The 2020 wide receiver draft class has been considered an elite group for quite some time. Despite an outstanding 2019 season, former Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool has had a hard time getting his name put into the mix as one of the top wide receivers in the class.
Claypool started to get more discussion after an outstanding week at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but the Combine was going to be his best chance to truly make a splash, which I wrote about heading into the event. You can read that HERE.
Not only did Claypool make a splash, he put on one of the best performances at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
The on-field testing and workouts was the culmination of a brilliant week for Claypool. On day one he measured in at 6-4 1/4 and 238 pounds, which got some analysts and observers talking about a possible move to tight end. Claypool handled that discussion with maturity, telling the media he was a wide receiver, but also embracing the idea of being versatile enough to play tight end.
When the on-field portion of the combine started Claypool became one of the immediate standouts.
Claypool ran unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.45 and 4.43 on his two runs, but his official time was 4.42, which is truly elite for such a massive player. It was a historic performance for Claypool, who joined a future Hall of Fame as one of two wide receivers all-time to run that fast at that size.
Claypool also leaped 40.5”, which tied for the fourth-best performance of the 46 wideouts to participate in that event. His 4.42 ranked seventh out of 45 wideouts to participate in that event. Claypool also had the 10th best broad jump.
Any questions about his speed and explosiveness should now be eliminated, and I’m willing to bet there are a lot of NFL scouts and coaches that will be doing a double take on his film after his on-field performance at the combine.
For context, here’s the list of wide receivers that ran slower 40-yard dash times than Claypool:
Justin Jefferson, LSU - 4.43
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama - 4.45
Jalen Reagor, TCU - 4.47
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma - 4.50
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State - 4.50
Michael Pittman, USC - 4.52
Laviska Shenault, Colorado - 4.58
I have seen each of those wide receivers placed in the first or second round of multiple mock drafts, and all ahead of Claypool.
In most years this kind of performance, combined with his 2019 production (66 catches, 1,037 yards, 15.7 YPC, 13 TD’s) and career production (150 catches, 2,159 yards, 14.4 YPC, 19 TD’s) would vault a player with his size into the first round of the draft.
That will be hard in a wide receiver class that is as loaded as the one Claypool finds himself, but even with that depth there is no doubt that Claypool will continue to rise up draft boards.