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here's an article in The Athletic today, from Dane Brugler:

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Pre-NFL Scouting Combine positional rankings: A new No. 1 cornerback among 250 prospects ranked

By Dane Brugler Mar 2, 2022 73

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL Scouting Combine will create slight fluctuation in the NFL Draft player rankings, but before any 40s are run or shrimp cocktails are consumed, here are the updated positional rankings — a total of 250 prospects.

There aren’t any major updates from my top-100 draft board post-Senior Bowl, but there is a new CB1. I have Washington’s Trent McDuffie, Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner, and LSU’s Derek Stingley with similar grades at the top of the cornerback rankings, so it will be a fun race to the finish.

These rankings also include 150 additional players as we expand on each position.

Quarterbacks
1. Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh
(6-3, 217)
2. Malik Willis
Liberty
(6-0, 221)
3. Matt Corral
Ole Miss
(6-2, 205)
4. Sam Howell
North Carolina
(6-0, 221)
5. Desmond Ridder
Cincinnati
(6-3, 207)
6. Carson Strong
Nevada
(6-4, 226)
7. Bailey Zappe
Western Kentucky
(6-0, 213)
8. Jack Coan
Notre Dame
(6-3, 223)
9. Kaleb Eleby
Western Michigan
(6-1, 216)
10. Cole Kelley
SE Louisiana
(6-7, 248)
11. EJ Perry
Brown
(6-1, 200)
12. Brock Purdy
Iowa State
(6-1, 216)
13. Skylar Thompson
Kansas State
(6-2, 224)
14. Dustin Crum
Kent State
(6-1, 210)
15. Aqeel Glass
Alabama A&M
(6-4, 228)

The lone quarterback (among the top group) who wasn’t at the Senior Bowl, the combine was going to be Matt Corral’s chance to shine. Unfortunately, he is still working his way back from his ankle injury from the bowl game and will wait until the Ole Miss pro day to throw. However, this is still a critical week for Corral because of the interview process. Teams will push him on a few topics, and how he responds and carries himself will impact his final draft grade.

Running backs
1. Kenneth Walker III
Michigan State
(5-10, 212)
2. Isaiah Spiller
Texas A&M
(6-1, 215)
3. Breece Hall
Iowa State
(6-1, 220)
4. Tyler Allgeier
BYU
(5-11, 221)
5. Kyren Williams
Notre Dame
(5-9, 199)
6. Dameon Pierce
Florida
(5-9, 220)
7. James Cook
Georgia
(5-11, 195)
8. Brian Robinson Jr.
Alabama
(6-2, 226)
9. Zamir White
Georgia
(6-0, 215)
10. Abram Smith
Baylor
(5-11, 211)
11. Hassan Haskins
Michigan
(6-0, 220)
12. Zonovan Knight
NC State
(5-11, 210)
13. Tyler Badie
Missouri
(5-8, 199)
14. Jerome Ford
Cincinnati
(5-11, 209)
15. Snoop Conner
Ole Miss
(5-10, 220)
16. Zaquandre White
South Carolina
(6-0, 212)
17. Jerrion Ealy
Ole Miss
(5-8, 190)
18. D’Vonte Price
FIU
(6-2, 216)
19. Rachaad White
Arizona State
(6-1, 210)
20. Pierre Strong Jr.
South Dakota State
(5-11, 204)

I don’t know that Dameon Pierce will light up the stopwatch in the 40-yard dash, but his jumps should be impressive with his explosiveness. Although he doesn’t have the résumé of an NFL playmaker, he has an NFL build with the vision, agility and finishing toughness that will translate well.

Wide receivers
1. Garrett Wilson
Ohio State
(6-0, 186)
2. Treylon Burks
Arkansas
(6-3, 230)
3. Drake London
USC
(6-5, 212)
4. Jameson Williams
Alabama
(6-2, 182)
5. Chris Olave
Ohio State
(6-1, 182)
6. Jahan Dotson
Penn State
(5-11, 175)
7. Jalen Tolbert
South Alabama
(6-1, 195)
8. John Metchie III
Alabama
(5-11, 196)
9. Skyy Moore
Western Michigan
(5-9, 195)
10. George Pickens
Georgia
(6-3, 203)
11. David Bell
Purdue
(6-2, 207)
12. Wan’Dale Robinson
Kentucky
(5-10, 187)
13. Justyn Ross
Clemson
(6-4, 209)
14. Christian Watson
North Dakota State
(6-4, 211)
15. Alec Pierce
Cincinnati
(6-3, 208)
16. Khalil Shakir
Boise State
(6-0, 193)
17. Danny Gray
SMU
(6-0, 182)
18. Dai’Jean Dixon
Nicholls State
(6-2, 204)
19. Kyle Phillips
UCLA
(5-11, 186)
20. Calvin Austin III
Memphis
(5-7, 173)
21. Charleston Rambo
Miami
(6-1, 182)
22. Erik Ezukanma
Texas Tech
(6-3, 218)
23. Jalen Nailor
Michigan State
(5-11, 190)
24. Romeo Doubs
Nevada
(6-2, 204)
25. Dontario Drummond
Ole Miss
(6-1, 217)

A quarterback and cornerback in high school, Skyy Moore has impressive instincts as a pass catcher, creating route leverage and then getting every yard he can after the catch. He has outstanding hands and should be one of the standouts during the gauntlet drill this week and probably run better than most expect. Moore is going to be a day two draft pick.

Tight ends
1. Trey McBride
Colorado State
(6-3, 249)
2. Greg Dulcich
UCLA
(6-4, 250)
3. Jeremy Ruckert
Ohio State
(6-5, 250)
4. Isaiah Likely
Coastal Carolina
(6-4, 241)
5. Cade Otton
Washington
(6-5, 240)
6. Jalen Wydermyer
Texas A&M
(6-5, 255)
7. Charlie Kolar
Iowa State
(6-6, 256)
8. Jake Ferguson
Wisconsin
(6-4, 244)
9. Jelani Woods
Virginia
(6-7, 275)
10. Daniel Bellinger
San Diego State
(6-4, 252)
11. James Mitchell
Virginia Tech
(6-4, 255)
12. Cole Turner
Nevada
(6-6, 246)
13. Connor Heyward
Michigan State
(5-11, 239)
14. Gerrit Prince
UAB
(6-5, 240)
15. Teagan Quitoriano
Oregon State
(6-5, 256)
16. Grant Calcaterra
SMU
(6-4, 241)
17. Derrick Deese Jr.
San Jose State
(6-4, 248)
18. Chigoziem Okonkwo
Maryland
(6-3, 247)
19. Austin Allen
Nebraska
(6-8, 260)
20. Armani Rogers
Ohio
(6-5, 221)

The TE1 designation remains wide open — some prefer the steadiness of Trey McBride, but Greg Dulcich is the best athlete of the group with his speed and explosiveness. He should post the best 40-yard dash at the position. He will be considered the top tight end by several teams.

Offensive tackles
1. Ikem Ekwonu
NC State
(6-4, 322)
2. Evan Neal
Alabama
(6-7, 357)
3. Charles Cross
Mississippi State
(6-5, 305)
4. Trevor Penning
Northern Iowa
(6-7, 330)
5. Bernhard Raimann
Central Michigan
(6-6, 304)
6. Daniel Faalele
Minnesota
(6-8, 387)
7. Tyler Smith
Tulsa
(6-5, 332)
8. Max Mitchell
Louisiana
(6-6, 299)
9. Abraham Lucas
Washington State
(6-7, 324)
10. Nicholas Petit-Frere
Ohio State
(6-5, 304)
11. Rasheed Walker
Penn State
(6-6, 320)
12. Spencer Burford
UTSA
(6-4, 293)
13. Braxton Jones
Southern Utah
(6-5, 306)
14. Kellen Diesch
Arizona State
(6-7, 292)
15. Obinna Eze
TCU
(6-6, 329)
16. Dare Rosenthal
Kentucky
(6-7, 325)
17. Luke Tenuta
Virginia Tech
(6-8, 315)
18. Matt Waletzko
North Dakota
(6-7, 310)
19. Myron Cunningham
Arkansas
(6-5, 327)
20. Vederian Lowe
Illinois
(6-4, 322)

One of the youngest players in the draft class, Tyler Smith is incredibly raw, and his technique needs to rebuilt from the ground up. However, he has the explosive play strength and physical traits to get significantly better with technical and mental development. Smith will require a patient coaching staff, but it’s easy to understand why a team would be willing to draft him in the top 50 picks.

Offensive guards
1. Kenyon Green
Texas A&M
(6-4, 325)
2. Zion Johnson
Boston College
(6-3, 314)
3. Darian Kinnard
Kentucky
(6-5, 324)
4. Jamaree Salyer
Georgia
(6-3, 320)
5. Ed Ingram
LSU
(6-3, 317)
6. Marquis Hayes
Oklahoma
(6-5, 318)
7. Sean Rhyan
UCLA
(6-5, 320)
8. Lecitus Smith
Virginia Tech
(6-3, 321)
9. Luke Goedeke
Central Michigan
(6-4, 318)
10. Justin Shaffer
Georgia
(6-4, 326)
11. Joshua Ezeudu
North Carolina
(6-4, 325)
12. Logan Bruss
Wisconsin
(6-5, 315)
13. Thayer Munford
Ohio State
(6-6, 327)
14. Andrew Stueber
Michigan
(6-6, 327)
15. Cade Mays
Tennessee
(6-5, 321)
16. Chris Paul
Tulsa
(6-3, 324)
17. Cordell Volson
North Dakota State
(6-6, 313)
18. Nick Zakelj
Fordham
(6-6, 316)
19. William Dunkle
San Diego State
(6-5, 330)
20. Chasen Hines
LSU
(6-3, 332)

Though some blockers rely on power and others rely on angles, Marquis Hayes relies on both, and I have been impressed by his ability to make split-second adjustments. He will rely too much on his length at times, but he plays violent and stout and does a great job with the balancing act of staying composed while also unleashing hell on defenders when the opportunity is there.

Centers
1. Tyler Linderbaum
Iowa
(6-3, 292)
2. Dylan Parham
Memphis
(6-2, 313)
3. Luke Fortner
Kentucky
(6-4, 302)
4. Cole Strange
Chattanooga
(6-4, 304)
5. Dohnovan West
Arizona State
(6-3, 315)
6. Cam Jurgens
Nebraska
(6-3, 290)
7. Alec Lindstrom
Boston College
(6-3, 302)
8. Dawson Deaton
Texas Tech
(6-5, 300)
9. James Empey
BYU
(6-4, 289)
10. Nick Ford
Utah
(6-5, 315)

One of my favorite offensive linemen in this class, Luke Fortner has guard-center versatility with his wide base and contact balance to anchor and keep his strong hands engaged. He is an alert player with enough lateral quickness to react with sudden defenders, but he has very little room for error or defenders will gain leverage. Nonetheless, Fortner will start in the league, projecting best at center.

Edge rushers
1. Aidan Hutchinson
Michigan
(6-6, 261)
2. Kayvon Thibodeaux
Oregon
(6-4, 255)
3. Travon Walker
Georgia
(6-5, 275)
4. David Ojabo
Michigan
(6-5, 255)
5. Jermaine Johnson
Florida State
(6-4, 259)
6. George Karlaftis
Purdue
(6-3, 268)
7. Logan Hall
Houston
(6-6, 278)
8. Arnold Ebiketie
Penn State
(6-2, 250)
9. Drake Jackson
USC
(6-4, 254)
10. Kingsley Enagbare
South Carolina
(6-4, 261)
11. Boye Mafe
Minnesota
(6-3, 255)
12. Alex Wright
UAB
(6-7, 268)
13. Myjai Sanders
Cincinnati
(6-4, 242)
14. Dominique Robinson
Miami (Ohio)
(6-5, 254)
15. Sam Williams
Ole Miss
(6-3, 250)
16. DeAngelo Malone
Western Kentucky
(6-3, 234)
17. Jesse Luketa
Penn State
(6-2, 261)
18. Cameron Thomas
San Diego State
(6-4, 264)
19. Josh Paschal
Kentucky
(6-3, 270)
20. Nik Bonitto
Oklahoma
(6-3, 238)
21. Michael Clemons
Texas A&M
(6-5, 265)
22. Amare Barno
Virginia Tech
(6-4, 239)
23. Tyreke Smith
Ohio State
(6-3, 245)
24. Zachary Carter
Florida
(6-4, 287)
25. Christopher Allen
Alabama
(6-3, 242)

With his muscle twitch and acceleration, Boye Mafe is going to test like a first-round prospect this week at the combine. But his on-field instincts and impact don’t consistently mirror his athletic traits, especially in the run game (averaged only 2.6 tackles per game in 2021). Maye will be drafted higher than I have him ranked.

Defensive tackles
1. Devonte Wyatt
Georgia
(6-3, 307)
2. Jordan Davis
Georgia
(6-6, 360)
3. Travis Jones
Connecticut
(6-4, 326)
4. DeMarvin Leal
Texas A&M
(6-4, 290)
5. Perrion Winfrey
Oklahoma
(6-4, 303)
6. Phidarian Mathis
Alabama
(6-4, 313)
7. John Ridgeway
Arkansas
(6-5, 327)
8. Neil Farrell Jr.
LSU
(6-4, 338)
9. Matthew Butler
Tennessee
(6-3, 290)
10. Kalia Davis
UCF
(6-2, 310)
11. Eyioma Uwazurike
Iowa State
(6-6, 310)
12. Otito Ogbonnia
UCLA
(6-4, 326)
13. Haskell Garrett
Ohio State
(6-1, 298)
14. Noah Elliss
Idaho
(6-4, 360)
15. Jayden Peevy
Texas A&M
(6-5, 310)
16. Marquan McCall
Kentucky
(6-3, 358)
17. Thomas Booker
Stanford
(6-4, 310)
18. Eric Johnson
Missouri State
(6-4, 300)
19. Christopher Hinton
Michigan
(6-4, 310)
20. D.J. Davidson
Arizona State
(6-3, 326)

My top-ranked defensive tackle in the draft, Devonte Wyatt has the athletic traits to win in different ways off the ball, displaying initial quickness, lateral range and chase down speed. In the run game, he understands how to leverage gaps and find the ball carrier, although he can stand to be a better finisher. For an NFL team looking for a three-technique, Wyatt is the best this class has to offer.

Linebackers
1. Devin Lloyd
Utah
(6-3, 232)
2. Nakobe Dean
Georgia
(6-0, 225)
3. Quay Walker
Georgia
(6-4, 245)
4. Chad Muma
Wyoming
(6-2, 241)
5. Damone Clark
LSU
(6-2, 240)
6. Christian Harris
Alabama
(6-2, 232)
7. Leo Chenal
Wisconsin
(6-2, 252)
8. Brian Asamoah
Oklahoma
(6-0, 222)
9. Channing Tindall
Georgia
(6-2, 223)
10. Troy Andersen
Montana State
(6-3, 242)
11. JoJo Domann
Nebraska
(6-1, 226)
12. Terrel Bernard
Baylor
(6-1, 220)
13. Darrian Beavers
Cincinnati
(6-4, 252)
14. Brandon Smith
Penn State
(6-3, 240)
15. Mike Rose
Iowa State
(6-4, 250)
16. Jeremiah Gemmel
North Carolina
(6-1, 222)
17. Baylon Spector
Clemson
(6-1, 244)
18. Nate Landman
Colorado
(6-2, 232)
19. Micah McFadden
Indiana
(6-1, 226)
20. Jack Sanborn
Wisconsin
(6-2, 236)

Leo Chenal is going to be a standout this week at the combine with how he tests both athletically and with his bench press, which will match what he puts on tape. Chenal has outstanding eyes, aggressive flow and feel for run-blocking development, which allows him to play ahead of climbing blocks and pile up the tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Cornerbacks
1. Trent McDuffie
Washington
(5-11, 195)
2. Ahmad Gardner
Cincinnati
(6-2, 190)
3. Derek Stingley Jr.
LSU
(6-1, 195)
4. Kyler Gordon
Washington
(6-0, 195)
5. Andrew Booth Jr.
Clemson
(6-0, 193)
6. Kaiir Elam
Florida
(6-2, 200)
7. Roger McCreary
Auburn
(5-11, 189)
8. Marcus Jones
Houston
(5-9, 185)
9. Tariq Woolen
UTSA
(6-3, 205)
10. Coby Bryant
Cincinnati
(6-1, 191)
11. Martin Emerson
Mississippi State
(6-1, 202)
12. Joshua Williams
Fayetteville State
(6-3, 193)
13. Cam Taylor-Britt
Nebraska
(5-11, 200)
14. Akayleb Evans
Missouri
(6-2, 201)
15. Mykael Wright
Oregon
(5-11, 176)
16. Tariq Castro-Fields
Penn State
(6-0, 194)
17. Jalyn Armour-Davis
Alabama
(6-1, 190)
18. Kalon Barnes
Baylor
(5-11, 183)
19. Derion Kendrick
Georgia
(6-0, 202)
20. Zyon McCollum
Sam Houston State
(6-2, 202)
21. Mario Goodrich
Clemson
(6-0, 186)
22. Chris Steele
USC
(6-1, 190)
23. Jaylen Watson
Washington State
(6-1, 197)
24. Cordale Flott
LSU
(6-1, 178)
25. Josh Jobe
Alabama
(6-0, 188)

Kyler Gordon is somewhat of an acquired taste because his cover awareness and technique aren’t strengths to his game. However, he is a freaky athlete with the fluidity, speed and toughness that you bet on at the position. If Gordon tests like expected in Indianapolis, he doesn’t fall out of the first round in April.

Safeties
1. Kyle Hamilton
Notre Dame
(6-3, 218)
2. Daxton Hill
Michigan
(6-0, 192)
3. Jalen Pitre
Baylor
(5-11, 196)
4. Lewis Cine
Georgia
(6-1, 200)
5. Jaquan Brisker
Penn State
(6-1, 203)
6. Bryan Cook
Cincinnati
(6-1, 204)
7. Kerby Joseph
Illinois
(6-1, 200)
8. Nick Cross
Maryland
(6-1, 215)
9. Tycen Anderson
Toledo
(6-1, 204)
10. Verone McKinley III
Oregon
(5-11, 196)
11. JT Woods
Baylor
(6-2, 188)
12. Alontae Taylor
Tennessee
(6-0, 196)
13. Yusuf Corker
Kentucky
(6-0, 204)
14. Leon O’Neal
Texas A&M
(6-0, 211)
15. Dane Belton
Iowa
(6-1, 207)
16. Juanyeh Thomas
Georgia Tech
(6-2, 218)
17. Smoke Monday
Auburn
(6-2, 204)
18. Markquese Bell
Florida A&M
(6-2, 203)
19. Percy Butler
Louisiana
(6-0, 194)
20. Bubba Bolden
Miami
(6-2, 204)

There are areas of his game that will give you pause, but Nick Cross has the athletic gifts that jump off the screen. His explosive plant-and-drive skills and the way he storms the alley with authority should translate to big numbers this week at the combine. Based on tape, he isn’t a top-100 pick, but the athletic traits could be enough to get him into day two.

Specialists
1. Matt Araiza
San Diego State
Punter
2. Jake Camarda
Georgia
Punter
3. Cade York
LSU
Kicker
4. Cameron Dicker
Texas
Kicker
5. Jordan Stout
Penn State
Punter
6. Cal Adomitis
Pittsburgh
Long snapper
7. Gabe Brkic
Oklahoma
Kicker
8. Blake Hayes
Illinois
Punter
9. Trenton Gill
NC State
Punter
10. Andrew Mevis
Iowa State
Kicker

 

 

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Bruce Feldman's annual freaks list/article:

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Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List revisited: Which NFL Draft prospects will be freaky at the Combine?

Bruce Feldman Mar 2, 2022 35

In the past, Freaks like Myles Garrett, DK Metcalf and Saquon Barkley have lived up to — and in many cases exceeded — the hype. Others from more off-the-radar programs, like Lenoir-Rhyne defensive back Kyle Dugger, have also blown up in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine. As we ramp up to the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s time to focus on the biggest freaks in this prospect class.

Revisit Bruce Feldman’s 2021 Freaks List here.

1. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan, DE: He was a dominant player for the Big Ten champions and really set the tempo for the Wolverines’ breakout season. Expect the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Hutchinson to keep wowing people in the draft process. He’s expected to vertical jump in the high 30s, run the 40 around 4.6 and put up one of the fastest shuttle times of anyone at any size, having clocked a 4.07 last offseason. We hear he’s run in the 3.9s in training. At the 2020 NFL Combine, Penn State defensive back John Reid had the fastest time of 3.97 seconds. The quickest time by a D-lineman was a 4.31 by 248-pound Alex Highsmith.

2. Tariq Woolen, UTSA, cornerback: His freakish athleticism was a well-kept secret last summer. Not anymore. Woolen measured 6 feet 3 1/2, 205 pounds with 33 1/2-inch arms at the Senior Bowl. He also has consistently hit over 23 MPH on the GPS. He told The Athletic this month that he’s looking to broad jump over 11 feet (he’s gone 11-5 in testing at UTSA), go over 40 inches in the vertical and run the 40 in 4.3 seconds. Those are eye-popping numbers, but they are even more remarkable given his size and length at corner.

3. Evan Neal, Alabama, offensive tackle: Neal has rare flexibility and athleticism given his enormous frame; he has played at 6 feet 7, 350-plus pounds, but told The Athletic he expects to be in the 335-340 pound range for the combine. Alabama director of sports science Matt Rhea calls Neal “the most impressive lower body power athlete we have ever seen. His jumping power is in the top 1 percent we have ever measured.” Neal routinely hits box jumps at 48 inches, benches almost 500 pounds and almost topped 19 MPH last summer on the GPS despite weighing 350 pounds.

4. Boye Mafe, Minnesota, edge rusher: He was just over 200 pounds when he arrived at Minnesota but measured in for the Senior Bowl at 6 feet 3 1/2, 255 pounds. He had a very good week in Mobile, Ala. He figures to do exceptionally well in the testing portion of the evaluation process. Mafe has vertical jumped 40 1/2 inches in training. He also has broad jumped 10-6 and run the 40 in 4.57 seconds. Recently in training he’s run a hand-timed 4.49 in the 40.

5. Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, safety: As impressive as his workout numbers are, his film is even more impressive. He has uncanny range and the ability to make big plays from the deep middle, as evidenced by the ground he covered in picking off a pass in the season opener against FSU that still has scouts’ jaws on the ground. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder clocks 21 MPH on the GPS, has vertical jumped almost 42 inches, and has a 10-8 broad jump.

6. Kalon “Boogie” Barnes, Baylor, defensive back: Barnes, a converted wide receiver, has legitimate big-time track credentials: The 5-foot-11, 183-pounder once clocked a 10.04 in the 100 meters and was a two-time Texas state 100- and 200-meter champ. Don’t be surprised if he clocks in the 4.2s at the combine. There’s a handful of folks in the training world who think he has a shot at breaking the combine 40 record of 4.22 seconds.

7. Tanner Conner, Idaho State, wide receiver: The former standout hurdler on the Idaho State track team has terrific size (6 feet 3, 230 pounds) and wheels. He averaged almost 19 yards per catch the past two seasons. He vertical jumped 40 1/2 inches this offseason, broad-jumped 11 feet and has run in the 4.3s. There has been some skepticism about his route-running ability, but folks close to him expect him to win over doubters in change-of-direction drills. They also say his shuttle times will be just as strong as everything else he does, with a 4.2 shuttle and 6.8 L-drill very possible.

8. Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan, offensive tackle: He started playing for the Vienna Vikings in Austria as a 14-year-old before coming to Michigan as part of a high school exchange program. At Central Michigan, he began his career as a tight end and caught 20 passes before moving to offensive line. Now, at 6 feet 6, 304 pounds, Raimann has retained that pass-catching athleticism, having run a 1.56 10-yard split and also vertical jumping 33 inches and broad jumping 9-7 1/2. His shuttle at Central Michigan was 4.60. He also should put up a lot of reps on the bench, having maxed out at 450 pounds.

9. Travon Walker, Georgia, edge rusher: At 6 feet 5, 275 pounds, Walker is quite the specimen with great length (his arms are expected to measure around 35 inches). Some scouts think he could possibly run the 40 in the high 4.5s. On the field, he had six sacks and a team-high 36 quarterback hurries for the national champions.

10. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin, linebacker: One of the big reasons behind the Badgers’ stout defense was Chenal, the explosive linebacker who is expected to weigh in at 250-plus pounds. He has a chance to run a sub-4.6 40 to go with a 36-inch vertical, but it’s his change of direction that may turn heads. He’s expected to be around 7.00 in the L-drill and 4.10 in his 5-10-5 shuttle. Oh, and he also might get 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.

11. Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu, NC State, offensive lineman: The most physically dominant lineman in this class, Ekwonu’s film is one long masterpiece of offensive line brutality. He’s also much more nimble than many have given him credit for. Expect him to weigh in at 315 pounds and still run the 40 in the 4.9s. He also benches 225 pounds in the 30-rep range.

12. Tyquan Thornton, Baylor, wide receiver: Boogie Barnes isn’t the only Baylor player who has a decent shot of running the 40 in the 4.2s. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Thornton, a 10.50 100-meter guy in high school, has been sub-4.3 in training.

13. Jason Poe, Mercer, offensive lineman: He was a Division II All-American at Lenoir-Rhyne before transferring to Mercer. The 6-foot 1/2, 300-pound Poe lacks ideal height but has ridiculous athleticism and is incredibly light on his feet. Poe, who is expected to do his Pro Day at the University of Georgia, is expected to run the 40 in the 4.8s. He has vertical jumped 34 inches-plus. He’s also benched almost 500 pounds and power cleaned almost 400. His broad jump will be in the 10-foot range, and his shuttle in training has been 4.50.

14. Travis Jones, Connecticut, defensive tackle: The 6-foot-4 1/2, 326-pound powerhouse (7.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks) has been the best thing UConn football has had going in a long time. He was once around 360 pounds but really worked on his body and got down to 13 percent body fat. He should get in the mid-30s on the bench and close to 30 inches on his vertical jump. Don’t be shocked if he cracks 4.60 on his shuttle time. He did a 4.57 last offseason.

15. Daniel Faalele, Minnesota, offensive lineman: The biggest man in this draft — 6 feet 8, 387 pounds, 86-inch wingspan, 11-inch mitts — the huge Australian moves incredibly well for his size. He has vertical jumped 29 inches and broad jumped 8-7. Those are numbers he might even be able to top with additional time prepping for the combine.

16. Kyler Gordon, Washington, cornerback: He’s a solid 6 feet, 200 pounds with amazing body control and athleticism. A lot of that was honed with his background in dance, kung fu and ballet. Gordon’s combination of burst and change of direction is reflected in a 42.5-inch vertical jump as well as a blazing 3.87 shuttle time.

17. Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa, offensive tackle: The latest gem from the Missouri Valley Conference, Penning was a nasty force at the Senior Bowl, and he’s much more than just a mauler. At 6 feet 6 1/2 with almost an 84-inch wingspan, he’ll weigh around 325 pounds but may run the 40 in the 4.9s. He also has a good shot at running a sub-4.50 in the shuttle.

18. Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina, edge rusher: A former two-star recruit, Gunter was a disruptive force in the Sun Belt. He played in the mid-270s at 6 feet 4, but was down to 259 pounds for the Senior Bowl. His vertical jump stands out at 39 inches, as does a 4.37 shuttle. He’s broad-jumped 10-2 while weighing in the 270s, so that should be impressive.

19. Derek Stingley Jr., LSU, cornerback: He was sensational as a true freshman in the Tigers’ 2019 national title season but was hobbled by an assortment of injuries the past two years. The old Tigers staff doesn’t question his athleticism, but right now a lot of the expectations for his workouts are tied to his amazing showing at Nike’s 2018 Opening in Dallas. There, the five-star cornerback measured 6 feet 1 and 193 pounds, clocked a 4.30-second 40 time and had a 42-inch vertical to go with a 4.28 shuttle. It will be interesting to see what he does during the draft process.

20. Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, defensive lineman: One of the many Freaks on the Bulldogs’ national title defense, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder is expected to run in the 4.8s— he clocked a 4.87 last summer. The former high school shot-puller has vertical jumped 31 inches.

21. Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa, center: Whether it’s a record-setting performance at the annual Solon Beef Days in Iowa, where he heaved a 60-pound hay bale 14 feet high, or pinning former Freaks king Tristan Wirfs on the mat, or dominating almost every opponent the Hawkeyes faced, the 6-foot-1, 290-pounder is just an agile powerhouse. Expect him to shine in the process, just like he always does. At Iowa, we hear he’d run a 1.55 10-yard split and was timed at 4.22 in the shuttle, both numbers that would be good for a running back or defensive back.

22. Darrell Baker, Georgia Southern, cornerback: The 2016 Georgia high school long jump state champion has ideal size for corner at 6 feet 1/2, 198 pounds. He’s put up some fantastic testing numbers at Georgia Southern, vertical jumping 43 inches and doing 10-11 in the broad jump. He’s also run a 4.41 40.

23. Alec Pierce, Cincinnati, wide receiver: A 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who has a track and volleyball background also displays the toughness you’d expected from an athlete who also played linebacker at Cincinnati. Scouts love his ability to block. They’ll also love his wheels. This is a player who is expected to run the 40 in the low 4.4s, jump over 40 inches and get at least 11 feet in the broad jump. His shuttle times should stand out.

24. Malik Willis, Liberty, quarterback: Willis, who in person looks like a muscled-up linebacker, has one of the most powerful arms we’ve seen in a long time. At 6 feet, 225 pounds, Willis has tremendous wheels with great elusiveness to go with plenty of speed, having run a 4.50 40. His burst is evidenced by a 38.5-inch vertical.

25. Jaquan Brisker, Penn State, safety: A star in a very talented secondary, Brisker made second-team All-American honors in 2021 after making 64 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and two INTs. At 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, he has elite wheels and power. At Penn State, he timed a very fast 4.07 shuttle time and benched 360 pounds. Nittany Lions coaches expect him to run the 40 in the low 4.3s and possibly in the 4.2s, according to longtime Penn State strength coach Dwight Galt.

26. George Karlaftis, Purdue, edge rusher: The biggest recruit the Boilers have landed in a long time lived up to lofty expectations and should prove to be a very good, productive NFL player, based on his excellent athleticism and relentless work ethic. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder once played on the U-16 Greek national water polo team as a 13-year-old and later became a two-time Indiana state champion in the shot put. He also started for three seasons on his high school basketball team. He’s run a sub-4.70 40 in college and vertical jumped 37 inches. He’s also broad-jumped 10-1.

27. Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH), edge rusher: The former high school quarterback spent three seasons playing wide receiver in the MAC before moving to the defensive line, where he’s blossomed with his 82 1/2-inch wingspan and terrific change of direction. The 6-foot-4 Robinson expects to weigh close to 260 pounds and run the 40 in the 4.65 range. At Miami, he ran a very impressive 4.31 agility time and also has vertical jumped 34 inches.

28. Matt Henningsen, Wisconsin, defensive lineman: Henningsen was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist as one of the top scholar-athletes in college football. Don’t sleep on the 6-foot-3, 293-pound former walk-on’s athleticism. At Wisconsin, he hit 19.34 MPH on the GPS. In pre-draft training, he’s clocked a laser-timed 1.59 10-yard split and has also vertical jumped in the mid 30 inches. He might crack 10 feet in the broad jump.

29. Armani Rogers, Ohio, wide receiver/tight end: He’s a wild card in the draft process and an interesting prospect. He played quarterback at UNLV and Ohio and showed his speed last year by setting an NCAA record for quarterbacks with a 99-yard touchdown run vs. Buffalo. Word is, at 6 feet 5 and 230 pounds, Rogers has been turning heads now that he’s training as a receiver due to his size and speed. He’s vertical jumping in the high 30s. He has run the 40 in the low 4.4s and has been broad jumping around 11 feet. It’s probably a stretch to think that, even if he wows scouts at his pro day, a team drafts him, but he’ll likely earn a shot in someone’s camp.

30. Chris Olave, Ohio State, wide receiver: He’s torn up the Big Ten over the past three years, catching 33 touchdowns. Simply put, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is effortlessly fast. It probably wouldn’t shock anyone if he clocked a 4.30 40.

31. Dareke Young, Lenoir-Rhyne, wide receiver: The next Freak from Kyle Dugger’s old Division II school is very raw. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Young’s jumping numbers will stand out, though. In training, he’s vertical jumped 40 inches and done 11-2 in the broad jump. He has a 40 time of 4.45 to go with 20 reps on the bench.

32. Tycen Anderson, Toledo, safety: One of the best-kept secrets in the MAC, Anderson has excellent ball skills and range. At 6 feet 2, 204 pounds, he’s expected to run the 40 in the 4.4s and also should vertical jump around 40 inches.

33. Brandon Smith, Penn State, linebacker: The Nittany Lions have had more than their share of Freaks — and while the 6-foot-3, 240-pound former five-star recruit isn’t Micah Parsons as a player (who is?), he’s still very, very explosive. He’s expected to run the 40 in the 4.4s. He has broad jumped in 10-5 and vertical jumped 36 inches. He also timed 4.25 in the shuttle last offseason.

34. Zander Horvath, Purdue, running back: The No. 40 has produced a lot of standouts at Purdue, and Horvath follows in that tradition, having led the team with 746 all-purpose yards. Horvath is intriguing. He’s 6 feet 1 1/2, 232 pounds and runs the 40 in the 4.4s. He’s clocked a 2.53 20-yard split, timed 4.06 in the short shuttle and also bench pressed 225 pounds more than 30 times.

35. Nakobe Dean, Georgia, linebacker: The electrical engineering major is brilliant off the field and on. He was the leader of the Bulldogs defense. He doesn’t have great size — maybe he’s 5-11 1/2, 225 pounds — but he’s a blur on the field. Rival coaches think he’ll run the 40 in the 4.4s and should have really quick shuttle times.

36. David Ojabo, Michigan, edge rusher: The Nigerian native was emerging fast in Ann Arbor opposite Hutchinson. Ojabo is expected to run the 40 in the low 4.5s and vertical jump in the high 30s.

37.Quay Walker, Georgia, linebacker: Walker is about 6 feet 4 and 245 pounds and has an 80-plus inch wingspan. He flies laterally and has speed to close. He should run in the 4.5 range. Scouts are still a little split on how instinctive he is, but he sure gets there in a hurry.

38. Lucas Krull, Pittsburgh, tight end: The one-time San Francisco Giants draftee reportedly used to clock 98 MPH on the radar. He has grown into a 6-foot-6, 255-pound NFL prospect and emerged as a nice weapon for the Panthers last season, catching 38 passes for 451 yards and six touchdowns. Panther coaches think that, despite his big frame, he can still run the 40 in the 4.6s.

39. Zion Johnson, Boston College, offensive lineman: An All-ACC lineman, the 6-3, 310-pound Johnson had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, showing off the good athleticism and intelligence that makes him a versatile option. Johnson, who has vertical jumped 34.5 inches at BC and completed 32 reps on the bench, is a very underrated athlete. He’s also a single-digit handicapper who played high school golf despite his big frame.

40. DaMarcus Mitchell, Purdue, edge rusher: He transferred to Purdue from junior college and flashed some potential, but his athleticism will get him some long looks. The 6-3, 260-pounder, who has only 7 percent body fat, runs the 40 in the 4.6s, has broad jumped 10-5 and vertical jumps in the high 30s.

 

 

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2022 NFL Combine: Draft Prospects to Watch, Colts QB Conundrum; News, Notes and Rumors
News, Notes, Rumors and Live Updates from the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.

he 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is here, and on-field workouts are set to begin today inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The workouts are set to kick off at 4 p.m. ET (NFL Network) with quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends going through a variety of testing: bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, shuttle, 40-yard dash and positional drills.

There’s a lot of chatter on the quarterback prospects this week and how they’ll perform today. Two other Day 1 draft prospects have reportedly decided to sit out the on-field portion of workouts at the combine this week. Here’s a closer look at the early news, notes & rumors portion of combine week:

News / Notes / Rumors
– Sam Howell is a name I keep hearing buzzing around league circles. While he may not be QB1 on many team boards, he’s a prospect that more than a few teams are highly intrigued by due to his mental and physical toughness. His on-field performance could go a long way in the eyes of teams looking his way.

– Some around the league believe that out of all the quarterback prospects in this year’s class, Pitt QB Kenny Pickett may be the closest thing to a guaranteed starter at the NFL level.

– One name that’s been popping up often in Indy is USC WR Drake London. At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, London’s size stands out among the wide receiver group. While some teams may favor speed at the position, others view London as a high ceiling player who could help a quarterback in several areas on the field. “Comes down to flavor at the position – some teams love him more than media does, others are lower.”

– As we heard all week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, Liberty QB Malik Willis continues to wow teams in interviews. His humble, positive personality and profound knowledge for the game have impressed more than a few teams. His intriguing ceiling has many feeling he could ultimately be the first quarterback selected – even if he’s not ready to start day 1.

– More on Malik Willis: One of the quarterback prospects many will be laser-focused on in the passing portion of drills. I’ll be watching how consistent his ball placement is, his timing with dropbacks and releases, and also his anticipation on short/intermediate throws. He has a rocket of an arm but his consistency/accuracy at all levels is something he has to show more of.

– The New England Patriots are one of many teams that could look at possible trade down scenarios in Round 1. The belief right now is that in this year’s class, the gap in talent between the 20th ranked player and the 50th ranked isn’t as wide as past years. Specifically, for a team like New England who have key needs on both sides of the ball, gathering additional top-100 picks might be viewed as a high importance come April 28th.

– Both Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum and Clemson CB Andrew Booth won’t be participating in on-field workouts this week due to rehab from injuries. Linderbaum is hopeful he’ll be ready for Iowa’s pro day.

– Jacksonville has options atop the draft. At No. 1 overall, the Jaguars have a plethora of options to choose from. Three top-10 tackles up for grabs and a pair of edge players that come with various opinions. Few around the league confidently know what the Jaguars are thinking with the first overall selection next month. Strong chance there’s four players they’ll consider between now and April 28th.

– Mitchell Trubisky buzz is real. Teams that feel optimistic about their roster construction this offseason and ability to make a playoff run may elect to take a swing on Trubisky rather than one of the 2022 QB prospects. The belief right now is that Trubisky will place high value in his next move and prefers to be in good situation; solid coaching foundation, good receiving corps.

– Sleeper Prospects to Watch

Mississippi State WR Makai Polk

Kentucky WR Wan'Dale Robinson

Chattanooga OL Cole Strange 

UTSA CB Tariq Woolen

Texas A&M DL Michael Clemons

Nebraska TE Austin Allen

 

 

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The times being laid down by the WRs tonight are insane. Olave's group has 9 guys under 4.4 alone. (Olave a 4.26)

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Not sure of any times at this point and this guy is a sleeper I have watched play since my boy is all about Texas football.

Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

He’s light in the ass, but teams simply couldn’t account for his speed.

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Never mind, my son told me about his unofficial 4.21.
Crazy fast for a guy who’s 6’3.

Not like he’s going 9th overall or something stupid like that.

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He got adjusted back to 4.28 and olave adjusted to 4.39. Both still crazy fast for what they do. Olave is so smooth.

 

a ton of positive buzz this AM about the qbs which is great news. If we can get 3 or 4 into the first round it would certainly help push some players back to us at 31.

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Couldn't agree more Mem.

Always have been a huge fan of Olave being a huge Buckeyes fan.  I did see the adjustments, but yeah, stupid fast.

YES YES and YES, we want to see all the QB's ball out and do freakishly athletic shit at the combine.
The more the merry.  Some teams are going to take a shot when they shouldn't and someone will unexpectedly drop.

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Also, hope there is a WR rush to the back of the 1st round too, based on those times. Let's goooooo. All the WRs and QBs into the 1st round, please. 

 

(side note- there may be a real burner at WR floating around in round 4 for us to grab...we need quality WR depth)

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Based on these times,  I think there is going to be more of a rush on WR in the first round pushing down OL talent. 

IF that doesn't happen it will be the unpopular thing to say but you have to pull the trigger on some of the WR talent that will be there at 31 if a run doesn't occur.   

Some mocks don't even have Treylon Burks in the first round.   That will change soon I would think, but it would be incredibly hard to pass him up if your looking at the 5th tackle or 3rd Interior OL.   

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44 minutes ago, membengal said:

(side note- there may be a real burner at WR floating around in round 4 for us to grab...we need quality WR depth)

All of my late round guys I was hoping would stay that way are doing what I thought they would at the combine.
Thornton was my late round WR burner and you saw what he did yesterday. Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan St. is another I like.
No way Alex Pierce doesn't go earlier than originally thought either after yesterday.

My TE guy I really like is Jelani Woods out of Virginia.  If you missed what he did yesterday, it was something.
6'7, 260 and running a 4.6 40.  Ridiculous.

A CB I like late also is Jermaine Waller out of Virginia Tech.

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10 minutes ago, AMPHAR said:

IF that doesn't happen it will be the unpopular thing to say but you have to pull the trigger on some of the WR talent that will be there at 31 if a run doesn't occur.

I'm not interested in a WR at #31 whatsoever.  I get the premise, but just don't want it.

If anyone is interested in an idea that will just piss off almost any Bengals fan.  I have one...
What happens in the 2nd round when there are no OL prospects that are interesting and most other positions of need are reaches ??
Would anyone entertain the thought of taking Metchie at that point ??  

I get it, he probably isn't playing much if at all in 2022.  However, we don't necessarily "need" him to.
He comes back in 2023 and he's part of the mix with Chase, Higgins and Boyd learning.
Boyd is a free agent in 2024 and turns 30 that same year.  This would purely be about planning for the future.

Then again, he may be available for us for Super Bowl 57 !!!

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48 minutes ago, ArmyBengal said:

I'm not interested in a WR at #31 whatsoever.  I get the premise, but just don't want it.

If anyone is interested in an idea that will just piss off almost any Bengals fan.  I have one...
What happens in the 2nd round when there are no OL prospects that are interesting and most other positions of need are reaches ??
Would anyone entertain the thought of taking Metchie at that point ??  

I get it, he probably isn't playing much if at all in 2022.  However, we don't necessarily "need" him to.
He comes back in 2023 and he's part of the mix with Chase, Higgins and Boyd learning.
Boyd is a free agent in 2024 and turns 30 that same year.  This would purely be about planning for the future.

Then again, he may be available for us for Super Bowl 57 !!!

Its good debate.   Personally I'm going BPA over need.  I can go either way really.   I would certainly entertain high level WRs at 31 or 63.   

 

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If they have the ability to trade #31 for Laremy Tunsil I am ALL-IN....

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45 minutes ago, Wraith said:

If they have the ability to trade #31 for Laremy Tunsil I am ALL-IN....

Gasmask Bongface is a left tackle, so id need to hear about Jonah being happy to move first and Pollack saying hed be better at the position he'd shift to

then and only then

how many years is Tunsil under contract for?

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Re: BPA - Tobin himself said it is a bit different if you are picking top 5 as opposed to where they are picking this year. Tobin noted needs enter into discussion a bit more at 31. 

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7 minutes ago, membengal said:

Re: BPA - Tobin himself said it is a bit different if you are picking top 5 as opposed to where they are picking this year. Tobin noted needs enter into discussion a bit more at 31. 

I took that as looking for someone who could come in and start so it would seem to fit more need rather than BPA, I guess.

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2 hours ago, Wraith said:

If they have the ability to trade #31 for Laremy Tunsil I am ALL-IN....

I would "prefer" not giving up #31 for Tunsil.  Not because I don't think it would solve two spots with one pick up, but the "other stuff".

Other stuff to me is giving up on a younger o-line prospect I would bet a large amount of money that falls to us.  We need to think longer term as well.
Along with that, giving up the 5th year option, which gives up on an entire year of flexibility.

If they truly want to get rid of him, give this year's 2nd and next year's 3rd.  Something like that.
Make it incentive laden... a Super Bowl appearance with Tunsil earning All Pro honors, playing more than % of plays sees the 3rd go up to a 2nd.

I've given my reasons why Williams should embrace that move and he may actually be better on the right side.
I wouldn't have any problems in finding out if Pollack feels it's a plus move.

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The o-line does need at least one new, very good veteran who is in his prime and does not have a serious injury history,  but more likely 2 vets - as this line has too much revolving young guys not panning-out, and when Hopkins is your best grizzled veteran, you know you're in trouble.

I don't care if they draft guys behind who they sign with some of the top 3 picks, doesn't matter, they need quality depth and a long-term plan, and to get out of this mess, they have to get some better talent in the pipeline and a couple from FA to protect their investment right away.

There are some monsters this year at OT,  and this o-line class seems light years better than last year's at least.  It is entirely possible they could have as many as 4 new starters next off-season, some of these rookies are going to beat some of the under-performing guys out on this team I think, at least at G/C,  which seems to be completely open right now.

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I need to see at least 2 high quality OL vets brought in -- one of which needs to be a ORT -- to be OK with the FA period

3, and I am happy.  giddy even.

GIMME SOME LINEMEN

as a related side note, with all this talk about Jonah moving positions, I find it curious that the man himself has said exactly jack and squat on any topic as far as I know.  Crickets.

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That's because Jonah isn't moving positions. 

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There aren’t many RT’s. The ones available are average. Not sure we are going to find that in FA.

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