Defensive linemen and linebackers hit the gridiron for Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine continued Saturday after tremendous on-field work on both Thursday and Friday.
Quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends took the field on Day 1 while offensive linemen and runningbacks performed on Day 2. Saturday, however, played host to the workouts of defensive linemen and linebackers, of which there are many in this class.
Big names such as Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan’s David Ojabo (both highly talented edge rushers who could be off the board early in the first round) worked out Saturday.
We were additionally able to witness the skills and talents of Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who may end up being the No. 1 overall pick.
Will Hutchinson actually find himself a Jacksonville Jaguar? Or will he slide to No. 2 or 3 overall?
One of the top defensive linemen in this 2022 NFL Draft class, Georgia’s Jordan Davis, ran an incredible 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.82 seconds.
Just to note: Davis is 6-foot-6, 341 pounds. Incredible.
Jordan Davis isn’t human
4.82u at 341 pounds 🤯
— PFF (@PFF) March 5, 2022
Davis, overall, had an awesome day at the combine. Expect the Bulldog to be a first-rounder. Right now, he’s projected as a late first-rounder, but his combine performance should improve his stock.
Also, can we just take a look at the comparisons NFL Research tweeted out?
– 6’6 3/8”: Taller than Rob Gronkowski (6’6 1/4”)
– 341 lbs: Heavier than Jason Peters (336 pounds)
– 4.78 40-Yd Dash: Faster than Patrick Mahomes (4.80)
– 1.68 10-Yd Split: Quicker than Jarvis Landry (1.73)@GeorgiaFootball
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 5, 2022
Another defensive lineman to keep an eye on, UCONN’s Travis Jones, showed tremendous movement during the figure-eight drill. He’s someone the Giants could target in the second or third round if the defensive line is an area they wish to address.
Travis Jones hoop pic.twitter.com/SPBdQb45KB
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 5, 2022
As for the top two defensive ends in this draft (Thibodeaux and Hutchinson), Thibodeaux actually ran the faster of the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.58 seconds. Hutchinson ran a 4.74.
The fastest of the edge rusher group, however, was Amare Barno out of Virginia Tech. Barno, who recorded 10.0 sacks in 21 total games with the Hokies, ran a 4.36 — an incredible mark for an edge rusher (or anyone, for that matter).
Expect Barno to be a middle- or late-round draft pick next month.
Thibodeaux did, however, record the highest number of bench press reps of his position group at 27.
Yes — 27 reps at 225 pounds. The next most was 25 from Miami (OH) edge rusher Dominique Robinson. Insane, to say the least.
Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen ran the fastest 40-yard dash of the participating linebackers at 4.41. Expect Andersen to be a Day 3 draft pick late next month.
.@MSUBobcats_FB's Troy Andersen getting the LBs off to a fast start with a 4.41u.
— NFL (@NFL) March 6, 2022
Potential first-round linebacker Devin Lloyd (Utah) ran a 4.71 40 and additionally put up 25 reps on the bench press. Could he become a top-10 pick?
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) March 6, 2022
25 reps on bench for @DevinLloyd_ 💪
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) March 5, 2022
Someone who impressed me during the 5-yard wave drill was USC linebacker Drake Jackson, who showed tremendous footwork and lateral agility.
As for the bench press, the linebacker that recorded the most (27) was Wyoming’s Chad Muma. Expect Muma to be a second- or third-rounder in the draft, but his performance at the combine could certainly alter his stock.
Another standout was Christian Harris out of Alabama, who put his awesome footwork on display Saturday. He additionally recorded an 11-foot broad jump.
Harris could be a Day 2 draft pick.
.@AlabamaFTBL LB Christian Harris has some quick feet.
He's @BuckyBrooks No. 3 LB. 📈
— NFL (@NFL) March 6, 2022
Fits for Giants, Jets
So it’s pretty obvious the Jets and Giants are in the running for an edge rusher in the first round, but moreso the latter. While the Jets have already made financial commitments to defensive ends Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers via three- and four-year deals (respectively), the Giants absolutely need another pass rusher to complement defensive lineman Leonard Williams and outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari.
Aidan Hutchinson isn’t likely to be available at No. 4 or 5, the picks the Jets and Giants respectively own (yes, our beloved New York football teams are that bad). However, Thibodeaux might be on the board for either team, and there’s a chance the Giants could get him with their seventh overall selection.
If Thibodeaux is available at No. 5, he’ll likely be available at No. 7. This is due to the fact the Carolina Panthers, who currently own the sixth overall pick, don’t need an edge rusher. They’ll either be drafting an offensive tackle to protect Sam Darnold or a quarterback to replace Sam Darnold (if they keep that pick).
So an ideal scenario for the Giants would be taking the top offensive tackle available at No. 5 and Thibodeaux at No. 7 in order to address their top two roster needs.
Another route the Giants could take would be to trade back to the middle portion of the first round and draft Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean. Although, linebacker might not be a legitimate position of need at such an early part of the draft, even if Blake Martinez is a cap casualty this offseason.
Devin Lloyd could be a fit for the Jets at No. 10 overall. Lloyd would be an instant starter alongside linebacker C.J. Mosley and 2021 draftees Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen.
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