Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Indianapolis.
Photo: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Photo: AP Photo/Darron Cummings

5 winners and losers from NFL scouting combine 

First it was the pictures of his chiseled physique, which caused Raiders coach Jon Gruden to say he was “built like a house.”

“A lot of people hit me up, ‘what's your workout plan’ and I’m like, I’m just training for the combine,’ ” Metcalf said after the pictures went viral on social media. 

Then Metcalf, who left school after his redshirt sophomore season, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds. He lifted 225 pounds 27 times on the bench press.

 

When the combine completed with the defensive back drills on Monday, Metcalf, the grandson of former NFL star Terry Metcalf and nephew of Eric Metcalf, was clearly one of the combine winners.

Here’s a look at the winners and loser from the 2019 scouting combine:  

WINNERS

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi: He caught 26 passes for 569 yards (21.9 average per catch) for five touchdowns in seven games. He missed the rest of season with a neck injury. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy went on to win the Fred Biletnikoff award which goes to college football’s top wide receiver.  Metcalf was a SEC All-Freshman pick in 2017 as he started 12 games, caught 39 passes for 646 (16.6 average per catch) and seven touchdowns. He tried to play as a freshman in 2016, but suffered a broken foot in the second game of the season.

Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State: Sweat, who played at Stephenson High, on Sunday ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds, a new modern record (since 2003) for a defensive lineman at the combine.  The previous mark was held by Manny Lawson (2006) and Isaac Hilton (2004), according to NFL research. The 4.41 time would have been the eighth fastest time among the wide receivers at the combine. 

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama: Williams, going against the advice of his agent, ran his second 40-yard dash in 4.83 seconds. According to NFL research, his time was the fourth-fastest by a 300-plus pound defensive lineman since 2003 at the combine.  Only Tank Johnson (4.69, 2004), Luis Castillo (4.80, 2005) and Jaye Howard (4.82, 2012) ran faster. 

Williams had 19.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks last season with the Crimson Tide. 

Mecole Hardman, WR Georgia: The speedy wide receiver-returner ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds. He made an impressive catch on his final post-corner route during the Saturday morning session. He reached out over his head to pull the ball in. He’s being compared to Seattle receiver-returner Tyler Lockett. 

Zedrick Woods, S, Mississippi: He won the unofficial title as the fastest player at the 2019 combine when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds. Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean ran the 40-yard dash in 4.30 seconds. Woods was a three-year starter for the Rebels. 

LOSERS

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU: NFL teams were appalled by Williams tackling ability on film. “Tackling, that’s something I have to improve on,” Williams said. He went out and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds. He left the combine with minor cramping in both calves, according to the NFL Network. He will have to perform the other on-field drills at LSU’s pro day on March 22. 

Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia: Holyfield ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial 4.78 seconds Friday. The target time for running backs is 4.55 seconds. Holyfield was measured at 5-foot-10 and weighed 217 pounds. The only running back who ran the 40-yard dash slower was Wisconsin’s Alec Ingold, who ran 4.89. But Ingold is a 242-pound fullback, and Holyfield is a 217-pound tailback. 

Jachai Polite, DE, Florida: He failed to impress the scouts in his drills and during interviews. He’s reportedly coming off a hamstring injury and that may explain his slow 40-yard dash time of 4.84 seconds and less than impressive vertical jump of 32 inches. 

Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia: He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.91 seconds compared to 4.5 seconds by Iowa’s Noah Fant, who had the fast times of the tight ends. Nauta’s time ranked 17th of the 19 tight ends at the combine. Nauta lifted 225 pounds 19 times on the bench press on Friday, which ranked tied for seventh among the tight ends. West Virginia’s Trevon Wesco was the top lifter for the tight end group with 24 repetitions.

C.J. Conrad, TE, Kentucky: He had to leave the combine after a medical exam revealed an issue with his heart. He must undergo additional testing for a heart valve problem that was causing an irregular heartbeat. Conrad hopes to have the matter cleared up by Kentucky’s pro day, which is set for March 22.  

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