The NFL Scouting Combine is one of the rare events and spectacles that could mean both everything and nothing. Sometimes, how a player tests in underwear has no bearing on how he performs in the NFL. In other instances, a player’s testing backs up the tape he produces in college. That was the case for these three players in particular: Iowa State’s Breece Hall, North Dakota State’s Christian Watson, and Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore.
Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Breece Hall‘s resume is as sparkling as one a college running back could create. After splitting time with former Iowa State Cyclone and current Chicago Bear David Montgomery (and still averaging 4.8 yards per carry), Hall set college football on fire over the last two seasons. He rattled off 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He essentially ran those numbers back as a junior, where he ran for 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry. All in all, he averaged 5.8 yards per carry in college, ranking in the 67th-percentile of RB prospects.
Hall played 24 games during his last two seasons, all of which as the starting running back. He had at least one run that spanned at least 30 yards in 11 of them. His speed was there for all to see as a Cyclone. And he let everyone see it again in Indianapolis during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
But That’s Not All
Next Gen Stats gave Breece Hall an NGS overall score of 99 on account of his 40 time and his 40-inch vertical. Only five other running backs have met that 99 threshold: Reggie Bush, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Najee Harris, and Travis Etienne. I hear those guys are ok.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall (4.44u, 40" vertical @ 217 lbs) currently stands as 1 of 6 RBs since 2003 to earn an NGS overall score of a 99. The others:
Najee Harris ('21)
Travis Etienne ('21)
Saquon Barkley ('18)
Derrick Henry ('16)
Reggie Bush ('06)#NextGenScores pic.twitter.com/V8SVXRsSoi
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 5, 2022
To add the cherry on top, Hall is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. In three seasons, he hauled in a 10.7-percent (81st-percentile) Target Share, and 82 receptions that accumulated 734 yards and six touchdowns. He can do it all and play every down, making it less likely he will cede work to a counterpart in the running back room. His tape and production already made him a nearly indestructible running back. But him blowing up the Combine was the last piece to make him a bulletproof prospect. To make matters even better, won’t turn 21 until May 31st, more than a month after he hears his name called. He should be the first running back to hear his name called among his class both in the NFL Draft and in upcoming fantasy drafts.
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
Whoa! Well, hello there Christian Watson! He may not have lit the college football landscape on fire the way Breece Hall did. In four collegiate seasons, he accrued just 104 receptions, 2,134 yards, and 14 touchdowns. But, he did manage to accumulate a robust College Dominator Rating/College YPR combo.
North Dakota State’s run-centric offense was not one that properly allowed Watson to flourish and showcase his dynamic skillset at the wide receiver position. But he got his chance to do so in Mobile, Alabama, at the Senior Bowl. By many accounts, he took advantage of his time at the Senior Bowl. He was arguably the best receiver who took part in the festivities. The next stop was the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Where he literally took on the form of a rocket to personify the direction his draft stock is heading. At 6-4 and 208-pounds, he blazed his 40-yard dash by finishing the sprint in 4.36 (96th-percentile) seconds. More impressive than that was his 119.9 (98th-percentile) Speed Score, which accounts for the size of the player in addition to his final 40-time. Dear Christ.
It Gets Even Better
Next Gen Stats quantified Christian Watson’s athleticism score as a 99 in accordance with his 40-yard dash and 11-feet four-inch broad jump. He is now one of three wide receivers at least 6-4 to post an athleticism score of at least 90. The other two? Georgia Tech products Calvin Johnson and Stephen Hill.
North Dakota State WR Christian Watson ran an unofficial 4.28-second forty at 6'4-208 lbs.
Pending his official numbers, Watson is expected enter the draft as one of only three receivers to measure in at 6'4+ & earn a 90+ athleticism score in the NGS Draft model.#NextGenScores pic.twitter.com/k0rd7jDDov
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2022
Watson blew up the Senior Bowl with his dynamic skillset and then did the same at the Combine with his otherworldly athleticism. Doing so solidified him as a likely Day 2 draft pick at the minimum and possibly a first-round pick in late April. When it comes to winners of the Combine and the draft season, perhaps no player did so as emphatically.
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Another small-school prospect did his best to raise his profile at the Combine. Enter Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore. Unlike Christian Watson, Moore was a mega-producer in college. While splitting work with now Seattle Seahawk D’Wayne Eskridge, Moore brought in 76 receptions for 1,190 yards and six touchdowns over the course of 18 games. 2021 was a different story, however.
With Eskridge now in the NFL, Moore became the man and more than replicated the numbers he produced in his first 18 collegiate games over his final 12. As a junior, he put up an excellent 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns. Even though he did the majority of his damage in the MAC conference (a conference that has a large history of putting out great NFL wide receivers), he did take a swipe at the big boys too. After registering 22 yards against the Michigan Wolverines, Moore burst onto the scene with a breakout 124 yard, one touchdown performance on 11 receptions in Western Michigan’s upset win over the Pittsburgh Panthers in Pittsburgh.
Next Gen Stats
Skyy Moore’s play already put him firmly on draft radars, but his performance at the Combine solidified it. Moore ran a 4.41 (90th-percentile) 40-yard dash. When accounting for size (5-10 195-pounds), he has a very good 98.9 (66th-percentile) Speed Score. With his size measurements and Combine drill measurables, his athletic profile looks eerily similar to that of a former second-round pick and current Washington Commander Curtis Samuel according to Next Gen Stats.
Skyy Moore (2022)
🔹 5'10, 195 lbs
🔹 4.41 40 time, 10'5 broad jump
🔹 79 Production Score
Curtis Samuel (2017)
🔹 5'11, 196 lbs
🔹 4.31 40 time, 9'11 broad jump
🔹 77 Production Score
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2022
Moore is a very good receiver and tantalizing draft prospect. He was a super-producer in college with a 44.8-percent (91st-percentile) College Dominator Rating and 39.5-percent (99th-percentile) College Target Share. His Combine opened up even more eyeballs and solidified him as a bonafide Day two prospect. Not even the sky is the limit for Skyy when it comes to his NFL prospects. Hopefully, a premiere landing spot will allow those talents to shine to their fullest.