Las Vegas Raiders: Which 2022 NFL Combine drills to watch per position
Wide receiver is a case of knowing what precisely a player does to win because there are so many ways to thrive.
3-cone is a great drill to look at for guys who rely on their ability to separate with their route running. Take Cooper Kupp (82% percentile); for instance, he is not the best athlete in the league, but he is a great route runner and can use smarts and change of direction skills to win. Or a guy like Hunter Renfrow (77% percentile), who people regard as non-athletic but fail to realize his quickness and change of direction are elite. It also helps to check to see these players’ level of explosiveness in terms of vertical or broad jumps so you can get a sense of how they move off the snap.
Then you have downfield speedsters like Tyreke Hill (4.29 at pro day) or D.K. Metcalf (4.33), who wins with great speed and explosiveness, so the 40-yard dash needs to reflect that along with high jumps if possible.
Bigger receivers like Mike Evans or Mike Williams obviously win with their size, so they just need to meet basic thresholds more often.
And if you’re lucky, you get Julio Jones, who is literally a freak of nature and excels in all aspects.
In the end, know how the receiver wins and see if his athletic traits represent that.