On day 3 of the combine, it was time to get to the money makers on defense, the pass rushers and run stuffers, as we progressed into the front 7’s on defense. This was 1 of the deepest drafts in recent years for good front 7 guys and they proved it, putting up fast numbers in the forty and big numbers on the bench press. Without further ado, let’s get right into the highlights of the defensive line and linebackers in the 2016 NFL Combine.
Joey Bosa – Ohio State – At 1 point Bosa was looked at as the #1 pick overall, now, he’s fighting to stay in the top 5. Bosa didn’t help himself with a 4.86 forty. He is more looking like he can be a great 2nd DE on a team instead of a top #1 DE. Teams will look at him as an OLB, but he should be a 4-3 DE.
Noah Spence – Eastern Kentucky – Spence was not only average on the field drills, but people said he was also “shaky” in the interview process. He went into this draft possibly being the #3 pick and he will be leaving possibly falling out of the top 10. He will likely be placed as a 3-4 OLB.
DeForest Buckner – Oregon – Buckner didn’t help, but also didn’t hurt himself. He has the hype going for him right now and it looking like he could go #3, #6, or #7 overall as a very tall 3-4 DE.
Andrew Billings – Baylor – Billings was solid, but not spectacular. He will be a best fits as a 4-3 DT or a big 3-4 DE. He got 31 bench press reps to show his strength. He will be a 1st round pick.
Shaq Lawson – Clemson – Everything that we expected from Lawson was proved. He has solid speed, 4.70 forty, he has good power, even though he didn’t do the bench press, and he has a quick 1st step, which is all you want from a pass rusher. He should go in the teens as a 4-3 DE, can also play 3-4 OLB.
Robert Nkemdiche – Ole Miss – For someone that has a bunch of talent, Nkemdiche really is screwing himself. He has it all physically, but can’t keep himself from doing dumb things off the field, and with the heightened awareness of that sort of stuff, teams will my take him right off their board completely.
A’Shawn Robinson – Alabama – Robinson may possibly be on the edge of being a top 10 pick. He did what was expected and he fits perfect as a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT. He will likely the 1st DT off the board.
Emmanuel Ogbah – Oklahoma State – One of the 2 most impressive D-Linemen on day 3 was Ogbah. At 6’4 273 pounds, he ran a 4.62 forty, 20 bench press reps, and a 10 foot 1 inch broad jump.
Helped Their Stock:
Charles Tapper – Oklahoma – Before the combine Tapper was supposed to go anywhere from round 3 to round 5. This performance probably locked him in as a day 2 pick. At 6’3 271 pounds, Tapper ran a 4.59 forty with 23 bench press reps. He also matched Ogbah’s 1.59 ten yard split. Great combine for him.
Myles Jack – UCLA – Jack skipped most of his drills, but everyone knows how good he is and will be taken likely in the top 6 picks of the draft. He is a versatile LB who can play on the inside, outside, and even had more than a few carries at RB for the Bruins. He probably has enough athleticism to play Strong Safety.
Reggie Ragland – Alabama – Ragland will be a 1st round pick and probably the 1st true ILB taken. He ran a solid 4.72 forty, but he is a tackling machine and will be a stud, run stuffing, ILB.
Darren Lee – Ohio State – Going into the weekend, Lee was expected to be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick, but with his combine numbers, he likely earned himself some money as a 1st round pick. Lee ran a 4.47 forty, a crazy 1.55 ten yard split, and a ridiculous 11 foot 1 inch broad jump.
Helped Their Stock:
BJ Goodson – Clemson – One player that definitely made the combine his own was Goodson. He ran a fast forty of 4.69 seconds, the most bench press reps at 30, and a solid 9 foot 10 inch broad jump. He may have got himself into the 2nd round.
Today showed that the future is bright for the defensive side of the football. As the years go on, bigger guys get drafted and seem to be stronger and faster than the previous year. Some of the players today ran faster than WRs that ran yesterday, which is scary. The next article will highlight the ones who put on a show for the Combine viewers, the Defensive backs. With Jalen Ramsey heading the group, the defensive backs as a whole maybe the best, and deepest, group that we’ve seen in years. For a league that is turning into a pass happy league, it will be refreshing to see this type of talent come into the league next year.