Yesterday I posted about Chase Claypool reaching Megatron status at the NFL Combine on Thursday. Well, thanks to the fine folks running the @NFLResearch Twitter account, we have even more superlatives for Notre Dame’s leading receiver from 2019.
Chase Claypool at the 2020 NFL Combine
• Bigger than Cameron Wake
• Faster than Odell Beckham Jr.
• Stronger than Jared Allen
• Jumps higher than Julio Jones
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 28, 2020
Even if you don’t follow the NFL, most of those names should be very familiar to you. Claypool’s 40-yard dash was faster than Odell Beckham Jr’s, his high jump was higher than Julio Jones, and his broad jump (which measures explosiveness) was better than Devin Hester’s. Those are three players who dominated at both the college and the NFL level.
All of those numbers show just how well rounded Claypool is and how much of an athletic freak he is. We all knew that he would test well, but his performance is one of the best all-around performances for any wide receiver at the Combine in a long time. He showed NFL scouts that physically, he is elite in almost every category they test.
From there, if scouts turn on the game tape for Claypool from 2019, they’ll see a receiver who took considerable strides in his development this year. Specifically, Claypool became a monster on the sidelines where he made catch after catch using his size and leverage to haul in contested catches. He and Ian Book developed great chemistry by the end of the year, where Book knew he could throw the ball up for grabs and Claypool would come down with it.
After this week, it will be fascinating to see just how much the perception of Claypool changes in NFL Draft circles. Many of the “experts” had Claypool ranked well outside the top 100 prospects, with many ranking him closer to 200th overall. His performance at the Combine should show all of them just how off those projections were.
Regardless of whether or not the draft “experts” who usually have a 10-20% success draft projecting 1st round picks change their opinions, one would have to think that NFL scouts and execs, whose opinions actually matter, have Claypool much higher on their boards now than they did a week ago.
Two wide receivers have been drafted in the 1st round during the Brian Kelly era – Michael Floyd and Will Fuller – and Claypool is very different than both of them. Floyd and Fuller had larger bodies of work on the field, but Claypool is an ascending player with ridiculous testing numbers across the board. Sneaking into the 1st round might be a stretch, but it will be borderline criminal if Claypool isn’t off the board in the 2nd round.