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2024 NFL Combine Winners & Losers | Fantasy Football Fallout

by IBT Media Staff

The final domino of the NFL Draft cycle has fallen with the 2024 NFL Combine now in the rearview.

How will the record-breaking and potential dream-shattering performances impact the draft capital of these prospects? Better yet, how can we dynasty fantasy football managers, best ball degens and NFL Bettors take advantage?

Our analyst duo of Seth Woolcock and Hoov break it down.

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2024 NFL Combine Winners & Losers | Fantasy Football

QB Winners

J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

Many didn’t have J.J. McCarthy on their first-round radar. Yet, after he showed up to the 2024 NFL Combine weighing 17 pounds heavier than he did to begin the year at Michigan, at 219 pounds, he showed that he should be seen in the same tier as the other top prospects of this QB class.

The idea that McCarthy is “just a game manager who was carried by an abundance of talent” is a lazy take that discredits just how important McCarthy’s decision-making, especially on crucial downs, was for the success of this Wolverines squad.

Although McCarthy didn’t wow anyone at the combine by showing anything that wasn’t already shown in his game film, reports indicate that his interviews have been incredibly successful, and he could make his way into the top 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft. – Hoov

Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

After suffering multiple season-ending injuries in college and being an older prospect, Michael Penix Jr. seemed like a natural NFL Combine faller. Not so fast, my friends.

Penix Jr. looked the best of any quarterback prospect tossing the pig skin in Indianapolis. His spiral is a thing of beauty, and it was on full display on Saturday. More importantly, he had “great interviews and clean medicals,” according to Bleacher Report’s NFL Insider Jordan Schultz.

Did Penix Jr. do enough to get himself into day one of the NFL Draft? Only time will tell. At the very least, it will push his Average Draft Position (ADP) back up in dynasty rookie drafts. – Woolcock

QB Losers

Sam Hartman (Notre Dame)

It’s hard to say a fan favorite of the event is a “loser.” Still, unfortunately, I don’t think Sam Hartman showed front offices in the passing drills or testing that he possesses any ability that they can’t get from another prospect in this class who also has a little more upside.

Being a fan favorite might have nabbed Hartman an opportunity to make an NFL roster as a practice squad QB or QB3. Regardless of draft capital and landing spot, no fantasy football managers should be using any of their dynasty rookie picks on Hartman. – Hoov

Spencer Rattler (South Carolina)

The former South Carolina Gamecocks signal caller and one-time Oklahoma Sooner was gaining steam in the NFL Draft cycle following a strong week of Senior Bowl practice and ultimately winning the game’s MVP.

The former 5-star recruit was never known to be much of an elite athlete, totaling just 410 rushing yards in five college seasons. That was on full display Saturday, as Rattler finished last among QBs who tested in the 40-yard dash (4.95 seconds), broad jump (9 feet), three-cone (7.21 seconds) and shuttle (4.37 seconds). A Relative Atheltic Score (RAS) of 4.13 won’t bury Rattler, as he wasn’t being drafted for his athletic ability. Still, it cools the hype and reminds fans that he’s likely an early day three pick at best, and he’s better left on the board in dynasty rookie drafts. – Woolcock

RB Winners

Jaylen Wright (Tennessee)

Before Jaylen Wright was a central kick of the offense in burnt orange, he won the North Carolina Indoor Track & Field State Championship in the 55m dash. Needless to say, a 4.38 40-yard dash was no surprise.

However, we didn’t expect the second-longest broad jump of any RB in the NFL Combine history or Wright to have the fastest five-yard acceleration of any RBs in the past two Combines. With a 9.81 RAS, Wright has seemingly pushed himself into day two of the NFL Draft and – depending on the landing spot – perhaps even into the back half of round two of dynasty rookie drafts. – Woolcock

Re’Mahn “Ray” Davis (Kentucky)

Perhaps the biggest miss by the fantasy football community up to this point in the 2024 NFL Draft process was the undervaluing of Re’Mahn “Ray” Davis. The gap-bruising RB is a fifth-year who hopped from Temple to Vanderbilt and, eventually, to Kentucky, where he would spend the 2023 season.

Davis’s hands were on full display in the pass-catching drills, reminding everyone that he hauled in 95 receptions throughout his career, including 33 for Kentucky this year, seven of which went for scores. He also put on a clinic in the rushing drills, performing perhaps the cleanest Duce Staley drill of all time:

Not only did Davis apparently blow teams away in the interviews after hearing his inspirational story of being homeless growing up, but he also looked the part in the testing. The 24-year-old finished inside the top 10 in the 40-yard dash (4.52 seconds), 11th in the vertical jump (35 inches) and 11th in the broad jump (9 feet, 11 inches). All things considered, Davis feels like a lock for day two of the NFL Draft to rise up dynasty rookie drafts and best balls. – Woolcock

Isaac Guerendo (Louisville)

I might have cashed the 16-1 ticket that Isaac Guerendo would be the fastest RB to run the 40-yard dash, but even I was stunned by just how fast he was, clocking in at 4.33 seconds. The Louisville transfer would additionally lead the position in the vertical jump (41.5 inches) and place second in the broad jump at 11 feet, 2 inches. Keep in mind, he did this all while weighing in at a healthy 221 pounds.

Guerendo may have been the lightning to Braelon Allen‘s thunder at Wisconsin before hitting the transfer portal, but he looked like the more athletic prospect on Saturday. Expect this performance to firmly plant Guerendo as an early day-three pick and someone to throw darts at in the fourth and fifth rounds of dynasty rookie drafts. Speed sells in the NFL, especially when that speed comes in a 221-pound package that can catch and run block. – Woolcock

Trey Benson (Florida State)

Meet Trey Benson, your most likely candidate to be the first running back off the board in late April. Originally an Oregon Duck, Benson transferred to Florida State in 2022 and went on to have two solid seasons of production, totaling 1,896 rushing yards and 25 total TDs in two years.

Yet, given his stature, standing 6 foot and weighing 216 pounds, few expected Benson to clock in at a 4.39-second 40-yard dash or total a 9.77 RAS. He was also right there alongside Davis for backs who stood out the most in the rushing drills. Expect Benson’s name to be called early Friday night and to be pushed up the early-mid second round of dynasty rookie drafts – Woolcock

RB Losers

Bucky Irving (Oregon)

Bucky Irving is a one-cut runner who posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Oregon and has the pass-catching chops to boot. We knew he was a smaller prospect, but seeing him listed at just 192 pounds was a bit jarring. Even more startling were his testing numbers, pacing as the 14th-fastest RB in the 40-yard dash despite having the third-shortest odds to be the fastest. The overall result is a 3.72 RAS and question marks surrounding the Oregon Duck.

It’s hard to tell how much damage this did in the eyes of teams, as it’s hard to delete the 87 receptions and over 3,000 combine yards he produced in Eugene, Ore., over the past two seasons. Until we see whether Irving will have day two or day three draft capital attached to his name, I’m avoiding him in best ball and early dynasty rookie drafts at current cost. – Woolcock

Audric Estime (Notre Dame)

A 4.71-second 40-yard dash from Audric Estime shocked both scouts and fantasy managers this weekend. Estime was always more of a punishing runner on his way to 2,261 yards and 30 total TDs for Notre Dame the past few years, but we expected more than the slowest time among the position group.

At least he had a strong vertical jump and broad jump, which saved his RAS and proved he does have the explosiveness we saw on tape. With the overall positional depth in this class and other backs doing more to stand out in Indianapolis, Estime could fall into day three with his dynasty rookie draft ADP following suit. – Woolcock

Dillon Johnson (Washington)

This is the second year in a row I’ve been underwhelmed in my evaluation of the starting running back for the National Championship runner-up team (I’m looking at you, Kendre Miller). Dillon Johnson had three mediocre seasons at Mississippi State before taking 243 carries for 1,195 yards and 16 TDs in Kalen Deboer’s offense at Washington this past year. Given that there were three NFL WRs and the rocket arm of Penix Jr. on the field for Washinton to keep defenses honest from stacking the box, Johnson always seemed like more of an average player who was in the right place at the right time.

My assumptions seemed to be confirmed as he was second-to-last in the 40-yard dash (4.68 seconds), last in the 10-yard split (1.62 seconds), second-to-last in the vertical jump (31.5 inches) and fifth-worst in the broad jump (9 feet, 9 inches). That resulted in a 4.35 RAS, likely pushing Johnson to the back half of day three and to nothing more than a taxi squad dart throw. – Woolcock

Braelon Allen (Wisconsin)

As a Wisconsin native, Braelon Allen has been a favorite of mine. However, I have to look myself in the mirror with this one and say that Allen has completely fallen off my radar and won’t be making any of my fantasy teams unless it’s with a third-round rookie ADP.

Everyone can see the talent is there when watching Allen run the ball, but the holes that his game has just won’t translate well to the NFL. He didn’t run the 40-yard dash, putting his speed in question. He also looked like the worst RB on the field in pass-catching drills, making him feel replaceable by year two. – Hoov

WR Winners

Rome Odunze (Washington)

It’s hard to call Rome Odunze a winner when he was already projected to be a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft. However, Odunze looked like the clear top WR in the drills and tested out with a 9.91 RAS. He has all the makings of a potential alpha. After this performance and returning to the tape, I’m not convinced Malik Nabers is the clear WR2 in this class. I’ll be sniffing around the betting markets to see what kind of value is out there for Odunze to be the second WR off the board. – Woolcock

Xavier Worthy (Texas)

There haven’t been many WR prospects who have been debated heavier than Xavier Worthy in the last few years. He broke out as a true freshman in Austin, Texas, catching 62 passes for 981 yards and 12 TDs. However, he regressed the following season with a nasty streak of concentration drops before somewhat regaining form this past year. We didn’t get to see him in any of the receiving drills, but Worthy cashed our +290 ticket to be the fastest WR in the 40-yard dash, ultimately breaking John Ross‘s record with a 4.21-second time.

Despite his size of 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Worthy’s speed will make him a problem out wide on a go or inside on a slant. Given the hype his performance in Indianapolis has created, it’s hard to imagine Worthy making it out of day one still on the board. – Woolcock

Adonai Mitchell (Texas)

Given that he produced just 600 yards in 21 games for Georgia before transferring to Texas for the 2023 season, I’ve been lower on Adonai Mitchell than consensus. However, after unloading a 4.34-second 40-yard dash and crazy-long 11-foot, 4-inch broad jump, resulting in the best RAS for a WR (9.98), it’s hard to deny that the tools are there.

Mitchell’s performance likely locked him into the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft and dynasty rookie drafts with this performance. – Woolcock

Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU)

A later-than-usual breakout age (21), Brian Thomas Jr. has been perhaps the biggest riser at the WR position over the past calendar year. His 17 TDs signaled the potential playmaker he could be at the next level. A 4.22-second 40-yard dash and 9.97 RAS at the NFL Combine solidified that theory.

Behind Odunze, Thomas Jr. was the most polished prospect on display at the 2024 NFL Combine. I don’t see any way he makes it past the Jaguras at pick No. 17. That landing spot and draft capital would likely push Thomas Jr. up to the 1.07 in dynasty rookie drafts, a worthy price tag for another potential No. 1 WR. – Woolcock

WR Losers

Keon Coleman (Florida State)

The NFL Combine matters for larger WRs who will bank on their athleticism to win at the next level. Showing poorly could mean we’re looking at the next Treylon Burks as opposed to D.K. Metcalf.

After running a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, being beaten by his Florida State Johnny Wilson – who is the tallest WR at the NFL Combine in the past two decades – Keon Coleman is looking more like the former than the latter. The explosions and size grades are enough to keep Coleman as an early day-two pick, but not having the straight-line speed to separate at the next level could limit his overall potential upside. I’m hands-off until further notice. – Woolcock

Javon Baker (UCF)

I just never really got the hype for Javon Baker. He’s supposed to be a deep-ball, field-stretching specialist. Yet, he isn’t that fast, evidenced by his 4.54-second 400-yard dash, the fourth-slowest among WRst. He’s also not a huge target, measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds. This performance puts the UCF Golden Knight outside my top 25 rookies at the position and likely off some NFL teams’ draft boards altogether. – Woolcock

TE Winner

Theo Johnson (Penn State)

The trend of underutilized Penn State tight ends continues with Theo Johnson. The Canadian paced as the No. 2 TE in the 40-yard dash (4.57 seconds), No. 2 in the broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches), No. 3 in the vertical (39.5 inches) and first in the 20-yard shuttle (4.19), resulting in a 9.99 RAS.

Despite maxing out his career-highs this past year at 34 receptions and 341 yards, Johnson is slated to be the latest Nittany Lion tight end to go on day two and probably reached for in dynasty rookie drafts. – Woolcock

TE Loser

Ja’Tavion Sanders (Texas)

There could be trouble in paradise leaving Indianapolis. Ja’Tavion Sanders may not be the lock for TE2 in this class as we had initially thought. There were already some questions about size and lack of scoring in college. Now he comes out and runs the third-slowest 40-yard dash at the position (4.69 seconds) and doesn’t even jump, giving us no burst score to possibly save his profile.

All of a sudden, there are a lot more questions than answers with the Texas tight end. Still, the fact that he is just 20 years old gives hope that further athleticism could develop. – Woolcock

Check out all of our 2024 NFL Draft content:

Thanks for reading our 2024 NFL Combine Winners & Losers. Check out more of our fantasy football and NFL betting content here at In-Between Media, or head over to our YouTube channel to get your fix via video.

For more fantasy sports and sports betting content, find Seth on Twitter @Between_SethFF and Hoov @Hoovtube.

*Photo Credit: Jordan Prather – USA TODAY Sports*

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