Combine Review: OL and RB
The first day of on-field workouts at the 2019 NFL Combine have wrapped up and many prospects have either boosted or dropped their stock after their performance today. When evaluating the players, there’s a high importance on how they come out and perform, as the the on-field drills paint a picture of the players traits and the testing gives us an idea of a players quickness, athleticism, upper body strength, and fluidity.
For the Offensive Lineman drills, I wanted to see how fluidly they move, their footwork, how they can shift and control their weight, their posture, how they carry their hands as well as where they place them, and their overall physicality. For the Running Back drills, I wanted to see their change of direction skills, if they could cut while minimizing wasted steps, and how they caught and tracked the football.
Garrett Bradbury: He is fluid and quick in his movements and showed that off in the drills. Bradbury is best when in motion and made it clear to scouts that he can play with a low center of gravity and knee bend. In the mirror drill, he stayed square, kept his base width controlled, and easily shifted his weight. He is a round one talent with exceptional movement skills and solid technique.
Chris Lindstrom: He looked really solid on the field and flashed an all-around skillset. Lindstrom created good movement on the pads with lowered hips and inside placement and also showed he moves fluidly.
Cody Ford: He is mauling presence with nimble feet and effortless redirect ability. He did not run the best 40 time, but he stepped up in the drills. Ford is an uber athlete for his size and is able to stay square and mirror in his pass sets. He looked fluid and had better footwork than a man of his stature should, which goes to show how much of a freak he is. There are questions about if he really is a Guard, but today he showed that he can make a living as a Right Tackle in the NFL.
Jonah Williams: I was already a firm disbeliever in the whole “Williams to the inside” movement before this week, but when Jonah nearly hit the arm length threshold of 34 inches ( he has 33 5/8 inch arms and many thought that they would measure shorter than that), I became certain that he will be a reliable Left Tackle in the NFL. On the field, Williams exhibited easy movement skills and showed that he is a picture perfect mechanic at the position. He gained good depth in his first step when in the setting drills and had very technically sound footwork through the whistle.
Dalton Risner: Risner is a good prospect physically, athletically, and mentally but the question mark with him is what position he will play. He showed off the ability to stay in phase with consistent knee bend and controlled feet. His performance today told me that he can play RT, but based off my evaluation of his game, i think he will get the most out of himself if he moves to the interior. On the bag drills he showed the requisite power and leverage to make the move inside a real possibility. No matter where he lines up, he offers an NFL franchise positional flexibility, leadership, grit, and solid mechanical usage.
Jawaan Taylor: Jawaan won some extra points because of how he battled through a hamstring injury so that he could work out in front of NFL coaches and front office members. While he showed some hinderance because of his injury, he had a solid showing and flashed how his body of work translates well to the league. In the setting drill he showed that he can function from both the right and left side, which adds to his draft value. Taylor has explosive feet for a big man and keeps himself low to the ground so he can transition smoothly and anchor.
Other impressive O-Lineman: McGary, McCoy
Miles Sanders: Sanders made everything he did look easy. He changed direction with ease, had sinkage into his cuts, as well as showed off solid burst and a better 40 time than expected. In the receiving part of the workout, he was able to track throws over his shoulder and showed off decent hands. He may have boosted himself into second round consideration.
James Williams: Williams Confirmed that he is a fluid mover and that he can make plays on the ball as a receiver. He cuts laterally with small amounts of resistance and gets upfield quickly. He is a talented runner who could slide to the mid rounds due to the high saturation of talent at the position.
Alex Barnes: He is a prototype NFL back with multiple tools in his tool box. Barnes is a loose runner with smooth change of direction and made some nice catches in the receiving portion of the workout. He is a bruising RB with good contact balance and did a whopping 34 reps on the bench. He can be a solid player on Sundays.
Justice Hill: Hill unfortunately did not participate in the drills due to injury, but he made the rest of his appearance count. He showcased his high end athleticism with a 4.40 40, 21 reps on the bench, a 10’10 inch broad jump, and a 40 inch vertical jump. Due to his quickness and clean cut ability, he will be a force as a complementary back.
Other Impressive Running Backs: Weber, Armstead
- Taylor Moser