NFL Draft

2017 NFL Combine Day Three Recap

I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment here but man, this draft class in its entirety is so good. The group of defensive linemen and linebackers had an excellent day and honestly, not a whole lot of bad to say about the units. Let’s break down all the things you need to know about Day Three.

Defensive Line

– Noted yesterday Auburn NT Montravius Adams should – and needed to – have a quick ten split. And he absolutely did, kicking the day off with a 1.72. Ignore the 40 time, though a 4.87 is insanely good for his body type and size (6’3/5 304) but the split is what impresses me the most. Big guy who can win off the ball with a good first step.

– I am praying the Cleveland Browns screw this one up. If they’re smart, Myles Garrett is their #1 pick. Incredible workout. 4.64 and 272 pounds, and a 1.63 ten split. Those are better numbers than Charles Harris. Oh yeah, a 41 inch vertical which kicked everyone’s butt today – including the linebackers – and a 10’8″ in the broad.

Here’s hoping Sashi Brown’s analytics team has some sort of data that tells them to avoid drafting people named “Myles.”

Jaleel Johnson didn’t do much to impress. Bad splits, no explosion or agility. Does show tight, heavy hands on his punch but he’s a very limited pass rusher. Does a lot of damage to his value.

– One big guy I really liked was Ole Miss’ D.J. Jones. 6’0 319 but with really light feet who looked good getting around the bags in drills. A 5.04 and 1.76 split were really solid numbers, too.

– Of the Jones’, I liked UNC’s Nazair Jones more than Notre Dame’s Jarron Jones. Nazair much better athlete all around and the numbers tell that story pretty clearly. Jarron also struggled getting his arms extended on the stack/shed drill versus the bags. Got his feet way too close and couldn’t extend his arms out, hurting his punch. Never want to get in an OL’s grill either, especially when he has legitimate length (35 1/2 inches) to maintain space.

Tanoh Kpassagnon…dude might be for real. Impressive testing, a 4.83 and 10’8″ broad on the day with a 7.46 three cone, the same number Carl Lawson turned in. Mike Mayock thought he was tight in drills and obviously, at his 6’7 289, he’s going to be and won’t be an outside linebacker, but relatively speaking, I thought he looked good.

– Charlotte’s Larry Ogunjobi continues to flash. Thought he came on strong in the Senior Bowl and excelled holding the point of attack against the run. Today was a good day for him, breaking the five second barrier in the 40 (4.97).

– I knew nothing about Oklahoma State’s Vincent Taylor before today but I’m interested. I like his body type, big, broad shoulders with a solid 1.77 ten split. At 6’2/5 304 with length, he could be in play as a Day Three pick for the Steelers in order to push Daniel McCullers.

– Thought Eddie Vanderdoes would do well today at a lighter weight and fully healthy and he did. 4.99 officially in the 40 and a 1.7 split. A 4.39 short shuttle at 305 pounds is moving for a big fella.

– Texas A&M’s Daeshon Hall is probably going to have to remain a 4-3 defensive end but I like his game. He’s super long, 35 3/8 inch arms, with a strong punch and moves well for his frame. 1.67 ten split, 36 inch vert, and 7.03 three cone are all eye-opening. Day Two pick.

Tanzel Smart had a decent day. I don’t know if he was gassed or if that’s just how he is but he was straining hard by the time the workout drills came around.

– Washington’s Elijah’s Qualis is an old-school slow-mover but shows a violent strike. Steelers interviewed him.

Outside Linebacker

– This is the group to talk about. And man, there is some incredible talent. So many names we’ll discuss but don’t forget about Ohio’s Tarell Basham. Size at 269 pounds, length, ability to convert speed to power, ran a 4.7 flat, a 1.61 ten split (!!!). Not the most comfortable moving backwards but he doesn’t have much experience there. His agility drills were the biggest issue, not doing particularly well in either one (4.35/7.27).

– Carl Lawson had a good day. His first 40 time had me worried but he finished things with a 4.67 and 1.6 ten split. His short shuttle was an excellent 4.19 though yes, his three cone left a lot to be desired (7.46). Let’s see if he can improve on that for his Pro Day.

His drop looked fluid and pretty natural for a guy with limited use there in college. Tight arms and compact in his drop. No wasted motion slowing him down.

Just don’t expect him to pick off many passes. He dropped the ball on all three chances in drills. It’s a minor thing but was pretty unique. Don’t think anyone else had that much trouble.

Takk McKinley…not a good day. Wasn’t crazy about him to begin with watching the couple games on him and he did himself no favors today. He ran a strong 40 though his ten split wasn’t as good as you would hope for with that time (1.61), and his agility times were both terrible. 4.62 in the short shuttle, 7.48 in the three cone. The former was the same number as 305 pound DT Caleb Brantley and the latter was worse than Kpassagnon’s.

Worse off, he couldn’t figure out the drills. To be fair, he was the first guy to go but three times he screwed up the drill so bad that he either got thrown out or had to repeat them at the end of the line. On one drill, he turned the wrong way and instead of running to the cone, starting running to the end zone away from everyone. Awkward.

Rich Eisen became convinced that was just the order of the drills. Coaches hate explaining something to the group and watching a guy royally screw up.

– Michigan’s Taco Charlton has to be a 4-3 end. Big and long, his 40 time reflected it. 4.92. Didn’t look great moving backwards either, obviously no surprise.

– Tale of two days for Charles Harris. Hard to get a feel. His numbers were pretty bad across the entire board. 4.82 40, 1.65 ten split, 9’1″ in the broad, 4.42/7.47 in the agility drills. Lot of red flags. But I really liked him in workouts. High-energy player who shows quick feet and change of direction ability. Thought he was one of the best guys on the bags and in coverage. Shows a strong lower half and explosion coming downhill out of his pedal. A strong Pro Day would do him a lot of good.

– FAU’s Trey Hendrickson got some buzz on here and opened eyes to everyone else today, including me. A 4.65 at 266 pounds and 1.59 ten splits, one of the best marks of the group. Agility numbers were impressive, a 4.2 and 7.03.

One concern with him? Thinner upper body and don’t see him producing a lot of power with his punch and maybe as an edge defender.

– Pitt’s Ejuan Price…oof. Not the day he was looking for. Coming in at 5’11, he needed to show off some unique athleticism to overcome his size. He did the opposite. 4.84/1.66 split, 31.5 vert and 9’9″ broad and a 4.34 short shuttle. Nothing of that says he’s going to be a good enough athlete at the next level. May have fallen out of the draft. Tough to sell him on a coach.

Haason Reddick a great day like you should’ve expected. 4.52, 1.59 with a 36.5 inch vert and 11’1″ broad and a 7.01 three cone. As fluid as anyone in his drops and just looks so natural even though he hadn’t moved off ball until the Senior Bowl six weeks ago.

I’m all for playing him off ball but he’s still someone who can play on the edge. He got on the field as a pass rusher and succeeded. Don’t ignore it in the process of thinking about how he can cover tight ends.

– But Derek Rivers may have helped himself the most. Small school kid who keeps checking off boxes. A 4.61 at 248 pounds and a 1.61 split was a good start. He followed that up with a 35 inch vertical and 6.94 three cone, one of four defensive linemen to break the seven second threshold. In my book, he’s right in play for Pittsburgh at 30.

– The other sub 7 second players? Derek Barnett, Jordan Willis, and Solomon Thomas.

EDIT: Include Utah’s Pita Taumoepenu in that club.

Three cone aside, Barnett’s numbers sucked but the dude was really sick. Kudos to him for competing. Coaches will care about that more than any shoddy times. Willis took the world by storm. Everywhere he goes, he just excels. In college, the Senior Bowl, the Combine. 4.53 40, 1.54 split is insane as is. Topped it off with a 39 inch vert, 10’5″ broad and 6.85 three cone. Have yourself a day.

Going to be a big debate over testing vs tape because yes, he will look stiff on tape. But I like him. Dude’s a winner.

– Illinois’ Dawuane Smoot is a little tall in his drop but smooth and has good feet. Decent day and a late Day Two, early Day Three prospect. More refined but less upside than teammate Carroll Phillips.

– One guy who had a bad day? Alabama’s Tim Williams. His numbers were below average (4.68 40) to bad (7.36 three cone) and he didn’t help himself in drills. Clunkier than I expected. He’s owned up to his drug problems which is commendable but the character concerns may help push him outside the first round, similar to Randy Gregory.

Off Ball Linebacker

– Not a lot from me here. Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan had a strong day. Better athlete than what I think people were expecting, running a 4.61 and showing the ability to move in coverage and drop his hips to change direction. Day Two pick.

– Florida’s Alex Anzalone has size (6’3 241) and speed (4.63). If you trust his medical, he’s also a Day Two pick.

– Ohio’s Blair Brown is a small school sleeper. 4.66 40, 37 inch vertical, and 10’4″ broad who showed fluidity in drills.

Connor Harris from Lindenwood is making the most out of his chances. A pretty good Senior Bowl week carried over to Indy. Not the most athletic but not terrible either with active feet and a strong resume in college.

TJ Watt is someone you seem to either love or hate but tough to ignore his numbers. 4.69 at 252 pounds with a 37 inch vert and 10’8″ broad. Another potential edge guy at 30 we haven’t spent much time talking about. I need to watch him.

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