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Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

This article contains opinion.

 

Another NFL Combine has come and gone as the top prospects showed their talent. 

Players go in with the mindset of helping their cause as the draft is more than a month away. 

With that in mind, it is now prospect season. What were the biggest takeaways from the 2020 NFL Combine?

 

The combine schedule change

This year, the NFL made a change to when the practices would take place. In previous rendition, the drills would start in the early afternoon at 1 p.m. and end around 5 to 6 p.m.

The days also changed this year. Last year, the drills were Friday through Monday. This year, they went from Thursday through Sunday instead.

The change was welcomed with open arms as people on the East Coast could watch more of the combine live. It exclusively was on the NFL Network, which is not on all TV packages, but the change in times hopefully will stick around for years to come. 

 

Jonathan Taylor separates from the pack  

Taylor, a junior, went into the combine as the No. 2 running back on some draft boards. After a historic career at Wisconsin, it is shocking most experts didn’t already have him as the top back. 

He finished his career with 6,174 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns. Taylor was the first player to have more than 6,000 rushing yards in a three-year span. He is also sixth all-time in rushing yards in NCAA history. The record surely would have been his if he stayed the final year. 

At the combine, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash for running backs. There was no doubt that Taylor did better than Swift and beat him in every drill they did. I expect Taylor to start landing in the first round of many mock drafts after the weekend.

 

Isaiah Simmons is not human

Simmons has to be from another world. They made him in a lab. I am convinced after Saturday. 

Scouts already had him as a top five pick come April, but he put on a show. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash among linebackers and tied for the seventh best at the combine. 

His 40 is better than arguably the two best running backs in the league in Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey. Simmons was also top three in vertical jump and broad jump among his position. 

He could go as high as No. 3 to the Lions and as low as No. 8 to the Cardinals, in my opinion. Either way, this man is going to cause offensive linemen many sleepless nights at the next level.

 

The wide receiver class is stacked

Some people going into the draft knew this would be a strong wideout class. The amount of talent is high in the first two days of the draft. 

The combine showed the skills of some of the top players. Henry Ruggs III and CeeDee Lamb were two of the stars.

Ruggs showed his speed running the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine with a 4.27. Lamb showed his route running and catching abilities showing acrobatic skills.

My biggest disappointment was not seeing KJ Hamler practice. He has track speed and is the biggest burner in the draft. I would still like to see him put on a little more weight at 178 pounds. 

 

Prospects not participating in drills

The combine represents the best of the best in one spot. This year the combine had some noticeable non-participants. 

Some of the players include potentially the top two picks in Joe Borrow and Chase Young. This I have an issue with. 

The combine has long been a showcase to distinguish players against each other. A way to determine who is the best at each position on the same field ahead of the draft. 

I could understand players sitting out like Tua Tagovailoa. He had a legitimate reason for not participating in the on-field drills. 

Borrow could have shown how much better he is compared to players such as Justin Herbert and Jordan Love. I currently do not have him as my No. 1 quarterback in the draft. It would have been nice to see if he could move up my list. 

College pro days will help to evaluate the rest of the players. The NFL Draft begins April 23 in Las Vegas.

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