Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects raised their stock during Sunday’s events and testing drills? Here are some of the winners from the NFL Combine‘s third day of testing, led by the class’ likely RB1 and several offensive linemen who could earn Round 1 capital.
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Sunday Winners at the NFL Combine
Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Bijan Robinson didn’t need to test as an elite athlete. He already has the requisite size at 5’11”, 215 pounds, and has a rare mix of contact balance, creative instincts, lateral freedom, and vision in close quarters. But Robinson tested as an elite athlete anyway, only furthering his RB1 bid.
MORE: 2023 NFL Combine Results — 40-Yard Dash, Vertical, 3-Cone, and More
At his size, Robinson ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, and also logged a 37″ vertical jump and a 10’4″ broad jump — ultimately earning a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.81. It’s telling how speed and explosiveness aren’t close to the prime selling points of Robinson’s profile, and yet, he has more than enough of those traits as well. He was already a blue-chip RB prospect, but this showing solidified that.
Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
There’s a new record-holder for the vertical jump among offensive linemen at the NFL Combine: BYU’s Blake Freeland. Freeland jumped a whopping 37″ on Sunday and picked up a 10′ broad jump in addition — all at 6’8″, 302 pounds.
Freeland’s explosive numbers put him above the 99th percentile, but that comes as no surprise. His straight-line burst is elite on tape. Just as notable for Freeland at the Combine, however, was testing well in agility drills. His 7.48 three-cone was also above the 90th percentile.
Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
We’ve known that the Brown brothers at Illinois are freak athletes for a while now. Sydney Brown was one of the winners during defensive back testing a couple days ago. And on Sunday, Chase Brown joined his sibling in the winners’ column, putting up stellar numbers at 5’9 1/2″ and 209 pounds.
Chase Brown ran one of the better 40-yard dashes on the day, with a figure of 4.43. His explosive numbers — a 40″ vertical and 10’7″ broad jump — led the entire RB group as well. A north-south, no-nonsense back who works efficiently, Brown’s explosiveness is sure to raise his capital.
Jon Gaines II, OL, UCLA
Few offensive line prospects have had a better pre-draft process than UCLA’s Jon Gaines II. Gaines first stood out at the NFLPA Bowl, then made the jump up to the Shrine Bowl and immediately became one of the roster’s best blockers. He ultimately earned an NFL Combine invite, and then casually tested as a top-10 all-time athlete on the interior.
Gaines’ numbers are eye-catching — a 5.01 40-yard dash, with a 1.73 10-yard split, a 32.5″ vertical, a 9’6″ broad jump, and a 7.31 three-cone, with a 4.45 short shuttle. Gaines led all linemen in agility drills and put up 98th-percentile explosiveness numbers. His RAS of 9.95 is even more impressive, given that Gaines’ size (6’4″, 303 pounds) weighed him down a bit.
Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
Weigh-ins weren’t particularly kind to Devon Achane. But those who watched him on film knew he wouldn’t tip the scales. At 5’8 1/2″ and 188 pounds, Achane isn’t a workhorse. But there’s one very marketable trait he has — one he boasted at the NFL Combine. That trait is speed.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
As many expected, Achane led the running backs in the 40-yard dash, with a blazing time of 4.32. Some evaluators might have timed him in the late 4.2s. With that 40-yard dash time, he also brought a 1.51 10-yard split — faster than Darren Sproles’ split from 2005. Achane is dynamic, and his speed can thrive in the space-oriented modern NFL.
Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Tennessee’s Darnell Wright is arguably the best natural RT prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he’s flirted with the first round in mock drafts all throughout the cycle. There’s at times been a misconception, however, that he’s not a strong athlete. Wright put that talk to rest on Sunday, testing with an unofficial RAS of 9.45.
Wright’s size — 6’5″, 333 pounds, with near-34″ arms — is well-documented. At that size, Wright earned a 5.01 40-yard dash with a 1.81 10-yard split, a 29″ vertical, and a 9’7″ broad jump. The broad jump, in particular, put him in the 98th percentile. Wright’s short-area athleticism is impressive on tape, and the numerical confirmation should strengthen his chances of going Round 1.
Deneric Prince, RB, Tulsa
Tulsa’s Deneric Prince may be one of the biggest sleepers in the 2023 NFL Draft RB class. He was a standout at the Shrine Bowl after racking up 126 carries for 729 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. Then, at the NFL Combine, Prince tested as one of the best athletes in a stacked RB class.
Prince ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and also ended up with a 35.5″ vertical and a 10’4″ broad jump. Those numbers are even more impressive when you read off Prince’s size. At 5’11 3/4″ and 216 pounds, he’s built to take on volume, and he has the speed and burst to make the most of tight seams.
Anthony Bradford, G, LSU
He’s had virtually no buzz to this point in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is surprising given his school pedigree. But that’s due to change after the NFL Combine, now that Anthony Bradford has officially logged a RAS of 9.56 — ranked 58th all-time among offensive guards.
Bradford first won weigh-ins, measuring at 6’4″, 332 pounds, with arms over 33″ long. Then, he registered a 5.08 40-yard dash with a 1.74 10-yard split, a 30″ vertical, and an 8’10” broad. Bradford’s numbers will send many evaluators back to the tape because this size-athleticism combination is rare.
John Ojukwu, OT, Boise State
Much like Gaines, John Ojukwu is another under-the-radar offensive lineman who’s used the entirety of the pre-draft process to his advantage. He visibly progressed throughout the week at the Shrine Bowl, ending with a dominant final day of practice. And on Sunday at the Combine, Ojukwu effectively quantified his rare size-adjusted athleticism.
With 34″ arms, Ojukwu has size at 6’5 3/4″ and 309 pounds, and he’s a terrific athlete. His speed and explosiveness numbers were all good, but his agilities pushed him into the near-elite tier as an athlete. Ojukwu’s 4.52 shuttle time was in the 92nd percentile, and his 7.52 three-cone was fifth among all testing linemen.
Sidy Sow, G, Eastern Michigan
For a couple of cycles now, Sidy Sow has generated some appeal as a potential sleeper. He’s quickly shedding his sleeper label after his strong NFL Combine performance, however.
Sow’s testing numbers rank him as a top-10 all-time athlete at offensive guard. Logging a 5.07 40-yard dash, 32″ vertical, 9’2″ broad, 7.62 three-cone, and 4.69 short-shuttle time at nearly 6’5″ and 323 pounds, Sow earned an absurd RAS of 9.93. He was a pure people-mover at Eastern Michigan, and his athletic traits should further draw the interest from teams.
- Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
- Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
- Jordan McFadden, OL, Clemson
- Braeden Daniels, OL, Utah
- Jovaughn Gwyn, G, South Carolina
- Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina
- Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OL, Oregon
- Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
- Nick Saldiveri, OL, Old Dominion
- Camerun Peoples, RB, Appalachian State