The talent in this year’s wide receiver class was no secret heading into this week’s 2020 NFL combine. However, I couldn’t help coming away from the on-field drills Thursday feeling even more excited about these upcoming rookies than before.
I feel like I’ve been conducting the “take advantage of everyone who wants to trade for draft picks to get these rookie receivers in dynasty leagues” train (I know, we need to think of a catchier name), but after Thursday’s outing, I might have to re-evaluate my allegiances. I’m already certain I’m gonna talk myself into why Jerry Jeudy is going to be better than Michael Thomas in 2020 and would a steal at 1.02 in redraft leagues.
However, there were four receivers who put it all on the field and came away big time winners. Here they are in no particular order.
Obviously we all tuned in to see what Ruggs put up in the 40 yard dash, but he didn’t save is balling out for just that. Ruggs recorded a 42” vertical jump, tied for second best at the combine, and added an equally impressive 10-foot-11 board jump (T-4th best). Still, the highlight was certainly his blazing 4.28 unofficial 40-time. Not record breaking, but still wildly impressive. Ruggs has cemented himself as one of the top three receivers in this class and has a good chance of even being the first wide out off the board come draft day. Regardless, his game changing speed makes him so fun to watch and all the more exciting heading into 2020.
I’ll let the tweet do most of the talking:
Jefferson was already often mocked as a day one guy but with his performance in the 40, he locked himself in as a first round selection. At 6-foot-1, he has the size to play inside and outside, though clearly in LSU he did most of his damage working out of the slot. Personally, I would LOVE my Patriots to take him at 23 and pair him with Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Mohamed Sanu. Will Bill Belichick take two first round wide receivers in back-to-back years? Probably not but a girl can dream.
Peoples-Jones came to the combine and proved that he’s one of the most explosive receivers in this year’s class. Hell, in both the broad jump and vertical jump, he was the most explosive receiver. He hit 11-feet-7 inches on the board jump and 44.5 inches on the vertical. That’s insane explosion for a guy who also happens to also be 6-foot-2. And don’t let Peoples-Jones’ college stats sway your opinion of him. According to PFF, he had the 4th most uncatchable targets among this year’s class. If he lands on a team with a good quarterback, you can bet I’m going to draft him in just about all my fantasy leagues.
Let’s start with Claypool’s measurables shall we? The Notre Dame receiver comes in at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and casually ran a 4.43 and jumped 40.5 inches.
Officially a 4.42 40-yard dash for Chase Claypool— PFF (@PFF) February 28, 2020
AT TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT POUNDSpic.twitter.com/mJLtrRgbgj
Double take all you want but those are real numbers that this man really put forward. There’s been lots of chatter about if Claypool should play tight end given his size, but regardless of what position he plays in the NFL, he proved he has all the athletic talent in the world and could be a problem in the pros. Oh, by the by, there have been only two wide receivers in NFL history who measured 6-foot-4, 235+ pounds and ran sub-4.45: Claypool and Calvin Johnson Jr. Insert shrug emoji here.