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The NFL Scouting Combine is home to many realizations as well as league-wide unfoldings, however, these 5 storylines may be the biggest to follow.

(From left) Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young. Edit courtesy of Chris Easterling, Akron Beacon Journal

  1. The Consensus Top 4 QBs: The combine will be an important event for each of the major 1st round QB prospects in this class. From Bryce Young’s measurements to Anthony Richardson’s footwork, there is something at stake for all of these guys. Something I’ll be keeping a keen eye on is how the two major upside guys, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, look in their development as it pertains to timing and footwork in the throwing drills. On the flip side, the athletic testing of C.J. Stroud could solidify him as the class’s QB1. And then you have one of the biggest draft storylines in Bryce Young’s measurements. Does he come in heavier than 190 lbs? Is he taller than 5’10”? This is an important event for a QB class where each guy has their flaws.

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2. A Deep Edge Class: Outside of Will Anderson Jr. there has not been a prospect to insert himself in the conversation as the slam dunk selection for the second-best edge guy. While this class is deep, it lacks top-end talent. I’m wanting to see which of the edge rushers can blow away the athletic testing or separate themselves by showing bend and explosion in the pass-rushing drills. From names like Will McDonald IV, Andre Carter II, and BJ Ojulari, will someone emerge and cement their draft stock heading into April?

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3. The “Freaks”: Prospects like Tre Tucker, Quentin Johnston, Mazi Smith (pictured above), Myles Murphy, and the aforementioned Andre Carter II are all known for feats of incredible athleticism. I’m extremely intrigued by how their combine athletic testing goes and will be looking forward to seeing them perform.

4. Number 1 Overall Trade Talks: The NFL Combine happens to be where numerous trade deals take shape due to teams having a chance to sit down together and discuss potential trades. Many such discussions are sure to involve the number 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft which is currently held by the Chicago Bears. Smokescreens are sure to be leaked, but I have a hard time believing GM Ryan Poles and the Bears don’t start the process of gathering offers and going through their options.

5. New League Rules: The NFL Combine also happens to be the place where the NFL Competition Committee meets and discusses potential rule changes for the new league year. The ability to make “roughing the passer” calls reviewable by replay has already been brought to the table. What other new rules will be discussed and do any of them happen to gather enough votes to make it a legit change? It’s a storyline worth paying attention to.

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