Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects raised their stock during Saturday’s events and testing drills? Here are some of the winners from the NFL Combine‘s third day of testing — headlined by an arguably generational raw talent at the quarterback position.
If you want to keep note of everything surrounding your favorite 2023 NFL Draft prospects, PFN is tracking every single player’s Combine measurement and testing results.
Saturday Winners at the NFL Combine
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
You might be looking at the most athletic quarterback prospect of all time in Anthony Richardson. As always, it’s important to preface with this: If you watched the tape, Richardson’s Combine showing was not at all surprising. But putting the numbers to the name, it’s hard to grasp just how absurd Richardson’s talent is.
MORE: 2023 NFL Combine Results — 40-Yard Dash, Vertical, 3-Cone, and More
Richardson is an absolute unit at QB, standing at 6’4″, 244 pounds. And yet, he was able to run a 4.43 40-yard dash with a 1.53 10-yard split, as well as jump 40.5″ in the vertical, and 10’9″ in the broad jump. Richardson earned a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of exactly 10, then went on to enamor evaluators with his arm strength in throwing drills.
We didn’t learn anything new about Richardson at the NFL Combine. But his athleticism, reaffirmed, should end talks of him falling out of the top 10. He’s more likely to be the first overall pick.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the Combine, instead waiting for his Ohio State pro day. That development may concern some, but Smith-Njigba’s game has never been about pure speed. His elite agility and twitch are what he truly hangs his hat on, and he reminded onlookers of that on Saturday.
Standing around 6’1″, 196 pounds, Smith-Njigba blew away the WR group in agility drills, running a 3.93 short-shuttle and a 6.57 three-cone. Both numbers are near the 99th percentile among WRs all-time. It shows that while Smith-Njigba doesn’t quite have the dynamism of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, he does have one elite athletic trait in his toolbox, and he didn’t fare badly in explosiveness drills, either.
Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion
Zack Kuntz might’ve had more hype entering the NFL Combine if he hadn’t missed a large portion of the 2022 season due to injury. In 2021, he was a top producer at TE with 73 catches for 692 yards and five touchdowns. His natural athleticism was a big part of that production, and he quantified that athleticism on Saturday.
Put these numbers on for size. At 6’7 3/8″ and 255 pounds, with 34″ arms, Kuntz ran a 4.55 40-yard dash, registered a 40″ vertical and a 10’8″ broad jump, and also ran the best three-cone of all TE prospects, with a time of 6.87. His short-shuttle of 4.12 was also elite. Kuntz made a lot of money for himself on Saturday and could even crack the Top 100.
Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska
There are many events and tests at the NFL Combine for each position group, but the 40-yard dash is what always draws the most eyes, for better or worse. Speed sells, and the prospect who comes away at the top of the list often stands to benefit down the line. In the 2023 NFL Draft WR group, that prospect was Nebraska’s Trey Palmer.
At 6’0″, 192 pounds, with strong proportional length at 32″ arms, Palmer ran a blistering 4.33 40-yard dash with a 1.51 10-yard split. Palmer didn’t do any other athletic tests, but the speed alone is a big box checked for him. And seeing how Jalin Hyatt ran a 4.4 flat in comparison to Palmer, some evaluators may re-evaluate their pecking order.
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
We already knew Darnell Washington was massive. We already knew that, when he has a runway and can get going in a straight line, he can reach impressive speeds. But we didn’t know he’d come away with the best short-shuttle time of all TE prospects by a decent margin.
At 6’6 5/8″, and 264 pounds, Washington ran a searing 4.08 short-shuttle. That short-shuttle, a measure of a player’s agility, is in the 98th percentile among TEs, and a top-five TE number over the past 10 years. It’s important to note that it doesn’t always translate on tape yet, but Washington’s raw athleticism remains awe-inspiring.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia
With virtually no buzz heading into the NFL Combine, West Virginia WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton casually walked up and put together one of the best RAS scores of all time for a wide receiver prospect, earning a figure of 9.96 after testing.
At 6’4″, 221 pounds, with 33.5″ arms, Ford-Wheaton ran a phenomenal size-adjusted 4.38 40-yard dash, and he logged a 41″ vertical and a 10’9″ broad jump. Just as impressive was his performance in the agility tests. Some bigger receivers opt out of those, but Ford-Wheaton took part in both the three-cone and short-shuttle. He earned a sub-7.00 three-cone, and had a shuttle time in the 81st percentile.
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
The entirety of the NFL Combine was important for Rashee Rice — not just the testing but also the medicals and interviews. Rice is a WR prospect with more questions than most, but one very important task for him on Saturday was quantifying his athleticism. He battled a foot injury for most of the 2022 season, which sapped his burst on tape at times. But now healthy, he was able to show evaluators what he could do in Indianapolis.
Rice already has an appealing size profile at 6’1″, 204 pounds, with near-33″ arms. On Saturday, he added speed and explosiveness to his strengths. Rice tied for the positional lead at WR with a 41″ vertical and also scored a 10’3″ broad jump, placing him near the 93rd percentile. His 4.51 40-yard dash was very solid for his size as well.
Will Mallory, TE, Miami (FL)
Will Mallory was a steady producer across five seasons with the Miami Hurricanes, peaking in 2022 with 42 catches for 538 yards and three touchdowns. That production is even more impressive given Miami’s ineffectiveness at QB this past season, and Mallory’s athleticism is a big part of what allowed him to stay productive.
At just 238 pounds, Mallory does have room to add a little more mass. But his 4.54 40-yard dash time led all TE prospects, and he also had a strong 36.5″ vertical jump to go with it.
Matt Landers, WR, Arkansas
Most of the names at the NFL Combine are readily recognizable, but Matt Landers is one prospect who may have caught some onlookers by surprise. His big-play ability was no secret on tape — he caught 47 passes for 901 yards and eight scores at Arkansas in 2022 — but his Combine performance truly put into perspective his elite size-speed combination.
At 6’4 3/8″ and 200 pounds, Landers ran a 4.37 40-yard dash with a 1.51 10-yard split. He also jumped 37″ in the vertical and 10’10” in the broad. Landers was one of just five receivers to run under 4.4. That vertical speed, along with his reach, should allow him to keep his big-play chops at the next level.
Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
Every QB prospect was going to look un-athletic next to Richardson, but if you’re looking for another QB winner from testing, Houston’s Clayton Tune had a nice day. At 6’2 1/2″, 220 pounds, Tune ran a 4.64 40-yard dash with a 1.55 10-yard split. He also added a 37.5″ vertical jump and a 10’2″ broad jump.
Tune scored an elite RAS, over the 9.5 range with his numbers. He’s been billed as a mid-round prospect who has enough of everything — but at least as an athlete, he may deserve even more credit. He has good escapability on tape, and that should help him stick around as a backup or spot starter in the NFL.
- Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
- Jason Brownlee, WR, Southern Miss
- Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
- A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
- Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
- Jacob Copeland, WR, Maryland
- Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
- Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
- Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State