March 6, 2017
Day three of the NFL Combine was all about big men running fast. It is the first day that the term “tweener” (a player who falls between two positions) was used a good bit.
The defensive linemen were split into two groups. Group one featured what could be the top pick in the draft in Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M University.
Garrett ran a great 4.64 second 40-yard dash, and the rest of his measurables were outstanding. He breezed through most of the on-the-field drills and took part in linebacker drills.
There is no way he wouldn’t last past the top five picks in the draft. A team at the top could overreach on a quarterback, but Garrett is going to be special.
Jonathan Allen out of the University of Alabama ran a 5.00-second 40-yard dash. Allen is going to go in the first round at some point, and he showed his skills in measurables and on-the-field drills.
Two former University of Mississippi players were in group one, Fadol Brown and D.J. Jones. Brown ended up with a solid day that wasn’t special, but he didn’t hurt himself with his 4.94-second 40-yard dash.
On the other hand, Jones was impressive for a 320-pound player who will play nose guard and defensive tackle. He ran a 5.04 second in the 40-yard dash. A team that needs some help stopping the run is going to have to go back and watch Jones’ tape. The former Rebel helped himself at the Combine.
Other players in group one who helped themselves were Daeshon Hall out of Texas A&M, Trey Hendrickson out of Florida Atlantic University, Taco Charlton out of the University of Michigan and Carl Lawson out of Auburn University.
Group two featured Haason Reddick out of Temple University. If you don’t know who Reddick is, get to know him because he is a first-round pick with his 4.52-second 40-yard dash.
He worked with the defensive linemen, but at 237 pounds, he will be a linebacker at the next level. He ran well all day, and his measurables were solid as made himself a top pick.
Tim Williams out of Alabama is another player who will be linebacker at the next level with a 4.68-second 40-yard dash. He will be in the mix for a first- or early-second-round pick.
Other players who helped themselves were Stevie Tu’ikolovatu out of the University of Southern California, Soloman Thomas out of Stanford University, Pita Taumoepenu out of the University of Utah, and Derek Rivers and Avery Moss out of Youngstown State University.
Defensive line is going to another position that is deep in this year’s draft.
During the last group of day three, linebackers worked out, but a notable name was missing. Reuben Foster out of Alabama was sent home after getting into an argument with medical staff at the Combine.
That is going to raise questions about the young man, as he missed a chance at the biggest job interview of his young life. Coaches are going to want to know the whole story before drafting him.
Overall this was a fast group of linebackers, with several players running under 4.7 seconds in the in the 40-yard dash. Jabrill Peppers out of Michigan led the group with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash.
Peppers will be a defensive back at the next level, but he did well in the linebacker drills. He will take part in the defensive back drills on day four.
Ben Boulware out of Clemson University struggled in several of the drills. Boulware didn’t run the 40, which hurts, for a player scouts think is slow. He needs a good Pro Day because he looks like a day-three pick.
Raekwon McMillan out of Ohio State University ran a great time at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He looked good in the on-the-field drills and moved well overall. McMillan will be gone at the latest early day two.
T.J. Watt out of the University of Wisconsin showed well. He comes from a good bloodline, as his brother is J.J. Watt, an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Houston Texans. He will be a day-two pick but will be productive early.
Other linebackers who did well in drills were Alex Anzalone out of the University of Florida, Blair Brown out of Ohio University, Jayon Brown out of the University of California, Los Angeles, Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt University and Duke Riley out of Louisiana State University.