2024 NFL Scouting Combine Preview

by Aaron St. Denis · Featured

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2024 NFL Scouting Combine Primer

What: A total of 321 draft-eligible college athletes will gather to go through on-field drills, a barrage of medical testing, as well as one-on-one interviews with NFL team officials and media before they are selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. Of these 321 prospects, only 98 are offensive skill position players and that is where the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine Primer will focus. 14 quarterbacks, 29 running backs, 39 wide receivers and 16 tight ends are slated to attend. For the full list of invitees, go to NFL.com.

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Home of the Indianapolis Colts.

When: Thursday, February 29 – Sunday, March 3.

  • Thursday, February 29, 3 PM ET – Defensive Linemen, Linebackers
  • Friday, March 1, 3 PM ET – Defensive Backs, Tight Ends
  • Saturday, March 2, 1 PM ET – Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers
  • Sunday, March 3, 1 PM ET – Offensive Linemen

The Events

40-Yard Dash

This is the main event as far as the NFL Combine is concerned. Regardless of what position, the speed score they receive after this event is going to be a huge factor in their draft stock. This event showcases a player’s speed, acceleration, and explosion. The 40-yard dash is a must-see for all positions. Some players opt to pass on this event, knowing a bad score can cost them millions of dollars in draft capital.

20-yard Shuttle

The shuttle is an indicator of lateral quickness and change of direction. It is typically more critical for the defensive players to excel here as many offensive players forego this event altogether.

10-yard Split

Plain and simple, this one shows off a player’s short-area burst and speed. This event is a nice thing to have a good score on, but many offensive players opt out of this as well as it’s not considered one of the more important tests.

3-Cone Drill

This event measures how fast a player can change direction while accelerating. A good score here is a must-have for a running back, particularly the smaller ones who will be making a living off of shiftiness.

Bench Press

This event is all about showing off a player’s upper body power and muscular endurance. This matters more for linemen than offensive players and won’t come into play in this article. Although, it’s great for bragging rights.

Vertical Jump

This event tests lower body power and explosiveness. It is a particularly important test for tight ends and receivers hoping to be an Alpha/X-type receiver.

Broad Jump

This event measures explosive leg power. This test is critical to wide receivers and running backs, but it’s not created equal for all of them. It is far more critical that the running backs over 210-pounds and receivers over 6-0 excel here. If you hope to be a big-bodied back or receiver in the NFL, you will need a solid broad jump.

Players to Watch


JJ McCarthy, Michigan

Preseason rookie buzz is ablaze, with J.J. McCarthy’s hype train rocketing. McCarthy, a precision passer and standout athlete, could solidify himself as a Top-10 NFL Draft pick and first-round superflex rookie pick with strong performances. His adeptness in interviews, crucial for quarterbacks, coupled with no medical concerns, positions him favorably.

A standout day of testing could place him alongside Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye in the second tier of quarterbacks. Expect his athleticism and intelligence to fuel further hype. He is a case where he may see his stock rise without completing a single test. The interviews alone could send his stock skyrocketing.

Michael Pratt, Tulane

Pratt’s 2024 NFL Draft projection lands him on Day 3. However, his Tulane stats showcase his potential as a Prototypical-QB with size, speed, and physicality. Solid interviews and an impressive on-field display could boost his stock. Despite scant attention due to his small-school background, a chance to shine on a bigger platform may catapult him onto the NFL radar. Watch for his size and strength to elevate his draft position.

Running Backs

Trey Benson, Florida State 

Benson faced a near career-ending setback in 2020, tearing his MCL, ACL, and LCL as a freshman for Oregon. Despite missing 2021, his resurgence at Florida State indicates recovery, yet solid testing is vital to prove his restored agility.

A positive medical report will alleviate team concerns, likely boosting his draft stock. Currently, no running backs are slated for the NFL Draft’s first round or superflex rookie drafts. With a clean bill of health and expected speed in the 40-yard Dash, Benson could secure early Day 2 draft status and even Round 1 rookie draft placement.

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee

Wright’s size and weight position him as a potential steal in this year’s draft at 5-11 and 210-pounds. Pairing his stature with an anticipated 40-yard Dash time in the 4.31-second range, he’s poised to leave obscurity behind.

The Broad Jump is pivotal for Wright. Surpassing 125.00 in the broad jump and posting a sub-4.40 time would highlight his potential as an elite running back, blending speed and explosiveness. If not already on your radar, Wright demands attention now. His blend of size, speed, and athleticism suggests significant potential. This is backed by consistent year-over-year production improvement.

Wide Receivers

Ladd McConkey, Georgia 

In a crowded WR class, McConkey’s talents are vastly underrated. In previous drafts, he’d easily rank top-3 among receivers. However, his slightly smaller stature and slower speed led to oversight. While not diminutive or sluggish, he lacks the elite measurements of top-tier receivers.

Expected him to measure in at 5-11 and 187-pounds. McConkey’s performance in the 40-yard Dash could garner attention. Surpassing expectations may not lead to a rise in rankings. Often, players who meet expectations excel while those falling short lag behind.

He currently trails the top receivers who maintain stock based on projected 40-yard dash times. McConkey may surpass some of those wide receivers at the NFL Combine. Several players may not meet their lofty expectations.

Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky

Corley, who is an athletic marvel, is poised to shine at the NFL Combine. Despite his 5-10 frame, the Western Kentucky receiver boasts bulk and should run a sub-4.40 40-yard dash time.

He is expected to excel in the 20-yard shuttle and dominate the bench press. Corley’s combination of speed and strength resembles Deebo Samuel‘s potential. Anticipate Corley leading in all testing events. This should be backed by a clean medical record and strong interviews, making him a standout at the 2024 NFL Combine.

Tight Ends

Ben Sinnott, Kansas State

The Brock Bowers hype has overshadowed Sinnott, impacting his rookie ADP. Despite lacking Bowers’ or Sanders’ speed, Sinnott is poised as the draft’s tight-end value pick. Initially slated for Day 3 of the NFL Draft and Round 3 in superflex rookie drafts, Sinnott’s stock is likely to rise post-combine.

While Sinnott’s production at Kansas State was modest, his size-speed combo is elite. At 6-4, 254-pounds, he matches Bowers and Sanders in size. His expected 40-yard dash time should place him between the top two tight ends. A standout NFL Combine performance and impressive speed score could elevate him to TE2 status in the class.

Cade Stover, Ohio State

Stover, a former linebacker now transitioning to tight end at Ohio State, displays promising signs of greatness in his new role. Despite the learning curve, his consistent 400-yard seasons amid Buckeye talent showcase his immense skill.

Similar to Sinnott, Stover matches Brock Bowers‘ size but boasts superior speed. While he may not reach TE1 status, Sanders’ position is up for grabs, potentially propelling Stover from TE6 to TE2. Expect Stover to impress with size, strength, and speed, highlighting the depth of this tight-end class.

For an in depth look at the top running backs in the class, check out John Laub’s Running Back Rankings – 2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Top 6 Rookie Running Back Rankings (playerprofiler.com)

*For a full explanation of the NFL Combine terms, check out our Term Glossary Page.