Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


Stock Report from Day Five of the NFL Scouting Combine: OL and RB Testing and Drills

Feb 29, 2020 at 2:18 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 Friday, Offensive Linemen and Running Backs did agility testing and on-field drills. Because of a scheduling change that has moved position drills to evenings, the daily stock reports will post one day after the actual events.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

STOCK UP:

Good grief, there was some amazing athleticism on display from the big guys yesterday. Some fringe-worthy players may have worked their way into Day 3, while some top prospects pushed themselves closer to the top of the first round.

Mekhi Becton, from Louisville, is in the conversation to be the first Offensive Tackle taken in the draft. His measurements were impressive, but running a 5.10-second 40 at 364 pounds was crazy. He further helped his cause by showing great feet and impressive knee bend in drills.

Alabama's Jedrick Willis is another tackle competing to be the first selection in his position group at the draft. His 5.05 40 and 34 1/2-inch vertical jump showed of his elite athleticism, which was confirmed in terrific on-field drills that featured natural bend and sudden change of direction. As an added bonus, he fired of a punch during a pass protection drill that stunned a position coach through the 8-inch thick pad he was holding.

Andrew Thomas, from Georgia, is another Tackle vying to go first in a tremendously talented and deep position group this year. He gained immediate notoriety with his 36 1/8-inch arm measurement earlier in the week, and he tested well, with a 5.22-second 40 and a 7.58 second 3-cone.

Tristen Wirf was the brightest star in testing, in my opinion. He ran a 4.85-second 40 and jumped 36 1/2 inches in the vertical jump test, while measuring 6'5" at 320 pounds. He's the rare case of an Offensive Lineman electing to enter the draft from Iowa after 3 years, but he has clearly developed the refined technique that has become Iowa's calling card through the years.

Cesar Ruiz, a Center from Michigan, may be the best interior Offensive Lineman in this draft. He measured well earlier in the week, and he continued his momentum by posting a 5.08-second 40 and a 33-inch vertical jump.

Matt Hennessy, from Temple, posted a very athletic showing for a Guard. His 5.18-second 40 and 7.45-second 3-cone drill identified him as good candidate to succeed in an outside zone offensive scheme.

Ball State's Danny Pinter was probably going to be a priority signing as an undrafted free agent, but his 4.91-second 40 might have helped him sneak into Day 3 of the draft. He's viewed as more of a developmental prospect who needs to work on play strength (think: Daniel Kilgore), but his athleticism could get him a place on a practice squad for a season or two.

STOCK DOWN:

The Tackle class is crowded at the top, and Houston's Josh Jones didn't do much to stay in the first round. With the amazing performances of the other top tackles, Jones' 5.27-second and 28.5-inch vertical jump made him stick out, in a bad way.

Calvin Throckmorton, from Oregon, had a terrible week. His short arm measurement already damaged his perceived versatility, and his terrible testing yesterday put the nail in that coffin. He's an interior guy only, and his marks of 5.27 seconds in the 40 and 8.07 seconds in the 3-cone were even bad in the Guard/Center group.

RUNNING BACKS

STOCK UP:

Jonathan Taylor, from Wisconsin, continued to steal the show. Running a 4.39-second 40 at 226 pounds was wild enough, but backing it up with a 7.01-second 3 cone made him the absolute freak of the draft in his position group.

Boston College's AJ Dillon was another big back who tested well for his size. Running a 4.53-second 40 at 253 pounds was ridiculous. His 41-inch vertical jump reinforced that his explosiveness is for real.

Cam Akers continued his good week. Florida State didn't open many holes for him, but his athleticism shows up on tape, and his 4.47-second 40 and sudden cuts in on-field drills confirmed the tape.

STOCK DOWN:

Washington's Savon Ahmed needed to show up during testing. His running already had scouts questioning his vision and ability to read blocks. His saving grace in evaluations was the perception that he had homerun speed. His 4.62-second 40 hurt that perception a lot. Hopefully, he chooses to run again at his pro day.

Zach Moss, from Utah, is a heavier back who did not necessarily need to run well, but posting a time over 4.6 seconds in the 40 didn't help the perception that he's only a two-down back. In on-field drills, he stutter-stepped some cuts, revealing his limited change of direction. Teams will need to go back to the tape to determine if they are comfortable using him as much more than a short-yardage back.

Those are my impressions from Friday at the Combine. See you tomorrow for some quick analysis of agility tests and on-field drills for Defensive Lineman and Linebackers!

Next: Day 6 - DL and LB Testing and 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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