Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Charles Goldman

Remembering top combine performances from current Kansas City Chiefs players

The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is soon to get underway with draft prospects participating in on-field drills and workouts that will help shape the thoughts of NFL decision-makers.

The Kansas City Chiefs have a long history of adding top performers at the combine. As recently as last season, the Chiefs drafted a player who was a top performer in a specific drill. A good showing could change the perception of players for a team, but it could also just reinforce what teams already knew. This goes beyond the on-field testing and drills portion, applying to team interviews and medicals as well.

Buy Chiefs Tickets

With on-field workouts for the NFL Scouting Combine set to begin on Thursday afternoon, we’re looking back at some of the players currently on the roster in Kansas City who were among the top performers at the combine over the years.

DE Frank Clark (2015)

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Short shuttle: 4.05 seconds

Vertical jump: 38.5 inches

I know it’s hard to think back to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, but Frank Clark posted a great performance back in the day. His short shuttle time ranked in the 97th percentile among all edge rushers to participate in the combine. Only Alex McCallister has posted a better time among the position group since 2016. Clark’s vertical jump was also considered an elite score, ranking in the 93rd percentile among edge rushers. We got a chance to see a version of Clark in 2022 that was closer to this version with the changes he made to his diet this offseason.

OL Joe Thuney (2016)

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

40-yard dash: 4.95 seconds

It’s getting more and more common to see offensive linemen running a 40-yard dash in under five seconds, but it’s still fairly rare. As of last season, aggregate data from the NFL Scouting Combine showed that the average 40-yard dash time by an offensive lineman is just 5.27 seconds. Thuney’s 40-yard dash time in 2016 ranked in the 97th percentile among offensive guards. It was also the second-best mark by an offensive lineman that season, with Jason Spriggs’ 4.94 mark taking home the top prize.

QB Patrick Mahomes (2017)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3-cone: 6.88 seconds

Short shuttle: 4.08 seconds

Mahomes’ performance at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine didn’t exactly blow anyone away, but it did somewhat tip the cards for the future. He earned top marks in the 3-cone and short shuttle for the quarterback group in 2017. His short shuttle ranked in the 93rd percentile among quarterbacks, while the 3-cone ranked in the 87th percentile. Those specific drills measure flexibility, burst, balance, agility and change in direction. They’re also greater indicators of game speed, which has often been on display when Mahomes scrambles. He’s maintained for a while now that all he has to do is just be faster than the guy that’s chasing him.

LB Willie Gay Jr. (2020)

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Broad Jump: 136 inches

40-yard dash: 4.46 seconds

Gay Jr.’s athleticism was again on full display in Kansas City during Super Bowl LVII. He was drafted with that in mind after an impressive performance during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, which showcased his rare athleticism. Gay Jr. posted a broad jump that finished in the 99th percentile, showcasing his burst and explosion. His 40-yard dash was equally as impressive, finishing in the 97th percentile at 6-foot-1 and 243 pounds.

CB Jaylen Watson (2022)

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Bench press: 18 repetitions

Only three cornerbacks did the bench press during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and Watson was one of them. Watson’s 18 repetitions aren’t exactly Arkansas CB Chris Houston’s record-holding 27 repetitions from the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine, but they were the top number from last year. They ranked in the 81st percentile among all cornerbacks to participate in the combine.

DE George Karlaftis (2022)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Short shuttle: 4.36 seconds

Vertical jump: 38 inches

For a player that was supposed to be rather stiff coming out of college, Karlaftis impressed during his time at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Even though others in his class bested his vertical jump, it ranked in the 91st percentile among edge rushers. His vert certainly showed up during the course of the season, when he boasted the top number of batted balls among rookie edge defenders. As for the short shuttle, Only Jeffrey Gunter (4.35) and Nik Bonitto (4.23) posted better times than Karlaftis in 2022.

LB Leo Chenal (2022)

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Vertical jump: 40.5 inches

Broad jump: 128 inches

Chenal’s performance in Super Bowl LVII served as a reminder that he was one of the most athletic linebackers in the 2022 NFL draft class. We saw his explosion pop when playing downhill in the run game against the Eagles’ rushing attack. That was the case at the combine as well. His vertical jump tied for the second-best mark at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, only falling behind Georgia’s Channing Tindall. His broad jump tied for the third-best mark among linebackers as well. The vertical jump ranked in the 96th percentile among off-ball linebackers, while the broad jump ranked in the 94th percentile.

RB Isiah Pacheco (2022)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

40-yard dash: 4.37 seconds

Looking back at the 2022 NFL season, this rookie running back might be better remembered for his powerful running style as opposed to his speed. Yet, he was one of the fastest running backs in the 2022 NFL draft class. Pacheco’s 4.37s 40-yard dash tied South Dakota State RB Pierre Strong Jr. for the best mark among running backs at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. It was the fastest time posted at the position since Elijah Mitchell posted a 4.38s time at the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine and ranked in the 95th percentile among RBs to participate in the event.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.