There was plenty to ponder as NFL personnel and prospects departed Indianapolis following a 2018 Scouting Combine with lots of high points, as dozens of players exceeded expectations.
We take a close look at 11 prospects who particularly stood out with their Combine showing and then discuss four who created more questions than answers:
--Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF
Griffin was the story of the 2018 Scouting Combine. At 227 pounds, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, adding 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench and a 9-feet-9 broad jump. Griffin, who had his left hand amputated at the age of 4, has surpassed expectations most of his life and the Combine wasn't any different. Talking to scouts after the Senior Bowl, most projections for the UCF linebacker were fourth or fifth round, but a spot in the top 100 picks is now possible.
--D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Entering the Combine as the No. 2 wide receiver (behind Calvin Ridley) on my draft board, Moore came in taller and faster than expected. Listed at 5-11 on the Maryland roster, he measured at 6-feet exactly and turned in a blazing 4.42 40-yard dash. Moore also impressed in the vertical (39.5 inches), broad jump (11 feet), three-cone (6.95 seconds) and short shuttle (4.07 seconds). He went from a second-round pick to a possible first-round pick.
--Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The NFL world already knew Barkley was an athletic freak, but that didn't make his Combine performance any less exciting. At 233 pounds, he registered a 4.40 40-yard dash with a 41-inch vertical and 29 reps on the bench press. Arguably the best prospect in the 2018 draft class, Barkley is far from a perfect prospect on tape, but his athletic and strength profile is among the best at the running back position in recent memory.
--Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Barkley wasn't the only ex-Nittany Lion to turn heads at Lucas Oil Stadium as Gesicki tested off the charts. Gesicki is more of an overgrown wide receiver than traditional tight end, so it is tough to find a comparable data point among past tight end prospects. At 6-5 and 247 pounds, Gesicki clocked a 4.54 40-yard, 41.5-inch vertical, 10-feet-9 broad jump, 6.76 three-cone drill and 4.10 short shuttle. He can be a dangerous NFL mismatch weapon if used correctly.
--Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Although he had already earned a spot in the top 20 on my draft board, Alexander had plenty of doubters entering the Combine. His performance in Indianapolis should help quiet those with concerns. Even more impressive than his 4.38 40-yard dash was his short shuttle (3.98) and three-cone (6.71) times. Alexander, who also posted a 35-inch vertical, is slightly undersized at 5-10 and 196 pounds, but he cemented his status as a first-round prospect.
--Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Although the 2018 NFL Draft class lacks a Julio Jones or A.J. Green type of wideout, St. Brown is prospect with the potential to be a true No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL -- and his testing numbers support that thought. At 6-5 and 214 pounds, he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash and put up 20 reps on the bench press. Although he doesn't play as strong as he benched and needs to polish his routes, St. Brown has an intriguing ceiling once NFL coaches get their hands on him.
--Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
After leading the FBS in sacks in 2016, Landry had a forgettable senior season due to injury. However, he helped remind scouts why he is deserving of first-round consideration. At 6-2 and 252 pounds with 33-inch arms, Landry ran a 4.64 40-yard dash with a 1.58 10-yard split, 6.88 three-cone and 36-inch vertical. Cut from the same cloth as Vic Beasley, Landry should hear his name called on night one of the draft.
--Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
An ascending prospect, Vander Esch had a breakout junior campaign and his star continues to shine. At 6-4 and 256 pounds with 34-inch arms, the Idaho native ran a 4.65 40-yard dash with a 39.5-inch vertical, 6.88 three-cone and 4.15 short shuttle. Vander Esch has his flaws, but he showed steady improvement throughout the 2017 season and with his athletic profile, he could very well crack the first round.
--Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Ward continues the Ohio State cornerback pipeline. Yes, he was expected to run fast, but hype creates pressure on top prospects to perform up to expectations. Ward didn't disappoint. His week started strong, measuring at 5-11 with 31 1/4-inch arm length. And it finished even stronger with a 4.32 40-yard dash, 1.47 10-yad split, 39-inch vertical and 11-foot-4 broad jump. For those doing mock drafts, Ward is a top-10 lock.
--Justin Reid, FS, Stanford
Although his tape is pedestrian, Reid will have scouts revisiting his film after his impressive Combine performance. For a 207-pound safety, he clocked a 4.40 40-yard dash and a remarkable 6.65 three-cone time. Reid, who is the younger brother of 2013 first-round pick Eric Reid, also hit 36.5-inches in the vertical, 10-feet-8 in the broad jump and 4.15 in the short shuttle. His draft arrow is pointing north.
--Troy Apke, SS, Penn State
A former wideout recruit, Apke moved to safety in college and finally got his chance to be a starter as a senior. While his 2017 film was a pleasant surprise, his workout numbers in Indianapolis were almost shocking. Apke checks the boxes for speed (4.34 40-yard dash), lower body explosion (41-inch vertical and 10-feet-11 broad jump) and short-area redirection skills (6.56 three cone and 4.03 short shuttle). That athleticism didn't translate to coverage in college, but he can run and hit.
--Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
A heavy-footed player, Brown didn't have to be the best athlete among the offensive linemen at the Combine, he just couldn't be the worst. And unfortunately for the former Sooner, he turned in a historically poor performance, finishing last in the 40-yard dash (5.85), vertical (19.5 inches), broad jump (6-feet-10), short shuttle (5.38) and bench press (14). Brown is able to compensate for his lack of athleticism on the field with his wide base and wingspan, but the low numbers he posted in Indianapolis will be an anchor on his draft grade, most likely out of the top-two rounds.
--Hercules Mata'afa, DE, Washington State
On film, it is tough to find a defensive lineman with a better get-off burst than Mata'afa, who posted 47 tackles for loss the last three seasons. However, NFL teams are concerned about his "fit" at the next level and his athletic testing numbers won't help ease concerns. Mata'afa managed only 31.5 inches in the vertical, 9 feet in the broad jump and 7.24 in the three-cone -- not awful numbers, but not what evaluators were hoping for.
--Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
Tate, who struggled to gain separation in college, wasn't expected to turn heads with his speed, but not many expected a 4.68 40-yard dash either. At 6-5 and 228 pounds, he managed only 31 inches in the vertical and 9-feet-4 in the broad jump. With his size and highpoint skills, Tate can find a job in the NFL, but with his pedestrian athleticism, it will be tough for him to carve out a starting role.
--Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Another disappointing Seminole prospect, McFadden produced quality numbers in the vertical (38.5 inches) and broad jump (10-feet-1), but cornerback is a stopwatch position and the 40-yard dash matters more than at any other position. And McFadden managed only 4.67 on Monday, confirming the concerns many evaluators had about his straight-line speed. A move to safety might be in his future -- based on his tape and the testing numbers.