Vikings draft prospects: 6 players that impressed at the combine on Sunday
The NFL Scouting Combine kicked off with a bang on Thursday afternoon by starting with the defensive lineman and linebackers. There was a lot of intrigue with this group, especially at the top.
On Friday, we got the secondary players with the cornerbacks and safeties. This is one of, if not the, deepest class in recent memory.
On Saturday, we got to see the quarterbacks throw and the wide receivers run. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint.
Sunday had the offensive lineman and running backs. It was a fun way to end the combine. Here are the six players who stood out the most.
BYU OT Blake Freeland
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
The Cougars left tackle went to the Senior Bowl in Mobile and struggled. He couldn’t handle speed well and his lack of knee bend really showed up in his struggles. At the combine, he showed up as one of the, if not the most, athletic offensive lineman in this class. He ran a 4.98 40-yard dash with a combine high 1.68 10-yard split and 37″ vertical jump. If the right offensive line coach gets their hands on Freeland, he might be a capable starter in a couple of years.
Tennessee RT Darnell Wright
Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
When you watch Wright on tape, he doesn’t strike you as a great athlete. Wright is a massive player that struggled mightily when moved over to the left side. Tennessee slid him back to the right side and he played well. At the combine, Wright tested well enough, but the on-field drills is where he shined. Wright was fluid with his movements and looked like he could play tackle at the next level.
Northwestern RB Evan Hull
Hull was relatively unheralded out of Northwestern this year. A lot of that had to do with the Wildcats being 1-11 and not winning a single game on the continent of North America. He doubled down on a very impressive Senior Bowl with an even more impressive combine.
Hailing from Maple Grove, MN, Hull tested very well. At 5’10” and 209 lbs, Hull ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, jumped 37″ in the vertical and 10’3″ in the broad jump. One thing that will set him apart in the minds of scouts is the extra effort that Hull showed on every rep. He ran to the endzone on every rep and the broadcast made a point to mention it.
Texas A&M RB Devon Achane
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Viewed as the fastest back in this class, Achane was rumored to run in the 4.2’s. He ended up running 4.32 but it looked incredibly fast. Being a relatively slender back that specializes in speed, he needed that kind of time and he delivered. That time likely secured him being selected on day two.
Tulane RB Tyjae Spears
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
News came out right before the drills started that Spears wasn’t going to run the 40-yard dash and it was slightly disappointing. What he did do was the vertical jump (39″) and broad jump (10’5″) and both of those are good numbers. Spears also looked really good in on-field drills, showing the same natural hands and fluid movement skills that he did at both the Senior Bowl and Tulane. Spears, even without the 40-yard dash, solidified his stock firmly as a day two selection.
East Carolina RB Keaton Mitchell
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell is one of my favorite prospects in this class. A three-year starter and a true junior from East Carolina, Mitchell is only 5’8″ and 179 lbs, but his game is about speed and quickness. He delivered in both areas on Sunday with a 4.37 40-yard dash and an explosive 1.48 10-yard split. His jumps were also great with a 38″ vertical jump and a 10’6″ broad jump. He will go on day three due to his size and the sheer depth in this class, but along with his rushing abilities, Mitchell can also catch the ball. He’s going to be an eventual starter.
The Real Forno Show