The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is officially a wrap after what felt like a very long two-year break due to the pandemic. All 32 teams were on hand to check out the very best of this year's draft class in the most intense job interview of their careers.
Here are five things to know from this year's NFL Combine:
1. Everything is faster in Texas.
The fastest 40-yard dash time this year was officially clocked at 4.23 seconds by Baylor CB Kalon Barnes, setting a record as the second-fastest DB Combine time since 2003. Baylor became the first school to have three players, Barnes, WR Tyquan Thornton (4.28), S JT Woods (4.36), run a sub-4.4 second 40 at a single Combine since 2003, per NFL Research.
Other Texas schools also shined in the 40-yard dash: UTSA CB Tariq Woolen ran a 4.26 40-yard dash and Sam Houston State's CB Zion McCollum clocked in at 4.33 seconds.
2. Mr. Personality (ies)
The media portion of the NFL Combine is a sure-fire way to stand out, both in a good and bad way, but this year's crop of players definitely shined in the personality department. Some of the notable standouts included NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu who discussed his theater background starring in productions like "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocrats" and starred as the lead dog, Pongo, in "101 Dalmations."
Nebraska OL Cam Jurgens not only excelled in his Combine workout, he also got some free publicity for his side hustle, "Beef Jurgy's Beef Jerky." Jurgens brought plenty of his homemade jerky as a gift when meeting with NFL teams.
And a few prospects stood out without saying a single word.
QB Malik Willis was captured giving his Combine swag gear to a homeless pregnant woman in downtown Indianapolis.
Or how about Brown QB EJ Perry? After running a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and making his throws during QB drills, Perry picked up empty Gatorade bottles and trash on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
3. Lovie love was REAL
Overhead were a pair of beat reporters that used to cover Head Coach Lovie Smith. One was telling the other how different Smith seemed this time around. Smith had just compared Cover-2 schemes to good old R&B, crushed it on the Pat McAfee Show with a walk-off basket on McAfee's indoor basketball court and had his beard scanned for the new Madden game. Everyone wanted to talk to Lovie during his Wednesday press availability.
4. Saving it for the Pro Days
A number of first-round prospects opted out of performing drills at the Combine, choosing instead to defer to their Pro Days. Some of the notable names included Alabama OL Evan Neal, LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr., Liberty QB Malik Willis, Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum and North Carolina QB Sam Howell.
5. Combine on the move?
After 35 years in Indianapolis, the Combine could be on the move for 2023 with the league's contract expiring with the host city. Los Angeles, Dallas and Indianapolis are the three finalists in the running for hosting next year's Combine. Keeping the Combine in Indy seemed to be a consensus among attendees because of the incredible convenience of getting to and around downtown Indianapolis. Also, the technology in place allows near instant transferring of medical imaging from IU Health to Lucas Oil Stadium or vice versa.
As an added push, Indianapolis hospitality folks even handed out plates of the city's famous shrimp cocktails on Thursday morning throughout radio row.