The 2024 NFL Combine, like in past years, can often be overlooked by fans. It's really just a minor aftertaste of the conclusion of the previous NFL season, yet it's also a small appetizer before the 2024 NFL Draft that takes place in April.

For college football fans, it's the last opportunity to see some of their favorites from their favorite teams support their alma mater — “x player from x university” — with their hopes that he might land on their favorite NFL team, should they have one.

But what's really fascinating about the combine is how this three-day event can turn heads and completely change the perception of a player that had previously had at least three years of experience in college. Some players do so impressively in their particular drills that they drastically improve their chances of not just being drafted in a higher round but being drafted at all, while some create the adverse effect. In this case, we're looking at who made a boost in their NFL Draft stock.

Michael Penix Jr., Quarterback – Washington

The Heisman Trophy finalist has been an intriguing quarterback to watch in what will be a loaded quarterback class in the 2024 NFL Draft. Having the type of season he had, including even going back to the previous season, his first at Washington, most were thinking Penix was a shoe-in to be a first-round pick. But that may not necessarily be the case.

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman has noted that Penix could be anywhere from a first-rounder to not being drafted at all. Most of that is due to how injury-prone he has been over his career. But he came into the 2024 NFL combine with no medical issues, per Sporting News. He also showed any scout, coaches, and managers in attendance just how good of a deep ball thrower he was, putting great accuracy on the ball.

It's still hard to say just what this will mean for Penix, but it's fairly easy to say his combine day didn't hurt him.

JJ McCarthy, Quarterback – Michigan

Another quarterback that has had some question marks near his name is the Wolverines' McCarthy. The national champion was part of a team that essentially wasn't asked to do too much, as it was a run-heavy, defensive-led team. However, McCarthy, when he was asked, typically delivered when needed to. The biggest question then became his size and if his frame could take an NFL beating. But coming into the event, McCarthy weighed 219 pounds to his previous 209.

He wasn't always the most accurate on his day, but showed more poise and accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws and deep passes. Plus, he threw one of the hardest balls, hitting 61 mph, which was just behind Tennessee's Joe Milton III. He certainly did enough to impress and boost his draft stock.

Xavier Worthy, Wide Receiver – Texas

We certainly can't forget who had the most eye-popping event of them all, right? Texas' Xavier Worthy broke the 40-yard dash combine record with a time of 4.21 seconds. In the current era of the NFL where speed and receivers are at a premium, Worthy should have no problem finding himself a job with teams salivating watching that type of speed being displayed. Worthy's biggest issue is his slender size.

Chop Robinson, Defensive End – Penn State

There will be quite a few defensive end/edge options in this year's draft class, but Penn State's Chop Robinson could have given himself a major boost at the combine. The 250-pounder ran an astounding 4.48 40-yard dash, which was the fifth-best of any pass rusher his size since 2003, according to USA Today. Playing such a pivotal position, Robinson's impressive day could have made him a day one, first-round draft pick.

RECOMMENDED (Article Continues Below)
GM Eliot Wolf in the middle, JJ McCarthy, Roman Wilson, Blake Fisher around him, and New England Patriots wallpaper in the background

Enzo Flojo ·

Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback – Toledo

The cornerback from Toledo may have put any doubts about his ability to compete at a high level to rest at the 2024 NFL combine. Mitchell ran the 40-yard dash in a remarkable 4.33 seconds, securing the second spot in his position group and tying for third overall. Despite facing some initial challenges during drills, Mitchell's performance suggests that he could fall somewhere in the middle of the draft order, in the first round, with several teams in need of a cornerback closely eyeing his progress.

Isaac Guerendo, Running Back – Louisville

This Louisville running back had a very impressive day. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33, the fastest of any at the position at the event. He hit a whopping 24.08 mph, with the next closest being Tennessee's Jaylen Wright at 23.70 mph, per Next Gen Stats. Additionally, his 41 1/2-inch vertical leap led his position group, while his 10-9 broad jump ranked second. Despite limited college usage while with the Cardinals, Guerendo's powerful running style is evident, positioning him to be selected ahead of more experienced peers based on his immense potential.