Sunday was the most anticipated day of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine as we finally got to see the defensive lineman on the field. This defensive line class is viewed as not only the strength of this class, but also one of the best we’ve had in years. With defensive tackles, ends and linebackers on the field an the defensive backs doing bench press, our NFL Combine Day 5 News highlights the big stories from the day.
NFL Combine Day 5 News and Notes
Quinnen Williams Shows Out
Despite his dominant performances throughout the 2018 College Football season, I didn’t think Quinnen Williams talents would translate to gaudy numbers here in Indianapolis. Instead Williams shined in everything he did. Williams only did the 40, Vertical Leap and broad jump and he was a top performer in all three. Heck he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.83 at 303lbs. His 1.69 10 yard split is better than some of the most elite tackle prospects that have come out in years. Not only do we have elite tape to see how he does on the field, now we have some amazing timed test to back it all up. There is a reason why Williams is considered to be one of the two best players in the NFL Draft.
No Drills for Ed Oliver
With Ed Oliver weighing in at 286lbs everybody wanted to see if he would be able to maintain his elite movement skills at that weight since there were reports he was playing at 274lbs. And while Oliver put up a tremendous vertical leap he didn’t do anything else besides the bench and broad jump electing to do his drills at his Pro Day. Oliver cited a hamstring injury for why he didn’t participate (which happens quite a bit), but this will certainly bring up concerns of whether he felt comfortable competing at that weight. Whether that is true or not, Oliver sat and watched while others were able to go out and shine in front of every single NFL team.
More Film Work on Trysten Hill
Before the start of the season Hill was a popular Group of 5 names to watch for the upcoming NFL season. But for whatever reason Hill only started one game and really struggled to make an impact outside of the Memphis game. Hill used the Combine to reestablish himself as a name to know finishing as a top performer in both the vertical leap and the broad jump. But it was the positional skill work that Hill really shined showing both quickness and lateral agility that made him stand out in a competitive group. Hill will have questions to answer about why he didn’t play more, but his performance is forcing all of us Draftniks to go back and watch more tape of him.
Rashan Gary = Freak
Anybody who watched a Michigan football game this year knows that Rashan Gary has both good size and athletic ability, so he was expected to test well at the Combine. That doesn’t mean that we still can’t be surprised with a 6’4 277lb man runs a 4.58 40 yard dash and jumps 10’0″ in the broad jump. Gary also shined on the field moving with speed and quick change of direction ability. But what was the most amazing was he participated in linebacker drills and was able to get out in space changing direction and moving well. While Gary still has lack of production issues to answer and is still a bit of a work in progress technique wise, he all but locked himself into a top 10 pick.
Montez Sweat Keeps Ascending
First it started with back to back 10 sack seasons in the SEC. Then Montez Sweat goes to the Senior Bowl and dominates the practices all week long. An now Sweat comes to the Combine and runs a record setting 40 yard dash time. His 4.42 time is the fastest in history by any defensive lineman. As Dane pointed out this was a faster time than Odell Beckham Jr. And Sweat is 6’6 260lbs. Sweat didn’t just stop there as he had a 125″ broad jump and did his 3-Cone drill in 7.0 seconds. It’s hard to argue that no prospect has had a better predraft process than the Mississippi State prospect. Sweat will be pushing to be taken in the top 10 but I have a hard time seeing him fall out of the top 14 picks.
The Tale of Two Devins
After the impressive showing by all the defensive tackles and ends it was going to be tough to beat. But the top two linebackers in the draft kept the elite performances going. Both Devin White and Devin Bush showcased speed, explosiveness and fluidity both in the timed and positional drills. Devin White was mocked to the Denver Broncos in my latest mock draft and after this you have to wonder if the Buccaneers or Lions may take him before that. Devin Bush was thought to be a fringe first round prospect but he now looks like a lock in the first round and could be a pick for the Oakland Raiders who are rebuilding their defense.
Kingsbury tipping their hand?
Everyday it seems more and more news comes out linking the Arizona Cardinals to taking Kyler Murray first overall. The latest news has Kliff Kingsbury telling people that it’s a done deal that Murray will be their pick. It’s still early in the process as the draft is over 50 days away. Sure the Cardinals could be floating this out there to try and get somebody to throw the moon at them in a trade. That being said, why would the Cardinals need to put out smoke? They have the first pick, they can take whoever they want. I’ve long dismissed the talk of Murray going number one. But the more and more information and rumors that come out, the more I think they could actually pull this off.