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NFL Combine: The 10 future fantasy football stars to track

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“There is no NFL offseason.”

It’s a popular trope. And an accurate one, too.

Just ask NFL Draft expert, Eric Edholm, who will have logged flights to Mobile and Indy before mid-March, covering the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Evaluating rookies is his 365. What better brain, then, to pick ahead of professional football’s “underwear Olympics.”

Below is a list of 10 players who could test well and, thus, improve their draft stocks at the 2022 Combine. Some of the names are familiar while others were suggested by Edholm, based on his insider knowledge. Regardless, they are prospects for fantasy heads to track during the week.

The buzz is mounting … and fantasy football winners hear it first.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Historic turnover at the QB position has — fairly or unfairly — contributed to the “not a good year for QBs” narrative surrounding the 2022 class. Still, Malik Willis is a prospect rife with upside — and no group falls in love with upside more than fantasy managers. The Liberty product has the kind of dual-threat potential that would make even the loudest Jalen Hurts stans blush. From electrifying arm strength to game-changing rushing ability, Willis’ testing numbers could break the internet.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Over his three years at Arkansas, Treylon Burks has done all the things. Consistently producing at all three levels of the field, the 21-year-old has caught balls, taken hand-offs, thrown passes and even worked in on special teams. That sort of utility has to be accompanied by incredible athleticism (and an extensive football IQ). Throw in Burks’ size (6-foot-3 and 230 pounds) and SPAR-Qs could fly.

Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

Arguably the best high-pointer in this year’s class, Alec Pierce has been called a “pogo stick at wide receiver.” A four-sport athlete (football, volleyball, basketball and track) in high school, Pierce has next-level quicks and leaping ability. He thrived as a red-zone target at Cincinnati and recorded the highest percentage of throws 10+ yards down the field (60%) of any WR or TE in this year’s class. At 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, the Chicago-area native is expected to post a massive vert in Indy.

Drake London, WR, USC

If last year’s class was all about sub-six-foot receivers, this year’s crop fully celebrates the alphas. Case in point: Drake London. In possession of elite size (6-foot-5 and 210 pounds) and a basketball background, London is a nightmare to cover. He was named the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the year, despite breaking his ankle in Week 8 and missing the second half of the season. Drawing Mike Evans comps and a WR1 profile on numerous scouts’ boards, London’s testing numbers could reveal plenty about his recovery — and immediate redraft potential.

Eyes will be watching former USC Trojans wide receiver Drake London at the NFL Combine
Drake London will be one of the most-watched prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

The son of a former NFL DB, Christian Watson has elite bloodlines even if he doesn’t have a big school pedigree. Those pro-ready traits are evident in the 22-year-old’s stature and skill set. Listed as 6-foot-5 and 208 pounds on NDSU’s website, Watson has size for days, which certainly provides him with an enviable catch radius. But that’s not all. The Florida native is also deceptively fast and could post a sub 4.4 40-yard-dash time. With a big vert and a fast 40, it’s hard to imagine him coming off the board after Day 2.

Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

#TeamTallReceiver is definitely dominating the 2022 class, but Skyy Moore is repping hard for #TeamSmallReceiver. A converted QB/DB, Moore (5-foot-9 and 195 pounds) was a highly productive slot receiver (94-1,283-10) at WMU. He might also be the savviest route-runner in this year’s class. Frequently comped to Julian Edelman, the Pennsylvania native (who played on the same high school team as Mike Tomlin’s son) is an explosive talent who excels in space and after the catch. Keep an eye on his acceleration and agility numbers at the Combine.

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Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Breece Hall was a TD machine over his three years at Iowa State, leading the position with a whopping 41 rushing scores over the last two seasons. That kind of goal-line equity suggests plenty about a back’s skill set, but Hall is more than just a short-yardage grinder. The 20-year-old (yes, keeper enthusiasts, he’s only TWENTY) — who replaced David Montgomery and was a starter in his freshman effort — cleared 20 catches in each of his seasons as a Cyclone. Per Edholm, “Hall's burst and straight-line speed should show up big in the 40.” Assuming he tests well, Hall could be the first RB drafted next month.

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

The youngest RB in the 2022 class (he’ll turn 21-years-old in August), Isaiah Spiller is perhaps the buzziest rookie at the position. Similar to Hall, he was used as a receiver in college, topping 20 catches in each of his three seasons with the Aggies. While he didn’t record the same number of TDs, he did use his elite vision and exceptional power to rack up the rushing yards, clearing 1,000 in back-to-back efforts (5.5 YPC). The biggest knock against Spiller is his lack of top-end speed, which will make his 40-yard-dash all the more important to his overall draft stock.

Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida

Dameon Pierce wasn’t as productive as Hall, and he’s not as young as Spiller, but he might be my favorite rookie at the position. Built like a tank (5-foot-9 and 220 pounds) Pierce is impossible to take down because he can get low-low-low. While his balance keeps him upright, his leg drive gets him through holes and past would-be tacklers. He’s also aces in pass protection, which makes him one of the best overall talents in this year’s class. In fact, PFF awarded him the highest rushing grade in college football for 2021 (93.5). His stock is ascending after impressing at the Senior Bowl. Solid workout numbers could push him even further up draft boards, perhaps even making him a Day 2 selection.

Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State

Despite having attended two other programs before landing at Arizona State, Rachaad White’s name is scrawled all over the Sun Devils’ record books. He was ultra-productive in 2021 (1,456 scrimmage yards and 16 total TDs), closing out his time in the desert as the first player since 1949 to lead the team in rushing and receiving. A smooth and efficient workhorse, White brings elusiveness and toughness to his game. He projects to be a three-down back at the next level, which should keep him at the top of draft boards next month. A big-time athlete, look for White to put up solid speed numbers and crush the agility drills in Indy.

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