February 23, 2015 - Greg Gabriel
2015 NFL Combine Notebook – Part III
One of the strong areas of this year's draft is edge pass rushers. During the college season, some lined up as 4-3 defensive ends while others were 3-4 outside linebackers. In either case, on passing downs, they were used to rush the passer. Most of these players didn't disappoint with their workouts yesterday and we could very easily see three of these players go in the top 15 of the NFL draft. Dante Fowler - Florida Going into the Combine, he may have been the favorite to get drafted the highest of the group. He didn't disappoint. At 6025 - 261, he ran a 4.60. Where some hoped he would have done better is in the measurable drills. His vertical was 32.5". his long jump was 9'4", and his agilities were 4.32 and 7.40. Those are all good numbers but not outstanding. In the drill work, he moved around well, showing he could both drop into coverage and rush the passer. Fowler can play as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 OLB Vic Beasley - Clemson If anyone benefited from his Combine performance, it was Beasley. He stole the show yesterday and may have moved ahead of Fowler. Beasley measured 6030 - 245 and had a workout that most corners would love. He ran the 40 in 4.53, his jumps were rare for a big man with a vertical of 41 and a long jump of 10'10". His 3-cone was a very quick 6.91. As good as all those were, the best may have been his bench press which was 35 reps. That's the equivalent of a 470-pound bench press. In his drill work, he was just as outstanding, showing effortless movement and change of direction. He will be a 3-4 OLB Shane Ray - Missouri Ray couldn't help or hurt his draft stock, as all he did was weigh, measure, and bench press. He is coming off a foot injury in his bowl game and we will have to wait for Mizzou's pro day before we find out how Ray tests out. As for his height and weight, he came in at 6025 - 245 and did 21 reps on the bench. Ray also will be a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Randy Gregory - Nebraska Going into the combine, many thought Gregory would be able to play DE in a 4-3. At 6047 - 235, he won't be playing defensive end. At that size he has to be a 3-4 OLB. He has the athleticism, running a 4.57 in the 40 and his jumps were 36.5" in the vertical and 10'5" in the long jump. Both are excellent numbers. Gregory did not perform the agility drills but looked smooth and explosive doing positional work. Davis Tull - Tennessee - Chattanooga Going into the Combine, not many from the media and even in the draftnik community knew much about Tull. I did my film work on him about a week ago, and he totally dominated FCS competition. I put a fourth round grade on him. After yesterday, that grade just may have to go up. Because of an injury, Tull didn't do a lot but what he did do was remarkable. He measured 6020 -246 and his jumps were 42.5 in the vertical and 11' in the long jump. You can bet there will be quite a crowd at Tull's pro day! With that explosiveness, he could move up to the third round. Leonard Williams - USC Williams was looked at as the best defensive tackle entering the Combine. Coming out, I would say he still holds that position. At 6'5 - 302 he ran a 4.97. While some would have liked him to be a bit more explosive, he still showed very good change of direction and body control. He can play a variety of positions. In a 4-3, he can play left end or 3-technique. In a 3-4, he is an ideal 5-technique. Danny Shelton - Washington At 6'2 - 339, most knew Shelton wasn't going to run fast. His 5.64 was slower than expected but his 10 yard time of 1.88 was very good. Where he was impressive, especially for his size, was the vertical jump where he jumped 30.5" and the 20 yard shuttle, which was 4.65. At 339 pounds, those numbers are impressive. While he may not be a top 10 pick, he will still go in the first round. His tape is way too impressive. Preston Smith - Mississippi State Smith had one of the most impressive workouts of the day. He ran 4.74, jumped 34" and 10'1" and did 4.28 and 7.07 in the agility drills. Those are good numbers for a 245-pound linebacker and Smith weighed in at 271. With that athleticism, his value shot up. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe Learn how to scout from Greg in our Introduction to Scouting class. Now enrolling for the March session.