NFL Combine Results – Tight End Winners and Losers from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

by Aaron St. Denis · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

The NFL Combine Results are in! The 2024 NFL Draft tight end class had their chance to impress the scouts and NFL evaluators in Indianapolis this past weekend. For the most part, they did just that. Some NFL teams will add seriously athletic players to their roster this coming draft day. With that in mind, let’s look at the Biggest Tight End Winners and Losers from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. For a look at our full rookie rankings, check out our Rookie Rankings Page. It should be noted that all NFL Combine measurements are unofficial and are subject to change.

Tight End Winners

Theo Johnson, Penn State

With Brock Bowers choosing to delay testing until his Pro Day, it left Theo Johnson as the clear star of the show at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. Johnson spent all four years of his collegiate career at Penn State. He didn’t put-up eye-popping stats in college, so he certainly wasn’t on the radar of many fantasy managers except Seth Diewold who seemed to draft him in every Mock Draft.

Johnson participated in six of the seven events. During those six events, Johnson finished in the top 3 of all of them except for the 3-Cone Drill where he placed No. 5. His 40-yard Dash time was second best at 4.57, falling short of only Devin Culp at 4.47. He tied for No. 1 in the 10-yard Split with a 1.55 second and also recorded the best time on the 20-yard Shuttle with a 4.19 second time. As far as the explosive testing goes, Johnson finished No. 2 on both the broad and vertical jump, posting scores of 10’5″ and 39.50″ respectively.

As I mentioned before, his lowest finish was in the 3-C0ne Drill measuring agility, where he placed No. 5 with a time of 7.15 seconds. That score was below average but is certainly not a deal breaker. These were good NFL Combine Results for the big tight end from the Big Ten. 

Devin Culp, Washington

The fact that Culp is even being mentioned in this article should further illustrate how good his performance was at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

Culp participated in only two tests at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he won them both. He posted a 4.47 second 40-yard Dash, which was the best time by a solid tenth of a second. In addition, he tied for first with Theo Johnson in the 10-yard Split with a 1.55 second time. It’s disappointing that he chose not to participate in any further testing, but it’s likely he chose to simply run the two events he knew he would excel at. That strategy would seem to have paid off for him, as he crushed both events and has left many fantasy managers wondering if he has untapped potential and sleeper appeal.

He may not find his way near the top of the tight end board, but he certainly found his way out of obscurity this weekend. Culp is someone to monitor further throughout the Pre-Draft process. His NFL Combine Results helped him. 

Tanner McLachlan, Arizona

McLachlan spent only two seasons at the University of Arizona before declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft, and both of those seasons were highly productive by college tight-end standards. He racked up 456 and 529 receiving yards in his two seasons at Arizona but remained off the fantasy football radar until the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

McLachlan was not nearly as discriminate in his test taking as the formerly mentioned Culp. He participated in four tests, excelling in three while falling short in the final. He posted the third-best time in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.61 seconds, behind only Culp and Johnson and he finished fourth in the 10-yard split with a time of 1.58, only 0.03 seconds behind the leaders. McLachlan was slightly above average in the vertical jump, posting a 35.00″ measurement which was good for fourth best. His lone failure was in the broad jump where he recorded a measurement of 9’9″, third worst of all tight ends.

The production profile for McLachlan is certainly better than the majority of the tight ends in this draft class and with several impressive test results at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, he could have some sleeper appeal in deeper formats. Much like Culp, it’s not time to target him in rookie drafts just yet, but have him on your watch list and continue to monitor his progress.

Tight End Losers

Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota

Many analysts had Spann-Ford as their sleeper for the second or even third tier of rookie tight ends. However, that is unlikely to be the case after a disastrous 2024 NFL Scouting Combine showing. Spann-Ford participated in four tests, finishing last in three and second to last in the other. In a field this short, it’s tough to find someone who stands out negatively, but he was terrible on this day and will need to improve dramatically at this Pro Day if he hopes to not suffer the same fate as Jalen Wydermyer who went from TE2 in the 2022 draft class to undrafted free agent after a tough day at the NFL Combine.

The best test of the day for the Minnesota tight end was the 40-yard Dash, where he posted the second slowest time at 4.77 seconds, 0.01 away from a clean sweep of last place across all events. The three events when he did finish last were the 10-yard Split, Vertical Jump, and Broad Jump. His 1.67-second 10-yard split was significantly slower than everyone except Dallin Holker, while his 31.50″ vertical and 9’8″ broad jump were easily the worst scores in the group. These NFL Combine Results did not help his case.

He posted only one collegiate season with more than 400 receiving yards, and the combination of a limited production profile and a terrible 2024 NFL Scouting Combine put him in the range of the undraftable players. If you have any faith in the predictive nature of the combine testing, you will want to steer clear of Spann-Ford entirely.

Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas

The final two losers on the list are the most damaging, significantly more so in the case of Texas tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. Sanders entered the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine as the consensus TE2 by a considerable margin. His collegiate production was far better than the next group of tight ends, as were his projected 2024 NFL Scouting Combine scores. The problem is he fell significantly short of expectations.

Sanders participated in only three events, which would lead you to believe he chose to participate in only his best events, and yet he still disappointed greatly. He posted a 4.69 second 40-yard Dash, good for the third slowest of the group. His 4.32-second 20-yard Shuttle was also the third slowest of the group. His best test of the day came in the 10-yard Split where he posted a time of 1.59 seconds, which was almost exactly average, if not slightly below average.

Sanders is about to become one of the most polarizing players in this draft class as the film buffs are going to love him while the analytics crowd will hate him. Tread lightly!

Ben Sinnott, Kansas State

If you had told me going into this weekend that Sanders was going to be a loser, then I would have been over the moon for the prospects of Sinnott jumping into the TE2 slot. Sadly, Sinnott also struggled and had a mixed bag of results. It’s a true shame that Sinnott could not take advantage of the opportunity in front of him. However, it may be time to cool off slightly on what has become the consensus TE3.

Sinnott isn’t a total write-off for me. He fared well in the majority of the tests he participated in and had the best score in three of the seven events. He won the 3-cone Drill with a score of 6.82 seconds, the Vertical Jump with a score of 40.00″, and the Broad Jump with a score of 10’6″. These three wins perfectly illustrated some of the elite athletic traits he possesses.

So why, if he was the best tight end in three of the tests, is he a loser? 

That’s simple. While he dominated as far as explosiveness goes, he was terrible in the speed and agility drills. His 1.59 second 10-yard Split was in the lower portion of the group, and his 40-yard Dash time of 4.68 was tied for third worst and well below what many had hoped. If Sinnott hopes to keep himself in the range of decent NFL Draft capital, he is going to need to improve significantly on his speed and agility at his Pro Day.

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