Daniel Jeremiah: 2020 receiver class deepest I've seen
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who is a former scout for the Ravens, Browns and Eagles, recently said on a pre-combine conference call that the 2020 receiver class is the best he has ever seen. Of his top 50 prospects ranking, nine are receivers:
- No. 8 CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
- No. 9 Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
- No. 12 Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
- No. 17 Justin Jefferson, LSU
- No. 19 Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
- No. 22 Laviska Shenault, Colorado
- No. 29 Tee Higgins, Clemson
- No. 41 K.J. Hamler, Penn State
- No. 45 Michael Pittman Jr., USC
"I've got 27 wide receivers with top three round grades in this draft," Jeremiah said. "And consider average 31 are taken. We had a max of 35 taken in, I believe that was in 2017. So this is a really phenomenal group of wideouts. Not all those guys are going to go early. They'll end up spreading throughout the draft. But it's really a good group. Really good at corner, really good at running back. When you look at some positions, maybe not quite as deep -- tight end, edge rusher and linebacker, just a little bit of a shallow group there."
To read the full transcript of Jeremiah's pre-combine conference call, click here.
View photos of players listed on NFL Network's Top 50 NFL Draft prospect rankings
16 new drills coming to NFL Scouting Combine
Mainstays like the 40-yard dash and bench press aren't going anywhere, but the NFL announced 16 new position-specific drills for the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, which kicks off today in Indianapolis. As a result, 10 will be eliminated. Nick Shook of NFL.com outlined the changes. Here are a few examples:
New: End zone fade route. Quarterbacks will throw passes to receivers running 10-yard fade routes to the right side of the end zone, creating a need for the use of pylons in these drills. The route addition is intended to mimic a popular pass attempt seen inside the red zone, typically attempted from a snap taken close to the goal line with the target being the back corner pylon. For receivers, this will display how well they can locate and track the ball before making the catch and keeping both feet in bounds in a tight area.
Eliminated: Toe tap drill
NEW: New mirror drill, new screen drill
New mirror: Player lines up at set point between middle of two cones roughly six yards apart and slides laterally left and right based on coach's direction. Drill places emphasis on feet and change of direction ability of player with at least four movements to right and left.
New screen: Player will set in pass protection position, then release and sprint toward first coach holding blocking shield 15 yards wide of starting point to simulate engage and release action of a screening lineman. If the first coach steps upfield, player must adjust direction and advance to second coach, at whom he will break down and engage. If first coach remains stationary, player will break down and engage him (and will not advance to second coach).
Miscellaneous: Pull drills will include engaging a one-man sled instead of a bag. Inclusion of "rabbit" is eliminated in pass rush drops and pass pro mirror drill, with a coach's hand motion changing direction of lateral slide in latter drill.
New: Line drill, Teryl Austin drill, box drill, gauntlet drill
Line: This one will look familiar. Players will back pedal, open their hips at the direction of the coach, return to back pedaling, then open the hips again on command, the catch ball being thrown from opposite location of coach.
Teryl Austin: The drill named after the Steelers secondary coach includes two parts. First, a player will back pedal five yards, then open and break downhill on a 45 degree angle before catching a thrown ball. Then a player will back pedal five yards, open at 90 degrees and run to the first coach and break down, then plant and turn around (180 degrees) to run toward a second coach and catch a ball from thrown by a QB before reaching the second coach.
Box: The player will back pedal five yards and then break at a 45 degree angle on the coach's signal. Once he reaches the cone, the player will plant, open his hips and run back five yards with his eyes on the coach. On the coach's signal, the player will break toward a coach at a 45 degree angle and catch a thrown ball.
Gauntlet: This one is essentially the same drill run by receivers. A player will start with two stationary catches with each made in opposite directions before sprinting across the 35-yard line catching balls from throwers alternating between each side. The drill will be timed from the second stationary catch to when the defensive back reaches a cone 10 yards upfield from the final catch. The player will also perform in a second time in the opposite direction.
Eliminated: Close and speed turn, pedal and hip turn
For a full list of the changes, click here.
Combine coverage moves to primetime
The NFL Scouting Combine – an event that has seen its popularity skyrocket in recent years – is now getting moved onto television's biggest stage. For the first time, NFL Network's coverage will extend into primetime.
Beginning Thursday, February 27, NFL Network provides seven hours of live on-field Combine coverage of the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends starting at 4 p.m. ET and continuing until 11 p.m.
Combine coverage on NFL Network continues with seven hours of live coverage of the running backs, offensive linemen and special teams on Friday at 4 p.m., and seven hours of live coverage of the defensive linemen and linebackers on Saturday. NFL Network's Combine coverage concludes with five hours of live coverage of the defensive backs on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m.
Host Rich Eisen and NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah anchor NFL Network's coverage of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine joined by Charles Davis and others. Live NFL Network coverage of the 2020 NFL Combine Presented is available across devices (smartphone, PC, tablet and connected TVs) through the NFL app or NFL.com/watch for subscribers of participating NFL Network providers. Full NFL Network audio simulcast coverage will be carried live on the TuneIn app. Additionally, SiriusXM's NFL Radio will be broadcasting live from Indianapolis all week.