This week, we will be reviewing some of what we saw and heard about the 2016 NFL Combine from Indianapolis, and how some of it might or might not apply to the Jets. To get the quickest sense on how the prospects tested, we cannot underscore how incredible Rotoworld's Zach Whitman is and his tireless work on 3SigmaAthlete around athleticism and pSPARQ scores. We previously analyzed the running backs and tight ends. Next up: the wide outs.
Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
6-foot-2, 210 pounds | 117-inch broad jump
I am stumped on what to think about Treadwell, but it seems like I might be the only one. I know enough to see that he is not as impressive a prospect as Amari Cooper was a year ago, but I can't say how far behind Treadwell is either. I worry about Treadwell's functional speed as he chose to not participate in the speed and agility drills before bombing his vertical with a 33-inch jump, along an underwhelming 117-inch broad jump. There's also worry that since he only knocked out 12 reps on the bench, will he be able to create the separation he needs to in the NFL? He proved he was a talented, physical force in college, but now that he's off the field and getting measured up, he's looking like a slower version of his old teammate Donte Moncrief, and yet is regularly drawing comparisons to DeAndre Hopkins. Matt Harmon might do some of the most detailed work on understanding of receiver prospects through his "Reception Perception" project, and maybe I need to shut up and just trust Harmon's judgment on the subject. Harmon has a great, if not underselling, comp of Treadwell on his website.
Harmon goes on to write that his success rate in covered/contested situations aligns him with players like Dez Bryant and Allen Robinson -- excellent company to keep on tape. I want to like Treadwell as a prospect, but I'm just not there yet. In all likelihood, Treadwell will be long gone by the time the Jets pick at No. 20, so this is all moot anyway. With bigger needs from the Jets, it might be for the best.
Josh Doctson (TCU)
6-foot-3, 195 pounds | 4.50-second 40-yard dash | 131-inch broad jump | 41-inch vertical leap
While Treadwell will be the first receiver taken, Doctson did a good job planting his foot as the likely second receiver off the board. Should some team get caught up in the numbers, Doctson might be able to leapfrog Treadwell, but that seems improbable. Maybe Doctson would be available when the Jets pick at 20, but my money is he will already be off the board by then. He might not be the fastest, but he has enough functional athleticism and he did a great job in his receiver drills. Just ask Hopkins if having a blazing 40 time is the end-all be-all. Doctson's work in Indy was subtle, but excellent.
Braxton Miller (Ohio State)
6-foot-1, 204 pounds | 4.50-second 40-yard dash | 123-inch broad jump | 35-inch vertical leap
I get the allure of Miller. He had an eye-opening week of practice during the Senior Bowl and makes classic scouts lick their chops at his measurable and splash plays. In Indy, Miller was "fine" with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5s and he salvaged his second-round status with incredible agility and burst, testing out among the very best wide receivers in the NFL when comparing SPARQ scores. Still, I would be wary of drafting him in the required range of the second round. Miller dropped a few passes in catching drills, which is somewhat concerning. There's certainly potential there, but he looks like a luxury pick more suited for a team with a more complete roster during the first two rounds. The Jets need to hit on their first three picks in the draft this year to keep their momentum from 2015. If Miller is still sitting there toward the end of the third round, then I might be willing to get on board, but just barely.
Charone Peake (Clemson)
6-foot-3, 215 pounds | 4.45-second 40-yard dash | 122-inch broad jump | 35.5-inch vertical leap
Clemson is playing with house money right now when it comes to its recent streak of successful NFL receivers, and Peake might be this year's prospect, although with much lesser fanfare. Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant all played in Death Valley, and Peake is this year's offering. He obliterated the tests in Indianapolis with a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, 6.96-second three-cone, a vertical of 35.5 inches and a broad jump of 122 inches. Rotoviz writer Kevin Cole's decision tree on finding receivers just hung a neon sign over Peake's head as a potential sleeper and a prospect who deserves our research and attention. Miller might have grabbed all the headlines at the Senior Bowl, but our old friend Matt Miller was just as impressed by Peake it would seem. Perhaps Peake's combine helps him slip into the third round of the NFL Draft, but he'd be someone to pay attention to if he is still available on Day 3 for the Jets.
Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma)
5-foot-10, 192 pounds | 4.48-second 40-yard dash | 123-inch broad jump | 41-inch vertical leap
Shepard might not have that big size most teams crave, but with a comp to Tyler Lockett, he's going to be hard for teams that utilize extensive three receiver sets (like the Jets) to ignore even though his metrics show more misses alongside excellent hits. Based on how Shepard tested at the combine -- 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 20 reps on the bench and a 41-inch vertical leap -- he will start to move up draft boards over the next two months. Shepard's was a leader on the team in Norman, Oklahoma, and looks as natural a receiver in this class. His combine might have locked him in as a late second-round pick. Should Shepard slip to the third round, it would be hard for me to root against him going to the Jets, but that seems unlikely. The Jets will want to expand Devin Smith's role in 2016, but between Smith and Shepard, I'd probably prefer Shepard in a competition for snaps even though Chan Gailey's offense seems to favor bigger-bodied receivers based on what we saw from him in 2015 and Gailey's unwillingness to use Jeremy Kerley beyond moments of sheer desperation.
Corey Coleman (Baylor)
5-foot-11, 190 pounds | 129-inch broad jump | 40.5-inch vertical leap
Like Shepard, Coleman isn't a monster, but he covers ground quickly and can get deep in a blur. Coleman could be a first-round pick thanks to his playmaking ability. Going into the draft process, the big question from scouts was how Coleman would run in his 40-yard dash. Coleman didn't participate due to a sports hernia surgery in December he might still be recovering from (stay tuned for his Pro Day) but his vertical jump of 40.5 inches and 192-inch broad jump have allayed any concerns about his burst.
Leonte Carroo (Rutgers)
5-foot-11, 217 pounds | 4.50-second 40-yard dash | 120-inch broad jump | 35.5-inch vertical leap
Carroo ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash, which should quiet any worries about his speed playing for the NFL. The Rutgers receiver's combine didn't do anything to hurt his draft stock, but middling results on the broad jump and vertical leap didn't propel him forward either. Carroo has excellent and strong hands, which allowed him to glide through receiver drills, but as a likely middle-round selection, he will have to work on his route running and refine his technique to become an eventual starter in the NFL.
- Tyler Boyd looked good in his receiving drills but flopped in his agility drills, the area that probably mattered most for his draft stock going forward. Check his spider graph to get a sense of how underwhelmingly he measured out and tweet at me to let me know if you even recognize any of his comps.
- Pharoh Cooper was a bit jumpy his first time through the gauntlet, but settled down and looked a lot better on his second pass.
- Will Fuller -- Everyone was losing their minds for his 40 time of 4.32 seconds, which was understandable in a prospective receiver class with bleak speed, but Fuller's 40 did nothing to change my mind on his draft status. The Jets already have a Fuller-type player in Smith, and they might have gotten the worse version of Fuller in the bargain.
- Adios to DeRunnya Wilson and Duke Williams. Both players had poor 40 times and, in all likelihood, will crater any draft stock they had.
- Stanford WR Devon Cajuste exploded on the scene with an incredible three-cone time for his size (230 lbs). Cajuste will likely remain a receiver as a prospect, but he has potential to switch to tight end in the pros thanks to his size and some solid blocking. If the Jets are hell-bent on keeping the Quincy Enunwa-role going in 2016, Cajuste might be someone to challenge Enunwa for snaps should the Jets draft him in the later rounds.