For the second consecutive year, a former Notre Dame receiver made the right impressions at the NFL combine. Chase Claypool did not run the fastest of all the receivers in Indianapolis on Thursday, but his 4.42-second 40-yard dash wowed, nonetheless.
While six receivers ran faster, highlighted by former Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs’ 4.27-second showing, just one of them was taller than 6-feet and only two weighed more than 200 pounds. Claypool, meanwhile, measured in at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds.
In other words, Claypool presented a physical profile even rarer than what Miles Boykin did a year ago when he ran an even more surprising 4.42-second 40-yard dash while at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.
Only two wideouts to measure 6’4” & 235 pounds or bigger have run a sub-4.45 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine since 2003:
One is known as “Megatron” (Calvin Johnson). The other?
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 28, 2020
Claypool insisted the scale reading 238 pounds on Monday was a result of over-hydration, not an indication he is considering a move to tight end. His real weight is closer to 233 pounds. In other words, it may be a distinction without much of a difference.
“I think all buzz is good buzz,” Claypool said. “I had to smile at some of the things that were said, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing for people (envisioning) me doing different things at the next level. I take it as a compliment.”
Claypool’s vertical jump of 40.5 inches was three shorter than Boykin’s a year ago, and his broad jump was 14 inches shorter, so this was not quite the tour de force as displayed by Boykin in 2019. The 4.42 was impressive all the same.
It may not mean as much a draft leap as the immediate reactions indicated, simply because this is a deep and talented receiver class, but Claypool could have pushed his way into the third or early fourth round with those 4.42 seconds.
Former Irish tight end Cole Kmet also had a solid night Thursday in testing. His 4.70-second 40-yard dash ranked fourth among tight ends, while his 37-inch vertical was the best of the group and his 123-inch broad jump tied for second. Not to be reductive, but this should be considered status quo from Kmet, long clearly a physical specimen and expected to be one of the first tight ends drafted.
Former Notre Dame receiver Chris Finke did not have as stellar a set of tests, running a 4.57-second 40-yard dash, though he will get a chance to better that time at an on-campus Pro Day in April.
Running back Tony Jones will work through the underwear gauntlet Friday, and defensive backs Troy Pride, Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman finish off the combine on Sunday. Neither Khalid Kareem nor Julian Okwara will take part in combine drills.
Khalid Kareem said he won't be working out at the #NFLCombine. Still recovering from labrum surgery. Said he suffered the shoulder injury against Duke, learned it was torn after Stanford but still wanted to play in bowl.
— Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) February 27, 2020
The NFL draft is April 23-25.