The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is officially in the books. Time will tell which prospects will actually prosper in the NFL. For now, allow yourself to marvel at the players who broke records and caused double-takes and salivation from the general managers, head coaches and fanbases around the league.
Let’s take a look at six players who turned in eye-popping performances while also determining how interested the Kansas City Chiefs should be in selecting them in the draft.
Author’s note: In honor of Andy Reid’s affection for cheeseburgers, that is what we’ll be using to grade how interested the Chiefs should be in drafting each player.
Example: one cheeseburger = very little interest; five cheeseburgers = very interested.
Darnell Washington, TE - Georgia
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if Rob Gronkowski and a Ford F-250 had a baby, and that baby grew up to play football? Well, you’re in luck. Enter Darnell Washington.
Washington played opposite Brock Bowers each of the last two seasons at Georgia, so his production was somewhat limited. This meant that he really needed to have a strong performance at the combine to become a legitimate candidate to have his name called on Day 1.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from his weekend in Indianapolis and see if we can come to a conclusion:
Darnell Washington pushing the sled then other TEs for reference.— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) March 5, 2023
Some GM is gonna get an extra OL who is also fast and can catch. pic.twitter.com/lIU20evvxV
This CATCH by Darnell Washington— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) March 5, 2023
The Georgia TE put on a SHOW today at the NFL Combine. pic.twitter.com/OF1n6SPEwH
Humans aren’t supposed to be built like this. If you created Washington in Madden you’d break the game. The tight end would feel like a bit of a luxury position with, you know, the whole “Travis Kelce still being incredible” situation. But I’m viewing this through the lens of supplying Andy Reid with another pass-catcher and giving Patrick Mahomes a Mack Truck to throw to.
Chiefs’ interest: Three cheeseburgers
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT/EDGE - Northwestern
Let’s stick with the trend of big guys doing freakishly athletic things. Despite weighing in at 282 lbs., the Kansas City, Missouri, product ran with the edge rushers and still stood out amongst the group. Adebawore (pronounced “add-E-BAR-eh”) ran a blazing 4.49 40-yard dash, which is the fastest by any player over 270 lbs since 2003, per NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
As if that weren’t impressive enough, he posted a 37.5-inch vertical (94th percentile) and a broad jump of 10 feet and 5 inches (95th percentile). There wasn’t one area of athletic testing that he didn’t dominate. He played plenty on both the inside and outside last year for Northwestern, and it’s not hard to imagine Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo falling in love with a player of his size and versatility.
Chiefs’ interest: Five cheeseburgers (add bacon)
Nolan Smith, EDGE - Georgia
Let’s stick with edge rushers for a moment. Measuring in at just 6’2” and 239 lbs., what Georgia’s Nolan Smith lacks in size he more than makes up for in... literally everything else.
4.39 for an edge rusher should be illegal. For context, that’s the same time New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave ran last year, and faster than Justin Jefferson (4.44) and Saquon Barkley (4.40). I repeat: we’re talking about an edge rusher.
The only thing keeping Smith from being one of this class’ blue-chip prospects is his lack of size. But with his record-setting performance in Indianapolis, it’s only a matter of if, not when a team will pull the trigger on him in the first round. You can never have too many pass rushers, and the Chiefs will need to replenish the stockpile this offseason.
Chiefs’ interest: Four cheeseburgers
Anthony Richardson, QB - Florida
Simply put: Anthony Richardson is the most athletic quarterback prospect ever. Don’t take my word for it.
The highest vertical in NFL Combine history by a QB— PFF (@PFF) March 4, 2023
Anthony Richardson - 40.5”
Not only did Richardson set combine records in both the vertical and broad jumps, but he became just the seventh quarterback ever to post an official sub-4.50 second 40 time, and the first one to ever do it at over 230 lbs.
He’s built like a tight end, he jumps like a wide receiver, and he runs like a running back. The only question that remains is: can he play quarterback?
This screams Raiders pick, doesn’t it?
Chiefs’ interest: One cheeseburger (ketchup only)
Bijan Robinson, RB - Texas
Robinson’s numbers at the combine won’t make your tongue fall out of your mouth, but he didn’t need to do much to solidify his claim as the top running back prospect in this class. When you watch Robinson go through drills, the effortless footwork and fluidity in his movements are rare for a player of his size.
Bijan Robinson’s footwork is something ELSE— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) March 6, 2023
The Longhorns RB put on a CLINIC today at the NFL Combine. pic.twitter.com/NVtlOQfeby
The 2022 Doak Walker Award winner — annually awarded to college football’s top running back — has all the makings of being a bell cow NFL rusher. At 5’11” and 215 lbs, he also showcased his pass-catching that will cause someone to take a shot on him on Day 1.
Brett Veach has done it once before and it didn’t go great. He wouldn’t do it again, would he? (WOULD HE!?)
Chiefs’ interest: Two cheeseburgers