but if there's one position you can't afford to run slow, it's cornerback. Brown's 4.75-second time is cause for concern, as is his well-below average showing in the 3-cone drill. That's going to anchor perceptions about what he can do at the next level.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers