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Defensive Combine Predictions - Cool Article


Doug Carlton
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https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/nfl-combine-bold-predictions-defense-2020

 

We have already made some bold predictions for the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine from the offensive end. Today we flip sides and do the same for defense.

As stated in the previous article, some of these might be bolder than others, but for what they are, it's a way for me to get some of these players on your radar in time for Indianapolis if they weren't already.

With plenty of impressive performances incoming, here are 10 bold predictions for the combine for the defensive players in attendance.

 

A.J. Epenesa will show up at 272 pounds

Iowa has edge rusher A.J. Epenesa listed at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds. Much of his scouting profile is based around his size and strength, so this number is important. But I don't think he's going to show up at the 280 he's listed.

I think it's more likely he's closer to 270 than 280. For Epenesa to move the way he does on tape at 280, that would be extremely impressive. But I don't want people to think hat him showing up at a lower weight means you have to be any less high on him.

His tape is still good. I just doubt he played at that size.

 

People Will Be disappointed By Chase Young’s Combine (And Those People Are Wrong)

I feel like this happens every year. We hype up the combine so much and only emphasize the crazy numbers that some individual players put up, and then wonder why players who aren't of similar size don't put up the same numbers.

Chase Young isn't going to run like Joshua Uche and Zack Baun. He's not going to jump like Alex Highsmith. He's not going to be agile like K'Lavon Chaisson. He out-weighs those guys by 20-25 pounds!

I think Young is going to put up great weight-adjusted numbers. If he does, those who criticize it will come from the same camp of people who wonder why Young didn't get any sacks in his last three games because he was getting triple-teamed.

 

Darrell Taylor Will Be The New Wave Prospect To Like

Darrell Taylor has a chance to really make a name for himself.

Taylor's game is predicated off speed, so he's one of those players where "checking the boxes" is going to be very important. There have been reports that Taylor clocked 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash last year. If he can replicate that, and provide similar levels of athleticism in some other drills, he could be a name you start hearing a lot more.

 

Terrell Lewis Will have the best overall week

At the Senior Bowl, Terrell Lewis called himself a top-five player in this class. Now, I know that every prospect is betting on themselves throughout the process, and even though I'm not quite that high on Lewis, his 2019 season had flashes of brilliance as an edge rusher.

Medicals will be the big thing for Lewis, who had two season-ending injuries during his time at Alabama. If he can pass those, I believe he'll put up the numbers to be the best of the bunch during the week.

 

Neville Gallimore will be the bench press king

When it comes to the bench press, it's not just about being strong. There's also an element of stamina that comes into play. The players who have the most reps of 225 aren't always the ones with the most upper body strength but rather the ones whose bodies are best built for it.

The best bench guys are ones with short arms. Though Neville Gallimore's 32.875-inch arms aren't super short, I'd say that short enough for him to fire off enough rounds of 225 to be the bench kind. 

 

You’ll start to see Kyle Dugger in the first round

Kyler Dugger has been seeing some buzz with his name since the Senior Bowl last month. But the combine is where the allurement for him is really going to go through the roof.

As a hybrid safety/linebacker player, there's a chance the 6-foot, 215-pound prospect could run close to 4.4-seconds flat, jump near 40 inches and clear 11 feet in the broad jump.

With numbers like that, you'll start to hear some first-round talk.

 

K’Lavon Chaisson will solidify a Top 15 selection

The combine will be introducing some new drills this year. One of those is the "Figure 8" drill for defensive linemen.

This drill can tell you a lot about how comfortable a rush is with bend and flexibility, and it's something that K'Lavon Chaisson should excel in. He'll be one of the most impressive in that drill and with most of the athletic numbers. With all those boxes checked, I doubt he makes it past the top 15.

 

Damon Arnette, Cameron Dantzler will be the biggest risers

For most of these predictions I'm betting on athletic numbers, but with these two it is more just about hearing what NFL teams think of players than it is what their drills will say.

Damon Arnette has seen a bump in stock among draft media people, and Cameron Dantzler has a bit too. But I really do think that the media is just catching up to what the NFL already thinks of these guys, and that is that they're top-50 players. Dantzler is 6-foot-2 and reportedly runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, while Arnette quietly had one of the most improved years of any cornerback in the country.

 

Noah Igbinoghene will get first-round buzz

Speaking of cornerback poised for a boost in stock, Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene is set to turn some heads.

It's been reported that Igbinoghene can put up a 40 time in the 4.3-second range. If that happens, and you combine that with how comfortable he is when playing close man coverage, you're going to hear some NFL buzz about him and you're going to read his name in the first round of a lot of mocks.

 

Davion Taylor Will Be The New Trendy "Sleeper"

Davion Taylor's story is awesome. After only playing one and a half games of high school football in his career, he earned his way onto a junior college roster, then was able to transfer to Colorado to prove he had the athleticism to play at the highest level.

It is reported that Taylor can run a sub-4.5 40-yard dash at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds. I don't think that will be the only way he impresses NFL teams during the week either.

You'll start to see him as a trendy sleeper pick between the combine and the draft for teams that need an athletic linebacker.

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24 minutes ago, thamill said:

The combine is such a joke.  Player X ran a 4.4 40....in shorts...without pads. 

Player X did a cone drill in shorts

Player X did 20 reps of 225 on the bench press. 

Show me the game tape on each player.  Being fast agile and strong does not equal being a great NFL player. 

Teams might often times feel that a player was used wrongly in college, or not to their strong suit, at that point film doesn’t really benefit anybody. No one wins from watching a square shape being jammed into a circle hole.

While the combine might be glorified by the 40 and the benchpress, true evaluators are paying more attention to the positional drills. 

Edited by ShmevinShmarris
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32 minutes ago, thamill said:

The combine is such a joke.  Player X ran a 4.4 40....in shorts...without pads. 

Player X did a cone drill in shorts

Player X did 20 reps of 225 on the bench press. 

Show me the game tape on each player.  Being fast agile and strong does not equal being a great NFL player. 

Neither does great tape against college opponents. Nothing is a sure fire way to find a good player.

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1 hour ago, Knight of God said:

Young isn’t going to perform 

Didnt i say Darrell Taylor has all the ohysical tools? People are really sleeping on his gane tape and skills. His character and interview skills are what he needs to impress scouts with. 

Edited by LaurentRobinsonDaGawd
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The combine isn’t the end all be all but it is another tool to use. Teams have data on the type of athleticism needed to be successful at certain positions. There will always be outliers but it can help with identifying risky players who might struggle with the jump in competition. 
 

To me, I am less focused on the guys with the fastest 40 times or most bench presses. It’s the guys who had a great college careers who had subpar scores on key tests based on the position. Or the guys who underwhelmed but have great athleticism. You try to go back and understand what happened based on scouting reports and college tape.

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7 hours ago, thamill said:

The combine is such a joke.  Player X ran a 4.4 40....in shorts...without pads. 

Player X did a cone drill in shorts

Player X did 20 reps of 225 on the bench press. 

Show me the game tape on each player.  Being fast agile and strong does not equal being a great NFL player. 

http://www.nfl.com/network/combine all those guys were good this year

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I'm high on Darrell Taylor, Terrell Lewis and Kyle Dugger.  I think Dugger is one of the few safeties I see that can play down in the box and be a force against the run.  He looks a bit more athletic that Neal.  He is a legit 6' feet tall and if he is just as good with his change of direction as Neal, I would target him if I'm the Falcons.  I expect him to be faster in a 40.

Terrell Lewis has the makings of a "John Abraham" type at DE, but the production isn't there.  Anyone picking him high is taking a risk.  

Darrell Taylor has had a solid Junior & Senior seasons.  May be a good option to help our pass rush, hope he measures up/works out well.  I know he plays from both a 2 and 3 point stance.  Have not watched him enough to know what he is best at. 

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17 hours ago, thamill said:

The combine is such a joke.  Player X ran a 4.4 40....in shorts...without pads. 

Player X did a cone drill in shorts

Player X did 20 reps of 225 on the bench press. 

Show me the game tape on each player.  Being fast agile and strong does not equal being a great NFL player. 

I don't think its a joke.  You have to take it for what it is.  Colleges overstate guys height/weight/speed all the time.  I'm sure everybody sees these guys, but the NFL wants to know the real numbers.  Peerless Price was listed at 6' 187 pounds when he was at Tennessee.  Well, show up for the combine and he isn't even 5' 11''.  Its all marketing.  If you have ever been around sports, you know the entire meaning of "he looks good getting off the bus" phrase.  Its a real thing that a lot of people buy into.  Same thing with the media guides / website.  Notice, they never under list guys, always over.

Given the investment NFL teams are making, I would want to know the real numbers too.  The problem is everything has become over hyped with time.  30 years ago only a few people outside of the NFL and NCAA cared about the combine.  It wasn't an event or money maker, there was no TV and not much coverage besides what might be published in the sports section the week before the draft.  Today, it's a recognized strategy of a multi-billion dollar industry.  In 1991 I came home from school, flipped on ESPN and waited tens of minutes to see who the Falcons pick in the lower rounds.  Guys like Eric Pegram came and went with little fan fare, just a name that scrolled across the TV.  Nobody besides a league official called his name.  Back then, those rounds were not even on TV.  I think so much of what you are talking about is that EVERYBODY calls themselves an expert.  Everybody has a website with their mock, their top prospects list.  You get all the hype from past player that are now self appointed talent evaluators?  Not to mention those guys that just love sports that have nothing to do with scouting NFL talent.  Being a student of the game isn't enough to be great, nor is being a great athlete.  Its all a crazy mix.  No formula for what makes a great player.  Each one is a crap shoot, 50/50 at best.

I encourage everyone to stop buying into the hype.  Back then, if a guy ran a 4.4 40 he was referred to as a "Blazer", now those guys are a dime a dozen and not that fast.  The process of evaluation is still the same.  The coverage has changed.  Its in your face all the time, everyone knows these names, but they may not translate to the NFL.  Lot of great college players that are not NFL talents, Danny Wuerffel comes to mind.  Also a lot of great athletes like Vernon Gholston that don't work out.

Edited by isproab
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2 hours ago, isproab said:

I don't think its a joke.  You have to take it for what it is.  Colleges overstate guys height/weight/speed all the time.  I'm sure everybody sees these guys, but the NFL wants to know the real numbers.  Peerless Price was listed at 6' 187 pounds when he was at Tennessee.  Well, show up for the combine and he isn't even 5' 11''.  Its all marketing.  If you have ever been around sports, you know the entire meaning of "he looks good getting off the bus" phrase.  Its a real thing that a lot of people buy into.  Same thing with the media guides / website.  Notice, they never under list guys, always over.

Given the investment NFL teams are making, I would want to know the real numbers too.  The problem is everything has become over hyped with time.  30 years ago only a few people outside of the NFL and NCAA cared about the combine.  It wasn't an event or money maker, there was no TV and not much coverage besides what might be published in the sports section the week before the draft.  Today, it's a recognized strategy of a multi-billion dollar industry.  In 1991 I came home from school, flipped on ESPN and waited tens of minutes to see who the Falcons pick in the lower rounds.  Guys like Eric Pegram came and went with little fan fare, just a name that scrolled across the TV.  Nobody besides a league official called his name.  Back then, those rounds were not even on TV.  I think so much of what you are talking about is that EVERYBODY calls themselves an expert.  Everybody has a website with their mock, their top prospects list.  You get all the hype from past player that are now self appointed talent evaluators?  Not to mention those guys that just love sports that have nothing to do with scouting NFL talent.  Being a student of the game isn't enough to be great, nor is being a great athlete.  Its all a crazy mix.  No formula for what makes a great player.  Each one is a crap shoot, 50/50 at best.

I encourage everyone to stop buying into the hype.  Back then, if a guy ran a 4.4 40 he was referred to as a "Blazer", now those guys are a dime a dozen and not that fast.  The process of evaluation is still the same.  The coverage has changed.  Its in your face all the time, everyone knows these names, but they may not translate to the NFL.  Lot of great college players that are not NFL talents, Danny Wuerffel comes to mind.  Also a lot of great athletes like Vernon Gholston that don't work out.

So Peerless Price is 2" shorter.  Do you really think Drew Bledsoe or Mike Vick were thinking about those two inches Tennessee had him listed taller at before they threw him the ball OR they just saw the target and tried to throw it to the same spot they had thrown it to him at 14000 times earlier in practices?  People overanalyze this crap too much.  Russell Wilson and Drew Brees were too short but have done pretty well.  The biggest question is can the guy play football?  Better than watching workouts, WATCH the guy play football.  I learn a **** of a lot more about a player based on how he played in college and the senior bowl then how fast they ran 40 yards in shorts.  If you read Troy Polamalu's predraft report, it said his measurables didn't likely translate to the NFL. He had a pretty solid career.   

Yes, NFL teams invest a lot and I get they want to make sure they pick the right guy.  Bring the guy in for a private workout where you can look at the specific measurables for the types of players you are looking for that fit your scheme and player mold. 

I agree that the hype is out of control over it.      

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16 minutes ago, thamill said:

So Peerless Price is 2" shorter.  Do you really think Drew Bledsoe or Mike Vick were thinking about those two inches Tennessee had him listed taller at before they threw him the ball OR they just saw the target and tried to throw it to the same spot they had thrown it to him at 14000 times earlier in practices?  People overanalyze this crap too much.  Russell Wilson and Drew Brees were too short but have done pretty well.  The biggest question is can the guy play football?  Better than watching workouts, WATCH the guy play football.  I learn a **** of a lot more about a player based on how he played in college and the senior bowl then how fast they ran 40 yards in shorts.  If you read Troy Polamalu's predraft report, it said his measurables didn't likely translate to the NFL. He had a pretty solid career.   

Yes, NFL teams invest a lot and I get they want to make sure they pick the right guy.  Bring the guy in for a private workout where you can look at the specific measurables for the types of players you are looking for that fit your scheme and player mold. 

I agree that the hype is out of control over it.      

I think the entire reason the combine was started was to have all the guys together in one place under the same conditions.  The same people that talk about the combine as "must see TV" use to laugh and joke about it in the early 2000's when it first started being broadcast.  Its interesting TV, but I don't do hype.  I'm glad Dri Archer can run 4.26, but regardless of what he did at Kent, it was going to be hard for him to have NFL success at his size.  Not everybody can do that at 173 pounds, despite the speed.

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6 hours ago, thamill said:

Wasn't Vic Beasley a combine standout?

Very impressive.

Bottom Line

Projects as 3-4 outside linebacker. Considered one of the best pure edge rushers in the draft, but needs more sophistication to his approach. Has speed and explosion to become an absolute menace for a creative defensive coordinator. High-impact talent but needs to crank up competitive nature in order to reach his potential.

 

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/vic-beasley?id=2552301

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