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3:03pmET: The DL and LB drills are over. We move on to Monday to the DBs, and then done. We'll see you back here tomorrow with streaming notes and then the a slew of scouting reports we''ll be releasing next week.
A couple final notes on agility times today (LBs not in with those times yet)...
6'7"/271 DL Anthony Nelson, Iowa posted a 6.95 three-cone! But Maxx Crosby of Eastern Michigan topped that with a 6.89 three-cone at 6'5"/255. Nelson's is more impressive at his size.
Nick Bosa with a 7.10 three-cone,which is very good but not Joey-like.
Among the EDGE guys...Sutton Smith, No Illinois posted a 6.75 three-cone at 6'0"/233. Chase Winovich hit 6.94 at 6'3"/256.
Montez Sweat topped off his money making day with a 7.00 three-cone.
It's a total freak show of defensive athletes. This has to be the most talented draft I've ever seen...top-to-bottom.
2:56pmET: I was doing more background research on D.K. Metcalf, prepping for my deeper scouting report. Let me just say...what a delightful young man. And his body, just looking at all the photos and numbers...he's earned all the 'freak' attention he's getting. His body is out of this world, and that's not breaking news...it's just 'wow'. I'm ashamed to be a human looking at his physique. His Combine numbers, at his size, should be illegal. But can he play? Can he make it as an NFL WR...and become a star?
My first impression was 'no', on the preview tape but I'm looking forward to watching all of his tape/routes. One thing to consider...he doesn't have to be Larry Fitzgerald to be a star/top producer in today's NFL. He might be too stiff to be an all-around star, but as a homerun hitter...could be amazing.
2:44pmET: Number of players I've watched run 40-times/workout the last 3 days = 250+. Number of time I've seen a clip or whole thing of the NFL's 100th Year Commercial they are so very proud shown on the NFL Network feed = 9,437 times
2:30pmET: According to conservations I've had today, based on the first three days, here are the guys people think are #1 overall talents in a give year...available this year (in no particular order):
Not mentioned -- Ed Oliver, any O-Lineman, Rashan Gary, no RB-WR-TE, Dwayne Haskins
1:57pmET: The LB group 'buzz' winners...(40s are done)
Devin White has locked down the top 'status' guy for the football people, but Devin Bush is in the discussion.
Josh Allen didn't evoke as much reaction as expected. I think the traditional linebacker prospects are so fast it's overshadowing a more edge rusher like Allen...he should have run with the EDGE group.
TCU's Ty Summers and Minnesota's Blake Cashman are being discussed as the top surprise/sleeper guys from the first round of running.
1:38pmET: The linebackers, non-EDGE, are ridiculously fast...faster than the RB class, which shows how weak the RB class is (unofficial 1st-attempts).
4.42 = Devin White, LSU
4.43 = Gary Johnson, Texas
4.44 = Devin Bush, Michigan
1:25pmET: Devin Bush dropped a 4.44 40-time to get the crowd going. One of the best LB Combine times.
1:18pmET: Josh Allen, Ky...first attempt was a 4.70/1.61 split. Better times, similar size to Nick Bosa.
12:58pmET: After the D-Line work, I'd say the Indy buzz would have the players ranked the following way...
1) Quinnen Williams
2) Montez Sweat
3) Nick Bosa
4) Ed Oliver
5) Rashan Gary
12:40pmET: The D-Line on-field drills are happening..and they don't do a thing for me. I want the times, and then I don't care. I have been eating and working the cellphone the past 20+ minutes.
The main thing people wanted to talk to me about...the lack of a real market for Antonio Brown, and the Steelers potentially just sitting on Brown and paying him to NOT play football this year (since it will cost them heavy in 2019 anyway for the payroll hit) and then releasing him after the season to let him be a free agent to get a compensatory pick down the road -- because no one is giving them a #1/#2 pick for Brown (not the Siberia teams PIT wants to send him to). I have to see how that would all work from a legal/technical standpoint, but a lot of people have a lot of theories where AB may not play this year...and PIT won't want him back in the building either. There is no benefit to giving him away.
Who would have thought the Steelers would be the drama team and Cleveland be the one everyone is excited about in the AFC North?
12:14pmET: They just showed Montez Sweat at 4.41 official time, but also simulcast him behind Odell Beckham Jr., who ran a 4.43. Regardless, he's very fast. Sweat's time is so amazing it is changed the entire mood of the coverage. Gary and Bosa and everyone is buried in Sweat's shine.
11:44amET: All the DE prospects are done running 40-times. My gut feel for 'winners' from the group based on 'the chatter'...
I've watched the Combine, every minute, just about, for the past 10 years...I don't recall hearing such an audible gasp as when Montez Sweat hit a 4.42 40-time. There was a buzz in the building a moment later. NFL heads turning to each other. A freak.
Nick Bosa is showing 'Joey' like numbers, so he'll be OK -- but Sweat has probably bumped him from the top 3...as has Quinnen Williams.
This is shaping up to be an amazing, top heavy draft. We haven't seen the Josh Allen/Ky work yet either.
Rashan Gary had times that should be the talk of the group, but Sweat stole all the spotlight.
TCU Ben Banugo, Fla State Brian Burns, and Chase Winovich, Michigan -- they all really helped themselves, but got lost in the Sweat-Bosa-Gary noise.
11:26amET: HELLO!!! Nick Bosa may have just been knocked out of the top 3 argument...DE Montez Sweat, Miss State -- 4.42(un) with a 1.55 10-yard at 6'6"/260. WHOA!!!
11:19amET: Neat story from the Combine on NFL Network...Daniel Jeremiah asked DE prospect Charles Omenihu, Texas who was better -- Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield, having played against both the past two years. Omenihu said, "Kyler Murray is the best football player I've ever played against."
11:11amET: The electronic timer returned to form just in time to catch Rashan Gary go 4.61(un) and 1.63 10-yard at 6'4"/277, which is fairly freakish. He solidifies a top 10 status with that...it it holds.
11:03amET: 40-time equipment is broke, so the DE/EDGE guys are getting hand timed...which is a mess so far.
10:45amET: Other DT winners today, in terms of 'chatter', aside from Quinnen...
A lot of talk about UCF DT Trysten Hill. He didn't start last year, is what is so bizarre.
Christian Wilkins, Clemson is getting much chatter as well...1.76 10-yard at 315 pounds.
Sailing below the radar...one of my faves...Daylon Mack, Texas A&M. a 1.74 10-yard at 336 pounds, are you kidding me? He didn;t go to Clemson (or Alabama), so we can't talk about him as much.
10:23amET: No need to watch the DT prospect drills. A bunch of good guys did good, average guys did OK, and Quinnen Williams sucked all the oxygen out of the room with his 40-time and especially 10-yard split at 1.67 at 303 pounds. Williams is the real deal, confirmed by the Combine numbers.
Now, the question is...do you take football-changing QB at the top or elite DT or a 'Bosa' at 1.01 in the NFL?
FYI, EDGE prospect TCU Ben Banogu just set a record in the broad jump...11'2"
10:14amET: Listening to a conversation on NFL Network...
Eisen rightfully made a great point on how stupid it is to question a prospect's 'love for the game' when they like a lot of other things...like politics, art, etc. Daniel Jeremiah jumped on the high horse to agree that there is no place for it in scouting.
...yesterday Jeremiah, and many others, discussed the worries that Kyler Murray might like baseball more than football and that's why they downgraded him initially.
9:47amET: D-Line group is finished running. The summary: a lot of good/quality/OK DL prospects...and then Quinnen Williams well above them all. His tape + his speed times at 303 pounds warrants the #1 pick in the draft. If Bosa runs as fast as advertised...Bosa and Williams are #1-pick worthy, but Kyler Murray is more deserving due to the position he plays -- which means the holders of picks #1-2-3 are going to have a great day one of the draft.
9:36amET: Dexter Lawrence hurt his quad during his 40-time, and is done for the day -- further fuel for why top guys can/should just blow the timing parts (or all) of the Combine off.
9:26amET: Lot of key guys skipping the 40-time among DLs. Quinnen Williams didn't, and it paid off...a 4.87(un) with a 1.69 10-yard at 303 pounds. Solidifying his top 1-5 status.
9:11amET: Bad news, for me, Ed Oliver is not going to run today...coming off a hamstring. Damn.
9:05amET: Can I just ask if D.K. Metcalf had any other play/catch in 2018 besides that one long TD to start the Alabama game? The NFL Network shows it every time they mention his name. He had 1 catch for 17 yards the rest of the game/59 minutes and 49 seconds -- I guess, because 'he's Batman'?
Combine Day Two, random thoughts after all drills and times done/in.
-- The NFL analysts talked themselves into three players yesterday…and when they talk themselves into players, a couple things happen:
(1) They all try to out-do each other by fervently agreeing with each other. There is no alternative opinion. Credit to Steve Smith (former CAR WR) for being the only guy to even occasionally balk or push back or ask leading questions to give some alternative…but, in typical fashion, it’s shot down by the group-think extra-heavy agreeing with each other even more.
(2) The ‘agreeing’ is so thick, and unable to have an alternative opinion (like people with their political ‘teams’) – so, it trickle-down theories to the masses as the same, who then adopt the same arrogant, echoed assumptions on the players.
(3) When the group is group-thinking/agreeing and having a lovefest over a prospect, it then ignores a lot of other great prospects doing great/better things. It’s unfair to those prospects – it steals money out of their pockets for no reason other than everyone landed on a name and won’t let it go. No better example of this than the T.J. Hockenson love fest – the single most overrated player of the Combine, so far…even if he starts and does fine in the NFL – the Combine talk has him in the Hall of Fame.
The three players being forced down everyone’s throats, and thus will be highly coveted in dynasty rookie drafts…
1) C.J. Hockenson – They are sitting there comparing him to ‘Gronk’ and he looked like one of the smallest TEs (body mass, muscle-wise, and lower body wise) of the group. Most tight ends here measured just as tall, heavy, 40-time fast and, yet, analysts went bananas for CJH…cooing over everything he did – when any normal person could see he looked just like everyone else there, give or take…and not as good or big or as fast as Noah Fant or Kahale Warring or Foster Moreau, just to name a few.
Hockenson was more athletic than I thought, but I understood it…because he’s smaller/more wiry than I thought. You could see it in the drills as he stood next and moved around the other guys. Wiry, and average speed tight ends are not a top 10 overall draft pick in the NFL.
He’s a nice ‘C’ grade prospect being talked into an ‘A’.
2) Dwayne Haskins – You shouldn’t judge a QB from the NFL Combine throwing drills unless they look silly. Haskins looked normal/fine, but because he’s the ‘group-think guy’…we were treated to slow-mo replays of his throws and how great they were.
They showed a series of slow-mo throws from different QBs and I swear, they showed one from Haskins throwing deep on a drill, it looked like a throw every QB there made all day, and on this one the WR slowed a little at the end to wait for it (which is normal), but the analysts regaled on what a great throw it was. They then showed some other QB throwing an identical pass in the same drill, looked the same as Haskins’s, and the WR slowed a little bit to wait for it to fall to him too…and the analysts jumped out of their seats and were like, “See, how the WR slowed a bit there…he’s gotta fix that.” Wait, what?
They talk themselves into seeing things they want to see…and then they take the masses down with them.
3) D.K. Metcalf – He’s an impressive sight to behold, but they start fawning over him to the partial or complete ignoring of all the other guys…and it’s unfair. Especially when the other guys are historically great, for the Combine, too…AND when there are plenty of doubts about Metcalf as a receiver. Stephen Hill and Kevin White were big and ran real fast too.
You group-think the masses by ignoring the negatives, not responding to Steve Smith’s questions, and calling Metcalf ‘Batman’ and doing Ben Affleck Batman impressions while Miles Boykin has an even better Combine performance at the same time to the sound of crickets. All you got with Boykin was, “Wow, I didn’t see him being that fast in my studies.”
Metcalf then posted terrible shuttle and three cone, after ‘the show’ went off the air, fueling fears he is a one-trick WR…but that issue will never be discussed the next two days.
The NFL Combine is sanitized for your enjoyment.
Enjoy day’s three and four of ‘the show’.