The Minnesota Vikings will be well represented at the NFL Scouting Combine this year. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell will both be there along with speaking to the media.
While they are down there, it’s all about information gathering. From the interviews to the on-field drills and tampering, they will be spending a lot of time trying to understand where the markets are at for multiple players.
The Vikings will be looking at both offensive and defensive players at all levels of the draft, but this piece is all about offense. Here are 15 offensive players to watch for this week at the scouting combine.
Florida QB Anthony Richardson
Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun
It was announced on Monday that Richardson would be throwing at the combine. After being one of the more controversial players in this class, he is shooting up draft boards as of late due to more people getting their eyes on his tape.
Richardson still has a chance to go in the top five or even at first overall. His testing numbers being over the top and a good performance in passing drills will likely shoot him up higher. If he shows any sort of struggles, the dream many have for the Vikings to select him will still be alive.
Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas State star running back was a force for the Wildcats for three seasons. He was good in all phases of the game, including pass blocking. What makes the combine so important for Vaughn is his size.
listed at only 5060 and 176 lbs, there is a real chance that he ends up smaller than that. Betting on anomaly isn’t something that NFL teams like to do, so coming in at least with a respectable weight and good testing will help his draft stock tremendously.
Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Minnesota star was one of the most productive running backs in all of college football over the course of the past few seasons. What will be really important for him is the athletic testing.
In week one of the 2021 season, Ibrahim ruptured his Achilles tendon but came back in 2022 and looked like he didn’t miss a beat. However, he measured in at the Shrine Bowl under 5’8″. With Achilles injuries often hindering explosiveness, Ibrahim’s jumps and 10 and 20-yard splits will be critical for his draft stock.
Texas RB Roschon Johnson
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Everybody talks about his teammate Bijan Robinson and rightfully so! He’s a borderline generational prospect and they play the same position. Unfortunately for Johnson, that meant he was overlooked as one of the top backs in the country.
A true do-it-all type of player, Johnson hasn’t had the same type of exposure that other backs in this country have. A good, well-rounded week of testing could potentially shoot him up to the second round.
Houston WR Tank Dell
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
One of the easiest ways to be explosive on offense is to have players who are explosive. You won’t find many in this class more explosive than Dell.
What he lacks in size he more than makes up for by being twitchy and explosive. At only 5082 and 163 lbs, Dell would be one of the smaller receivers ever drafted. However, he is far from Tutu Atwell and plays the game like an actual wide receiver. If he tests off the charts like he plays, Dell will be drafted less like an outlier.
TCU WR Quentin Johnston
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
This wide receiver class is loaded with a lot of smaller receivers who project to play in the slot. What it doesn’t have is any form of surplus of larger receivers. One that this class has is Johnston, but he is currently viewed very differently across the board.
Johnston is built like a true X-receiver and has the ability to win deep. However, he doesn’t look on tape to be the most explosive out of the blocks. If he jumps well and has a good 10-yard split, opinions will likely change and he is the first wide receiver off the board.
SMU WR Rashee Rice
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
At the Senior Bowl, Rice had an opportunity to separate himself from the pack at the receiver position. He was average in one-on-ones, but the tape shows a physical receiver that can win deep.
The 40-yard dash will be huge for Rice as he looks fast on tape. Being able to match that play speed with a fast 40-yard dash is something that will do wonders for his draft stock.
Boston College WR Zay Flowers
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
The wide receiver position has a lot of smaller receivers with a variety of skill sets. Flowers is a player that isn’t just a speedy receiver, but can also create separation with his route running. Testing will be really big for him as well as his weight. Cracking 180 lbs will be important.
Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
After three years of great production at the University of Notre Dame, Mayer enters the draft with shockingly less fanfare than you would think for a player who has been called Baby Gronk for that entire time.
Mayer’s testing just needs to come in at baseline for him to get back his draft buzz. Run in the low 4.6’s and jump well. With the buzz that players like Dalton Kincaid and Luke Musgrave are getting now, it’s not unrealistic that he could end up falling to the Kansas City Chiefs at 30.
Georgia TE Darnell Washington
News Joshua L Jones
While Mayer hasn’t been getting the buzz that we thought he might get, some of that has gone to the unique talent that is Washington.
At 6’7″ and 270 lbs, Washington is built like a left tackle and plays like an X-receiver when running routes. With rumors that he will run in the low 4.6s, Washington could steal the show in Indianapolis and shoot his stock up to be a top-20 pick.
The Real Forno Show
[lawrence-auto-related count=5 category=595425278]