On Saturday, quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers were in action at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and former Pitt receivers Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson were in town to put their skills on display.
For Pitt fans following the developments at the combine, Weah was the story of the day, as he finished among the top performers at his position in five of the showcase’s seven primary drills, posting a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, a 38-inch vertical jump, a 129-inch broad jump, an 11.88-second 60-yard shuttle and 15 bench-press reps.
Weah’s impressive 4.43-second 40 time tied notable prospects like Alabama’s Calvin Ridley and Clemson’s Deon Cain. It also bested the times of other big-name NFL hopefuls, like Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown and Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, putting to rest any lingering concerns about the former Pitt receiver’s speed and solidifying his status as a top prospect.
In addition to exhibiting his quickness and athleticism, Weah also looked sure-handed in his catching drills, flawlessly running a gauntlet of seven short passes from his left and right and reeling in a deep pass from Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White.
PITT WR Jester Weah catching dimes at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/DuN9u3kcx0— WR COACH (@Coach4WR) March 3, 2018
Henderson fell short of matching Weah’s success on Saturday, but he did finish as a top performer in three of the seven primary drills, with a 4.50-second 40-yard dash, a 6.89-second three-cone drill and a 4.28-second 20-yard shuttle. At the very least, it seems he proved his decision to forgo his senior season and declare for the draft was warranted.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein was particularly impressed with Henderson, as he predicts he will go in the fourth or fifth round of the draft. He also gushed about his return ability and potential as a slot receiver in his analysis:
“Henderson’s lack of hesitation and his ability to get to top speed quickly and stay there is what gives him a shot at having early success as both a punt and kick returner. While Henderson could have an NFL career as a return man only, he has enough potential to warrant a roster spot as both a return man and a slot for teams looking for a playmaker.”
Zierlein wasn’t quite as taken with Weah, though, as he has him pegged as a fifth- or sixth-round selection and still says he “lacks the early speed to run past corners.” Of course, much of his analysis focused on Weah’s performance at Pitt, and opinion on the former Panther should likely trend in a more positive direction in the wake of the combine.
Between Weah and Henderson, Pitt placed a top performing wide receiver in each of the combine’s seven primary drills. Their performances came after an excellent showing from former Pitt offensive lineman Brian O’Neill on Friday and will be followed by performances from former Pitt defensive backs Jordan Whitehead and Avonte Maddox on Monday.