What Ole Miss’ Dayton Wade said of NFL combine snub, why Rebels Pro Day was so important


OXFORD — Ole Miss football wide receiver Dayton Wade made all the peer-to-peer comparisons. He’s done the research on other players his size. Still, he was surprised not to receive an invitation to the 2024 NFL Draft combine.

Wade finished with 830 receiving yards in 2023 to rank seventh in the SEC. Every other receiver in the top 10 who elected to start a professional career was invited to the combine in Indianapolis. His name was left off the list.

“A lot of players I beat, you know what I’m saying?” Wade said Wednesday. “A lot of players I had better stats (than). I’m not gonna let that get to me, because at the end of the day the cream is gonna rise to the top. … That’s how I’m approaching it.”

Wade, listed at 5-foot-9, 176 pounds, was back inside the Manning Center for the Rebels’ Pro Day event ‒ a key chance for him to showcase his skills to scouts, considering his combine snub.

All 32 NFL teams had representatives in Oxford to watch Wade and several other Rebels work out. Wade ran his 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds, completed the shuttle drill in 4.25 seconds and posted a 10’5 in the broad jump.

“It was very, very, very important for me,” Wade said. “I felt like today was a day where I could showcase the things that people think that I didn’t get to showcase during the season. … Hopefully, I showed them what they wanted to see.”

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Wade is generating some interest from NFL organizations. He’s got visits scheduled with the Baltimore Ravens and his hometown Atlanta Falcons, he said. He is not included in most draft projections.

The 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit.

Wade said he’ll be watching – but without much company.

“I’mma watch it, but in solitary,” Wade said, putting his chin in his hand as if deep in thought. “You know? I don’t really want everybody around me like, ‘Yo, come on,’ rubbing my back ‒ I don’t need all that. It really don’t matter how I get into the league, it’s what I do when I get there. So I don’t really wanna hear the outside noise and whatnot.”

David Eckert covers Ole Miss for the Clarion Ledger. Email him at deckert@gannett.com or reach him on Twitter @davideckert98.

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