Defensive Players Shine Over First Two Days at the NFL Combine
Frank Coyle/ Head scout
Photo – Lukas Van Ness – Iowa
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA Today Network
At the NFL Combine, the complete group of defensive players have finished two days of extensive workouts and exams. We will not comment on players who opted out of the workouts after an offseason of endless deflections from first the team Bowl games in Dec and Jan followed by the weakest All-star venue ever. Several All-Star games did not have a Top 150 Prospects at the event on Draft Insiders’ rankings. Many NFL personnel have privately complained at this development and are discussed with how this has complicated and extended the scouting process unnecessarily.
Top NFL Combine Defensive Players
Edge Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern was an impressive athlete who excelled in most drills and improved his stock significantly. DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson had a strong workout and his versatility to fit either front line including lining up inside and outside will help his cause. Edge Lukas Van Ness, Iowa continues to make an amazing raise up the charts. He moved easily and displayed power and explosiveness. DT Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh ran the best forty time at 4.67 and moved quickly in drills.
LB Nolan Smith, Georgia blew up the first day of the workout and solidified at mid first round selection. Edge Byron Young, Tennessee continued his incredible rise up the charts with a strong performance. He is explosive and fast and moved well in drills. LB Jack Campbell, Iowa had a well rounded workout and is highly developed to be a plug and play backer next fall. LB Owen Pappoe, Auburn ran a blazing sub. 4.4 sprint and added solid numbers in drills.
CB Deonte Banks, Maryland had an excellent workout including a sub 4.4 time and quick drills at almost 200 lbs. DB Brian Branch, Alabama was smooth in all drills. He was highly efficient in his movement and had fine numbers in drills. CB Julius Brents, Kansas State has unique size and leaping talent. He put up impressive numbers and fits all schemes. CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon checked all the boxes and might have earned the #1 corner ranking. He ran well and changed directions easily to impress many DCs.
CB Riley Moss, Iowa was prepared for the event and responded with a well rounded performance. He combines the versatility and talent to play any position in the secondary, increasing his value tremendously. CB DJ Turner II, Michigan had the fastest forty time with a 4.27 sprint. He also did well in the leaping drills and helped his draft stock nicely.
Safety Sydney Brown, Illinois had a strong workout and displayed quickness, speed and power to help his cause. Safety Brandon Hill, Pittsburgh ran a fast 4.44 time and moved easily in drills to leave an impression. DB Jartavius Martin, Illinois was outstanding and improved his stock as much as anyone on the defensive side of the ball. He ran well and moved smoothly in drills plus leaped out of the building.