The Scouting Combine in Indianapolis has provided a nice viewing of the top collegiate players entering the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the weekend, there have been several names buzzing after putting together a good showing in their respective drills. As these players strut their stuff for the whole world to see, some of them boosted their draft stock, while others found themselves sliding a bit. Here are three players whose combine performance might drive their landing spot right where the Cowboys are picking.
FIRST ROUND RISER
CB C.J. Henderson (Florida)
The Gators star corner has been projected in the bottom half of the first round, but that could be changing after a great combine performance. Henderson still has some parts of his game that needs work, but he’s one of the top cover corners in this draft class. He showcased his athleticism at the combine, including 4.39 speed, a 37.5-inch vertical, and a 127-inch broad jump. His 40 time is the fastest of all 14 corners ranked in the top 100 players of this draft.
Henderson’s strength has come into question, and his tackling ability leaves something to be desired. Even still, if you’re looking for a fast corner who can fly to his man and make a play on the ball, Henderson could be your man.
C.J. Henderson literally checks all the boxes for a future NFL lockdown cornerback.— Cole Topham (@HamAnalysis) December 19, 2019
✔️ Elite speed
✔️ Sticky in man coverage
✔️ Ability to read the QB
✔️ Can seamlessly adjust to a receiver’s route
FULL SHOW: https://t.co/YmBYo0NjJm pic.twitter.com/FivV7VNZWI
With all the signs pointing to Byron Jones leaving in free agency, the Cowboys will be looking for a quality replacement. Henderson has the athleticism to be a reliable cornerback in the NFL, and after dazzling at the combine, he deserves to be in the conversation for the Cowboys no. 17 overall pick.
SECOND ROUND STEAL
S Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota)
This small Golden Gopher is a guy who has first-round talent, but has a few warts against him that will likely push him to Day 2. The biggest issue is his injury history as he’s endured an early season-ending hamstring injury in 2017 as well as early season-ending foot injury in 2018. At just 5’10”, he’s also lacking in size, so there are definitely reasons for some teams to be apprehensive when it comes to Winfield. And if that’s not enough, he’s just not overly athletic. Strike three.
But a couple of those things might be able to be put to rest after a nice showing at the combine. He moved and he moved well as he recorded quality times with his 40-yard dash.
#Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is making an impression at the NFL Scouting Combine!— Minnesota Football Honors (@NFFMN) March 1, 2020
4.48 and 4.46 unofficial times! #MNProudpic.twitter.com/EXmohK9Xvg
Top notch instincts, excellent ball-tracking skills, and jack-of-all trades versatility puts him in the upper echelon of safety prospects; however, his size and athleticism will hurt his draft stock some. He’s not growing any taller, but flashing good stuff at the combine could have him rising up the draft boards to where he might be long gone before the Cowboys are on the clock. If he’s there though, he could be a nice answer to this team’s safety problems.
THIRD ROUND SLEEPER
EDGE Curtis Weaver (Boise State)
The Boise State pass rusher has been a productive player throughout his three years in college as he’s racked up 47.5 tackles for loss and 34 sacks. On tape, he passes the eye test as he’s demonstrated quick get-off to go along with some nifty hand work that punches his way past his blocker.
While the production is there, some aren’t convinced he’s got the agility to be an effective pass rusher at the NFL level. But those ideas might be fading after a strong performance in Indianapolis. The Draft Network identifies Weaver as one of the biggest edge defender winners at the combine, and indicates he’s silencing some of those who are questioning his agility.
Measuring 6-foot-2-inches and 265 pounds, Weaver ran the 3-cone drill in 7 seconds and clocked a 4.27-second short-shuttle drill. Both of those are solid marks for Weaver in his efforts to convert more believers in his game. It is critical for edge rushers to be able to win by getting around the outside hip of the offensive tackle and agility is required to get that done.
Boise State DE Curtis Weaver (@curtisweaver99) 2019 Highlights— JustBombsProductions (@JBP_Official) November 15, 2019
Weaver has the most sacks in the history of the Mountain West Conference with 33 sacks in just 35 games. The stats speak for themselves, but so does his tape #BleedBlue
Full Video : https://t.co/F5QaQruDHO pic.twitter.com/Neu1D3HWtE
Weaver might not last to pick 82, especially after his combine performance. Back in 2012, another Boise State defensive end, Tyrone Crawford, made it to 81, one spot ahead of where the Cowboys pick in the third round this year. And if you’re Dallas, you can never have enough Boise State pass rushers. Landing Weaver in the third round could give the Cowboys a future starter at a bargain price.