Saturday at the NFL combine, quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends hit the field for their all-important workouts, which the Rams should’ve been watching closely – particularly when it comes to this very impressive tight end group.
Daniel Jeremiah has described it as the best TE class he’s seen in 10 years, and they didn’t disappoint in their testing and on-field drills in Indianapolis. While there’s no single burner at the position, there are a bunch of athletic, all-around tight ends this year.
The wide receivers left something to be desired as a weaker group overall, but there are still some potential targets for the Rams.
Here are eight wideouts and tight ends who stood out at the combine this weekend.
TE Darnell Washington, Georgia
Washington was the star of the show on Saturday, running a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds. He also had a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.08 seconds, which has only been beaten by four other tight ends at the combine since 2006. In other words, he’s freaky fast and quick for a player his size.
Oh, and he can make catches like this, showing he’s more than just an inline blocker. He could get drafted as early as the first round, but if he slips to 36, the Rams might have trouble passing.
TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa
LaPorta opened some eyes with a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical at 6-foot-3. He compares favorably to another former Iowa tight end, George Kittle, posting similar testing numbers as the 49ers star this week. LaPorta should be a Day 2 pick and will likely contribute right away for an NFL team, which makes him an option for the Rams in the second or third rounds.
TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
Kuntz is going to have scouts re-watching his tape a lot between now and the draft because he posted the highest Relative Athletic Score by a tight end. Not only did he have a 40-inch vertical, making him the tallest player (6-7 3/8) to record a 40-inch vertical, but he also ran a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash. His short shuttle and three-cone times (4.12 and 6.87) were also elite.
The Rams should consider drafting him as they look for a spark at tight end. Few players his size also bring his level of athleticism.
TE Will Mallory, Miami
Mallory had the fastest 40-yard dash time of any tight end this year, running a 4.54 at 6-foot-4. His 36.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump were also impressive, putting together a day that should boost his stock a bit. He’s likely to be an early Day 3 pick so the Rams probably won’t have to use one of their early selections on him, but he’d still be a good developmental piece later in the draft.
TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
Few people questioned Musgrave’s athleticism coming into the combine. The biggest concern with him is his injury history and lack of college production. But he showed on Saturday that he’s a terrific athlete by running a 4.61 in the 40 at nearly 6-foot-6. Musgrave could wind up being a first-round pick when it’s all said and done, but he’ll also be a potential target for the Rams at No. 36.
WR AT Perry, Wake Forest
Perry is a big-bodied receiver who can run and make plays down the field. He has 4.47 speed at 6-foot-3, jumping 11 feet, 1 inch in the broad – which is a fantastic number. He drifted a little bit in the gauntlet drill, but you can see he’s a natural hands catcher and a smooth strider. Perry will garner second- or third-round consideration from a team, although the Rams may not feel comfortable taking a receiver that early.
WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
Ford-Wheaton was one of the big winners of the combine in an underwhelming receiver group. He’s 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.38 with a 41-inch vertical. That’s a size-speed-explosiveness combination that’s hard to find. He didn’t have much production at the college level, never posting more than 675 yards in a season, but he has the tools to become a No. 3 or 4 receiver in the NFL with that speed and size.
WR Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma
Mims compares favorably to Brandin Cooks, who was a player the Rams traded a first-round pick for in 2018. His 4.38 was the fourth-fastest time in the 40-yard dash among receivers, and his 39.5-inch vertical was one of the best at his position, too. He’s not a receiver who will overpower with his size (5-foot-11), but he’s a smooth route runner and obviously has plenty of speed to be an outside threat.