Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine will take place on Saturday with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. If you missed the breakdown for Day 1 (RB, OL, ST, PK), you check that out, but these are the prospects I’ll be watching for what is the most highly-anticipated day of the event.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (QB05)
Most people seem to believe Dwayne Haskins will be the first quarterback off the board in a couple months, and he will look to put on a show in the on-field throwing drills to make that a reality. Haskins won’t blow anyone away with his athletic testing, but he doesn’t need to as a pure pocket passer that is said to be very good on the whiteboard.
Daniel Jones, Duke (QB07)
I think Daniel Jones might be able to raise his stock more than anyone this week, as while some analysts are foolishly questioning his calm demeanor, he can win the doubters over by a) showing he’s a better athlete than people are giving him credit for, b) standing out among the quarterbacks in throwing drills, and c) impressing in team interviews. Jones is currently the clear No. 3 signal-caller in the class for me.
Drew Lock, Missouri (QB08)
The “wow” arm strength from Drew Lock will likely be a big draw on Saturday, but his accuracy is what’s really key to winning over evaluators. Also, it’s worth noting that Lock has the benefit of throwing immediately after Dwayne Haskins, strong-armed Tyree Jackson, and Daniel Jones to hopefully show a different kind of heat following that notable trio.
Trace MsSorley, Penn State (QB09)
If there’s a beneficiary of Kyler Murray holding off on doing everything until his Pro Day, it might be Trace McSorley. The all-time winningest quarterback in Penn State history is better in a game setting than he is on air, but there’s something competitive about the Combine—where prospects go toe-to-toe on the field and have quantifiable tests (which McSorley should thrive in as a deadly dual-threat).
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (QB15)
The quarterbacks are always separated in two groups, and with Kyler Murray not participating in any on-field work, Jarrett Stidham will be the most impressive passer in Group 2. The Auburn product arguably throws the nicest ball in the entire draft class, so he could create some buzz for himself with a good showing.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford (WO01)
The 40-yard dash will be important for a lot of big-bodied receivers this weekend, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will start things off for the position. I’ve compared Arcega-Whiteside to Larry Fitzgerald as a possession target that can win at the catch point with timing and physicality, so we’ll see if he can run better than expected to show he might have the same kind of long speed that Fitz does.
Hakeem Butler, Iowa State (WO07)
No one can agree on a consensus No. 1 receiver this year, but there are certainly some intimidating options that teams will fall in love with. This morning, Hakeem Butler measured in at over six-foot-five with a monstrous wingspan of nearly 84”, which could make 80-20 balls in college continue to be 80-20 balls at the next level. For his size, Butler is smooth out of breaks, and it will be interesting to see how that translates in Indy.
Parris Campbell, Ohio State (WO08)
Georgia’s Mecole Hardman is my pick for the fastest 40 time, but Parris Campbell is also one of the favorites. While the dynamic speedster is probably getting a bit overlooked in a deep class, he has a chance to change that by running in the 4.3s and showing he can be effective on more complex routes after a lot of receptions came at the line of scrimmage for the Buckeyes.
Andy Isabella, Massachusetts (WO26)
Any casual Combine viewer that might not yet know much about the current draft prospects will probably be stunned when Andy Isabella—a sub-five-foot-nine receiver in a compact frame—runs a blazing 40 time, but he’s expected to do just that on Saturday. I also think his impressive route running will be more apparent than it was during Senior Bowl practices because he won’t have to worry about separating from defenders.
D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss (WO34)
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that D.K. Metcalf “looked like Jim Brown” when they interviewed him last night, so we can add that to a list of comparisons that already included Josh Gordon, Calvin Johnson, and whatever superhero you want to call him. Metcalf should run around a 4.4 with a vertical close to 40”.
Noah Fant, Iowa (TE04)
Another size-speed freak, Noah Fant should rival 2018 second-round pick Mike Gesicki (4.5 40-yard dash, 41.5” verical) for one of the most insane Combine performances from a tight end. College teammate T.J. Hockenson is getting more pre-draft love right now, but Fant could be talked about as a top-20 pick after this weekend’s events.
T.J. Hockenson, Iowa (TE07)
The aforementioned T.J. Hockenson has drawn comparisons to Georgie Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Rob Gronkowski, but he will need to test like an athletic freak for those to be accurate. I viewed Hockenson as more of an on-the-ground player, though, and his speed/quickness will be key in proving he can separate from NFL defenders.
Caleb Wilson, UCLA (TE21)
It would be a surprise if Fant and Hockenson weren’t both Day 1 picks, but there should still be some solid options available on Day 2 and even into Day 3. Caleb Wilson is a lanky, six-foot-four target that needs to show some fluidity—both in the athletic testing and pass-catching drills—to prove he can be more than a seam-stretcher at the next level.