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6 Best First Impressions at NFL Combine

Justin Herbert
Former Oregon QB Justin Herbert made a great first impression at NFL Combine | Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NFL combine provides players a platform to show their skills directly to NFL scouts ahead of April's draft. Players can lower or raise their draft stock immensely based on how they do in terms of measurements, drills, and how they answer questions. While Thursday was just the first time the event was held in primetime, several soon-to-be rookies provided an excellent impression as drills got under way.

6. Henry Ruggs III

Henry Ruggs was already considered one of the top wide receivers of this year's draft. With a 4.28 on his first 40-yard dash, Ruggs fell .06 of a second short of tying the all-time record. With his speed, specifically at the wide receiver position, Ruggs is making a case as a top-15 pick in this year's draft.

5. Justin Herbert

Oregon's Justin Herbert has shown he has immense potential, with mock drafts placing him as high as fifth overall. However, Herbert has shown that he may even be worthy of a higher pick. His accuracy on deep throws is incredibly impressive and his 4.69 40 yard dash is solid for a QB. Look for the Herbert vs Tagovailoa argument to remain active until Draft Day.

4. Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson is projected to go 36th overall in this year's NFL Draft. However, with his game being compared to Keenan Allen, running a solid 4.44 40 yard dash and having the most receptions in one season in LSU history, it is safe to say that Jefferson is raising his stock little by little, and may break into the middle of the first round if he keeps this up.

3. Chase Claypool

Claypool has probably added the most to his draft stock out of any player, as he has shown himself to have great size, speed and strength at the wide receiver/tight end position. Claypool improved every season at Notre Dame, and last year was the No. 1 target for their 11-2 team. If Claypool continues to show out on all the physical tests, expect him to keep rising up draft boards.

2. Netane Muti

Netane Muti is just a beast, doing 44 reps of 225 pounds on bench press, good for fourth place all time. The former Fresno State offensive lineman is known as one of the best blockers in the draft, and at 6-3 and 315 pounds, Muti has the size and the strength to back it up. Count on Muti to show off his strength even more during the Combine, which should help propel him higher up draft boards.

1. Jalen Hurts

Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts is an interesting prospect, but needed a standout combine to improve his stock. So far, he has done just that. His 4.59 40-yard dash is very solid for a QB and was the fastest among his position. He also threw the ball impressively well during the drills, and has risen in the projections significantly. The 2019 Heisman runner-up may not be the best quarterback in the draft, but he is definitely improving his stock to the point he could be in the conversation for a second-to-third round prospect.