Day three of the workouts has come and past seeing both the defensive lineman and linebackers go through timed measurements along with on the field drills. In our NFL Combine Day 3 Standouts we take a look at whose generated the most buzz either good or negative.
NFL Combine Day 3 Standouts
Everybody knew that Isaiah Simmons is a freak just by watching his game tape. But Simmons absolutely stole the show on Saturday putting up elite numbers that has people not comparing him to other linebackers but elite offensive skill players. Heck NFL Network even put the Simulcam with Simmons against the elite running backs and he beat them all. The top 10 seemed to be a given before, but would it shock you if he’s a top 5 pick and the second defender off the board?
Oklahoma didn’t have a good defense this year but every time they were out on the field you saw Murry flashing and making big plays in both in the backfield and going sideline to sideline. And when you see Murry put up a 4.52 40 yard dash, a 38″ vertical leap and a 10’9″ broad jump and its no surprise that he’s fast and explosive on tape. Murry was a slam dunk first round pick before the Combine but teams like the Ravens and Packers who could be looking for a linebacker likely won’t have a chance to draft him unless they trade up.
We often get caught up in the three elite linebackers in this class but after his performance at the Combine, we may need to add a fourth to this group. Logan Wilson may play at a small school but he plays at a big level and he showed that with an impressed 4.63 40 yard dash while he tested in top 10 in both the short shuttle and the 3 Cone drill showing off his change of direction and burst which are needed traits as an off the ball linebacker. While Wilson likely isn’t a first round pick, he should cement his status as a second round pick.
Madubuike was one player that stood out to me this summer as the former defensive end recruit was able to bulk up and move to more of an interior player but still retain a lot of his athletic traits. Well more and more people are going to know Madubuike based on what he showed in Indianapolis. His 4.83 40 yard dash shows his athletic ability and speed while his 31 reps in the bench press shows the strength he’s been able to add on. Madubuike has play both at DE and DT for the Aggies and his athletic ability and versatility is going to draw a lot of interest after his performance.
The timed drills did no favors for Derrick Brown whose agility testing was poor. You’ll see plenty of people on Twitter mention to ignore the numbers because of how dominant he was in college. And while they’re more than likely right, one of the reasons I have Brown outside of my top 10 prospects and have mocked him at times in the late teens is because of concerns about his ability to rush the passer. Too often Brown won based on elite power, but in the NFL you can’t get into the backfield on that alone. And when your best trait is depending on your team losing, do you really want to invest a top 10 pick in that player? Brown likely will go high and been a good NFL player but we’ve seen guys like him not have the pass rushing impact that we thought they’d have. I’m not off the boat, but I’m closer to the edge.
Entering the summer it was Chase Young and AJ Epenesa as the top two defender as myself and other draft analysts often mocked Epenesa as a top 5 pick for quite a while. But a relatively quite season and questions about his explosiveness saw his stock go down and him being mocked in the late teens. Well Epenesa didn’t do himself any favors putting up disappointing numbers in the 40, 10 split, broad and vertical leap. That being said Epenesa did show some good agility in his positional drill testing. For Epenesa I believe more people are starting to realize that he’s not a bad football player, but he’s just not the elite player we thought he’d be. The Trey Flowers comparison seems to be more true now days.