With the 2017 NFL Combine in the books, now it is on to the Pro Days throughout March and April until the draft on April 27th in Philadelphia. But just as with the offensive players, we had no lack of firepower with the defensive guys. Myles Garrett he is the next superstar in the league (btw I would trade my entire 2017 draft and next year's #1 to Cleveland for Garrett if they would take it). In addition the Combine revealed an amazingly deep class of DBs, some new names to go watch more film on and more. Here is a look at the players who helped/hurt their stock the most:
• Jordan Willis, Kansas St, 6-4 255lbs
Willis was easily the best DL at the underwear Olympics, posting a 4.53 in the 40 and a 6.85 in the 3 cone drill. In positional drills, Willis showed the agility in space to play as a 3-4 OLB and the explosion to play a 4-3 DE. Willis will likely be drafted in the 2nd round but should be an instant starter.
• Derek Rivers, Youngstown, 6-4 248lbs
Much like Willis, Rivers showed position flexibility and dominated in drills. With a 4.61 in the 40, 30 reps of 225lbs and 35 in vertical, Rivers has all the explosiveness a team could want from a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB. Draft twitter said “Rivers is what Tim Williams should be.”
• Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic, 6-4 266lbs
Hendrickson proved to be a more traditional 4-3 DE than the previous two entries, but his 4.65 in the 40 with a 1.59 10 yard split showed he can get upfield quickly with good bend around the edge. Hendrickson has come from off the radar into a Top 60 prospect and a strong possibility for the Cowboys in round 2.
o Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3 253lbs
Harris really disappointed at the Combine in a field full of quality edge rushers. His pedestrian 4.83 in the 40 and terrible showing in agility drills has him truly labeled a tweener or situational pass rusher only and might put him out of round 1.
o Tim Williams, Alabama, 6-3 244lbs
Williams came into the Combine with a number of character Red Flags (admitting to failing multiple drug tests at Alabama) and needed to impress in order to give teams an excuse to overlook them. Instead, Williams ran an average 4.68 in the 40 and looked pedestrian in drills.Williams may last until round 3 when a team is willing to take a chance on him.
o Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh, 5-11 241lbs
Being a massively undersized edge rusher, Price needed to really show he had the explosion for a team to take a chance on him. Instead he ra a 4.84 in the 40 and was even worse in the vertical and broad jumps. Like his NFL comp Elvis Dumervil, Price will need a team to build a scheme for him to thrive in order to make his pick valuable.
• Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova, 6-7 289lbs
Coming from an untraditional football school, Kpassagnon had some teams drooling watching a man his size run a 4.83 in the 40 with a 1.69 split. As a 3-4 DE, many teams will be intrigued with his athleticism and he could go as high as late round 2.
• Montravius Adams, Auburn, 6-4 304lbs
After impressing at the Senior Bowl, Adams kept up the momentum with a 4.87 in the 40 and some nice work in drills. Adams is a real boom/bust prospect with some bad tape but some real potential. Adams could be the next Nick Fairley (bust) or the next Gerald McCoy as a Day 2 selection.
o Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 6-3 286lbs
Allen entered the Combine as the #2 overall prospect on many boards and left with a diagnosis of arthritic shoulders and questions about his poor performance in drills. A 5 flat in the 40 was not nearly the force he appeared on tape. Though he's still the top DT on the board, it's possible he slides just a bit from Top 2 to out of Top 5.
o Jarron Jones, Notre Dame, 6-6 316lbs
Jones looked like he did zero prep for the Combine, looking lost in drills and posting a Combine worse 20.5 in vertical. Jones is no more than a Day 3 pick or an UDFA
• Hasaan Reddick, Temple, 6-1 237lbs
Though he technically competed as a DL at the Combine, Reddick will be a LB in the pros and likely a 1st rounder at that. Reddick blazed a 4.52 in the 40 and showed both plus pass rush and pass coverage skills. Reddick could be a Top 20 pick now.
• Tyus Bowser, Houston, 6-3 247
If you don't count Reddick, Bowser had the fastest 40 among LBs (4.65) and an impressive 37.5 inch vertical. As a 3-4 OLB or a Leo pass rushing stand up LB, Bowser has the attitude and skill that is very coveted by DCs.
• Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State, 6-2 240lbs
Most scouts had McMillan pegged as a 3-4 ILB with limitations in pass coverage. But a 4.61 in the 40 and smoothness in space on pass coverage drills has many rethinking that evaluation and makes him a solid round 2 prospect.
o Reuban Foster, Alabama, 6-0 229lbs
Foster was dismissed from the Combine after an altercation with a medical official. Despite his efforts to apologize and make amends, Foster is gonna be hurt by this incident not to mention his smaller than ideal size for an inside backer. Once thought to be a Top 10 lock, Foster might not even be the 1st LB drafted now.
o Ryan Anderson, Alabama, 6-2 253lbs
Rough weekend for Bama LBs in Indy as Anderson failed to answer questions about his play in space. A 4.78 in the forty makes Anderson a bit of a tweener prospect, not agile enough for 3-4 OLB or Leo and not big enough for a 4-3 DE.
o Devonte Fields, Louisville, 6-2 236lbs
Not sure how Fields made it through the league’s new background check for Combine participants, but maybe he would have been better off not competing. A 4.72 in the 40 and stiffness in drills makes Fields a risk to get selected at all.
• Gareon Conley, Ohio State, 6-0 195lbs
Both Buckeye CBs (Marcus Lattimore the other) had outstanding Combines, though Lattimore’s was spoiled by another hamstring issue. Conley, however, had no such issues and put himself in the 1st round mix with a 4.44 in the 40.
• Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado, 6-3 198lbs
Much like the Buckeye CBs, both Buffalo corners (Chidobe Awuzie the other) also had great performances in Indy. And while Awuzie might have been the best DB in the drills, Witherspoon has the size teams like and showed amazing footwork (which should not be surprising from a former soccer player).
• Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida, 6-0 194lbs
The corner pool just gets deeper as Griffin, who was a fringe prospect coming into the Combine, will have scouts scrambling for game film after a 4.38 in the 40 and a 38.5 in vertical. Add to that Griffin’s excellence in drills and it's possible he is this year's Buster Skrine.
o Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0 199lbs
With so many corners in this draft, a bad performance at the Combine is heightened due to the number of prospects that may pass you by. Tabor is a perfect example, with his weak 4.62 in the 40 and even weaker 9 reps of 225. Tabor could fall all the way out of the 1st round with so many options available for CB needy teams.
o Rasul Douglas, West Virginia, 6-2 209lbs
Despite having the size teams covet, Douglas looked slow and stiff in drills and might be better served as a FS or in a strictly zone coverage scheme.
o Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson, 6-1 199lbs
Tankersley truly shows not everything at the Combine is about numbers. Despite a solid 4.40 in the 40, Tankersley looked dreadful in the on-field drills and might slide into round 3 or 4 come April.
• Obi Melifonwu, UConn, 6-4 224lbs
The talk of the Monday DB workouts centered on Melifonwu and his freakish numbers. A 4.40 in the 40, 17 reps of 225lbs, a. 11-9 long jump and a ridiculous 44 in vertical. Even though his tape doesn't warrant it, Melifonwu will be a first round selection.
• Marcus Williams, Utah, 6-1 202lbs
After Adams, Hooker and now Melifonwu, Marcus Williams is the next best safety in the draft and will be a great value pick in round 2. His fluid coverage ability and a 43.5 in vertical should have him starting in someone’s centerfield next season.
• Josh Jones, NC State, 6-1 220lbs
A big man who runs a 4.41 in the 40 and shows smooth hips in coverage in gold in today's NFL. Jones was among a number of SS types that had nice showings on Monday.
o Jamal Adams, LSU, 6-0 214lbs
It's not that Adams did anything wrong at the Combine, but he also didn't blow anyone away with his athleticism. A 4.56 in the 40 and just 31.5 in vertical are fine numbers and his tape will keep him the top safety on the board, but it's possible he could slide out of the Top 5 lock that most project him to be.
o Lorenzo Jerome, St Francis, 5-10 204lbs
After an impressive draft season to date recording 2 INTs in both all-star games, Jerome showed his limitations at the Combine. A 4.70 in the 40 and real struggles in drills show his game is more about instinct than physical gifts. Likely a Day 3 pick who will need special teams to be a 3rd safety.
o Quincy Wilson, Florida, 6-1 211lbs
I only include Wilson on this list because I think he makes a better FS than a corner and the Combine confirmed that for me. A 4.54 in the 40, pedestrian vertical and broad jumps and some stiff hips are my proof.