I will be perfectly honest, I was prepared for Miles Boykin to run dead last among the wideouts in the 40-yard dash in this weekend’s NFL Combine. Anything from 4.75 to 4.85 wouldn’t have surprised me in the least bit. For the record, Texas receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey finished last among the participants at his position with a 4.75 seconds time.
Not only was I dead wrong about Boykin, he proceeded to go out and dominate the Combine in nearly every phase. This isn’t hyperbole on my part to say this is one of the most shocking things I’ve ever witnessed associated with Notre Dame football in my life. Boykin’s final numbers for the weekend:
WR Miles Boykin (6’3 3/4″ 220 lbs)
40-Yard Dash: 4.42 (t-9th among wideouts)
Vertical Jump: 43.5 inches (t-1st)
Broad Jump: 140 inches (2nd)
3-Cone: 6.77 (1st)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.07 (3rd)
Not only was this one of the best performances for any athlete at the 2019 Combine it goes down as one of the best in history for someone his size, certainly at receiver. I have seen a few people claim they thought Boykin would test better than people though but no one saw THIS coming.
In most ways, Boykin’s 3-cone and shuttle times are even more impressive than anything else he did over the weekend. I guess I could wrap my head around his long strides (he completed his 40-yard dash on his 18th stride, 3 fewer than Combine-leading Parris Campbell’s 4.31 time), some dropped weight, and supreme training leading to an impressive 40-yard dash. The vertical and broad jump aren’t super surprising giving his length and muscular quads.
The short burst times are insane and in combination with everything else it all doesn’t seem real.
The only thing Boykin didn’t test well in was bench where his 12 reps placed him 30th among the receivers.
Everyone is saying that Boykin made himself some money over the weekend. That is true, especially if he was trending towards going in the later rounds or even undrafted. If he’s a late 5th round pick he’d sign for under $3,000,000 and a signing bonus under $300,000. If he’s now easily into the early 3rd round he’d sign for over $4,000,000 with a signing bonus over $1 million.
If Boykin becomes a top 50 pick then you’re really looking at a major increase in money. However, his ascendancy to me isn’t so much about money as it is how he should move into a much more valued player for his future NFL franchise. That’s likely more important than his rookie contract and draft placement.
Why wasn’t Boykin better in college, though? Over the past few days a lot of blame has fallen on quarterback Ian Book for not being able to get the ball deep to Boykin. That’s fair, to a point. Although, Boykin didn’t spend the bulk of his career playing with Book and the deep ball is only one small aspect to playing receiver.
Lack of production will continue to be a question for Boykin, just like it will be for Ole Miss’ D.K. Metcalf who also dominated the Combine and caught 10 fewer passes, for 22 more yards, and 3 more touchdowns over his career than his Notre Dame counterpart.
For Boykin it’s also fair to question whether he’s a “workout warrior” because his numbers suggest we should’ve seen far greater production, especially in shorter routes and making plays once he had the ball in his hands. At no point, even for his size, did Boykin look like the type of athlete who would put up historic Combine numbers. This disparity is a mystery NFL front offices will have to sort through as we move towards the Draft.
LB Drue Tranquill (6’2″ 234 lbs)
Bench: 31 (1st)
40-Yard Dash: 4.57 (t-7th)
Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches (t-5th)
Broad Jump: 122 inches (t-9th)
3-Cone: 6.94 (6th)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.14 (t-5th)
This was quietly a super impressive Combine for Tranquill who came in with good size and showed off very good mobility. A lot of people were frustrated that he was moved from Rover last off-season but his ability to play the more physically demanding Buck linebacker spot might have transformed him into an agile inside linebacker at the NFL level.
His performance feels like it’s worth at least a half round bump.
TE Alize Mack (6’4″ 249 lbs)
Bench: 22 (t-2nd)
40-Yard Dash: 4.70 (t-7th)
Broad Jump: 120 inches (5th)
Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches (5th)
3-Cone: 7.27 (t-13th)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.34 (9th)
Mack looked huge in Indianapolis with bulging arms and chest. His bench press was outstanding and overall his numbers look good. He was never known as a great blocker in college so this sets up an interesting dynamic if he can become more of a traditional tight end in the NFL. I think he helped his stock slightly this weekend but not by a ton.
RB Dexter Williams (5’11” 212 lbs)
Bench: 17 (t-18th)
40-Yard Dash: 4.57 (t-11th)
Broad Jump: 130 inches (t-1st)
Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches (t-6th)
3-Cone: 7.00 (3rd)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.16 (2nd)
This felt about right for Dexter who has always been extremely explosive in short areas and matched it up with a decent 40-yard dash. He undoubtedly improved his stock at the Combine although I’m not sure to how great of a degree. Questions will still linger about his receiving ability, pass blocking, and elusiveness in the open field but his athletic gifts in his areas of strengths should move him up the Draft boards a bit.
DT Jerry Tillery (6’6″ 295 lbs)
Bench: 23 (19th)
40-Yard Dash: 4.93 (9th)
Broad Jump: 115 inches (t-9th)
Vertical Jump: 32.0 inches (t-9th)
3-Cone: 7.45 (7th)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.33 (5th)
Solid numbers overall for Tillery who flashes a little bit of freak athleticism at the Combine. His stock remains fairly steady. I think NFL teams will have to figure out where he fits on their roster either as an interior rusher or jumbo end. The answer to that question could mean going in the 1st round or dropping back a little further.
CB Julian Love (5’11” 195 lbs)
Bench: 14 (t-13)
40-Yard Dash: 4.54 (t-24)
Broad Jump: 121 inches (t-19th)
Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches (t-21st)
3-Cone: 6.72 (3rd)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.10 (t-6th)
We’re still awaiting more test results from Love as he is finishing up drill work as we type this. His 40-time was a touch disappointing and likely takes him out of a 1st round pick. However, unless he really bombs on the rest of the Combine he’s still pretty comfortably in the 2nd/3rd round area at worst.
Te’von Coney (6’1″ 234 lbs) went through some drill work at the Combine but did not do any testing. Additionally, Alex Bars (6’6″ 312 lbs) was unable to work out while he recovers from his knee injury.