Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to Watch at the 2019 NFL Combine: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends Take the Field 

Skill players take the field Saturday in Indianapolis, which also means quarterback throws and a couple 'TOO STRONG' receivers running the 40-yard dash. Here's what to watch out for.

Ole Miss wide recever D.K. Metcalf puts up 27 REPS on bench press at NFL combine

Day two of on-field drills brings out the skill players, which usually means the more high-profile players. However, outside of a couple quarterbacks, you kind of realize this year really is all about defense when looking at offensive prospects. Plus, the latest rumor out of Indy is that former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who recently confirmed his decision to play football after being drafted by the Oakland Athletics, won't be throwing at the combine after all, like his counterparts.

Added to that is the fact the Bucs are pretty set at the skill positions. Coach Arians has said as much, remarking on multiple occasions how he's never been given a team with so many skill players already built in. He's got his 'X' receiver in Mike Evans, who went to the Pro Bowl last year and already owns the Bucs' all-time receiving yards record after just his fifth season. He's got tight ends in 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, who is on his second contract with the team. You also have your franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston, whose fifth-year option was picked up for 2019 and whom Arians has expressed unwavering faith in already.

So, for the second day of on-field drills, Bucs fans can largely sit back and enjoy the show.

Take a look at a few guys to look out for as these skill guys get going:


Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

I know he's supposedly not throwing, but you're going to watch whatever drills he ends up doing, anyways. Especially after he measured a whole tenth-of-an-inch taller than everyone thought!

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

Murray may be getting most of the buzz, but Haskins may still have most draft experts in his corner as the first quarterback who should be taken in this year's draft. As a redshirt sophomore at Ohio State, Haskins threw for 4,843 yards and 50 touchdowns with a 69.8 completion percentage, adding four more touchdowns on the ground. He'll be looking to jump Murray with his Combine tests to prove he should be first off the board at the position.

Daniel Jones, Duke

Jones I did get to see at the Senior Bowl. The week of practices didn't exactly correlate to his stellar performance in the game itself. During the week, Jones seemed shaky at times. The big knock on him is his deep ball, or potential lack thereof. Throwing at the combine could help alleviate those specific concerns and prove the Senior Bowl game wasn't a fluke.

Wide Receivers

D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Ian Rapaport reported yesterday that Metcalf measured in at 1.6% body fat during the biometric testing. I don't know who fed him that, but I'm not sure that's actually possible. Regardless of his actual number, you can't ignore a dude, much less a receiver, who looks like this. Metcalf made good on that characterization during the bench press on Friday where he recorded 27 reps. That would classify him as a top performer on the offensive linemen list. That's gotta be one of the craziest things to happen so far in the combine since…

N'Keal Harry, Arizona State

…wait, this guy repped 27, too? My ASU bias has been well-documented in mine and Scott Smith's mock drafts on Buccaneers.com but you can't get around this. I'm SO interested to see how Harry tests in the other drills and can't wait for everyone to realize this Sun Devil is more than deserving to be the first receiver off the board. Just be ready for my impending 'I told you so.'

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

This guy was another one at the Senior Bowl who impressed. He made some spectacular contested catches and the combine will just prove to be another way for him to get the attention of us media types, because I guarantee NFL staffs are already well-informed on him.

Tight Ends

Noah Fant, Iowa

This guy is supposedly the best tight end in this year's class but he's got some familiar competition. More on him, next. Fant said on Friday at the podium that he models his game after Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce, who is probably your best bet as a guy to look up to, currently. We'll see if his combine testing is comparable and if Fant is deserving of first-round praise on the field today.

T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

Oh look, another tight end out of Iowa. Hockenson is a year behind Fant but declared early and for good reason. Despite being one of two very viable tight ends for the Hawkeyes, he won the 2018 John Mackey Award given to the nation's top tight end as a redshirt sophomore after he tallied 760 yards and six touchdowns last season. Hockenson really only has his former teammate to outdo at the combine to prove he's first-round talent, too.

Trevon Wesco, West Virginia

I was struck by the sheer size of Wesco at the Senior Bowl. He's nearly 6'4 and weighs in at 267 and was listed then as a full back, which is what he was listed as at West Virginia, too. He did admit to me he was used more as a tight end, in the end, which was proven to me during the week's practices when he showed he had great hands in addition to his size. Even put up against the best tight ends in the country at the combine, he's already managed to make a strong showing with 24 reps on the bench press Friday. More results like that and he may start creeping into the tight end conversation with the two aforementioned Iowa teammates.

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