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NFL Draft Risers and Fallers Post Combine

NFL Draft Risers and Fallers Post-Combine | Tipico
NFL Draft Risers and Fallers Post-Combine | Tipico
Alex Valdes
Published: 2023-03-08

By: Sasha Yodashkin

The 2023 NFL Draft begins April 27, and while prospects will continue to move up and down draft boards over the next six weeks, some have already made a positive or negative impression based on their results at the recently completed NFL Combine. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest risers and fallers.


Anthony Richardson, QB

Richardson’s a raw prospect with great physical tools, so he was expected to test well at the NFL Combine. However, his results exceeded even those lofty expectations. The 6-foot-4, 244-pound quarterback out of Florida ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds while setting a record for the position with a vertical jump of 40.5 inches.

For reference, 6-foot-5, 237-pound Bills quarterback Josh Allen ran the 40-yard dash in 4.76 seconds. Like Allen, Richardson had accuracy issues in college, but since Buffalo was able to fix them for their QB, it’s looking exceedingly likely that some team will take a chance on Richardson’s upside with a pick inside the top 10.

If nothing else, Richardson has almost certainly solidified his spot in the first round.

Zack Kuntz, TE

Kuntz is another player whose draft stock could be taking a leap after a record-setting vertical jump performance at the NFL Combine. The tight end out of Old Dominion became the tallest player to clear 40 inches at the event since they began tracking such measurements in 2003.

Measuring at 6-foot-7 and ⅜ inch, Kuntz also ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.55 seconds, which was substantially faster than the 4.70 seconds posted by fellow tight end Michael Mayer (more on him below).

Kuntz still isn’t in Mayer’s class as a prospect, but his athleticism could lead to some consideration on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft despite racking up just 12 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns in a 2022 season that was shortened by an injury. 

Nolan Smith, EDGE

Smith’s terrific showing at the NFL Combine suggests he could be poised to follow in the footsteps of Haason Reddick and Josh Uche, whose undersized frames haven’t prevented them from finding success as pass rushers in the NFL.

Despite measuring just 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Smith’s college tape at Georgia shows that he’s just as good at defending the run as he is at getting to the quarterback. His 4.39-second 40-yard dash, 41.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-8 broad jump at the NFL Combine were all excellent, and they also put to bed any questions about Smith’s health after a torn pectoral cut his 2022 season short.

Smith has risen from one of the final picks in the first round to a top-10 selection in some recent mock drafts.


Jordan Addison, WR

 Addison was arguably the biggest disappointment at the NFL Combine. He weighed in at a slight 173 pounds, but the wide receiver out of USC didn’t show the speed expected of such a light player, running the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds. His 34-inch vertical and 10-foot-2 broad jump were also unimpressive.

Addison claimed to be dealing with lower-back tightness, and he will have a chance to stabilize his draft stock at USC’s Pro Day on March 21. If he fails to improve on his combine results, especially in the 40-yard dash, Addison would be in danger of slipping out of the first round.

Michael Mayer, TE

Mayer didn’t outright disappoint like Addison, but he didn’t do anything to help his draft stock, either. The tight end out of Notre Dame was average in every respect. He measured 6-foot-4½ while posting a 4.70-second 40-yard dash, 32.5-inch vertical and 9-foot-10 broad jump at 249 pounds.

Mayer has been a consensus first-round prospect up to this point thanks to his on-field production, as he racked up 138 catches for 1,649 yards and 16 touchdowns across 24 games in his last two seasons with the Fighting Irish.

While Mayer is a strong route runner with good hands, teams may start to worry about his ability to get open against superior athletes at the NFL level. The only first-round draft pick at tight end in the past decade to run the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds or slower was T.J. Hockenson in 2019, but Hockenson beat Mayer’s results by five inches in both the vertical and broad jumps.

Bryce Young, QB

Young didn’t participate in drills, and it was already no secret that he’s undersized, but his measurements at the combine elucidated just how small he is. At 5-foot-10⅛, Young is the exact same height as Kyler Murray, and he weighed in three pounds lighter than Murray at 204.

Murray was drafted first overall in 2019 and 6-foot-1 Baker Mayfield went first overall in 2018, but both of those quarterbacks had extremely strong arms, plus Murray had tremendous scrambling ability to boot.

Young has excellent football IQ by all accounts and was productive at Alabama, but his lack of physical tools could make the Panthers think twice about committing to him with the first overall pick after trading a substantial package to the Bears, presumably to move up for a quarterback.

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NFL Draft Risers and Fallers Post-Combine | Tipico


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