Photo of J.J. Nelson
Drafted By: Cardinals

Combine Results

5.0 ?
  • 4.28 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 36.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 127.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.02 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.15 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.89 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Nelson was an NFL combine invite who made the most of his opportunity by turning in a 4.28 40-yard dash. He severely undersized to see time at wide receiver for the Cardinals, but he brings good value as a return specialist. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 5'10" Height
  • 31 1/8" Arm Length
  • 156LBS. Weight
  • 8 1/4" Hands



Shows short-area quickness, with an ability to open a throwing window on comeback routes. Has plus hands. Shows good concentration in traffic and does an above-average job of high-pointing ball and competing for throws. Grabs it, tucks it and gets moving quickly. Return specialist. Returns punts and kicks. Had dominant season as kick returner with 38.7 return average and four touchdowns.


Tiny receiver. Very timid in run blocking, with little desire to try to help as run blocker. Lacks suddenness and twitch off the ball expected from smaller receivers. Routes are rounded and lack sharpness for separation. Play speed underneath is marginal. Lacks shiftiness after catch to be consistent catch-and-run threat as a pro.

Draft Projection

Round 7 or priority free agent

Bottom Line

Rail-thin slot receiver at the next level, but missing the suddenness and "after-the-catch" talent desired for that position. Getting drafted might be a long shot, but his kick-return numbers will have teams taking a close look at him as a specialist.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.