The mission of this article is to make our in-house experts sizzle and bristle over the hot-button issues that face Dynasty owners. Our experts make the entire route tree HOT as they address topics from the world of IDP, Devy, Start/ Sit, Non-PPR (standard), PPR, and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!
Who’s Combine performance changed your idea of the kind of athlete they are in a positive way?
Joshua Johnson – Royce Freeman dropping the 4.54-seconds in the 40-yard dash and 6.90-seconds in the 3-cone really helped me understand that he isn’t just “meh.” Running back 40 times are almost never off the charts but under 4.6 combined with a sub-7-second 3-cone colors me intrigued.
IDP-wise, Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal continues to tickle my heart strings. His 4.56-second 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical jump, 122-inch broad jump and 7.0-second 3-cone assured what I was already feeling in my IDP pleasure center; not to mention a respectable 17 reps in the bench press.
Stanford Safety Justin Reid has been really growing on me after much film study. Then, he runs 4.40-seconds in the 40-yard dash and 6.65-second in the 3-cone and I was like a frat boy with a full party ball! #DrinkinItIn
I was very lukewarm on Iowa CB Josh Jackson. His combine performance changed that feeling! He recorded a not stunning but solid 4.56-second 40-yard dash, 6.86-second 3-cone, 38-inch vertical jump, 123-inch broad jump and 18 bench reps… a maestro of press man coverage!
John Hogue – In the second round of the DFF 32-writer Pre-Combine Mock Draft, I selected Louisville CB Jaire Alexander for the Denver Broncos. Now, there’s no way he falls to the second round. After running a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, Alexander put on an absolute clinic in the positional skill drills, showing the type of athleticism that will push him into the top half of the first round as the second-best corner in the draft (possibly the first round if you believe that Minkah Fitzpatrick is an NFL safety, which I do). I knew going into the Combine that Alexander could be an aggressive, Aqib Talib-like cover corner, but I had no idea that he had the speed and athleticism to close the gap on the rare occasion when his instincts fail him, and he briefly gets beat.
Kyle Francis – Alabama RB, Bo Scarborough. As an Alabama fan, I’ve followed his career for many years. I can’t remember another player with as extensive an injury history as he has. There were many questions surrounding Nick Chubb and how he would respond to testing. Scarborough is a lower-profile-prospect, so he didn’t have as much buzz about him but for him to put up the numbers he did after having suffered the incredible amount of injuries he had is truly miraculous. In high school, he broke his ankle as a freshman, tore his ACL as a sophomore, suffered a severe high ankle sprain his junior year, followed up with another torn ACL as soon as he got to college, and put a bow on it by breaking his leg in 2017. How he can walk is astounding. The fact that he posted a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical jump, and a 10’9” broad jump at 232 pounds is otherworldly. I only wish we could have seen an injury-free-Bo in Indianapolis. Honorable mentions to Will Hernandez (OG), Justin Jackson (RB), and Allen Lazard (WR).
Pete Lawrence – Shaquem Griffin LB UCF. This dude posted a freakishly fast 4.38-second 40-yard dash and while using a prosthetic, pushed out 20 reps on the bench press. I was shocked at how fast he ran. He looked incredibly smooth going down field and looked impressive during his positional drill.
Eric Iannaccone – There hasn’t been a lot of talk about this position, so here it goes. Mike Gesicki had an awesome combine. He crushed all the speed and agility drills – 1st among TEs in the 40-yard dash with a 4.54-second run, 1st among TEs in the 3-cone, 1st among TEs in the 20-yard shuttle, and 1st among TEs in the 60-yard shuttle. He was also 1st among TEs in both the vertical jump and the broad jump. His vertical jump tied for best among all players. At 6’5”, his speed and ability to go up and get the ball are going to make him a difference maker. I’m really hoping he lands in an offense that uses him well.
Who’s Combine performance changed your idea of the kind of athlete they are in a negative way?
Joshua Johnson – I was really falling in love with Texas A&M safety Armani Watts. Then he doesn’t run the 40-yard dash and then turns in 7.25-second 3-cone? I hope he is injured because my film eyes can’t possibly be wrong!
Ever since I reached for Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews in 2TE premium Devy league this summer I have been “a fan.” His 4.67-second 40-yard dash was good considering he weighed in at 256 pounds. But just 17 bench reps, 31-inch vertical jump and 7.34-second 3-cone leave me wondering how he will create any kind of separation.
South Dakota State WR Jake Wieneke had an opportunity to shed that small label if he could have produced legitimate numbers. His 4.67-second 40-yard dash time, 9-bench reps and 7.24-second 3-cone leave many unanswered questions about how he can beat press coverage versus true professionals.
John Hogue – As good as Jaire Alexander looked at the Combine, he also got a huge bump from the disappointing performance of Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson. Jackson should still get drafted in the first round based on his game tape, but the question of “who the best cornerback in the draft class is” may have lost a contestant. Jackson ran an uninspired 4.56-second 40-yard dash, which is not the 40-time of an NFL cornerback. He also looked awkward and rigid, with slow responsiveness in positional skill drills. NFL scouts likely saw an NFL safety, and probably a risky one at that. It’s a long fall from his projected early first-round grade as a corner going into the combine.
Kyle Francis – I’ll take the low-hanging-fruit with Orlando Brown. While I didn’t expect him to test great, by any means, he had a rough time. Per Pro Football Reference, his 19.5-inch vertical jump and 82-inch broad jumps would be the worst scores for any player that has ever been drafted. His 5.85-second 40-yard dash time and 14 bench reps are good for the second worst all-time and tied for 4th-worst among O-Linemen. He’s a talented football player, but I think this performance is going to cost him a lot of money.
Pete Lawrence – I had hopes that Vita Vea would light up the combine and was disappointed in his 40-yard dash of 5.1-seconds.
Eric Iannaccone – With all the talk and hype about him, I really would have liked to have seen better numbers from Sony Michel. He didn’t do many of the drills and was mediocre in the ones he participated in. His 4.54-second 40-yard dash was underwhelming, but fine, and his 4.21-second 20-yard shuttle was the same. His bench press was above average with 22 reps, but for someone being talked about as an end-of-the-first-round to an early-second-round player, I would have expected more above average results. Both before and after the combine, he’s drawn a ton of comparisons to Kamara (who also didn’t stand out during combine drills). “He plays faster than he tests” is something I’ve heard quite a bit, which can be true, but gives me pause. Kamara is an outlier and we shouldn’t expect anyone else to be like him. We basically need to throw away the combine results and just “trust the tape” with Michel. Ideally, we see the tests confirm for us what we saw on tape. He can still be a great player, but my confidence in him has certainly declined.
What past Combine performance will you never forget?
Joshua Johnson – This is easy for me. Watching the nearly 270-pound Jadeveon Clowney run a 4.53 40-time. I have never placed a lot of credence in a 40-time but that was exhilarating! Sure, watching guys like Chris Johnson, Dri Archer, and John Ross run in the 4.2s is cool. However, they were expected to run fast. Clowney was considered fast but his performance was unexpected. I fear for QBs and for blockers alike. His 7.27 3-cone was a bit of a boner shrinker. But still, when gaps are open, that straight line speed could be on full display.
John Hogue – I don’t think anyone could ever top Dontari Poe’s 2012 performance. The man ran a sub-five-second 40 at 350 lbs.! First, that’s just a remarkable sight; like someone put a NOS switch in a Panzer tank. But it’s also just mind-bending that a human being was able to accomplish such a feat. It should take two trips to haul that much ass! Poe also pulled off a cool 29.5 inch vertical, which was also straight out of the Matrix and defied everything we thought we knew about basic physics and inertia. When a 350-pounder makes the Combine look like Cirque du Soleil, you don’t forget that moment… or the subsequent “what am I doing with my life? I have to get back in the gym and be less gooey” harsh self-assessment.
Kyle Francis – I’m generally not one to romanticize the combine, but I do enjoy it for the brief respite it provides from baseball and basketball coverage and as a money-making opportunity. The most memorable and lucrative event for me in recent memory involved the 2017 vertical test. I had a few shekels on the highest jump to exceed 43.5 inches. I knew that former Texas A&M WR Speedy Noil had a 44.1-inch vertical jump under his belt as a high school senior. It was Obi Melifonwu that got me over the number for me in my biggest cash of last year’s combine. If you think betting the Kentucky Derby gets you juiced, try getting down on some verts and four-seconds-of-fun in the 40!
Pete Lawrence – Vernon Davis. Watch his gauntlet drill. Clowney was up there. Javon Kearse was an absolute freak! Byron Jones’ broad jump was incredible when he set the world record at the combine.
Eric Iannaccone – I don’t have any truly “unforgettable” combine moments, but some of the more impressive performances I’ve seen have been from Myles Garrett, Aaron Donald, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Johnson, and Calvin Johnson.