Wide receiver and center are about the only two offensive positions that the Bengals really need to be looking at for the upcoming NFL Draft. That said, some of the offensive prospects who worked out at the NFL Combine over the weekend should see their overall stock rising or falling based on their performance. Here are the five best and worst Combine performers at each offensive position.
Best: Carson Wentz, Jeff Driskel, Cody Kessler, Paxton Lynch, Dak Prescott
Maybe it's because they're quarterbacks, but the performances of these five players are what's got everyone talking as the Combine comes to an end. Wentz, Prescott, and Driskel all performed well in the 40-yard dash. Driskel, in particular, blew all of the other quarterbacks away with a 4.56 40 time. That number still doesn't come close to Michael Vick's all-time record of 4.33 for quarterbacks, but that's still mighty impressive.
Lynch and Kessler both performed near the bottom of the quarterback class on their 40-yard dash, but don't forget that Tom Brady ran a 5.28 in khakis at his Combine. However, they both annihilated the quarterback competition in other categories. Kessler had the best hand size with a measurement of 10 7/8 inches, while Lynch tied Carson Wentz for the best broad jump (9'10").
Worst: Brandon Doughty, Nate Sudfeld, Cardale Jones, Trevone Boykin, Josh Woodrum
This group of quarterbacks, for the most part, might as well have not showed up to the combine at all. Some players like Woodrum and Doughty performed poorly in virtually every category. Others, like Jones, Sudfeld, and Boykin did not even participate in all of the activities.
Ohio State fans won't be happy to see Jones on this list, but, he injured his hamstring and was unable to participate in three events. It's hopeful he'll be healed up for Ohio State's Pro Day on March 11, but he was unable to make a good impression during the Combine drills due to the injury. He injured his hamstring during his 40 yard dash (4.81 seconds), however, he tied with Paxton Lynch for the best vertical jump (36").
Best: Will Fuller, Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman*, Sterling Shepard, Ricardo Louis
For wide receivers, the 40-yard dash can make-or-break draft positioning. Will Fuller absolutely crushed the competition with a 4.32 which ranks tied for the eighth best ever recorded. Fun Fact: That's one hundredth of second slower than the Bengals' all-time leader at the combine, Jonathan Joseph (4.31).
*Corey Coleman had the second best vertical jump of the entire wide receiver group (40.5"), but declined to participate in any running events at the combine. He'll do the 40 at his Pro Day.
Worst: Wilson De'Runnya, Tyler Boyd, Roger Lewis, Pharoh Cooper, Kenny Lawler
Every player in this group recorded a 4.58 on the 40-yard dash or slower and backed it up with a vertical jump no better than 34".
Best: Austin Hooper, Ben Braunecker, Beau Sandland, Jerell Adams, Temmarick Hemingway
All of these players showed up weighing in between 244 - 254 pounds, yet all recorded 40-yard dash times of 4.74 or better. For a group of tight ends, that always good.
Worst: Nick Vannett, Bryce Williams, David Grinnage, David Morgan, Tyler Higbee
Varnett scored poorly in his vertical jump (30.5") and didn't even participate in the 40-yard dash. A poor broad jump score (9.3") means that his stock is bound to do nothing but drop as a result of his on-field drills. Everyone else on this list scored fairly poorly in most categories as well, save for Tyler Higbee who didn't participate in any events at all.
Best: Tyler Ervin, Ezekiel Elliott, Daniel Lasco, Derrick Henry, Brandon Wilds
Tyler Ervin might be a bit on the smaller end of the running back pool at 5'10" and 192 lbs, but his 4.41 40 combined with his 10'10" vertical jump might have been one of the most unexpectedly great performances at the combine.
All of these running backs performed fairly well in both categories, including Wilds who has the added benefit of being built almost exactly like Adrian Peterson (6'2", 220 lbs). He had a good 40 time (4.54) and a good vertical jump (9'10"), which could take him from being a relative unknown to a potential steal in the draft.
Worst: Andy Janovich, Shadrach Thornton, Alex Collins, Peyton Barber, Soma Vainuku
Don't expect any of these players to be hot topics on draft boards in the coming weeks. That is, other than Alex Collins who has been considered a second round pick by many analysts. That said, a dreadful 28.5" vertical jump and an average looking 40 time (4.59) means the undersized Collins is likely to fall in the eyes of many.
Best: Christian Westerman, Cody Whitehair, Tyler Johnstone, Jason Spriggs, Jake Brendel
NFL teams want strong offensive lineman. There are plenty of factors, but one of the first things that you hear or read from scouts about a lineman's credentials lies in his strength. That's why Christian Westerman makes this list with a combine leading 34 bench reps. It didn't exactly set any records, but even if it had, it probably wouldn't mean much.
Don't forget that Justin Earnest of Eastern Kentucky currently holds the record with 51. Who's that? Exactly. Cody Whitehair is on the opposite end of the spectrum, recording the least reps at the position (16), but recording near the top in the 3-cone and short shuttle drills. It shows a different kind of strength and endurance that make him seem more versatile as a lineman.
Worst: Denver Kirkland, Stephane Nembot, Nila Kasitati, Pearce Slater, Dominique Robertson
In an offensive lineman, you want to see a guy who can move in and out of obstacles while still hitting his targets with the kind of strength that can knock back a tank like Geno Atkins. That's why drills like the three cone and short shuttle are so important for this group. All five of these players recorded a score no better than 8.30 on the 3-cone drill and 4.83 on the short shuttle. NFL teams will likely look elsewhere to fill open positions.