NFL Combine: Defense Rules Day 3
The deepest groups in this years draft hit the field for workouts
Sunday at the Combine defensive lineman and linebackers worked out for the prying eyes of the NFL. Some showed us more than we expected (literally), while others confirmed what we already knew.
- Andrew Billings DL Baylor
This kid by far came out and made himself a ton of money on Sunday. At 6 feet two inches tall & 310 pounds he was able to put up an amazing 5.05 second 40 yard dash time. He showed rare quickness for his frame & also set the bar with 31 reps on the bench class. Pair all of those together with the fluidity he showed in the drills, Billings has now entered himself into that top 25 selection range inside the first round.
- Defensive Line Depth
This group is by far the deepest of all the position groups in this class, second would be the corner class. I have 10+ guys who have first round grades, not all of them will be taken in the first round, but what that means is that teams with defensive line needs will be able to find guys with top end talent in the mid to late 2nd round. Every year the defensive line group seems to get better & better and in a passing league you need guys like there are in this class.
- Deion Jones LB LSU
Some guys had Jones in their top 5 in the linebacker group, I did not, but after the showing he put on in the combine we may have to re-evaluate where we rated Deion Jones. Jones set the bar in the 40 yard dash with an impressive 4.59 time and that quickness translates on tape and in the drills. Not only did he show the speed in drills but his fluidity and his technique were second to none. His versatilely and how he can be used on the field will surely move his stock up in the coming weeks.
- Joe Schobert LB Wisconsin
Joe Schobert made a lot of fans this weekend and you can count me into that group. Schobert on tape is a sure tackler who has a nose for the football and can make plays at multiple levels. He ran a good 40 time at 4.76 secs but the drills are what really set him apart from some of the others in his class. His technique, especially in terms of how he kept his eyes up & his hips were superb. I like this kid’s transitioning into the NFL game.
- Joey Bosa DL Ohio St.
Bosa didn’t bomb the combine in any stretch of the imagination, he did okay, but that is where to problems lay. His 40 time (4.86) was much slower than many, myself included, had him pegged for and in a class with some rare athletes he was just there. At times he stood out but there were several times where he was outclassed in some of the drills and even slipped once or twice. He’s still a top 5 guy, but when you look at Laremy Tunsil did on day one, I think Bosa is out of the conversation with that #1 overall pick.
- Chris Jones DL Mississippi St.
Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way, his 40 wasn’t great and to top it off he fell and his junk came out. Moving on, that wasn’t the only time he fell on Sunday, but thank goodness it was the only time his junk came out of his shorts. We knew coming in that Jones wasn’t the most athletic guy, but even some of the guys with frames similar to his outclassed him with their athleticism. Once thought of as a 3rd round guy, he may see his stock fall even further after Sunday.
- Noah Spence DL Eastern Kentucky
Noah Spence was one of the shining gems of this draft class. He showed rare athleticism, quickness, & also outperformed almost everyone on the field in the drills. All of which I projected in my 5 questions piece last week. What I also predicted was that he would talk himself out of the first round in the interviews and it sounds like that is exactly what Spence did. Rare talent, but a bonehead and teams just aren’t biting on that in the first round anymore.
- Nick Vigil LB Utah St.
Most people may look at this name and question why I have placed him on this list. To explain I had higher hopes for Vigil coming into the week. He was very impactful at Utah St. His 40 wasn’t bad (4.72) and that is mostly because he played some running back at times for Utah St. Where he lost money was in the on field drills, he was all over the place, clunky, & looked terrible. I had him in that mid 5th round or early 6th round spots but he may become an UDFA after this weekend.