2023 NFL Draft: The 2023 Scouting Combine All-Avenger Team

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Old Dominion tight end Zack Kuntz (TE06) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Old Dominion tight end Zack Kuntz (TE06) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects dominated the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine enough to be considered Avengers? Let’s look at this year’s team.

We see it every year at the NFL Scouting Combine. The best athletes of the draft put on a show, drawing ever so close to (or passing) the top performers all time at their position. Here at NFL Mocks, we dub those players as “Avengers”. Who can forget what both Isaiah Simmons and Tristan Wirfs did back in 2020? What about Jordan Davis’ legendary performance a year ago?

The next group of Avengers found their stride at the 2023 combine, and we’ve put together the NFL Scouting Combine “All-Avenger Team” for the 2023 NFL Draft class.

Note: Avenger status constitutes > 98th percentile athlete.

RAS numbers courtesy of @MathBomb here.

Quarterback: Anthony Richardson, Florida (10.00 RAS)

It was expected that Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson would do well in this year’s combine if he did all the drills, but he exceeded expectations on Saturday, posting the best RAS ever at the quarterback position (10.00). His vertical (40.5 inches) and broad jump (10’9″) are the best ever for a quarterback, and running a 4.44 at 244 pounds is insane. He still has things to work on mechanically as a passer, and must develop a changeup, but the athletic upside will entice teams that are willing to be patient and follow the model in Philadelphia.

Running Back: Deneric Prince, Tulsa (9.83u RAS)

Deneric Prince is a name not known by many, and now a name that everyone will be studying before the 2023 NFL Draft. Prince came in at 5116 (5-foot-11 and 3/4) and 216 pounds, and ran a 4.41 40-yard dash (95th percentile) along with elite splits in the 10 and 20 yard range. His 10’4″ broad jump was in the 89th percentile, and a solid vertical got him to the 98th percentile overall.

Running Back: Bijan Robinson, Texas (9.81u RAS)

Just in Avenger territory for Bijan Robinson, not that he needed to really prove anything coming into the combine. Robinson is an elite prospect at running back worth a top 15 selection, and is a top three player in the class. At 5’11” and 215 pounds, Robinson posted a strong 4.46 in the 40, proving he’s got some longer speed in him, the only weakness to his game. He’s as smooth and creative as a runner as anyone, and posting elite numbers in the explosion categories (85th percentile vertical, 89th percentile broad jump) put him in this category.

Wide Receiver: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia (9.96u RAS)

There was some talk about Bryce Ford-Wheaton turning heads in the 40, and wow did he. Running a 4.38 at 6’4″ and 221 pounds is pretty darn impressive, and his 41-inch vert (97th percentile), 10’9″ broad jump (94th percentile), and 4.15 short shuttle (81st percentile) put him in rarified air as an athlete at receiver.

Wide Receiver: Jonathan Mingo, Mississippi (9.93u RAS)

Jonathan Mingo came in at a similar size (6016, 221) to a former Mississippi WR in A.J. Brown (6004, 226) and put on a show, benching 22 reps at 225, running a 4.46 40 (83rd percentile), and putting up 94th percentile vertical and broad jumps.

Wide Receiver: Andrei Iosivas, Princeton (9.92u RAS)

Iosivas (6031, 205) turned heads down in Mobile with his speed, and he brought it to the combine as well. His 4.43 (89th percentile) was very impressive, and he posted elite numbers in the explosion drills (jumps, both 92nd percentile) and the agility drills.

Wide Receiver: Matt Landers, Arkansas (9.91u RAS)

There wasn’t much talk about Matt Landers, but running a 4.37 40 at 6’4 3/8″ and 200 pounds is a big deal. Height/weight/speed threats always get drafted, even as day three swings. Landers will get that opportunity after testing like an Avenger.

Tight End: Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion (10.00 RAS)

The true avenger of the 2023 NFL Draft class is right here. In a loaded tight end class, the former Penn State tight end grabbed the headlines as the best tester at the position, ever. At 6’7 3/8″ (6073) and 255, Kuntz ran a 4.55 40 (96th percentile), jumped 40 inches in the vertical (99th percentile), jumped 10’8″ in the broad (98th percentile), and crossed the 95th percentile in both the short shuttle and the 3-cone, all while benching 23 reps. His stock in the public eye is way up.

Tight End: Luke Musgrave, Oregon State (9.94u RAS)

Luke Musgrave was tracked at 20+ miles per hour per the Zebra tracking tech at the Senior Bowl, so a good 40 time was in the cards for him. He didn’t break 4.6, running just above it at 4.61, but that was still good enough for the 93rd percentile. His 10’5″ broad jump was in the 96th percentile, and his ability to stretch out the defense vertically and horizontally will be the reason he’s coveted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Tight End: Darnell Washington, Georgia (9.85u RAS)

We knew Darnell Washington would be big (6065, 264 pounds), but a 4.64 (90th percentile) in the 40 was tremendous for him. His 31-inch vert wasn’t good (38th percentile) but he posted an elite broad jump (10’1″) and a ridiculously quick 4.08-second short shuttle (98th percentile). He’s also a phenomenal blocker, so that athleticism combined with the ability to be a third offensive lineman is a big deal.

Tackle: Blake Freeland, BYU (9.82u RAS)

How about a top 25 performance all time from Blake Freeland? The BYU tackle was heavily on radars in 2021, and opted to return for another season in 2022. He has very solid film, especially in pass pro. He came in at 6’7 7/8″ (6077) and 302 pounds, and proceeded to post a 4.98 40 (94th percentile), 37-inch vert (99th percentile), 10′ broad (99th percentile), and a 7.46 second 3-cone (90th percentile).

Guard: Jon Gaines II, UCLA (9.95u RAS)

UCLA guard Atonio Mafi has been getting hype around Twitter recently, but his teammate Jon Gaines showed up big at the combine. His size (6’4″ and 303 pounds) was okay, but he posted above the 94th percentile in the 10-yard split, the 40, the vert, broad jump, short shuttle, and 3-cone. A dominant performance to get him on the 2023 NFL Draft radar.

Guard: Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan (9.93u RAS)

If Gaines was on your radar, Sidy Sow probably was not. The 6’4 3/4″ (6046), 323-pound guard posted elite numbers in everything but the 10-yard split and short shuttle. The Eastern Michigan prospect is now getting some well-deserved looks.

Defensive End: Yaya Diaby, Louisville (9.84u RAS)

The “Yaya Diaby sleeper pick” phase might officially be over. The Louisville defensive end turned heads with a few reps at the Senior Bowl, but he really opened eyes at the combine. Packing power and explosiveness on film, Diaby parlayed that into a strong combine. His 37-inch vertical put him in the 93rd percentile, and a 4.51 40-yard dash at 263 pounds put him at the 99th percentile for the position. Teams who like bigger defensive ends/edge rushers will like Diaby.

Defensive Tackle: Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern (9.85u RAS As Defensive End)

Adebawore won several pass rushing reps down in Mobile, and grabbed the early share of “Avenger” on Thursday at the combine. At 282 pounds (a 3-4 DE or a 3-tech in the NFL), Adebawore ran an otherworldly 4.49 40 yard dash, cutting through the air and gliding on the turf. His 1.61 10-yard split is elite for pass rushers, let alone defensive tackles. His vert and broad were both above the 94th percentile as well. Adebawore has gone from a fringe day two player to a guy that might sneak into the top 40 (and even round one) in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Linebacker: Jack Campbell, Iowa (9.98u RAS)

The film has proven that Jack Campbell can make a play for the top linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft. The one question for him was a potential lack of athleticism to combat quick, explosive players in coverage. Instead of confirming that, Campbell has many going back to the film, coming in as a 98th percentile athlete at linebacker. He dominated the testing, posting an elite 10-yard split, a 97th percentile broad jump (1008), a 98th percentile 3-cone (6.74 seconds), all at 6’4 5/8″ and 249 pounds. In a class of smaller linebackers, Campbell’s elite athleticism at his size stands alone.

Linebacker: Trenton Simpson, Clemson (9.86u RAS)

Trenton Simpson isn’t quite the big linebacker that Campbell is, but 6’2 3/8″ and 235 pounds is pretty darn good for this era. His 25 reps on the bench were impressive, and his 4.43 40-yard dash puts him in the 99th percentile. He didn’t post other tests, but he’s doing Isaiah Simmons-like things athletically.

Cornerback: Deonte Banks, Maryland (9.99 RAS)

The Maryland corners put on a show on Friday, but Deonte Banks was the one who shined the most. Plenty of mock drafts had him as a first-round pick before the combine, anticipating this very moment. At a hair over 6’0″ (6001) and 197 pounds, Banks ran a 4.35 40 (97th percentile), jumped 42 inches in the vert (98th percentile), and jumped 11’2″ in the broad (99th percentile). Combined with impressive film, welcome to the first round.

Cornerback: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon (9.96u RAS)

We knew Christian Gonzalez would be a great athlete. His track numbers were great and he comes from a very athletic family. A 4.38 40 confirmed the speed, and he has great size for the position (6013, 197). His vert (41.5″) and broad jump (11’1″) were above the 97th percentile as well.

Cornerback: Riley Moss, Iowa (9.89u RAS)

Riley Moss just adds to the impressive athletes in the corner class. At 6’0 3/4″ and 193 pounds, Moss ran a 4.45 in the 40 (82nd percentile) and jumped 39 inches in the vertical (90th percentile). Moss has good press technique and should be a day two lock.

Cornerback: Julius Brents, Kansas State (9.82u RAS)

Julius Brents locked up receivers at the Senior Bowl, and did well at the NFL Scouting Combine to further cement his excellent draft process. His elite size (6026, 198 pounds) was confirmed in Mobile, and while his 40 time (4.53) was pretty middle of the road, his short shuttle went over the 90th percentile and his vert, broad, and 3-cone were all above the 97th percentile. Watch out for the Colts at 35 (should they still have the pick) and the Seahawks at 37.

Safety: Daniel Scott, Cal (9.87u RAS)

In a day that was headlined by poor times and testing from the safety class, Daniel Scott stood alone as an elite tester. His 4.45 40 was in the 91st percentile, and his 3-cone (6.75 seconds) was in the 93rd percentile. The explosion tests went well too. He flashes in coverage and could be one of the safeties teams focus on on day three of the 2023 NFL Draft.