Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


Stock Report from Day Three of the NFL Scouting Combine

Feb 27, 2020 at 1:53 PM0


Draft season technically kicks off when the all-star games come around (or when your favorite team is eliminated from playoff contention), but it kicks into high gear with the start of the NFL Scouting Combine. As the week progresses, we will take a look at players who may have made positive or negative impressions on teams by the end of each day. On Wednesday, Defensive Linemen and Linebackers were measured, and Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, and Quarterbacks bench pressed (the quarterbacks didn't really bench press). We will run through each position group from day two of weigh-ins and discuss players who stood out in one way or another during measurements. Because of a scheduling change that has moved position drills to evenings, the daily stock reports will post one day after the actual events.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Most of the notes on players in this group will pertain to their arm length. Prospects rarely show up to the combine sloppy and out of shape (looking at you, Jachai Polite), so weigh-in day tends to be more about adequate playing weight and length. It's important for any defensive player to play with length to defeat blocks, but defenders on the line of scrimmage are in contact every play, so arm length is vital, especially on the edge, where defenders must contend with long-armed Offensive Tackles. Ideal arm length starts at 34 inches for edge defenders

STOCK UP: Notre Dame's Khalid Kareem (34 3/8-inch arms and 84-inch wingspan) and South Carolina's DJ Wonnum (34 1/8-inch arms and 83 3/4-inch wingspan) boasted the longest levers out of the edge prospects, which could give each of them a solid bump in their draft stock. Remember that Montez Sweat saw a massive jump up draft boards after measuring in with 35 3/4-inch arms and a 84 3/4-inch wingspan last year.

K'Lavon Chiasson, from LSU, is one of the speed rushers in the class who was expected to come in under weight. Weighing in a 254 pounds helps teams imagine him as an every-down defender. His arm length was 32 ¼ inches, but his 79-inch wingspan means he can play with plenty of length using a long arm technique.

STOCK DOWN:

None of the top edge defenders disappointed heavily at weigh-ins, but Chase Young has to be disappointed in his arm measurement. The Defensive End from Ohio State is the consensus top prospect in the draft, and his 33 3/4-inch arms won't hurt his draft stock, but they are less than ideal for the position. For perspective, Young's former teammate, Nick Bosa, was widely critiqued for his 33-inch arms last year, then he proceeded to go second overall in the draft and win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Bradley Anae, from Utah, is another Defensive End whose arm measurement was less than ideal. His 32 1/8-inch arms and 257 pound weigh-in will cause some teams to go back to the film to confirm that he can play with leverage on the edge.

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Like edge defenders, interior Defensive Linemen need to have long arms to ward off blocks; however, since they play primarily against shorter-armed Centers and Guards, the expectation is that they simply have arms that are longer than 32 inches.

STOCK UP:

Auburn's Derrick Brown, Utah's Leki Fotu, and Ohio State's Davon Hamilton were all high-rated prospects who weighed in well and measured well above 32-inch arms, at 34 1/4 inches, 34 ¼ inches, and 33 inches, respectively.

Marlon Davidson, also from Auburn, weighed in at 303 pounds, which will go a long way to him selling his transition from Defensive End to Defensive Tackle.

Javon Kinlaw, from South Carolina, apparently got good news on his knee during medical evaluations, and he looked good weighing in at 324 pounds, with 34 7/8-inch arms

STOCK DOWN:

Several interior linemen checked in with arms that were shorter than 32 inches. The most prominent prospect to do so was Khalil Davis from Nebraska. His 31 1/2-inch arms weren't much shorter than the standard, but that deficiency could push him down boards a bit in a crowded position group.

LINEBACKERS

Teams are looking for Linebackers who can run, cover, and tackle. The measurements won't mean as much as the tests and drills, but Linebackers will still need to show that they have the bulk to play the run, as well as the arm length to defend passes and consistently secure tackles.

STOCK UP:

Akeem Gaither, from Appalachian State, is a fast linebacker who excels in pass coverage and sideline-to-sideline pursuit. He was expected to weigh in at a mark that would be more consistent with a typical Strong Safety, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him weigh in at 224, which is close to the weight some of the NFL's faster Inside Linebackers play at, particularly in 4-3 schemes.

Similarly, Malik Harrison, from Ohio State, weighed in at a solid 247 pounds, which was heavier than expected. The additional weight should grant him scheme versatility to play in a 3-4 scheme, in addition to a 4-3 scheme where inside linebackers are more protected.

Terelle Lewis, from Alabama, is a 3-4 Outside Linebacker who weighed in well at 262 pounds. That weight, combined with his 33 7/8-inch arms and 83 3/8-inch wingspan, should indicate that he can hold up well on the edge.

STOCK DOWN:

Several Linebackers had arms that measured below 32 inches, including a handful of prospects who already had questions about their missed tackles. The prospect who took the biggest hit from his arm length may have been Cal's Evan Weaver, who is already expected to test poorly in drills.

BENCH PRESS PARTICIPANTS

Several prospects elected not to participate in the bench press, so the list will not include several players who could have impressed or disappointed at this drill.

STOCK UP:

Chase Claypool is a Wide Receiver from Notre Dame who has already been asked to participate in Tight End drills this week. His 19 reps on the bench should help convince teams that he can learn to block larger defenders.

Denzel Mims, from Baylor, was noted earlier this week for his long arms. Cranking out 16 reps as a long-armed Wide Receiver was an impressive effort.

TCU's Jalen Reagor and Penn State's K.J. Hamler are two shorter receivers who performed well in the bench press. Reagor's 17 repetitions, along with his 206-pound weigh-in, should indicate that he is sturdy enough to handle a versatile load, including catching in traffic and receiving handoffs. Hamler's 15 reps should indicate that he is strong enough to block Defensive Backs in the run game, something he did not do frequently at Penn State.

STOCK DOWN:

Harrison Bryant, a Tight End from Florida Atlantic, only put up 13 repetitions, which might not inspire confidence that he can block front seven defenders.

Michael Pittman, from Southern California, won't suffer a big drop due to his bench press, but it is a bit disappointing that a large Wide Receiver with his apparent play strength only put up 13 repetitions on the bench.

Those are my impressions from Tuesday at the Combine. See you tomorrow for some quick analysis of measurements for Defensive Backs, and drills (FINALLY DRILLS) for Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, and Quarterbacks!

Next: Day 4 - QB, WR, and TE Drills
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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