Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (OL41) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Take 10: Scouting Combine winners

Defensive tackles set the spin rate on overdrive at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

As the first group on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium for testing and position workouts last week, the interior defensive linemen raised the bar.

Two first-round hopefuls, Pitt’s Calijah Kancey and Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore, might have solidified their status with blazing times in the 40 and stellar overall workouts.

Here’s a list of players who helped their draft status the most in Indy:

Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
Adebawore ran a 4.49 40-yard dash with the defensive end position group but played inside for the Wildcats. He popped at the Senior Bowl, where he was named the top practice week defensive lineman.

Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
The latest Bret Bielema workhorse, Brown erased doubts about his long speed (4.43 40) and led running backs in explosive testing, going 10-feet-7 in the broad jump with a 40-inch vertical.

Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
His listed height (6-feet-8) checked out and then Freeland’s explosiveness evident in game film was verified via testing. He set the record for vertical jump at 37 inches, adding a 10-foot broad jump, and his 34-inch reach seals the deal as a gem on the edge.

Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Field Level Media ranked Jones as a first-rounder before Indy, and he nailed the event with the best 40 at the position (4.98 seconds) and moved like a 200-pounder in position drills.

Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
A 41-inch vertical only boosts the stock of a receiver we liked in the second round pre-event because of disciplined and nuanced route-running, excellent body control and the catch radius of a much bigger target (6-1, 200).

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
If you’ve been paying attention, Richardson is getting a lot of love from armchair evaluators just coming to know his athletic arsenal. Even NFL scouts who projected Richardson as a first-rounder before the combine are ready to give him a bump. Richardson led the position group in height (6-4 1/4), weight (244), 40-yard dash (4.43), vertical jump (40 1/2 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 9 inches).

Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Let the guard-or-tackle debate continue. Some teams won’t use Skoronski at tackle because his arms are relatively short (32 1/4 inches) by NFL standards (33 7/8 inches is the minimum for many teams scouting OTs). His light feet, agility, balance and short-area burst — 1.75 10-yard split in the 40 — are evidence he’s a first-rounder regardless of position.

Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
Teams still have to question the overall production — 12.5 sacks for the Bulldogs — but Smith became the first player in combine history to weigh over 235 pounds, run sub-4.4 (4.39) and post a vertical over 40 inches (41 1/2).

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Accuracy and arm talent are the buzzwords out of Stroud’s on-field passing display Saturday. He did nothing to hurt his chances as a top-5 pick, all without doing any other athletic testing.

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
Cancel the projections of moving the 6-7, 265-pounder to tight end in the NFL, and forget the suggestion he would be available in the second round. Washington is just 21 years old, was the third-fastest in the combine short shuttle at 4.08 seconds, and ran the 40 in 4.64 seconds.

–Field Level Media

Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (QB15) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

QB Bryce Young measures 5-10 1/8 at combine

Former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young officially measured 5-foot-10 and 1/8 inch and 204 pounds on Saturday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

If NFL executives and scouts overlook the former Heisman Trophy winner’s less-than-ideal stature and still make him a first-round pick next month, he would be the lightest Round 1 QB since at least 2006 and one of the shortest since the 1967 NFL-AFL merger.

His frame is very similar to the 2019 combine measurements for Kyler Murray, who was 5-10 1/8 and 207 pounds and went No. 1 overall in the draft to the Arizona Cardinals.

Alabama’s 2022 roster listed Young at 6 feet, 194 pounds.

Young insists that any concerns about his size are misplaced.

“I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” he said. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me, it’s fair, everyone can speculate, ask me every question, I’m going to continue to control what I can control, continue to keep working my hardest … I’m confident in myself, I know what I can do.”

The average height and weight of quarterbacks on NFL rosters in 2022 was 6-2 1/2, 219.8. Of course, there are notable exceptions. Future Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson measured just under 5-11 at the 2012 combine.

Young completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 8,356 yards with 80 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions in three seasons with the Crimson Tide. He lacks Murray’s mobility, finishing with 139 carries for 162 yards and seven TDs.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Top QB prospects Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud measure up at combine

Bryce Young was the first quarterback to the lectern on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, an appropriate anecdote that included hundreds of reporters gathered to hear from the prized Alabama passer and purported No. 1 overall pick in April.

While Young and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud are expected to entice another team to trade for the top pick and move the Chicago Bears down a peg, Young said he isn’t trying to read the tea leaves.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Young said of being drafted. “I obviously don’t get to choose. I’d be surprised either way. I’m just happy to be here.”

Young has been popular with teams at the top of the draft, meeting with the Bears, Houston Texans (who pick second and have the No. 12 pick), Indianapolis Colts (fourth) and Seattle Seahawks (fifth) and Las Vegas Raiders (seventh).

“Bryce is an outstanding leader, and an outstanding quarterback,” Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans said. “It’s no surprise the success that he’s had, just because of the makeup and the type of guy that he is.”

Young said he had a “great” meeting with the Texans, which might not be a surprise given Ryans also attended Alabama. Crimson Tide products John Metchie III and Christian Harris, former Young teammates, are also in Houston.

“It was a great environment, just being in that room, I got a lot of wisdom. I’m super-grateful for it,” Young said.

Stroud said his first meeting in Indianapolis was with the Raiders. He also met with the Texans and Colts and looks to get a leg up on Young by throwing and performing in on-field events during the combine. Young is holding out for Alabama’s pro day March 23.

“I want to be myself no matter what room I step in, let them know I control the room no matter what room I step in, that I’m a leader,” Stroud said Friday. “And show them the IQ I have, that I’m a student of the game. … I’m willing to go back to square one and learn it all over again.”

Former NFL personnel evaluators appear to be split on whether Young or Stroud is the right quarterback to build around. Louis Riddick said in an ESPN appearance that “sky is the absolute freaking limit” if Stroud gets in the right offense.

“This kid right here, look I love Bryce Young too, it’s like a video game watching the young man play. This guy right here, I think is the gem,” said Riddick, who previously worked in the Eagles’ scouting department.

Height and weight are questions for Young, who is nothing close to the physical prototype at the position. But his instincts, awareness and ability to execute at a high level when plays break down give him one of the highest “off script” grades from general managers since Kyler Murray was selected No. 1 overall.

“I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said Friday. “I know who I am. I know what I can do. For me, it’s fair, everyone can speculate and ask whatever questions are necessary. I’m going to continue to control what I’m going to control.”

Stroud will be measured with the other quarterbacks in the class on Saturday, when throwing sessions and other on-field workouts take place at Lucas Oil Stadium. Like Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson plan to participate in all QB events.

The average height and weight of quarterbacks on NFL rosters in 2022 was 6-2 1/2, 219.8. Of course, there are notable exceptions.

Based on the tape at the combine, Murray was 5-10 1/8, Russell Wilson measured 5-10 5/8, Drew Brees was 6-0.

“You do want to pay attention to body type,” former Patriots GM Scott Pioli said on NFL Network. “But go back and watch the tape. Spend time with Bryce Young. I’ve spent time with Bryce Young, I’ve spent time with his parents. This guy is the real deal as a quarterback and human being. This is the guy you want leading your offense and leading your huddle.”

–Field Level Media

Hendon Hooker (5) of the Tennessee Volunteers gets sacked by Calijah Kancey (8) of the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on Spetmebr 10, 2022.

Pittsburgh Panthers Vs Tennessee Volunteers

DT prospects Adetomiwa Adebawore, Calijah Kancey run blazing 40s

Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey told his college coach he was headed to the NFL Scouting Combine to break the record for the 40-yard dash at his position.

And a day after promising media at his press conference his 40 would “surprise,” Kancey ripped off a pair of sizzling times.

“I’m going to surprise everyone with my 40. Stay tuned,” Kancey said Wednesday.

His second attempt in the 40 was unofficially clocked at 4.73 seconds, then confirmed via digital timing to 4.67, the fastest for a defensive tackle in the past 20 years. But his record didn’t stand for long.

That’s because Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore followed shortly after with an unofficial 4.54.

Adebawore, a star of the Senior Bowl who was voted defensive lineman practice player of the week in Mobile, Ala., measured at 6-feet-1 1/2, 282 pounds upon arrival in Indianapolis. He said he has met with all 32 teams in the past five weeks, either at the Senior Bowl or combine.

Teams asked Adebawore to join the “edge” group in combine workouts Thursday and he stood out in the 40, but also with a 37 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-5-inch broad jump.

His 10-yard split, his fastest 10 yards in the 40-yard dash, was 1.61 seconds.

Rated as a first-round prospect, Kancey measured 6-1, 281 pounds in Indianapolis earlier this week. He’s fully cleared from a shoulder injury but will not participate in on-field position drills until his campus pro day.

Limited by size, Kancey is an intriguing study for NFL evaluators.

Some of them are still scorched over missing on another fire hydrant defensive tackle out of Pitt — Aaron Donald. Donald measured 6-0, 285 at the 2014 combine, where he record a 4.68-second 40, 32-inch vertical and wound up being drafted by the then-St. Louis Rams with the 13th overall pick. That easily beat most projections, including the rating as a fourth- or fifth-rounder.

Donald is three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Georgia DL Jalen Carter to skip combine workouts

Former Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter will not work out at the NFL scouting combine this week but will be in Indianapolis for interviews and medicals, ESPN reported Monday.

Carter, along with Alabama’s Will Anderson, is expected to be one of the first non-quarterbacks taken in April’s NFL draft and potentially a top-five draft pick.

Carter will work out at Georgia’s pro day on March 15.

The 6-foot-3 Carter had one year of eligibility remaining at Georgia when he declared for the draft. He was a unanimous All-American in 2022 and led the Bulldogs to back-to-back College Football Playoff championships.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks (R) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones skips scouting combine

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, typically a presence at the annual NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, stayed in Dallas this week for perhaps multiple reasons.

The team announced that Jones, who has owned the team since 1989, is dealing with an unspecified medical minor issue.

In addition, the Dallas Morning News said on social media, citing an unnamed source, that Jones “is also handling some NFL business involving commissioner Roger Goodell.”

Goodell is reportedly in negotiations with the NFL on a new contract.

Jones’ absence also comes about a week after the team reportedly reached a $2.4 million settlement over accusations by four cheerleaders that a former team executive gained access to their locker room and watched them change clothes.

–Field Level Media

Memphis Tigers receiver Calvin Austin III celebrates his catch during their game against the SMU Mustangs at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday Nov. 6, 2021.


Scouting Combine Odds: John Ross’ 40 record longshot to be broken

John Ross’ NFL career can adequately be called a disappointment thus far, but the speedster’s name continues be revered for a feat no one has been able to match over the past half-decade.

The former University of Washington star posted a blistering 4.22-second 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL scouting combine. It’s a mark that helped Ross vault into the ninth overall pick by Cincinnati and one that continues to stand as the fastest in the event’s history.

As hundreds of the top prospects from around the country congregate in Indianapolis list week, Ross’ record is expected to stand for at least another 12 months.

DraftKings is offering +500 odds that anyone at the combine will run the 40 in under 4.22 seconds this week, compared to -1000 odds that the best time will be slower than 4.22.

The 40-yard dash is the most popular of the individual workouts but only one of many records that can be wagered on this week.

Stephen Paea holds the record of 49 reps on the 225-pound bench press. No one is expected to sniff that mark this week, with DraftKings offering -120 odds on the most bench press reps at this year’s combine being over 39.5.

Gerald Sensabaugh holds the vertical jump record at the combine of 46 inches. The sportsbook is offering -115 odds on a 43.5-inch Over/Under for the highest vertical this week.

Byron Jones’ 12’3″ broad jump is another mark not expected to be surpassed. DraftKings is offering -115 odds on an 11’5″ longest broad jump.

One record to keep an eye on is J.T. Thomas’ 6.28-second 3-cone drill from 2018. DraftKings is offering odds on the record being broken at +160, compared to -225 that Thomas’ mark will stand at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, is offering several player props ahead of the combine:
–Aidan Hutchinson bench press reps: Over/Under 38
–Drake London 40-yard dash time: Over/Under 4.48 seconds
–Malik Willis 40-yard dash time: Over/Under 4.40 seconds

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Matt Corral (2) makes a throw against the Baylor Bears in the second quarter in the 2022 Sugar Bowl at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Two top prospects to skip Combine workouts

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. will not work out at this week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, multiple outlets reported Monday.

The two top prospects, both still recovering from injuries, will participate in interviews and medical exams only.

On-field workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium are scheduled for Thursday for QBs and Sunday for defensive backs.

ESPN ranks Stingley and Corral as the No. 8 and No. 27 overall prospects, respectively, for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Stingley had surgery on his left foot in October, while Corral injured his right ankle in the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Feb 25, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL backs off bubble plan for scouting combine

The NFL will not go forward with plans to restrict draft prospects to a “bubble” environment during next month’s scouting combine after reported pressure from agents.

Combine organizers informed participants Monday that they will be free to leave the so-called secure areas in Indianapolis while in town for the combine.

Multiple reports Sunday said many draft prospects were discussing plans to boycott the annual pre-draft event. Pro Football Talk pinned the number at 155 players, represented by 13 agencies, out of the 324 prospects invited.

A memo sent to the prospects Saturday — less than two weeks before the combine is set to begin — outlined plans to restrict the participants to combine venues “during their entire time in Indianapolis for their protection” against COVID-19. They would have only been allowed one “medical support” person, such as a trainer, for the duration of their stay.

Players who violated the rules ran the risk of being sent home.

Monday’s update sent to participants, obtained by multiple outlets, said that organizers “continue to evolve our Combine policies” in consultation with health experts.

“We encourage all players to remain within the secure Combine areas at all times for your safety,” the update read in part. “However, if you would like to leave the secure areas during free time in your schedule, you are now permitted to do so at your own risk.”

Combine participants also will be allowed more than one support personnel to enter the secure areas.

The combine is scheduled for March 1-7.

–Field Level Media

Feb 25, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Prospects eye combine boycott over ‘bubble’ restrictions

In response to plans to enact heavy restrictions at the NFL Scouting Combine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 150 draft prospects are planning to announce a boycott of the annual pre-draft event, NFL Network and Pro Football Talk reported Sunday night.

Pro Football Talk pinned the number at 155 players, represented by 13 agencies. The league invited 324 prospects to participate.

The boycott would extend to all testing, on-field workouts and interviews with teams.

In a memo sent to prospects Saturday, the NFL outlined its intent to restrict them only to combine venues “during their entire time in Indianapolis for their protection.” Among the other restrictions: being limited to bringing one medical support person, such as a trainer, for the duration of their time in Indianapolis.

If a player violates the NFL’s rules, he runs the risk of being sent home from the combine.

The NFL Players Association wrote a letter to agents involved in boycott organization efforts in support of the move.

“The combination of the NFL’s proposed ‘bubble’ and fact that we still have an antiquated system of every team doctor examining players and having them perform yet again needs serious modification or elimination,” the letter said in part. “While we do not represent these players, we have advocated for their rights to fair treatment.”

The combine is scheduled to run March 1-7.

–Field Level Media