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2024 Combine

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Seven Who Are Worthy of NFL Combine Plaudits, Led by ... Xavier Worthy

Texas WR Tested Through the Lucas Oil Roof, Especially with His Dramatic 4.21-Second Time in the 40

Penn State defensive lineman Chop Robinson participates in a drill during the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, February 29, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kevin Sabitus/NFL)

The 2024 NFL Combine concluded late Sunday with offensive line drills, but the big guys won't be what these workouts will be remembered for by the fans in attendance in Indianapolis.

Xavier Worthy stole the show with his 40-yard lightning, and even displayed a bit of showmanship in doing it. The Texas wideout tore off a 4.25-second time in his first 40 at Indy, then took off his burnt orange shoes for a minute as if he would stand on that time.

But he soon laced up his spikes for his second run, which was the wideouts' last 40 of Saturday afternoon. Then he blazed to a time that went up on the scoreboard as 4.22 seconds, after which he kept running halfway around the stadium to the roar of the draftnik crowd. Finally, Worthy's time was adjusted to 4.21 — and he had topped the 4.22 of Washington's John Ross in 2017 for the fastest Combine 40 since electronic timing began in 1999.

"It still doesn't feel real," Worthy said "Man, it's just a blessing to be able to do this in front of all these fans and with all these peers that I'm with."

Worthy wasn't the only one to test through the Lucas Oil Stadium roof. Here is Worthy's summary plus the metrics on six other of his peers who improved their stock for the 2024 NFL Draft, set for late next month in Detroit.

WR Xavier Worthy, Texas (5-11, 165)
Besides his 40s, Worthy skied to a 41-inch vertical jump, fourth among wide receivers and tied for eighth among all at the Combine. He also turned in a 10-11 broad jump, fifth among WRs. Draft analysts fret about Worthy's thin frame and less than ideal strength and will debate for the next two months whether he can make an NFL name for himself as some team's WR-1 or as only a dangerous returner. But ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper had him going at 32nd overall to Super Bowl champ KC and that was before the Combine. After 4.21, he may not make it to the Chiefs.

DT Braden Fiske, Florida State (6-4, 292)
Fiske shouldn't be confused with 'Bama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry (6-1, 195), although both have been heard to bellow an "Oh, yeah!" from time to time. Fiske's latest one came as he broke the 40 plane at 4.78 seconds, best among all interior D-linemen this year and tied for fifth-fastest at the position over the last decade of Combines. And his 4.37-second short shuttle was tied for the fastest by a DT since 2020. He also was tops among the tackles with a 33-5 vertical and a 9-9 broad jump. Fiske looks to be in solid Round 2 territory if not higher.

Edge Chop Robinson, Penn State (6-3, 254)
Robinson, given name Demeioun, can chop it up as a ferocious pass rusher, no doubt. And much of his testing hinted at his rare explosiveness, even though he compiled so-so sack numbers in two Nittany Lions seasons. He toured the 40 in 4.48 seconds, second among the DEs, and he was tied for first with a 1.54 in his 10-yard spli. An Simulcam of him vs. Will Anderson and Nick Bosa brought his speed into sharp focus. His 10-8 broad jump tied for first among the edge men although his vertical was down the list. Also in focus is a spot for Chop in the second half of the first round.

CB Max Melton, Rutgers (5-11, 187)
The Scarlet Knights have supplied solid corners to the NFL for a while, among them Devin and Jason McCourty and Logan Ryan (who moved to S with the Giants in '20). Even Jets 2019 sixth-rounder Bless Austin played on the banks of the old Raritan. Now here comes Mad Max the Route Warrior. The fluid Melton clocked a 4.39-second 40, eighth-best among corners, and his 40.5-inch vertical was tied for fourth among CBs. But his signature event was the broad jump, with his 11-4 leap leading his position and tying for second among all participants. He may have improved his stock from Day 3 to Round 3 with his Combine efforts.

QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (6-2½, 219)
McCarthy wasn't being mentioned among the top signal-callers in this draft — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels. analyst Lance Zeirlein labeled him an "enigmatic quarterback lacking the measurables and splash throws associated with early-round" QBs. But McCarthy took advantage of the Combine to move into the middle of Round 1 if not a little higher. He didn't run the 40 due to hamstring tightness (but will at the Wolverines' pro day). But he did register a 4.23 in the 20 shuttle and a 6.82 in the 3-cone, both among the top QB times since 2020. One more metric came into play as he grew comfortable in his passing drills: The 61-mph velocity on his hardest throw of his positional drills was second highest among all passers.

WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida (6-1, 189)
Pearsall's 4.41 in the 40 was well off Worthy's times but still decent for mortal WRs. But his other numbers showed what he might be able to bring to the slot for some team's offense. His top test was his 6.64 seconds in the 3-cone, best among WRs and second-fastest at the Combine. His 42-0 vertical was third among wideouts, his 10-9 broad jump tied for sixth, his 4.05-second shuttle third. Pearsall's Combine showing may have moved him up from the middle of Day 2 to the middle of Round 2.

RB Isaac Guerendo, Louisville (6-0, 220)
Some had put Guerendo in undrafted free agent territory, but at Indy he continued his ascent that began with his transfer from Wisconsin to Louisville before last season and his best of five college seasons. With his 4.33 in the 40, he was first among all backs, tied for third among all Combine participants, and came in with the top 40 time by any back at 220-plus pounds since 2003, according to Next Gen Stats — "Breece Hall territory," said an analyst. Guerendo also was first among RBs and seventh overall with a 41-5 vertical, and was second among RBs with a 10-9 broad jump. In short, a UDFA no more.

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