Losers of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

In my other article this week, I went through some players that I thought did well for themselves at the Combine. However, not everyone had a great week in Indianapolis. Several players damaged their draft stock through underwhelming performance, unflattering measurables, or off-the-field concerns. Here, we’ll go through the players who hurt themselves at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. Take heart though: a bad day at the Combine does not destroy your chances of becoming a high pick. Players have their Pro Days and their college tape to fall back on if need be.

DE Bralen Trice, Washington

I feel badly for Trice, as it seems as though he got some poor advice. During the first few drills, he seemed to injure himself, yet he continued on. I applaud his competitiveness and his toughness is commendable, but whatever ailment he had clearly affected him. He looked tighter after that moment, and his struggles were evident throughout the remainder of the drills. Brice probably should’ve called it an afternoon and focused on his upcoming Pro Day, where he can show off in a friendly setting. I sincerely hope this doesn’t hurt him too much because his tape is better than what he showed during the combine.

CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

By all accounts, Arnold is CB1 in this year’s draft class. His technique is good, he tackles well, and he performed strongly in the SEC. The one knock on him was speed, and he unfortunately confirmed those fears. Arnold only managed a 4.50-s 40-yard dash, making me wonder if NFL speedsters will blow by him. He otherwise tested great, and I think this may end up being a minor concern in a draft bereft of an elite CB prospect.

CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Wiggins almost made it to the winners column. Until Texas WR Xavier Worthy ran, Wiggins had the fastest 40 time among all players at 4.28. Alas, that would be his one and only activity because during his run, he “heard something pop”. Wiggins thought he tore his groin, but a medical exam showed that he had a hip flexor instead. That’s a positive development, as the recovery time is much shorter. However, he didn’t get the chance to show that he brings premier technique along with his physical gifts because he couldn’t do the drills. Nobody doubted his speed, but he now needs a good pro day to alleviate some concerns.

S Kamren Kinchens, Miami

A well-regarded reporter said that Kinchens has great ball skills but poor overall athleticism, especially in terms of speed. The tape certainly agrees with the first statement: Kinchens had 11 INTs and 2 fumble recoveries of the past 2 seasons and generally flowed to the ball on every play. We needed to see his 40 time to confirm any speed concerns…and he ran the worst among all DBs (4.65 s). I was blissfully unaware that some people had Kinchens as a first-round pick, as I thought he was a solid day-2 guy all along. More scouts are going to feel that way after this unhelpful showing at the combine.

S Millard Bradford, TCU

As far as testing went, Bradford didn’t do anything wrong. He ran a quality 4.42-s 40 and jumped fine. Once the drills started, that’s when things went south. I distinctly remember marveling at how he messed up seemingly every drill. Whether it was not following instructions or dropping the ball, Bradford had to get back in line for an extra rep at the end of almost all the drills. Teams are not only evaluating your physical talent; they also want to know how well you listen and execute the given task. From that viewpoint, Bradford had a day to forget, while some other safeties passed him by.

WR Keon Coleman, Florida State

Coleman always felt like someone who would look better on tape than at the combine. He excels at winning on contested catches and gaining separation through savvy route running, not pure speed. That said, his 4.61-s 40 time was still below expectations and ranked last among all wideouts. He still had a great chance to salvage things during the drills, and he did perform really well in the gauntlet. However, on numerous routes, he slipped or tripped during breaks, leading to incomplete passes. Other receivers improved their stock, so Coleman’s chances of going in the first round could be toast.

RB Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

Since becoming the starter as a true freshman, Allen has posted a pair of fantastic seasons followed by a slightly lesser one in 2023. Due to recency bias, scouts’ views of him dipped a bit. The combine provided him with an opportunity to make a statement, but he couldn’t take advantage. Allen didn’t run the 40, which is a shame because I think he would’ve done well for his size. That can be fixed at his pro day, but he can’t easily rectify the fact that he dropped several passes in the field drills. RBs who can produce in the passing game are essential, and Allen didn’t show that he can contribute on that front.

Most of the QBs, Various

This was honestly one of the worst showings at the combine by any QB group that I’ve seen. More specifically, many of them DIDN’T show for one part or another. Presumptive #1 pick Caleb Williams attended and was interviewed, but he did no drills or testing and did not even have his medicals done. That’s better than 2023 Heisman winner Jayden Daniels, who didn’t even show up. The third among the top 3 QB prospects, Drake Maye did only the medicals and interviews. Among the QBs who did attend, only 4 ran; in the first group, Sam Hartman ran the 40 on his own. He was given a minute to catch his breath after run #1.

JJ McCarthy and Joe Milton showed off their arms but had accuracy problems. Naturally, the media left the combine projecting that McCarthy won’t reach pick 15 for some reason. Austin Reed, Michael Pratt, and Kedon Slovis looked terrible throwing, missing high and wide on half of their attempts. Bo Nix was fair, and only Michael Penix and Spencer Rattler really looked good. I almost wrote “The NFL Scouting Combine” as the loser, but the other position groups really brought their best. The top signal callers felt like they didn’t need to, and unfortunately, that assessment may be correct come draft time. I still don’t have to like it.

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