Yesterday at the NFL Combine, Notre Dame wide receiver did something that no other wide receiver has done at the Combine since 2006 – he ran a sub 4.45 40-yard dash at over 230 lbs. The last receiver, at that size, to do? Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron. That is some rare and excellent company for Notre Dame’s “Maple Bandit” who clocked in a 4.42 and 4.45 in his two attempts.
Earlier this week, after weighing in at 238 lbs, the idea of Chase Claypool moving to tight end was floated on Twitter, and Claypool was even asked about it in Indianapolis this week. After running his 4.42, those questions might be fewer and further between.
Only two wideouts to measure 6’4” & 235 pounds or bigger have run a sub-4.45 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine since 2003:
One is known as “Megatron” (Calvin Johnson). The other?
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 28, 2020
Before the Combine, Claypool wasn’t considered to be a top 100 prospect by many draft sites. Earlier this week, I wrote that if Claypool could run in the 4.5 range, he would rocket up some boards and make himself a lot of money. Consider that mission accomplished.
Last year Miles Boykin posted some eye-popping combine numbers for a big wide receiver, and he moved up to the third round of the draft after being considered more of a late-round pick before arriving in Indianapolis. Claypool should see his stock rise similarly this year. This seems to be becoming a norm under Notre Dame’s new and improved strength and conditioning program under Matt Balis.
I am not an NFL Draft expert, but I just don’t see how Claypool makes it past the 2nd round at this point. Here’s what he has on his resume:
- Tight end size at 6’4″, 238 lbs
- Elite wide receiver speed at 4.42
- Production at the college level with 66 catches for 1,037 yards with 13 touchdowns
- Continual improvement year over year
So he’s got size, speed, production, and improvement. Oh, and he is an elite special teams player. This isn’t a workout warrior who put up eye-popping numbers at the Combine. He’s a prospect who has gotten better and better every year and is still only just tapping into his potential.
Even in what is being considered a historically deep wide receiver draft class, it’s hard to see teams passing on a 6’4″ monster who can run a 4.42 40-yard dash – especially one who also has the production playing against elite competition that back it up.
I’ve been hoping for a while that my beloved Philadelphia Eagles, who are significantly in need of wide receiver help, would end up with Claypool. At this point though, I wonder if they would have to use their 1st round pick (21st overall) to make that happen since they don’t pick again until 53rd overall. Regardless, I wouldn’t be upset if Claypool ended up hauling in passes from Carson Wentz for the next ten or so years.