The 2018 NFL Combine is officially a thing of the past. It’s been a whirlwind as usual, with surprisingly good and bad performances, a lot of rumors, a lot of quotes and a whole lot 40-yard dashes. There are a lot of players that really stood out, especially for someone like me, who is still catching up on NFL Draft evaluations.
I tend to hammer this point home a lot, but I’m not sure I’ve even said it yet this year: but nobody should form a concrete opinion about a player based solely on the combine, short of a huge meltdown. Stock can and should rise and fall, but typically, the combine should be used as a supplementary evaluation tool, part of a larger study.
Personally, I have to admit that most of it has been a blur, outside of all the hype around Shaquem Griffin, which still has me smiling. I cannot believe what he did, and cannot believe I knew nothing about him before the combine. I also cannot believe I almost missed out on seeing him because he wasn’t on the original list of invitees.
Then there’s Saquon Barkley, who was so impressive in drills and interviews that the discussion around him potentially falling to No. 9 overall has completely dissolved, and many believe he’s a potential first overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me.
I was also a fan of Lamar Jackson’s interviews — he is adamant about his place in the league, and he should be. Quarterback is where he belongs, as far as I’m concerned. He didn’t partake in all of the drills though, and that was disappointing.
Defensive lineman Vita Vea really impressed me, but he’s not a player that fills a need for the 49ers. If the team were still running a 3-4 defense, I’d be salivating over the potential for Vea at the nose tackle spot.
Other players who really impressed me, quickly: WR Antonio Callaway, TE Mike Gesicki, OL Will Hernandez, and WR Equanimeous St. Brown, as well as most of the top defensive tackles. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed with most of the EDGE class, which is where the 49ers have a big need.
Who impressed you the most?