INDIANAPOLIS — NFL Draft Season is upon us.
With the Senior Bowl in the rearview mirror, the Scouting Combine is the next domino to fall as it arrives at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next week.
In the spirit of this time of year, Pro Football Focus has broken down some of the very best performances by players at the combine over the last 10 years. Parris Campbell and Margus Hunt were considered some of the best performers of the decade.
There have been some historic displays of athletic ability, no doubt. Showing out on the turf in Indy can boost a player's draft stock immensely, causing teams to go back to the tape.
The Indianapolis Colts have a couple of those standout players, according to PFF. Although the Colts didn't land any players officially on PFF's All-2010s Combine Team, two of their players did earn honorable mention with what they did in front of coaches and scouts alike.
Parris Campbell | Wide Receiver | Ohio State | 2019
Judging by Colts head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard's words following Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft, it was love at first sight when it came to them seeing Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Parris Campbell work out in person in their own stadium.
"Well Chris will tell you the first time I saw him on film, I have my eye – there were several guys, Parris was the one guy that really jumped off the tape to me," Reich told reporters. "Just his explosiveness. Playing in the slot, you see all the things he can do, but I really saw some abilities in him that I thought translate and make him not just a slot receiver that you can do a lot of different things with him..."
"His Combine workout was incredible, and look, in that offense he was used a primarily a slot only at Ohio State, and the combine you saw him do things that you never really got to see him do just because of the way he used them," Ballard said. "I mean as a route runner, his hands – I know Frank got intoxicated with him just running around our turf during the Combine. He is an exciting player for us."
Campbell made a huge impression on talent evaluators right away. His official 4.31 time in the 40-yard dash was tied for the fastest among wide receivers at the 2019 event, and was tied for third best at the Combine among all players. Historically, Campbell's time is tied for sixth-fastest among all wide receivers of the 2010s, and tied for 11th-fastest of any player of the decade.
It wasn't just straight-line speed for Campbell, either. He was also tied for the fastest 20-yard short shuttle time (4.03) among wide receivers in 2019, and tied for fourth among all players. That mark is also tied for 25th among wide receivers in the decade.
Continuing on his outstanding explosion scores, Campbell nailed the third-longest broad jump among wide receivers (135 inches), which was also tied for fifth among all players. That ranked tied for sixth among receivers and tied for 14th among all players in the 2010s. His 40-inch vertical was the fifth-highest among wide receivers in 2019, and tied for 13th among all players. It ranks tied for 27th among receivers in the decade.
For good measure, Campbell also put up an adequate 11 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
The scoring portion of Campbell's day concluded there, as he didn't do the three-cone, but his on-field workout in receiver drills also caught people's eye as he glided across the field, picking passes out of the air.
As impressive as Campbell's workout was, and as few players from the entire event bested him in many categories, his rookie Colts teammate Marvell Tell III was one of them. Tell III beat Campbell in the vertical leap (42 inches), broad jump (136 inches) and short shuttle (4.01 seconds).
Margus Hunt | Defensive Lineman | SMU | 2013
While Campbell was finishing up his high school football career at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Colts defensive lineman Margus Hunt was wowing scouts in Indy.
Measuring in at 6'8-1/8", Hunt was tied for second-tallest player at the Combine in 2013.
Before on-field work began, Hunt put up a whopping 38 reps on the bench press, which was tied for the most bench among anyone at the Combine, and was the most among defensive ends (38). To this day, it ranks as the most among any defensive end in the 2010s, and is tied for the 11th-most of any player.
While big, tall guys may normally struggle to get pushing down the field, Hunt didn't, a he ran his 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds. That was the fourth-fasted time among all defensive linemen that year, and is tied for the 11th-fastest among defensive ends of the 2010s.
Hunt continued his big day inside his future home stadium, racking up a vertical of 34-1/2", which was tied for the fourth-highest among all defensive linemen. He also posted the fifth-longest broad jump among defensive linemen (121 inches), which is tied for 29th among defensive ends for the decade.
As much as people may question a big guy's speed, they definitely don't expect them to have much lateral agility, but Hunt squashed that as well. While smaller, quicker guys always shoot for a three-cone time under seven seconds, the 6'8", 277-pound Hunt did it in 7.07 seconds, which was tied for fifth-fastest time among all defensive linemen, and is tied for 28th among all defensive ends in 2010s.
Hunt also put up an impressive time in the short shuttle, completing it in 4.51 seconds, which tied for the 11th-fastest time among defensive ends in 2013.
The performance that Hunt put on display made him a boom-or-bust prospect in the eyes of talent evaluators all over the NFL. The prospect from Estonia who had just began playing football and learning more about the sport just a few years beforehand could do all that, at that size?
Hunt was picked up in the second round of the draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. While it took him awhile to catch on, he signed with the Colts when he hit free agency and has had periods of sheer dominance.