Combine Review: DL and LB
The Defensive line and Linebacker workouts concluded earlier today and they uncovered some underrated prospects as well as showcased some of the top talents in the draft. This Defensive Line class is overflowing with top end talent, as the top 2 prospects in this draft play along the D-line ( Williams and Bosa) and many more lineman on the defensive side of the ball will get picked early. The Linebacker portion of the day pointed out that Devin White and Devin Bush are definitely the top two at the position this year, as their performances were highly rated.
In the Defensive Line drills, I was looking to see the prospects show leverage, fluidity, solid hand usage, flatten ability, athleticism, acceleration, and power in their punches.
In the Linebacker drills, I was looking at how freely they moved their hips and transitioned, leverage, athleticism, acceleration, and their overall hand usage.
Montez Sweat: I was already a fan of Sweats game and a believer in his overall upside, and after his showing at the combine I am even more intrigued with his skillset. Sweat ran a record time for defensive lineman ( 4.41) and had an impressive showing in the 3 cone drill (7.0). On the field, Montez has a good mixture of speed and power but has room to further develop his hand usage.
Brian Burns: Burns alleviated some size questions this week after he measured in heavier than the number that his previously listed weight suggested. He is a long and lanky pass rusher and flashed explosive movements on the field today. There are streaks of solid hand usage and bend on his tape and Burns has the upside to be a dynamic sack artist off the edge. Getting him involved with an NFL strength and conditioning staff will really accelerate his developmental timeline.
Nick Bosa: Bosa made it clear today that he is one of the more technically refined edge rushers in the class. My second overall prospect stood out in the drills and proved that he can fit in a 3-4 front if drafted into one.
Ben Banogu: Banogu impressed in the athletic testing and displayed his fluidity and quickness in the workouts. Banogu is an interesting day 2 edge option for teams that missed out on one of the top prospects in the class.
Chase Winovich: Winovich completely surprised me with his 40 time and 3 cone drill, which showed that he has some explosiveness and is a fluid athlete. On tape, Winovich shows polish in his mechanics and makes it clear that he is a reliable edge presence. Today at the combine he confirmed my evaluation of his overall technical mastery, but added in that he is a truly underestimated athlete.
Trysten Hill: Hill exploded onto the scene today with impressive athletic testing and a good showing in the drills. In my notes, i wrote multiple times about how he is an explosive athlete with instant acceleration from his stance. He is quick and smooth in his movements, while being able to drop his pads and pack a punch in his strikes. He is someone who I will have to watch more tape on as I move forward in my evaluations.
Devin Bush: Bush is a bundle of lightning when pursuing sideline to sideline and is also a physical tackler. He is a solid processor of the field, but is undersized and will get eaten up by bigger blockers. During the on-field drills, Bush displayed his athletic traits, speed, and fluidity. He is a limited scheme fit because of his size, but a team will be getting a talented player who makes plays consistently enough to be a quality starter.
Devin White: I’m still in awe about the product White put on the field today. He had a blazing 40 time and really shined in the drills. White is an athletic and physical specimen with elite sideline to sideline range and fluidity. He has some inconsistencies in his tackling technique and how he processes the field, but he is a high upside player who should develop well once he gets into the hands of an NFL coaching staff.
Drue Tranquill: Tranquill had an impressive day in which he looked very fluid and controlled in his movements. Tranquill showed he has good linear speed and that he can cover ground at a good pace. He will be a solid mid-round option for a team in need of a Linebacker.
Others: Wilkins, Omenihu, Green, Hollins