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2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Quarterbacks and Tight Ends Recap

In the days leading up to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, I took to the writing streets to touch on some fantasy-relevant players (QB/RB/WR/TE) to keep an eye on the following week.

With the combine now behind us, it's time to go back and recap some of the performances we saw and what it could mean for these prospects as they prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Admittedly, I'm not one who buys into the combine predicting future NFL success. However, we also know how well a player tests can prove more impactful for some than others. Elite tight ends are often proven to be some of the best athletes in the game, while subpar athletes at the position tend to make less of an impact — at least as far as fantasy points are concerned.

For those unfamiliar with Relative Athletic Score (RAS), it's "a metric that can easily and intuitively gauge a player's athletic abilities relative to the position they play," according to Kent Lee Platte, the owner of RAS.football. Check out his site and follow him on social media @MathBomb if you want to learn more. It's safe to say that in recent years, Platte's RAS has become a staple in the football analyst community — particularly online.

Below is a look at how third-round tight end Travis Kelce tested at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and the elite RAS he posted.

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In this article, I will touch on the quarterbacks and tight ends from my previous article and how their combine week shaped up. My next article will be the same, but for the running backs and receivers I highlighted.

NOTE: Stats and information courtesy of PFF.comRotoViz.comSportsReference.com.

NOTE 2.0: Quarterback rushing yards come courtesy of PFF, which, unlike traditional CFB statistics, does not discount rushing yards lost via sacks.

Quarterbacks

Caleb Williams, USC

Caleb Williams, the presumed No. 1 overall pick in next month's draft, didn't work out at the combine in any capacity. Instead, Williams is expected to save his workout for USC's Pro Day, which is scheduled for March 20th.

Williams made more noise last week with his decision not to disclose his medicals to all teams at the combine but to save his exams only for the teams he will visit in the coming weeks. Despite what some may want you to believe, it's hard to imagine this specific decision impacting Williams come draft time, as he remains the odds-on favorite to go at No. 1 next month.

Drake Maye, North Carolina

Like Williams, UNC's Drake Maye also skipped combine workouts. The former Tar Heel was as advertised in terms of measurements, measuring just over 6-foot-4 and weighing 223 pounds.

Maye will work out at North Carolina's Pro Day, which is yet to be announced.

Jayden Daniels, LSU

You wouldn't be shocked to know that Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels also opted to forego testing at the combine. Daniels, who is currently listed as 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, also opted out of measurements, meaning he'll undergo both measurements and testing at LSU's Pro Day on March 27th.

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Michigan's J.J. McCarthy surprised at the combine on a limited basis but kicked things off with a bang when he checked in at 6-foot-2, 219 pounds. Long thought to be on the smaller side of the quarterback weight scale, McCarthy weighing in at 219 pounds should somewhat alleviate any concerns about his size.

While it would've been nice to see him run the 40-yard dash, McCarthy did participate in the shuttle and three-cone drills, displaying elite agility not only for a quarterback but also amongst all combine participants. Only 11 running backs and wide receivers ran a faster shuttle than McCarthy, who completed the drill in 4.23 seconds. The 6.82 time he posted in the three-cone ranked as the sixth-fastest time among all combine participants.

It's only one drill, but McCarthy's elusiveness is interesting when you consider the elite 14.3 percent pressure-to-sack rate he posted in college. Looking back at the last five draft classes, McCarthy's P2S% ranks 13th amongst 73 quarterbacks. Interestingly, McCarthy's missed tackles forced rate of 28.2 percent is also the ninth-highest amongst the group. His high-end agility is likely directly connected to his elusiveness in the pocket and the open field.

Bo Nix, Oregon

Oregon's Bo Nix didn't test at the combine but participated in throwing drills. Carrying a reputation as a screen pass/check down artist, Nix needed to turn in a strong showing during throwing drills and largely succeeded.

While a few of his throws required extra effort from his receivers to secure the catch, Nix didn't do anything to hurt his draft stock. It would have been nice to see him test, as he's expected to display solid athleticism, but that will come on March 12th at Oregon’s Pro Day.

Tight Ends

Brock Bowers, Georgia

Joining the ranks of players who did not participate in the combine was consensus No. 1 tight end Brock Bowers. The highly-touted prospect checked in at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds, which aligned with our expectations heading into the combine.

Bowers is expected to go through a full slate of workouts and drills at Georgia's Pro Day, which is scheduled for March 13th.

Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas

One of my favorite tight ends of this year's class, Texas' Ja'Tavion Sanders, ran an official 4.69 40-yard dash at the combine and ran a 4.32 in the short shuttle. Sanders didn't participate in enough workouts to earn an official RAS score, but his 40-time was in the upper echelon of tight end 40 times, according to RAS.football.

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With a breakout age of 19.7 and a solid 13.0 YPR on his career receptions, Bowers enjoyed early success during his time at Texas and proved to be a downfield threat. Hopefully, we'll see more out of Sanders at Texas' Pro Day, but what he displayed at the combine was a good start. Sanders was also solid in his receiving drills and should still be viewed as the TE2 of the class.

Cade Stover, Ohio State

Ohio State's Cade Stover showed up, worked out, and turned in a solid combine.

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Checking in just south of 6-foot-4, Stover is yet another tight end who appears somewhat undersized relative to the position's history but should be fine in today's game. He turned in a solid 4.65 40 time and earned an RAS of 8.37.

Stover's athleticism showed up during his days at Ohio State, as his 6.6 career YAC/REC and 21.7 percent MTF% both rank in the top 15 amongst tight end prospects since 2021. When you consider the list of prospects who rank in the top 15 in both categories, Stover finds himself in good company.

Name

YAC/REC

MTF%

Jaheim Bell

9.3

37.9%

Darnell Washington

7.5

29.8%

Curtis Hodges

8.6

26.3%

Tucker Kraft

6.6

26.0%

Brock Bowers

8.4

24.9%

Cade Stover

6.6

21.7%

Brevin Jordan

8.1

21.5%

Three 2024 tight end prospects (Brock Bowers and Jaheim Bell) fall on this short list, so it's possible we are looking at a stronger tight end class than initially thought. I'm excited to see how things play out for Stover in next month's draft.

Jaheim Bell, Florida State

You just saw in the previous paragraph that Florida State's Jaheim Bell is one of only seven tight ends to rank in the top 15 in YAC/REC and MTF% since 2021. I won't wax too poetically on Bell, but in addition to his strong college production, the hyper-athletic tight end also turned in a strong combine.

Bell's 4.61 40 time tied for the third-fastest time among tight ends this year, while his vertical and broad jumps ranked in the top five. A quick look at his RAS, and it's easy to see Bell is an athletic freak at the tight end position.

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Bell's biggest problem at the next level could be his size and run blocking. Neither is considered ideal for a traditional tight end. As mentioned in my previous article, Bell should draw plenty of NFL interest as more of a "big slot." His performance at last week's combine has only reinforced that belief.

Theo Johnson, Penn State

For this article, I planned to highlight only the players I touched on before the combine, but I can't ignore Penn State tight end Theo Johnson's elite performance.

To say Johnson blew up the combine would be an understatement. Johnson is just one of 117 players since 1987 to earn a RAS of 10.00 — a perfect score.

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Again, being a good athlete doesn't necessarily make for being a good NFL player, but it'd be irresponsible to ignore this completely.

After the combine, I went back and looked a bit closer at Johnson's college production profile. Amongst 74 prospects over the last four years, here's a quick snapshot of where Johnson ranks in some key grades/metrics:

  • 65.1 PFF receiving grade — 52nd

  • 12.2 YPR — 37th

  • 5.1 YAC/REC — 49th

  • 1.19 YPRR — 55th

  • 9.2 ADOT — 28th

  • 14.1 percent TPRR — 65th

  • 9.0 percent MTF% — 53rd

There's not much to get excited about here, but Johnson is officially on my radar as a potential riser at the NFL level. Unless he surprises with early Day 2 draft capital, I will only be taking a few shots (if any) on him in best ball drafts this offseason, but at the very least, he makes for an interesting dynasty stash.