2024 NFL Scouting Combine: 12 winners, 3 losers from a great weekend

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine turned out to be one of the most spectacular in recent memory.

 

That wasn’t exactly a surprise, as we knew that this is an absolutely stacked draft class, but it was something else to see all that talent on display this weekend. The New York Giants (and 31 other teams, if we’re being honest) are in need of an infusion of talent, and there’s a lot to be found.

 

So which prospects made themselves money this weekend, and which still have work to do?

 

 

Troy Fautanu (OT, Washington) – There was a belief that Fautanu could be forced to slide inside at the NFL level due to a lack of length. As it turned out, Fautanu only lacks height (he’s 6-foot-3), but has long (34-inch) arms.

 

He probably could move inside and be a dominant guard, but he made a strong case that he can — and should — be an offensive tackle at the NFL level. That’s where the money is, and there aren’t 64 starting tackles at the NFL level, and Fautanu showed that he can be one of them.

 

Beaux Limmer (OC, Arkansas) – The tackle class is regarded as being potentially historic, but the iOL class isn’t quite (or nearly) as highly regarded. There were several interior offensive lineman who showed out at the Combine, but Limmer was particularly impressive relative to his pre-combine perception. He was fast, agile, and smooth in all of his drills, looking every bit a starting center in a zone blocking scheme.

 

Tanor Bortolini (OC, Wisconsin) – Bortolini is another lineman who wasn’t high on the national radar but raised his profile significantly over the weekend. Like Limmer, Bortolini looked fantastic in the field drills. Most impressively, he paced the entire offensive line group in the agility drills which can often foretell which linemen will be successful at the NFL level.

 

 

Amarius Mims (OT, Georgia) – Mims was set to be one of the biggest winners of the weekend, both figuratively and literally. Mims looked like a comic book character walking around at 6-foot-7, a lean 340 pounds, with 36-inch arms, and 11 ¼-inch hands. He also had a ridiculous 9-foot-3 broad jump and a 5.07-inch first attempt at the 40-yard dash. Then he hurt his hamstring on his second attempt at the 40.

 

Everyone knew that Mims is an athletic freak, but he has dealt with injury throughout his career and only has eight starts in 30 games in the SEC. Him getting hurt at the Combine will likely put concerns about his durability back front and center. A dominant Combine could have made him a lock for the first round, but now teams could be much more cautious.

 

 

Xavier Worthy (WR, Texas) – If you set a combine record, you’re a winner. Simple as that. We already knew Worthy was fast, but he showed that he isn’t just fast, he’s fast fast. We have to be careful to not count the combine twice and give Worthy extra credit for being a fast guy we knew was fast. However, 4.21 seconds isn’t just game-changing speed, it’s game-breaking speed. We should probably be asking why he only averaged 13.1 yards per catch over the last two years, but every team is going to be spending time wondering how they can use that kind of speed, and how they could defend it.

 

Brian Thomas Jr. (WR, LSU) – Speaking of speed, Thomas Jr. was the second fastest receiver at the combine and looked excellent in all of the drills. Malik Nabers opted out of his workout, and that opened the door for Thomas to step out of his teammate’s shadow. Thomas will likely be a first round pick, and teams in the latter third of the draft could well be looking at him as a viable Number 1 receiver now.

 

Isaac Guerendo (RB, Louisville) – Guerendo was a hidden gem at Louisville, but the secret is out. He had one of the best workouts by a running back in Combine history.

 

 

Devin Leary (QB, Kentucky) – The top six quarterbacks are pretty much set in stone, and there’s a very real possibility we could see all six go before the 32nd pick in the draft. Leary, however, could well have forced scouts back to his tape and boosted his stock to where he could be in the second (or third) tier of quarterbacks along with Michael Pratt and Spencer Rattler.

 

Theo Johnson (TE, Penn State) – I’m going to echo what I said with Worthy here: If you’re a tight end who’s ending your day getting compared to Jimmy Graham, you’re a winner. Johnson blew up the Combine and may well have separated himself as a clear TE-2 behind Brock Bowers.

 

 

Nobody, really – The skill positions in this draft are deep and talented. Even though the tight end and running back classes aren’t nearly as highly regarded as the QB and WR classes, both showed good breadth and depth of talent.

 

The losers here may be the teams left on the outside looking in. There will likely be runs on several positions early and teams in need that are left waiting until next year could be much worse for it.

 

 

Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo) – Mitchell might be the biggest winner of the weekend. He’s been rocketing up draft boards since the 2023 season started. Mitchell showed that he could compete with — and beat — big school prospects at the Senior Bowl. At the Combine he showed that he has prototypical size, great speed, and good movement skills, and an explosive lower body. Mitchell is in the conversation to be the first DB off the board in April.

 

Chop Robinson (EDGE, Penn State) – Robinson dropped down draft boards when he didn’t take an expected step forward in 2023. However, he reminded everyone just what kind of athlete he is at the Combine. Robinson is fast and explosive, and while he might not be Micah Parsons, his best football may well be ahead of him.

 

Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama) – Each of the top three edge defenders (Laiatu Latu, Jared Verse, and Turner) showed out, but Dallas Turner had the distinction of doing so with the off-ball linebackers. The impressive part is that while he was requested to work out with players expected to play in space at the second level, he didn’t look out of place among them. Turner is explosive, bendy, and versatile, and he’ll be an asset to whichever team drafts him.

 

Payton Wilson (OBLB, NC State) – Wilson is similar to Michael Penix Jr. in that he’s a high-ceiling player but has struggled with injuries over the course of his career. He’s finally healthy and had a phenomenal weekend at the Combine. He’s got prototypical size, 4.43-second speed, an explosive lower body, great movement skills, and was very productive the last two years at NC State. Teams will pay close attention to his medicals, but his workout will likely go a long way toward assuaging concerns.

 

 

Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson) – Wiggins isn’t exactly a “loser” here. He’s still going to be drafted in the first round and is drawing comparisons to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. However, Wiggins got hurt while running the 40-yard dash and wasn’t able to finish his workout. That opened the door for Mitchell and Terrion Arnold to have great workouts and raise their stock in his absence.

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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