For the NFL Combine day 3, we switched to the defensive side of the ball. We got a chance to see the front 7 defenders get on the field as the linebackers and defensive line took their place. There is a good chance that 3-5 of these guys will be taken in the top 10. But without further ado, let’s get right to some of the highlights and lowlights of the defensive linemen and linebackers.
Myles Garrett of Texas A&M – There was no way I could start this article without mentioning Garrett 1st. As expected, he was a machine on the field. He was extremely impressive with his 40 time, to go with his group leading vertical of 41 inches. He also was top 5 in bench press reps and broad jump. He did nothing wrong on day 3 and should have the #1 overall pick locked up.
Derek Barnett of Tennessee – Barnett is someone who looks better on tape then he would look at the combine. He did have a good 3 cone drill, but none of his other numbers stood out. Teams should already know he has good work ethics and he knows how to get to the QB.
Carl Lawson of Auburn – One of the people that helped their stock out the most was Lawson. He was probably a 4th or 5th round pick before, this may have gotten him into the 3rd. He had 35 bench press reps and ran a 40 time of 4.67.
Haason Reddick of Temple – Reddick put up the fast 40 time of anyone with a 4.52, but at only 237 pounds, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to stay on the D-Line. He needs to prove he can cover so he can be taken as an LB. Today was a good step towards doing so.
Solomon Thomas of Stanford – For a 273-pound man, Thomas showed a lot of athleticism. He ran a 40 time of 4.69 and was very good on the bench press, 3 cone drill, vertical and broad jump. I feel his best fit is as a 4-3 DE as he’s not good enough in coverage to play OLB in a 3-4.
Tim Williams of Alabama – Williams was one of the lowlights of day 3 as he first admitted to being arrested for drugs and then went out and had an average at best workout. He hopes to be a day 2 pick.
Taco Charlton of Michigan – Charlton was not great. He had average to below average number in his drills and he didn’t stand out. He was arguably Michigan’s best defender this year, so he has good game tape, but this weekend didn’t help.
Rueben Foster of Alabama – As explained in an earlier article, Foster was sent home early from the combine due to a confrontation with a medical examiner.
Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt – Cunningham looked good in the on-field drills. He finished in the top 5-7 of most of the drills and looked smooth in coverage.
Jabrill Peppers of Michigan – Peppers ripped up day 3 of the combine in the LB drills, but I do not see any way he is drafted as an LB. Tomorrow he will workout as a DB and we’ll see a better comparison for him.
TJ Watt of Wisconsin – By far, Watt was the most impressive guy on the field. At 252 pounds, he ran a sub 4.7 time in the 40. He also was the best of all the LBs in the broad jump and vertical. He’s a guy that could make a big impact in the NFL. Not likely the impact of his brother, JJ Watt, but still a good player.
Numerous players either didn’t work out at all or only did bench press. This group includes Kendall Beckwith of LSU, Ben Boulware of Clemson, Jarrad Davis of Florida, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin of Tennessee. Their pro day will not become very important as to when and where they get drafted.
Next up we’ll be going over the last day of the combine as the DBs hit the field. I have a feeling that this could be the most impressive day as this is the deepest group of good CBs that most have seen in the last 20 years. As much as 15-18 DBs could go within the 1st 2 rounds alone. This is the year to get a good cornerback or safety and the final day of the combine is now suddenly a can’t miss day.