Winners and Losers From the 2022 NFL Combine

The 2022 NFL Combine features some of the best collegiate prospects looking to become rookies in the NFL. Every year some unknown prospect has a great combine, and every year some big name disappoints. But every year, the Combine also proves that performances there often don’t mean much; this does not mean, however, that combine performances can be completely disregarded. I’m going to look at five players who had Combine performances that were both impressive, and look like they’ll be good at the next level. I’m also going to look at some prospects who may have been disappointed at the Combine, disappointments that may actually impact their performance at the next level.


  1. Chris Olave

Olave was one of the most highly touted prospects coming out of college after a couple very impressive years at Ohio State, and he further pushed that notion at the Combine. Olave clocked a very impressive official 4.39 40-yard dash time, impressive because of the fact that Olave was touted as an overall talent, not just a speed guy. This kind of time from that kind of prospect is simply another elite facet of Olave’s game. 

       2. Ahmahd “Sauce” Gardener

Ahmahd Gardener was a top five cornerback coming into the draft, and in my opinion should have been the unanimous number one cornerback. In his college career he allowed zero touchdowns, that’s ridiculous. Not to mention in his final collegiate game he had the ball thrown toward him once, and it resulted in a 2-yard loss for the offense. At the combine, he only furthered his case for being number one cornerback in the draft. Gardener posted a blazing 4.41 40-yard dash time, as well as looking really good on all of the mobility drills, not to mention being 6’3 with a large wingspan

        3. The 40-yard dash

The 40 is the flashiest of all events at the NFL combine, it is simply a test of speed. However, most people realize that the 40 often doesn’t translate to the NFL. Of the top 10 fastest 40 times in NFL Combine history before this year, only one was recorded by a player who was named a Probowler in their lifetime. However, this year was the fastest NFL Combine ever, with two players cracking the top 10 fastest times in Combine History. There were also surprises such as 341-pound defensive lineman Jordan Davis running a 4.78, a ridiculous time for a man that big. The average times for running backs, wide receivers, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebackers, and defensive backs were all Combine records as well.

        4. Malik Willis

Willis was one of the top QB prospects coming into the Combine, and he showed that at the Combine. His decision not to run the 40 was a little reminiscent of another dual threat QB a couple years ago–Lamar Jackson who has since one an MVP award. On the actual throwing drills, however, Willis threw some beautiful deep balls with great arc, and his throws on slant routes were quick and on time. The only knock on Willis’ Combine was that he occasionally overthrew some shorter passes, but that is a skill that can be easily worked on compared to a deep ball.


  1. Hand-size measurements

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett’s hands measured in at an all time low in Combine history. Nobody cares. The last QB to make the news with small hands was some dude named Joe Burrow. He went to the Super Bowl this year. The concern with QB’s with small hands is that they will be prone to fumbling; however, there are many graphics that show that hand size and fumble rate do not correlate in the least bit. It’s simply unnecessary to have this measurement as part of the Combine, and is even more unnecessary to care about it.

        2. The Denver Broncos

This was not necessarily a Combine day loss, but Denver traded away A LOT to get former Seattle QB Russell Wilson in a blockbuster deal. Two firsts, two seconds, a fifth, and three players. Even though they need a few pieces to be serious contenders next season, they have almost no picks, and will likely have an extremely uneventful draft, unless they find some gems in the later rounds.


This year’s draft class may look like a weak group of guys on the outside, as there are no generational quarterback talents this year, which often leads to people writing the class off. But with the likes of players like Aiden Hutchison, Kyle Hamilton, Kayvon Thibodeaux and many others, I expect this class to produce a lot of talent, and to shock a lot of people.