NFL Combine 2023: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Darnell Washington among winners and losers in WR, TE groups

The day got off to a slow start for the passe-partouts, but quickly picked up with some memorable performances. A handful of prospects lifted their stock with strong performances, while others sent scouts back to the tape.

Here are some of the winners and losers from Saturday’s on-field drills in Indianapolis, starting with a look at our winning metrics:

Tyler Scott (Cincinnati)

4.44 seconds

39.5 inches


1.51 seconds

Quentin Johnston (TCU)



Marvin Mims Jr. (Oklahoma)





Zay Flowers (Boston College)





Josh Downs (North Carolina)





Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) 35 10-foot-5
Sam LaPorta (Iowa) 4.59u 35 10-foot-3 1.59
Darnell Washington (Georgia) 4.64u 31 10 feet-2 1.57
Will Mallory (Miami) 4.54u 36.5 10-foot-1 1.59


Wide receivers

Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati: Scott is fun to watch with his ability to get in and out of breaks. He showed explosive qualities in his broad and vertical jumps. In the glove drill, he kept his route flat on the field and looked really smooth in the process.

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU: Johnston could have really blown people away with a strong 40-yard dash time, but he bounced out of the stadium in all directions. Johnston followed infield drills that showed his ability to secure the line and track the ball deep. He staked his claim as the top wide receiver prospect in the draft.

Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Oklahoma: Mims tested fast and explosive. His performance on the field did not disappoint either. Oklahoma slumped this season and Mims went from Caleb Williams to Dillon Gabriel, but Mims still asserted himself as the best receiver in this offense. He should see his stock rise.

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College: Flowers was quick on whip routes and generally excelled in areas most would expect. However, he did a good job playing above the rim when given the opportunity and was tested respectfully. of Houston Dell tank is another who did a good job in the glove drill, smoothing his route down the field.

Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina: Downs was a smooth operator. His metrics may not match up favorably with other top prospects in this class, but his attention to detail in running routes, getting in and out of breaks and escaping defenders after the catch have not gone unnoticed. It may not be as versatile a role, but it will have no problem producing.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State: Smith-Njigba missed most of the season with a nagging injury, so it was good to see him back on the pitch. He didn’t do any athletic testing beyond the vertical and broad jumps. However, his route running was crisp and he caught everything cleanly. He ran a 6.57-second 3-cone drill, which was nearly .3 seconds faster than the next fastest. His 20-yard dash of 3.93 seconds was nearly 0.2 seconds faster than the next fastest. Smith-Njigba was an elite tester in the change-of-direction drills. His stock may rise a bit, but he could really soar with a fast 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day.

Princeton’s Andrei Iosivas is another wide receiver who looked good from the first group of wide receivers.

Tight ends

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia: Washington was almost second fiddle to Athens because of the impact of Brock Bowers. Washington was primarily used as a blocker, but showed a fluid ability to work down the lane in the glove drill. He acquitted himself well as a passer, aside from his track record as a blocker. Washington made the win of the night in stride towards the end of the home game.

Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa: LaPorta was a little smaller, but ran well. Fans saw him display the ability to track the football downfield as well as maintain his line across the field in the glove drill. An NFL team is going to get a well-rounded tight end from a consistent producer at the position. LaPorta was unable to land the final fade throw of the night after a solid practice.

Will Mallory, TE, Miami: Mallory rounds out what was a stellar performance from the closed group. He is lightly talked about by the rest of the class, but he ran fast and jumped high. Miami had some inconsistent play at quarterback, but Mallory was consistent.


Wide receivers

Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU: Boutte needed a strong performance to really raise his stock, but that didn’t happen. He ranked low in almost all athletic tests except the 40-yard dash.

Jalen Brooks, WR, South Carolina: Brooks looked a little stiffer than many other athletes among the wide receiver group. He ran the slowest 40-yard dash time (4.69 seconds) and the slowest 3-cone drill (7.15 seconds).

Tight ends

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame: There were hardly any losers from the roster, but Mayer might have been one from the perspective of the other tight ends coming up. Mayer caught the ball well, but didn’t try off the charts, which was to be expected. He will be successful, professional, but his stock may have been affected by others, like Darnell Washington, rising.

The 2023 NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.

For live reaction from today’s festivities, take a look Saturday Live Blog. The offensive backs and offensive linemen wrap up action in Indianapolis on Sunday.

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