2022 NFL Combine Standouts: Offensive Analysis

Wondering which offensive players should you keep an eye on for your 2022 rookie draft? We will break down the top performers of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine that stood out in each position.

Many experts have said the draft class of 2022 is going to be a weak one. Though, they may have changed their minds after this year’s combine. Seen as an underwhelming event going in, there was a surprising twist to end the combine — several players proved they mean business.

Top Event Performances (by position)


Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Ridder came into the combine ready to work — he led or ranked top four in his position in each of the events. He ran the fastest 40 (4.52 official, 4.49 unofficial), and also led all other quarterbacks in the vertical (36″) and broad jump (10’7″) events.

Many have compared Ridder’s performance and measurements to Marcus Mariota. I couldn’t agree more. If he goes somewhere with a decent play-action game and some weapons to throw to, I imagine Ridder can come into the NFL and compete immediately.

E.J. Perry, Brown College

E.J. Perry has made a name for himself after his performances both in the East-West Shrine Bowl and the combine. He placed no lower than second in each event. In addition to a solid second place dash time (4.65), he led in both the three-cone and the 20-yard shuttle challenges.

With these results, he has proven he is highly agile and quick on his feet. I am excited to see where he goes. Hopefully, somewhere that will allow him to really showcase his capabilities.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

A highly sought-after quarterback coming into the combine, Pickett casually placed around third or fourth place in the competitions in which he participated in. Considering the young man broke hall-of-fame quarterback Dan Marino’s collegiate career passing touchdown record with 81, he is poised to take the next step to the NFL and prove his worth.

Feel comfortable picking him up as one of the first rookie quarterbacks off the board this year.

Running Backs

Breece Hall, Iowa State

Breece Hall is arguably the most desired running back in the 2022 draft class. Having only placed in the top six in the dash event (only .02 behind the fastest time with a 4.39 40), he still looked impressive with his combine performance.

Hall’s vertical is an inch and a half above the next best submission and his broad jump is only two inches short of number one. LeSean McCoy tagged him as a Demarco Murray-like player with great potential for his rookie season.

Pierre Strong, South Dakota State

With the running back combine challenge results being all over the board, somehow, Pierre Strong managed to appear in the top seven in each of his events. NFL.com has him at the fastest 40 (4.37) by a running back in this year’s combine. Tied with Isiah Pacheco (Rutgers).

This young man displayed exceptional speed to go with a modest amount of explosiveness. Both tools could be used to help a few struggling teams in the league. Keep an eye out for where Strong ends up in the draft. He’s got talent.

Kevin Harris, South Carolina

Harris is a solid 5’10” and 220-pound bruiser of a back who stood out in this year’s combine. Even though he did not perform in the 40-yard dash, he still placed top three in the bench (21 reps), vertical (38.5″), and broad jump (10’6″) competitions. Harris would fit in well with a run-heavy offensive scheme behind a big run-blocking offensive line.

Though there may not be many open slots for him to slide into in today’s NFL, it should be interesting to see what Kevin Harris can make of himself as a pro.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Austin III, Memphis

Austin was outstanding in his event performances during the combine. He participated in five events (40, vert, broad, three-cone, 20-yard shuttle) and placed in the top three in all of them. Austin’s 4.32 40-yard dash (third place) shows his breakaway speed while his vertical and broad jump performances prove his ability to make leaping and athletic plays.

Better yet, Harris took the top spot in three-cone (6.65) and 20-yard shuttle (4.07) which just completes the package. He is going to make a name for himself.

Christian Watson, North Dakota State

Watson’s appearance alone is going to be attractive to potential NFL teams. He stands a tall 6’4″ and 208 pounds with over 10″ hands. On top of that, he proved to be one of the most explosive wideouts at the combine.

An unofficial 4.28 second 40, as well as a 38.5″ vertical and 11’4″ broad jump, makes for a huge target for any quarterback. I think by adding a few pounds, Watson could really set himself up for an opportunistic rookie campaign.

Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame

Kevin Austin ‘officially’ recorded a middle-of-the-road (14th place) 4.43 40-yard dash time. Though, he shaved off five-tenths of a second (4.37) in his unofficial warm-up trials, more than proving he has top-tier speed.

Additionally, Austin performed well in the remaining events where he placed fifth in vertical (39″) and broad jump (11’0″) as well as second in three-cone (6.71) and 20-yard shuttle (4.15). Behind only Calvin Austin, Kevin Austin could pay dividends as a rookie for anyone willing to snag him in the draft.

Tight Ends

Austin Allen, Nebraska

Austin Allen is a mountain of a tight end. Measuring a whopping 6’8″ and 253 pounds, he has the sheer size to be an effective and athletic blocking tight end at the next level. What Allen lacks in speed he makes up for in size and reach.

Allen excelled in the three-cone (7.0 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.26 seconds), where he respectively placed first and second. Indicating good footwork and the ability to quickly change direction for a man of his size.

Greg Dulcich, UCLA

Dulcich posted many top five results during his training at the combine. Most notable was his 10’2″ broad jump. He doesn’t present stand-out speed or agility, but he does have a knack for catching the football.

In the pass-catching portion of the combine, Dulcich was sure-handed and a major hustler. He impressed me with his route-running ability and sticky fingers. Dulcich could be a sleeper pick for dynasty owners.

Offensive Analysis Summary for the 2022 NFL Combine

There is very much a lack of hype surrounding this year’s offensive rookie draft class. That said, I believe there is more potential to be had than the credit that was given. This quarterback class may have their work cut out for them with so many teams uncertain as to who their signal-callers will be next season, but I think there could be more success stories coming than people think.

There is also a number of speedy and athletic backs and wideouts with desirable traits and skills that could be effective with the right team. The most highly desired players at this position didn’t exactly stand out over their competition. Which I think speaks volumes to the underdogs that came into the 2022 NFL Combine ready to put in work.

I feel that this year’s tight-end class has the ability to be the most effective as blockers and chain-movers. Players that won’t put up top-tier numbers, but can come in clutch with a first down or a solid block when the team needs it. Don’t underestimate some of these guys.

Thank you for reading! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Harding_3 and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date.

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