NFL Combine Day 3 - Winners & Losers

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Things are getting exciting at the combine. Here is what went down on Day 3:

  • Athletic measurements (40 yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump) and position drills  for offensive linemen and tight ends
  • Bench press for quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers
  • Physical measurements for defensive line and linebackers

Since there is a lot more action on day 3 than the previous two, I am going to split the winners & losers column by position, starting with the O-line.

Offensive Line:

Winners

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Lewan, Michigan (6’7, 309)  - I didn’t like his attitude during the day 1 press conference but that is a non-issue after Lewan’s dominant athletic performance today. He led all lineman with a 4.87 40-time, had a better than average 29″ vertical leap, the best broad jump of all the lineman (117″), a top 5 time in the cone drill, and a top 10 time in the 20-yard shuttle. Heck of a day for Lewan, he showed the speed and quickness to get to the 2nd level and will get serious consideration in the 6-10 range of the 1st round. Lewan made himself some money today.

Greg Robinson, Auburn (6’5, 332) – If Lewan had the best day, than Robinson was a close second. At 332 pounds Robinson ran a 4.92 in the 40-yard dash which was the 2nd best of all the O-lineman. Robinson also had the 3rd best broad jump and looked amazingly fluid in the lineman drills for a man his size. His pass blocking needs some work, but he has unlimited potential and made a serious push today to be the first O-lineman selected in the draft.

Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (6’5, 308) - The kid is just a polished blocker. He did the drills without breaking a sweat and looked more natural in every situation than any other lineman on the field today. None of his times were the best, but in most years they would be near the top.

Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA (6’4, 307) - Didn’t have the best score in any of the day 3 drills, but he didn’t have a bad score in any of them and looked quick, smooth, and fluid in every drill. With Stanford’s David Yankey struggling a bit in the drills and putting up a bad 40 time, I think Su’a-Filo moved into the top guard position after his performance today and has a legit shot to be drafted near the end of the first round.

Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6’4, 302) - I’ve been high on Bitonio for awhile, but even I was surprised by how well he performed today. He was one of only 5 offensive lineman who ran the 40 in under 5 seconds (4.97), had the second best broad jump, and the 3rd best 20-yard cone drill. It’s not always pretty, but Bitonio just finds a way to get the job done. I’d be shocked if he makes it out of the 3rd round and has a shot to go late in the 2nd round. Bitonio probably had the biggest draft jump on day 3.

Matt Patchan, Boston College (6’6, 302)  - The injury prone tackle showed off his athleticism on day 3. Patchan was one of only 5 linemen who cracked the 5 second barrier on the 40 yard dash (4.97). Patchan also had the best vertical leap of the lineman at 33.5″. Big day for Patchan and if he can pass the medical exams he probably jumps up a round or two and could go as high as the third. There are plenty of moments on his 2013 tape that he looks like a starting NFL tackle.

G Trai Turner, LSU (6’3, 310) - Nobody in the media seems to know why 3rd year sophomore Trai Turner declared for the draft after only starting 20 games in his career and not really establishing himself as a top-to-mid round candidate. Regardless, Turner ran the 3rd fastest 40 time and helped his draft stock.

Gabe Ikard, Ohlahoma (6’4, 304)  - It’s hard not to like Ikard when you watch him interact with other players on the field. He’s seems to have a natural charisma and was the leader of Oklahoma’s line as a 3-year starter. Ikard had a good day today with easily the best 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle times. Ikard needs to get considerably stronger (22 reps) but has flawless technique, is a leader on the field, and shows a good understanding of blocking angles. Most rankings have Ikard as a 6th-7th round pick, but I think he’s a 4th-5th round prospect and would be a great fit for a team with an aging center that could mentor Ikard for a year or two while he gets stronger (like the Bears).

Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6’7, 331) - It’s mind-boggling that this guy isn’t better when you watch him in drills. Henderson showed excellent speed for his enormous size (5.04, 8th overall). He certainly looks the part with a well-defined frame, quick feet, and decent fluidity for a big man. Some team will take a chance on Henderson earlier than his tape deserves, but he’s another guy with limitless potential. He helped his stock today with his 40 time (5:04) and better than average performance in the drills.

Ja’Wuan James (Tenn), Michael Schofield (Mich), and Wesley Johnson (Van) didn’t stand out in any particular drill but all performed well enough and showed enough potential to help their stock a little bit on day 3.

Losers:

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (71) on the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama beat Michigan 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cyrus Kouandjio, Auburn (6’7, 322) – Very rough day for the big fella. Kouandjio ran the slowest 40 time by quite a bit (5.59). He also looked very stiff in the all of the drills and his body language was terrible. It looked like Kouandjio was holding his breath during the drills and was clearly rattled by his bad performance. There haven’t been any bright spots for Kouandjio yet at the combine; He had the 2nd lowest number of bench 21 reps, 4th lowest broad jump, and the aforementioned struggles in the 40-yard dash and mobility drills. If that wasn’t bad enough, there are multiple reports that several teams failed him on his physical due to arthritic knees. I don’t think Kouandjio is a 1st round pick anymore.

David Yankey, Stanford (6’6, 315) – Yankey ran very slow (5.48), wasn’t as strong as most lineman (22 reps) and looked stiff in the drills. I expected more out of a guy who is projected as a late 1st or early 2nd round pick.

Jon Halapio, Florida (6’3, 323) – Similar to Yankey in that he ran slower than expected in the 40 (5.34), had the worst cone drill time, and looked stiff in drills.

Morgan Moses, Virginia (6’6, 314) –  Looked slow and stiff in the 40 and other drills. Didn’t look as athletic as he did on tape and I don’t think there is any chance he sneaks into the 1st round.

Cyril Richardson (Bay), Antonio Richardson (Tenn), and Zach Fulton (Tenn) weren’t terrible at any particular thing, but looked stiff in the hips, off-balance, and slow in most of the drills. None of these guys helped their stock today.

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