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What Quintez Cephus’ mixed NFL Combine really means

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It’s not great, but also not a fatal blow to the junior receiver’s draft stock.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oregon vs Wisconsin Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

For those participating, the NFL Scouting Combine is essentially the biggest job interview of their lives.

Quintez Cephus had a nice start to his, putting up 23 bench press reps, tops among the wide receiver position. Obviously bench press is a bit of a meaningless drill to measure one’s ability to play the receiver position, but it can be used by teams as an indication of one’s dedication to the weight room.

Next, Cephus did about as well as could be expected in the jumps. While he didn’t have a 44.5” vertical jump like Michigan’s Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cephus held his own with a 38.5” vertical jump. Not surprising for a former Division I basketball commitment. He also had a 10’4” broad jump, which is respectable. Again, not the 11’7” mark posted by Peoples-Jones, who had one of the most impressive combines in recent memory, but nothing concerning from Cephus.

In the agility drills, Cephus posted a 4.33 Short Shuttle (also known as Pro Agility or 5-10-5). Again, nothing to write home about here, but certainly not concerning. He posted a 7.2 second Three Cone drill, which falls in the same category. Cephus is more of a linear athlete than a human joystick, so these numbers correlate well with his film.

Now, speaking of concerning, his official 40 yard dash time was 4.73, the better of his two attempts. While this is by no means a death blow to Cephus’ NFL prospects, it certainly is less than ideal and less than what Cephus wanted to run, I’m sure.

This time will almost undoubtedly cause him to fall in the draft, even with an “improved” 40 time at Wisconsin’s Pro Day on March 11th (I don’t know if this has been announced or not but it’s when it is).

Ultimately, Cephus isn’t a receiver that is dependent on his speed to win routes and separate from defensive backs. He uses his physicality and strength throughout the route to do that. Cephus is no burner, but he won vertically too often in college for me to believe he’s as slow as he tested.

I’m no track coach, but watching his 40 yard dash he stood upright almost immediately in his runs, where I know they teach the athletes to stay low longer through the athlete’s initial phase of their 40 yard dash before ending up more upright further into the run. In any event, Cephus will be looking to put these concerns about his speed to bed at the Badger Pro Day.

We will continue to keep you updated throughout the weekend as Jonathan Taylor, and Zack Baun test, as Tyler Biadasz has already announced he won’t be testing this week in Indy.