NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: 7 things PFF analysts want to see at the NFL Scouting Combine

• Which QBs, if any, can push themselves into the first round? PFF's Dalton Wasserman is keeping an eye on Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix and J.J. McCarthy as potential first-rounders if they can stand out at the Combine.

• Will the CB1 battle come to an end? PFF's Max Chadwick has his sights set on whether the top tier of cornerbacks can separate themselves at the NFL Combine.

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The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, is here, providing 2024 NFL Draft prospects with an opportunity to raise their stocks via on-field drills and measurements.

PFF analysts weighed in on one thing they want to see from the draft class in Indianapolis.

Trevor Sikkema: How will OT arm length measurements play out?

Arm length for offensive tackles is one of the most important details we get from official NFL Combine measurements.

It matters even more this year because there are a handful of “tweener” offensive linemen, such as Troy Fautanu and Graham Barton, who played tackle in college but might not have the desired measurables (including arm length) to stick at tackle at the next level. We already have measurements from guys like Jordan Morgan and Dominick Puni as upperclassmen who could be tackles or interior players. Fauntanu, Barton and Kiran Amegadjie, among others, are a few we are keeping a close eye on for those numbers. They could hold the key to how high they are drafted, potentially pushing a few into the first round.

Sam Monson: Which colleges have been lying the hardest?

The Senior Bowl already provided a pretty good example of this, with South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette measuring in 2 full inches shorter than he was listed. Theoretically, the tape remains the tape, but there’s a reason teams measure these players to get an accurate idea of just how physically imposing they can be on the field. Colleges routinely inflate height and weights, and the NFL Combine gives us an interesting look at which players have benefited the most from that.

I’m curious to see who the next Legette will be, in terms of a player who comes in dramatically under their college-listed size.

Steve Palazzolo: Which workouts will vault or solidify prospects into the first two rounds?

While using individual NFL Scouting Combine data points is overrated in a vacuum, the aggregation of workout numbers is very important when projecting certain positions.

The wide receiver class is wide open after the “big three” of Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. Workouts could be the difference-maker in determining the next two or three receivers off the board. Edge defender Chop Robinson is currently a fringe first-rounder on most boards, but an Odafe Oweh-like workout could vault him into top-15 consideration. Cornerback is the other position group that needs to be sorted, as five or six players are vying for first-round status, and 40-yard dash time, shuttle, three-cone and arm length will all be crucial data points when evaluating that group.

Gordon McGuinness: Which position will flash the most depth?

I really like the depth in this draft class, especially at wide receiver, cornerback and edge defender, so it will be interesting to see who separates themselves at those positions with good showings in Indianapolis.

Adonai Mitchell, Keon Coleman, Jermaine Burton and Xavier Worthy are all battling to be the top receiver off the board in the second round, and could maybe even sneak into the backend of Round 1, and I’m looking forward to seeing who puts themselves in that spot by the end of the week.

Max Chadwick: Will a CB1 emerge?

There currently isn’t a consensus top cornerback in the 2024 NFL Draft. Players like Cooper DeJean, Nate Wiggins, Quinyon Mitchell, Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry are all vying for that status. While DeJean isn’t working out due to an injury, the others all have a lot to prove in Indianapolis. Wiggins and Mitchell were named to Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List,” so strong showings should be expected.

Dalton Wasserman: Can the second tier of QBs solidify first-round status?

Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix and J.J. McCarthy are all slated to throw this week, and each has plenty to prove. McCarthy has picked up first-round momentum lately, but Penix and Nix had spectacular seasons in 2023. Penix figures to show off his arm talent and needs to show consistent ball placement. Nix needs to show improved footwork in his deep drops from under center. McCarthy could shoot up draft boards if he displays better rhythm and timing from the pocket. This week could be the difference between a top-12 selection and a second-round selection for all of them.

Austin Scott: How many edge defenders can sneak into the first round?

The 2024 class of edge defender prospects still has a lot to get sorted out from top to bottom, and this week could go a long way in clarifying those final tiers and determining how many can sneak into the first round.

Dallas Turner, Jared Verse and Laiatu Latu feel like a clear top three, and Latu may very well be the most technically sound edge rusher in the class, but there are concerns that average or poor athletic testing at the Combine may push him to the middle or bottom of the first round. Chris Braswell and Chop Robinson are a bit more raw from a technique standpoint but could get that bump into the top 25-30 prospects based on strong weigh-ins and interviews on top of what we assume will be impressive showings in explosiveness and agility drills.

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