When wide receiver Marquez North announced after the 2015 season he would forgo his senior season with the Vols and enter the NFL draft, his decision was met with confusion and skepticism by a large portion of fans and analysts alike. After an injury-riddled career that saw his production dwindle every season after his freshman campaign, North’s prospects didn’t look great.
But if there’s one thing Vol fans and scouts know it’s that North’s measurables stack up with just about any other receiver in the country. And he’s proved as much at the NFL combine this weekend.
North started out his impressive performance on Friday afternoon/evening when he turned in 17 reps of the 225 pound bench press. His output tied him for fifth-best among the over 40 wide receivers at the combine.
On Saturday, North continued his impressive performance by running a 4.49 40-yard dash on his first run and then clocking an official 4.48 run on his second attempt. His time was tied for ninth-best at his position, and he ran the same time as Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Both receivers were on the same field twice over the last two seasons when the Vols and Sooners faced each other in 2014 and 2015.
North then posted a 35 inch vertical jump, tying him with a handful of other receivers with the 15th-best vertical jump. North’s 10-foot 3-inch broad jump tied him for 13th-best at that event. North then completed the 3-cone drill in 6.9 seconds, giving him the 10th-best time among receivers. And his 20-yard shuttle time was his best performance of the day, as he finished tied for the fourth-best time in the drill by finishing it in 4.13 seconds.
North also looked good during the wide receiver skill drills:
— Mickey Ryan (@MickeyRyan1045) February 27, 2016
Despite his lack of overall statistical success for the Vols in his three-year college career, North has always been a physical specimen. He always looked the part, and he had the physical tools to be a top-level performer. Injuries and other factors kept him from reaching his potential in college.
North has posted similar numbers at the combine as the aforementioned Shepard and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, both phenomenal athletes who are expected to be drafted. North has similar physical characteristics of those two despite both Shepard and Miller having much better college careers.
Marquez North may not be drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, but there’s a good chance he’ll still be taken on as an undrafted free agent to be looked at in an NFL camp. North has always had the tools to succeed, but he just needs to stay healthy to have success in the NFL.