Which prospects could boost draft stock the most at the Combine? | The Exempt List

Yahoo Sports NFL writer Charles McDonald and contributor Nate Tice look at several prospects who could exceed expectations at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. Hear the full conversation on “The Exempt List with Charles McDonald” - part of the “Zero Blitz” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

CHARLES MCDONALD: Are there any other players, in general, who could see a big boost this week? You know who-- I think we're both probably on the same page with one guy, Amarius Mims because he's going to work out this week and do everything.

NATE TICE: Fo sho'.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Put on the show dude because I think he could have one of those workouts for offensive tackles and make you go, what the hell did I just watch?

NATE TICE: Yeah. No, the whole offensive line, I hope they all work out because there's so much talent there and so many freaky guys. Like, I'm excited to see JC Latham from Alabama and just see how he moves because I really like him, and I just think his body type has made some people negative on him. Guys like Michael Hall, defensive tackle for Ohio State, that like any of those-- actually, a lot of the defensive tackles up top, Byron Murphy as well from Texas, those guys are a lot more--


Yeah. They're all gap shooter types, so they can run. And so hey, if you break 4.9, you're at 4.8, oh, wow. And they might. So those guys can help themselves out. Shoot, there's some DBs. Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo, always done his ascend this off-season. So if he just keeps it up, and I think he will test like a freak. And then another guy is a guy that I've watched late, and I think he's getting a little hype--

And hopefully, if he tests real well this week, he'll just keep going-- Is Austin Booker from Kansas, and he's an edge. And this class doesn't have a lot of bendy edges. It's a lot more plugger types, a lot more thumper types the Saints like and the Falcons last year liked, and those types of defenses like. And Austin Booker is a different flavor.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. I think the defensive lineman is-- it's a good answer for that because there aren't really-- I think, on tape, I really like Johnny Newton from Illinois. I think he's a stud. I don't know. He gives me a lot of Grady Jarrett kind of vibes, just in terms of the build and style of play. Byron Murphy, I'll probably have a step down from him. But then outside of that, it's wide open for anyone to get in there.

I'm not a huge fan of Leonard Taylor's tape, the defensive tackle from Miami.

NATE TICE: No, me either.

CHARLES MCDONALD: But he's a guy that could come in here and just absolutely wreck it. And just in terms of being a workout warrior, I could see that happening for him because he's got the big lanky build. He moves pretty well, just the skills aren't quite there just yet.


NATE TICE: Some of the effort stuff. Yeah, he was a big recruit. So it was like, yeah, he-- and I bet you he's been waiting three years for this. He was like, just get me through those three years. Don't get hurt. All right. Here we go. It's testing time. So you're right. He might be that classic big recruit that cranks it back up once he's back to the NFL level. The other one, too, is T'Vondre Sweat from Texas. I just want to see what he weighs in at because they're hoping that--

He didn't weigh in at the Senior Bowl, which is interesting.



NATE TICE: Yeah. We'll see how that cardio has been going the last few weeks and see what he weighs in at.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. The last guy I want to hit on is where Marvin Harrison and Malik Nabers are not working out, Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze is working out, and he's doing the full gamut of testing. I think that this could be huge for him, honestly, in terms of trying-- because it doesn't really seem like he's in the-- I don't think he's Marvin. I don't think Nabers is Marvin, but it doesn't seem like he's even entering the conversation of being better than Nabers, right?

Which I think is a little bit off because I think there's some merit to debating them back and forth. So if he can come out and run in the four fours, which I don't see why--

NATE TICE: He's supposed to-- he was a track star in high school, and then he gained a bunch of weight because he's like 217. And Drake London was 215, 217, and he moves way different than Drake does. Different types of players all the way. I love Rome. I think he's awesome.