We know we're officially into NFL Draft season when the Scouting Combine officially comes around each year in Indianapolis.
NFL executives and coaches from all 32 teams descend into Indy to find the potential next face of their franchise, and it all starts here.
In this series of articles, we'll be breaking down the notable news from each day of the heralded event, some impressive performances, and the latest rumors you need to know.
2023 NFL Combine Recap: Day 7
Notable News Of the Day
Rodney Hudson is expected to retire from the NFL.
The long-time center for the Raiders and the Cardinals is reportedly hanging up his cleats after 12 NFL seasons.
Devon Achane ran a 4.32 40-yard dash.
We all suspected that Achane was going to fly on the field in this portion of the athletic testing, and he delivered. At just 188 pounds, Achane needed to show that he could be an electric playmaker when he got an opportunity, and he did just that. He's most likely heading toward being a change-of-pace option in the NFL, but he's going to be a fun one to watch.
Jahmyr Gibbs clocked a 4.36 40-yard dash.
Gibbs came in at just 199 pounds, so he needed to show off his athleticism and did just that with an impressive time in the 40-yard dash. He may never be a workhorse option for an NFL offense, but he's going to be a true receiving weapon that innovative offensive coordinators are going to be pounding the table for during the NFL Draft.
Bijan Robinson delivered.
All eyes were on Bijan going into Sunday evening, and he put on a show for everyone. He weighed in at 215 pounds and proceeded to run a 4.46 40-yard dash while reaching 37" in the vertical jump and 124" in the broad jump. He has the deep running back free agent and NFL draft market working against him, but in any other year, we may be talking about him as a top-10 lock.
Chase Brown put himself back on the map.
Brown has some impressive tape from college. But he got off to a slow start at the Senior Bowl this year, and the general consensus seemed to write him off. They regret doing that after this performance at the Combine: a 4.43 40-yard dash at 209 pounds, a 40" vertical jump, and 127" in the broad jump. Brown made himself some money this weekend.
Tyjae Spears showed off his lower-half explosiveness.
Spears - the running back prospect out of Tulane - didn't participate in the 40-yard dash, but he did do the vertical jump and the broad jump. These two drills are a great way to demonstrate how much power you have in your lower half, which is a must for NFL running backs, and Spears delivered. A 39" vertical jump and an impressive 125" in the broad jump. As long as he runs well at his pro day, Spears may be a lock for the second round of the NFL Draft at this point.
The Latest Rumors
Moving on from Derek Carr to hand Garoppolo $30 million a year is certainly a very interesting choice. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Raiders dip into the rookie quarterback market in the NFL Draft if they go this route.
The Baltimore Ravens may use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson.
This means that any team would have the ability to offer Jackson a contract, and the Ravens would have the chance to match it. If they are unable - or unwilling to - they will receive two first-round picks in exchange for the star quarterback. Every report out of Baltimore is that Jackson is unwilling to move off of his contract demand, and the two sides are significantly divided. If Baltimore does make this decision, there is significant buzz that Atlanta would be heavily interested in offering Jackson a massive contract.
Jakobi Meyers will likely hit the free agent market.
This is a smart move on Meyers' part. Due to the lack of star talent in this wide receiver free agent class, Meyers has the ability to receive the highest compensation when it's all said and done and could wind up in a much better situation for fantasy football too.
Mecole Hardman is likely to test the free agent market.
Hardman hasn't lived up to expectations much over his first few years in the league, but he still has game-changing speed that many NFL teams will covet. It'll be interesting to see what his market is like in just a week or so.
The Dallas Cowboys are likely set to let Dalton Schultz walk in free agency.
Schultz played this last season on the franchise tag and performed well, but he's mostly made his mark through his chemistry with Dak Prescott versus any jaw-dropping playmaking ability. We'll have to wait and see what his market materializes as, but he may be trending down from a fantasy standpoint heading into free agency.
Allen Robinson could be traded from the Los Angeles Rams.
Things didn't exactly work out for Robinson in LA this past season, but that was true for a lot of players there. The Rams are looking to offload some contracts - with Jalen Ramsey also in trade rumors - and Robinson could be one of the players on the move this offseason. He still showed that he could play at a high level when the ball was thrown his way, but he just wasn't involved much in the offense. This will be an interesting one to monitor from a fantasy football standpoint.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be traded.
This one is interesting. Edwards-Helaire was a prolific receiving back coming out of LSU and received significant draft capital, as we all know. Unfortunately, it hasn't really worked out, as he's been miscast a bit in this Kansas City Chiefs offense. A different team that would be willing to deploy him as a "James White" type player could revitalize his career, and there are apparently a few teams that have called about his availability. Cincinnati?
The New England Patriots are reportedly not going to move on from Hunter Henry.
Despite a relatively easy way to get out from his significant contract, the Patriots are reportedly set to move forward with Jonnu Smith and Henry this next season. It makes sense, given Bill O'Brien's success with multiple tight ends in the past, but it still a massive amount of cap space to dedicate to the tight end position.