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2024 Combine

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What Are You Most Looking Forward to at Next Week's NFL Combine? 

Draft Prospects Will Be in Indianapolis starting Feb. 26

Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Throughout the offseason, reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange, Caroline Hendershot and John Pullano will give their responses to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.

Today's question: What are you most looking forward to at next week's NFL Combine?

EA: I've always pointed to the Combine as the unofficial start of the NFL offseason. The league recently released a list of 321 prospects who have been invited to this year's event in Indianapolis from Feb. 26 – March 4.  When the Combine wraps up, there will only be one week until the free agency negotiating period opens at noon on March 11. As far as the draft prospects are concerned, I'm excited to learn more about three position groups: tackles, wide receivers and quarterbacks. At this point, most pundits don't seem to think Notre Dame T Joe Alt will be on the board at No. 10 overall. But the Jets could be in a favorable position on two fronts – this is lining up to be a loaded OL class featuring several intriguing tackle prospects including Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State), Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma), JC Latham (Alabama) and Amarius Mims (Georgia). With wideout being another need for the Jets, I'm wondering if Marvin Harrison (Ohio State) has created his own tier much like Alt. But both Rome Odunze (Washington) and Malik Nabers (LSU) were elite college players and have special qualities as well. This WR class is deep and there are several recent examples of early/mid-round wideouts taking the league by storm. And while the Jets don't need a starting QB, they stand to benefit from a run of QBs in the top 10. I'm ready for the latest buzz on Jayden Daniels (LSU) and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) among others.

EG: I'm looking forward to seeing which prospects will rise after using next week in Indianapolis as a launching pad for their draft stock. There are players every year whose testing numbers spark conversation and/or begin to crystalize tiers of players. Last year, for example, Colts QB Anthony Richardson ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, the fourth-best time by a combine QB since 2003. His 40 ½-inch vertical was a QB combine record since '03. Richardson ended up as the No. 4 overall pick. There's a lot more to the Combine than the on-field testing like medicals, measurements and team interviews, but this is where the chatter regarding players picks up steam. For the Jets, almost all mock drafts have them selecting a tackle, so I want to see what how the top prospects perform. Same with wide receiver. If you're a Jets fan, you're hoping the quarterbacks test well throughout in Indy, so more talented players at positions like tackle and wideout fall closer to No. 10 overall where GM Joe Douglas sits.

RL: I'm eager to see and hear about the offensive tackles, one of whom could well wind up as Aaron Rodgers' next frontside or blindside protector. All the top tackles in this draft have been invited to Indianapolis — Notre Dame's Joe Alt, Penn State's Olu Fashanu, 'Bama's JC Latham and Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga. It's still early so each of them has been linked by one or more big mockers to the Jets in Round 1. I want to see how big the big guys (Latham and Fuaga) are and how athletic the not-as-big tackles (Alt and Fashanu) show themselves to be. One or two will go before the draft comes to the Jets at No. 10. Then it could be a matter of whether the Jets want one of the tackles who'll be sitting there or would prefer instead to tab a Rodgers downfield target among such WRs as LSU's Malik Nabers and Washington's Rome Odunze (assuming Marvin Harrison Jr. will be unavailable at No. 10). And like any Jets fan, I'd like to see how Michigan's Kris Jenkins fares. Kris Sr., his irrepressible and often unstoppable father, earned his last Pro Bowl berth in 2008 and played his last NFL downs in 2010 on the Jets' D-line. Kris the younger's not as big as Pops and probably won't be around for the Jets to select, but he's still a 300-pound run-stuffer who could solidify his draft stock with a very good combine showing.

CH: I am most excited to see the offensive linemen test. After last year's injury-plagued offensive line, I think the Jets will be locked in on finding reliable pieces in the draft. Although it's just one event, I think the Combine is a good barometer of what type of guy the player is, how hard they have been working since their college season ended and the type of player they could become. I am interested specifically in watching OT Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State. In both of Daniel Jeremiah's mock drafts, he has the Jets picking Fuaga. I am interested to see if Fuaga is the type of player the Green & White could choose at No. 10 overall.

JP: I am excited to see how the 2024 wide receiver class performs. NFL Draft analysts spent the season touting this year's group as one of the "deepest" in history. And in Jets GM Joe Douglas' postseason press conference, he told the media he wanted to spend the offseason trying to "take as much pressure off of Garrett Wilson" as possible. I am most excited to see Florida State's Keon Coleman, Oregon's Troy Franklin, Texas' Adonai Mitchell and Michigan's Roman Wilson, who are all projected as Day 2 selections (Rounds 2 and 3). As a senior, Coleman recorded 11 touchdowns catches on 50 receptions – including several highlight-reel contested grabs. Franklin found his stride as a junior catching passes from fellow NFL draft prospect QB Bo Nix. Franklin totaled 1,383 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Mitchell was the Longhorns' best pass catcher with 11 touchdowns and 845 yards during their run to the college football playoff. Wilson, meanwhile, found the endzone 12 times during the Wolverines' national championship season. It will be fascinating to see how these four wideouts, among the rest of the receivers, navigate the number of Combine drills and media availabilities.

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