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NFL Scouting Combine Spotlight: Christian Haynes

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UConn offensive lineman Christian Haynes (64) celebrates after a play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in East Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

This week the annual NFL Scouting Combine is taking place in Indianapolis. A total of 319 draft prospects were invited. The list includes eight prospects from New England schools, who will be featured on Patriots Football Now during the week. Previously highlighted players included Holy Cross guard C.J. Hanson and UConn edge defender Eric Watts. Today’s spotlight shines on an offensive guard from UConn, Christian Haynes.

The Bristol, Md. native did not have much success in the win column during his college career but it did not stop him from getting noticed. Haynes went from a relatively lightly recruited high school recruit (Virginia was his only Power 5 Conference offer) to one of the hottest players entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

Connecticut Husky

Christian Haynes is a sixth-year senior, with UConn not playing in the 2020 COVID season. He became a full-time starter in his redshirt freshman year. Haynes would go on to start the final 49 games of his college career. He wasn’t just durable, he was extremely productive.

Haynes broke onto the scene in 2022. Pro Football Focus graded him as the best pass-blocking guard in college football and third-best guard overall. He followed that up with another Top 10 ranking in 2023.

The Associated Press named Christian Haynes to their third-team All-American Team in both 2022 and 2023. For a player from a small school with limited success, this is especially impressive. Even more so for an offensive guard who is unable to rack up flashy individual stats.

NFL Draft

Christian Haynes has good measurables, He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 317 pounds. He is one of the prospects who appear to have already filled out their frame and looks comfortable and mobile at his size. He ran a 5.03 in the 40-yard dash, fifth fasting among guards. All four faster players were lighter, including Hanson who weighed in at 300 pounds. The Huky recorded the third most benchpress reps and fourth-highest vertical jump among guards.

Haynes was voted by opposing players as the top offensive lineman during the week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl. He is a tough competitor with outstanding technique. This showed up in positional drills at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Christian Haynes established himself as a legit NFL prospect with a great 2022 season. Everything he has done since has only bolstered his stock. After a great Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, Haynes could be the first offensive guard selected at the 2024 NFL Draft. Under no circumstances should he still be on the board after Day 2.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.