Coming out of high school Noah Wanzek was a bit of an unknown in the football world. The former Mr. Basketball candidate from Jamestown, ND was known for his prowess on the court but not as much for his work on the field.
I remember when when UND was recruiting Wanzek and word came out they had offered him. It brought a smile to my face because it reminded me a bit of my high school days – of being a taller ‘basketball player’ that chose football for a number of reasons. One of them was size.
Wanzek is a 6’4″-208 pound wide receiver. That kind of height is what can set a player apart in football. On the basketball court Wanzek would’ve been just another guy. On the football field he was a mismatch.
Fast forward four years and here we are – that 6’4″ basketball player who took a shot at being a wide receiver is now training for his shot at the NFL. 203 catches, 2,696 yards and 18 TD’s as a Fighting Hawk – not bad – and let’s remember that was in a run-first, TE-heavy offense his first three seasons.
Wanzek has completed two combine-type testing sessions over the past couple months. The first was in Indianapolis at an NSC event. The second was last week at the Sanford Pro Day in Sioux Falls. His results were quite impressive. Here is a chart of his best testing numbers side-by-side with several former FBS/FCS/D2 wide receivers that all made it in the NFL:
The first thing you will notice is Wanzek’s 38″ vertical he notched at the NSC event. He leaped 35″ at Sanford so there is some variance based on who measures your arm, etc. Either way, it is an impressive number for a guy his size.
Second, doesn’t matter who is measuring the broad jump – 10’3″ is an outstanding number and it is what it is no matter the site.
Wanzek is a half-step slower than Kenny Golladay in the 40 yard dash but beats him or is comparable to him in most other categories (times can vary by event and who is running the test but the numbers are very close regardless).
We were also told that Wanzek took the Wonderlic test and scored a 36 (Cooper Kupp got a 37, Joe Burrow got a 34, Tua Tagovailoa got a 13). That is a very good number and it shows Wanzek’s ability to think quickly and process information. The UND staff repeatedly praised him for this ability over the years.
Wanzek is represented by agent Fred Howard of Authentic Athletix. The agency is owned by Peter Schaffer, who is a fairly prominent agent in the business, having represented Barry Sanders, Willie Roaf, Jerome Bettis, etc along with active players C.J. Anderson, Joe Mixon, and Dion Lewis.
If I had to guess Wanzek’s best shot is a undrafted free agent spot with a team. His size, leaping ability and hands will be attractive to teams looking to find the next Adam Thielen. One thing to remember is that rookie camps probably aren’t going to happen this year or at least for awhile so getting a UDFA spot on a team is a very big deal in 2020.
Some kids just deserve a shot through simply showing talent, hard work and a great attitude. Wanzek would fall square in that category. Did we mention he graduated in 3.5 years?
The NFL Draft begins Thursday night and continues into the weekend. UDFA spots usually begin to leak Saturday night into Sunday.
Below is a recent workout video recorded by Scott Nelson that shows Wanzek running a variety of routes. One takeaway: Noah’s catch radius is unbelievable.
Had a great time yesterday filming some routes with Mason Kurtz of NFL hopeful Noah Wanzek! Excited to see which team gives Noah an opportunity to chase his dream! A big, physical wide receiver that runs detailed routes and loves to work!!
Posted by Scott Nelson on Monday, April 20, 2020
Photo courtesy of National Scouting Combine.