Anthony Richardson tops combine standouts to re-examine; thoughts on Panthers acquiring No. 1 pick

The NFL Scouting Combine is a valuable event for collecting background information, evaluating football character and assessing health, but for the most part,

 the televised portions should not significantly impact a team's pre-draft process.

 Though the workouts are fun to watch on NFL Network and NFL+,

 the athletic testing and positional drills at Lucas Oil Stadium cannot overshadow years of actual game tape.

As a young scout, I heard the same thing from a group of veterans in the industry: "The film reveals a prospect's DNA."

 It's true. Talent evaluators mess up when they allow themselves to be swayed by spandex workouts,

as opposed to trusting what their eyes and instincts gleaned from a player's college career.

While a prospect's athleticism and explosiveness matter, the game is played between the lines -- and in pads.

There are exceptions, of course, but most of the NFL's best players dominated the competition in college.

 As Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf told me, it is essential for top prospects to possess certain traits to succeed in the league (like height,

 weight, speed, quickness and ball skills), but those attributes must be accompanied by outstanding in-game performance.

With all of that in mind, I'd like to discuss the biggest name to emerge from this year's talent showcase in Indianapolis.

 Anthony Richardson put on quite an athletic performance. At 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds,

 the Florida product electrified combine watchers with a 4.43 40-yard dash --

and that's just the beginning! Richardson also set a modern combine record for quarterbacks in the vertical leap (40 1/2 inches) and tied the modern mark in the broad jump (10-foot-9).

With that kind of athleticism at that size, Richardson made every single evaluator sprint back to the film for further analysis -- myself included.


Former NFL exec: Panthers underpaid for 2023 draft’s No. 1 pick