Former Pitt running back Qadree Ollison was in attendance for the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and he held his own in drills designed to test quickness, speed and strength. However, his results were a bit of a mixed bag, as he also placed last in two drills.
Ollison finished among the top performers at his position in three of the six events he participated in, including the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the 20-yard shuttle. In the 40-yard dash, Ollison posted an official time of 4.58 seconds, ranking 13th out of 23 participants. He also topped the time of James Conner, his former Pitt teammate, who ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds in 2017.
The native of Niagara Falls, New York, fared similarly in the bench press, as he just made the list of top performers by putting up 19 reps, which was good for 15th place among 26 participants. However, Ollison struggled in the jumping events, as his 29.5-inch vertical jump ranked 22nd out of 24 recorded jumps and his 114-inch broad jump ranked dead last out of a group of 22 running backs.
Ollison also posted a last-place time in the three-cone drill, finishing in 7.53 seconds. But he would bounce back in the 20-yard shuttle, which he ran in 4.31 seconds. That performance provided him with his only top-10 finish of the day, as he tied for eighth place and was once again listed among the top performers at his position.
Aside from his performance in the 20-yard shuttle, Ollison’s showing at the combine may not have done much to boost his draft stock. In every event other than the bench press, he fared worse than former Pitt receiver and return specialist Quadree Henderson, who ultimately went undrafted in 2018.
Another telling comparison is how he stacked up against former Pitt cornerback Avonte Maddox. Both went into the combine with much to prove, and Maddox distinguished himself by finishing among the top 10 performers at his position in six of seven drills. Even with that eye-opening performance, Maddox wasn’t selected until the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft.
With that said, Ollison’s combine results were eerily similar to Conner’s in 2017, as his 40 time was just over a half-second faster, his vertical leap was a half-inch longer, he performed one fewer bench press rep than Conner, and he beat his broad jump by an inch. Conner went in the third round of the 2017 draft but was also a higher-profile player in a more prominent role on a better Pitt team.
Given all that, there’s a possibility that a team could take a chance on Ollison in the draft, but he might not hear his name called until the later rounds. He could also get looked over and sign as an undrafted free agent. In any case, Ollison's future will become clearer when the NFL draft gets underway in late April.