The first two days of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine have come and gone. Even though these first few days aren’t the most exciting, they still provide us with a ton of valuable information. Whether it’s a lineman who may show up and bench-press significantly less than we thought he would , a quarterback with hands that don’t meet that “nine inch threshold”, or the receiver that is an inch or two taller than we all expected, we always learn a lot with the weigh-ins and bench press.

Today I’m going to bring you three winners — prospects who won the day with impressive an weigh-in or bench press, and three losers — prospects who didn’t quite weigh in to what we thought he would, or someone who didn’t show the upper-body strength we thought.


Saquon Barkley – Penn State – Running Back

If we could build a running back in a lab then allow him to play in the NFL, we’d build him as a 6-foot-0 223lbs back who could throw up 29 reps of 225lbs on the bench. Wait, did I just describe Saquon Barkley? Yes, yes I did. Barkley weighed in about as good as an NFL Draft prospect could have in Indianapolis at Lucas-Oil Stadium. He backed up his impressive weigh-in with the best showing in the bench press with 29 reps. He and Georgia RB Nick Chubb tied for the position’s best and ended up having the sixth-best bench press out of the running backs AND offensive lineman combined.

After blowing the measurements and bench press portion of the Combine out of the water, Barkley’s most impressive showing will come with his 40 time and vertical, which he will participate in later today. If you were impressed by Barkley’s measurements and bench numbers, don’t miss out on what he runs and jumps. That is really what I’m looking forward to see the most from the former Penn State running back.

D.J. Moore – Maryland – Wide Receiver

While former Maryland receiver D.J. Moore has yet to do his bench press, Moore won the day when he measured in at 6-foot-0, 210 lbs. This surprised most people mainly because he’s listed on most websites at 5-foot-11, ranging anywhere from 210 to 215 pounds. Showing up at 6-foot-0 flat is huge for a guy who doesn’t necessarily win using his size, but now shows that he has the size to match with his quickness, route running ability, and ability to gain yards after the catch. I’ll be interested to see how D.J. Moore runs and jumps, because I don’t see a phenomenal athlete on film, but an impressive day testing may catapult the former Maryland Terrapin into the first round.

Ian Thomas – Indiana – Tight End

Ian Thomas is a guy who I thought helped himself at the Senior Bowl, then backed it up with an impressive weigh-in at the Combine. Thomas measured in at a pretty decent height at 6035, but really stood out at 259lbs, with 10″ hands, 32 4/8″ arms, and a whopping 80 1/8″ wingspan. Thomas without a doubt underachieved in Indiana’s offense, but is seen as a player that can develop into a starting tight end in the NFL, or at least a guy that can be used in most offenses.

Thomas has intriguing size, good athletic ability, and is a guy who can make plays down the field in the receiving game. The former Indiana TE may have not been a big weapon in the Hoosiers offense, but NFL teams are very interested in what Thomas can bring to the table as a receiver.


Orlando Brown – Oklahoma – Offensive Tackle

Orlando Brown didn’t disappoint with his official measurements, but he did disappoint when he recorded only 14 reps on the bench-press at just under 6078 and weighing in at 345 pounds. To put it in perspective for you, the 345 pound Orlando Brown had less reps on the bench than all but seven running backs. Of those seven backs none of them weighed over 220 pounds.

He also had the least amount of reps out of all the offensive lineman after weighing in as the heaviest lineman in Indianapolis. The unfortunate thing for Brown is this was probably his best chance to come out on top of something from this weekend. If I had to take a guess, Brown will likely run one of the slower 40’s, and he also won’t be jumping out of the gym. It wasn’t a great start for the former Sooner, but he can turn it around by impressing teams in meetings, and having a decent day athletically.

Calvin Ridley – Alabama – Wide Receiver

I am the president of the Calvin Ridley fan club, so it pains me to type his name under the title “loser”, but his measurements certainly did not help his draft stock. No one expected Ridley to show up as one of the bigger receivers in Indianapolis, but I think how light he was shocked some people. Not many sub-190 pound receivers get drafted in the first round, much less in the top 20. But all signs point to Ridley of doing just that. Ridley doesn’t use his size to win very often, so him measuring in on the smaller side doesn’t change much for me, but it will be interesting to see if any teams knock him for it. Look for Ridley to make up for his lack of size with testing exceptionally well athletically today.

Billy Price – Ohio State – Offensive Guard/Center

Billy Price’s day did not go as planned. After weighing in, Price was ready to take on the bench press portion of the Combine to show how strong he is. Instead, after only getting one rep done, Price grabbed his chest/shoulder area and grimaced in pain. It was later reported that Price tore his pectoral muscle while attempting to get up his second rep. This is obviously terrible for a guy who was looked at as one of the top three guard/centers in this draft class. If the reports that are out are true, Price went from being a first round candidate to a guy who will likely miss all of training camp and start the year on PUP. I feel absolutely horrible for Price, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

The fun part of the Combine kicks off today as the running backs, offensive lineman, and special teamers take the field to showcase their skills, run their 40s, and do all the other athletic testing. This portion of the Combine is what the fans and media all enjoy the most. You can watch the NFL Combine live on the NFL Network; don’t miss the next wave of talent try their best to make a name for themselves with two months to go before draft day.

About The Author Connor Livesay

Connor Livesay is a highly sport intelligent NFL Draft analyst. Gaining his passion for football through being a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Connor's passion lies in who the high potential players are and where they'll work best. Whether it's the NFL Draft or the Cowboys, Connor provides educated insight about the sport he loves.