2023 NFL Combine: Performance grades for the top 20 draft prospects

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas Christian wide receiver Quentin Johnston (WO30) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

• WR Quentin Johnston: The star TCU wideout's size and explosiveness were on full display in Indianapolis, culminating in an A grade.

• S Brian Branch: While his tape remains elite, Branch didn't test overly well at the combine and subsequently slipped a bit down PFF's draft board.

• CB Joey Porter Jr.: The Penn State product was a big winner from the combine, earning an A grade for his measurables and on-field production.

Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins

With the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine officially in the books, it’s time to take a look back and recap what we’ve seen. To do so, we’re giving out letter grades to the top 20 2023 NFL Draft prospects on the PFF big board based on how they performed in Indianapolis.

QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Bryce Young didn’t participate in any of the on-field workouts, but that was to be expected. In the one thing he could control — the weigh-in — he measured in at 204 pounds. He was able to get his 5-foot-10, 204-pound measurables comparable to those of Kyler Murray, who was 5-foot-10 1/8 and 207 pounds. Murray went No. 1 overall in 2019, so why shouldn’t Young?

DI Jalen Carter, Georgia

We don’t know the conversations that happened behind the scenes, but before Carter could even take the podium for his interview session at the combine, let alone work out on the field, it was reported that he faced an arrest warrant for reckless driving and racing stemming from a January car crash that resulted in the death of a Georgia teammate and a Georgia football staffer.

There’s no way to sugarcoat Carter's week due to the warrant itself and its timing. His draft stock is a question mark moving forward.

EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

Anderson weighed in at 253 pounds in Indianapolis, which was great considering Alabama had him listed at 243. There were concerns he’d be closer to 240 pounds for testing, which would be very light for an edge rusher. But at his heavier weight, he ran an official 4.60-second 40-yard dash with an impressive 1.61-second 10-yard split. He didn’t participate in any other drills but, overall, checked the necessary boxes.

QB Will Levis, Kentucky

Though Levis didn’t do much in the measurable category on the field, he did participate in the throwing session and, in doing so, showed off that cannon of an arm he proclaimed during the media session (not in an arrogant way). Levis showing off his arm strength next to the other quarterbacks in this class certainly helped him, especially since he wasn’t in the same group as C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson.

QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Stroud didn't participate in the athletic testing portion of the on-field drills, but he did opt to throw during the passing session. In doing so, he barely missed a single throw (if any at all). He showed off his natural passing ability and consistent accuracy no matter which receiver or which route he was throwing to. Add on an impressive media session at the podium, and it was a win of a weekend for Stroud. 

QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

I might get some hate for throwing a minus next to the “A” after Richardson had a historically athletic day, recording a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-9 broad while weighing in at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, but some of his accuracy concerns showed up on the field during his throwing session. It was no doubt a stellar week for Richardson, but we did still see a glimpse of his negatives among the insane athletic performance.

CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

Witherspoon’s draft stock shouldn’t change much after the combine, but if anything, it was a bit disappointing to see him measure in under 6-foot at 5-foot-11 1/2 — and, more importantly, barely more than 180 pounds at 181. He wasn’t able to work out on the field due to a minor hamstring injury, so we didn’t get any athletic confirmation there. All that to say, his tape is still awesome, the combine just didn’t do anything for him.

EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

Wilson didn’t do much at the combine; the only drill result we have from him is the bench press, which was an impressive 23 reps with his wingspan. But, speaking of measurables, Wilson came in at 6-foot-6 and 271 pounds with 35 5/8-inch arms. For what he was there to do, he stood out.

WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

Johnston has long been a different kind of receiver in this draft class. In a group full of smaller, shiftier receivers, he is one of the few who brings size and explosiveness. He proved both at the combine, measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds while jumping a 40.5-inch vertical and an 11-foot-2 broad. Not to mention, he made an acrobatic catch at the sideline during on-field drills. Next to the rest of this receiver class, he just looked different.

CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

Gonzalez was vying for CB1 status in Indianapolis, and he may well have earned it. He showed up and measured in at 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds with 32-inch arms — all wins. Then, on the field, he recorded a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, a 41.5-inch vertical and an 11-foot-1 broad. He’s big, he’s fast and he’s got the tape.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Some people might harp on the lack of 40 time for Smith-Njigba since long speed is one of the few question marks about his game. He didn’t run the 40, but he did participate in the on-field drill as well as the agility drills. He absolutely owned the agility drills with a 6.57-second three-cone (96th percentile) and a 3.93-second short shuttle (97th percentile). He also looked very smooth in the on-field drills on a variety of routes. No 40-yard dash brings his grade down, but he still performed well — even if it was in the areas we expected him to. 

OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

It’s hard to knock someone too hard for something they can’t control, but Skoronski measuring in with 32 1/4-inch arms was not ideal. The concerns about his measurable ability to play tackle only got louder after this week. He tested well during the athletic drills, but so did the guys he’s stacked against for the OT1 title. Overall, it’s tough to say Skoronski's draft stock gained ground at the position after this weekend.

DI Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh

Yes, Kancey measured in small for a defensive tackle at 6-foot-1 and 281 pounds. But we always knew he was right around there. At that size, you need to be fast, and Kancey was — historically, I may add. His 4.67-second 40-yard dash was the fastest ever recorded at the combine for an interior defensive lineman, and his 1.64-second 10-yard split placed in the 98th percentile. For this to be an “A,” he would have had to weigh in bigger while still testing very well, but he definitely turned some heads this weekend, even if it was expected. 

S Brian Branch, Alabama

Branch still has some of the best tape of any player in this class, but his athletic testing numbers were not quite up to par for a potential top-10 pick. His 4.58-second 40-yard dash time and 34.5-inch vertical were both below the 50th percentile. His 10-foot-5 broad was better, around the 78th percentile, but it still wasn’t the showing we were hoping for.

EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

Van Ness tested incredibly well for a player of his size. At 6-foot-5 and 272 pounds, he recorded a 4.58-second 40-yard dash, a 1.64-second 10-yard split, a 31-inch vertical, a 9-foot-10 broad,  a 7.02-second three-cone and a 4.32-second short shuttle. Those numbers are similar track to what 2022 No. 1 pick Travon Walker posted last year, though Walker’s numbers were better. 

CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

For his 34-inch arms alone, Porter's grade could be an “A.” Then he threw up an impressive 17 reps on the bench with those insanely long arms. He also ran an official 4.46-second 40-yard dash with a 35-inch vertical and a 10-foot-9 broad. Porter was a big winner on the week to strengthen the top of this cornerback class.

TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

Kincaid didn't work out in Indianapolis, opting to do so during his pro day. So, his draft stock didn't necessarily go up or down, but the rest of the tight end class did look good. He’s still one of the top tight end options, maybe even the first tight end off the board, but no workouts at the combine didn’t advance that cause.

CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

My goodness, what a week for Deonte Banks. The Maryland product measured in at 6-foot-5 and 197 pounds. He proceeded to put on an athletic show with a 4.35-second 40-yard dash, a 42-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot-4 broad jump. All of those numbers placed in the 95th percentile or above for the cornerback position, proving he has the size and the speed to potentially be a top cover cornerback in the NFL.

OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

It was a solid week for Johnson, who first stood out when he measured in at 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds with 36 1/2-inch arms (98th percentile for offensive tackles). He only participated in the broad jump, where he jumped 9-foot-2, but where he really stood out was in the on-field drills. He looked so smooth and controlled for a player of his size, solidifying his case to potentially be the top offensive tackle in the class.

DI Bryan Bresee, Clemson

Regardless of what you think of Bresee’s overall draft stock, he helped himself at the combine. He measured in at 6-foot-5 1/2 and 298 pounds. He then ran a 4.86-second 40-yard dash (92nd percentile) with a 1.71-second 10-yard split (75th percentile). Bresee's college career was riddled with injuries, so he was always going to be a potential guy throughout this process. But the solid combine numbers helped his case for being better in the NFL than in college.


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