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